Insanity in the Windy City: A Sordid Love Story
Truer words have rarely been spoken than those voiced by Monsieur de Maistre in the early 19th century. Although it is typically applied to democracies, it could just as easily apply to any form of government because the fulcrum of the statement is not the variety of government but the moral fiber of the nation in question. A moral nation will not allow an immoral ruler. Neither will a wicked nation allow a moral leader.
It does overlook the fact that nearly every nation in history had a few good men, and as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, sometimes the emphasis is on the “few”. But this statement is concerned with the composite picture of the nation as a whole instead of individual exceptions. A nation filled with righteous citizens receives a righteous government. A nation filled with apathetic citizens receives a government which doesn’t really care about anything but itself.
If de Maistre’s axiom is scalable, then it applies not only to nations but to states and cities as well. It applies to any group where the moral fiber of the group is pervasive enough to generate consolidated political power. Enter Chicago; the nation’s third-largest city and home of President Barack Obama. Last November, Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District, which includes southeastern Chicago, voted to reelect Jesse Jackson, Jr. to the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Jackson was informed of his good fortune at the mental health facility in which he was a resident at the time. Mr. Jackson’s re-election was significant because he had not mounted a campaign, likely due to his absence from the House during the 5 months prior to Election Day. He still received 63% of the vote. He resigned a few weeks later amidst rumors of impending federal investigations, which have now ensnared his wife for allegedly improper use of campaign funds.
This past week, Cook County Judge Cynthia Brim was acquitted of charges against her for pushing a Cook County deputy last year. The reason for her acquittal: she was found to be legally insane during the episode and therefore not responsible for her actions. Judge Brim has declared that she hopes to return to the bench soon; this despite the fact that she has been hospitalized 5 times over the past 19 years, once being removed from her courtroom by paramedics. Judge Brim was also re-elected last year for another term. It is unclear whether her constituents were aware of her history and condition (it is virtually certain that her Chicago Democratic Machine backers were, as they have dirt on Mr. Clean), but would the revelation of her bipolar condition have made a difference to voters? Elections like Jackson’s, John Stroger’s, and others say that it wouldn’t have made one bit of difference.
Ideology is more important than sanity to Chicago voters. Chicagoans have been suffering from chronic cognitive dissonance for so long that some wires have become permanently fried. The average Chicago voter (both those alive and dead) is unable to think critically about an issue because that would force him to choose between the logical conclusions of what he supports and his political persona; far better to use emotions instead of thought and ignore that “A is not non-A”. Chicago is led by lunatics because that’s what an insane populace clamors for.
How else to explain the fact that Mayor Emanuel forced the City to divest from companies related to gun manufacturers in City pension plan investments, despite the fact that this is nearly the only industry returning record-breaking dividends and City pensions are reaching criminally-underfunded levels? Or Governor Quinn capitalizing on another blood-soaked year of shootings and homicides by attempting to further disarm law-abiding citizens and courting prosperity for Illinoisans by embracing gambling, an institution which is only successful if its patrons are unsuccessful. Obviously this leads in the opposite direction of prosperity for Illinois citizens.
How about Mayor Ballerina trying to convince the voters and themselves that they can somehow suture our fiscal gutshot while still placating labor unions? This is equivalent to having a leg bitten off by a tiger and asking sweetly for him to give it back without chewing on it too much. If he was in the business of giving back bitten-off legs, he wouldn’t have scarfed it in the first place. Or attempting to sell voters on an expansion of Wrigley Field while toting the lowest state credit rating in the nation, just a couple of steps above junk-bond-equivalence. Maybe spending even more money will help the state’s $96,000,000,000 shortfall disappear?
As sad as it is, Chicagoans deserve Jesse Jackson Jr, Cynthia Brim, Rahm Emanuel, and the rest of the Machine’s minions. The real tragedy are the scores of moral families still doing their best impression of Lot and trying to act as if the situation isn’t as bad as it is. Time to wake up, friends. It’s worse than you think. What they’ve done up until now was how they acted when they had money to waste. Wait until the credit card is maxed and the government teat roughly ripped from the mouths of these fetid fatcats. It is time to pull up stakes and head for the caves. Don’t look back, just go.
Note: It is the wish of the author that Cynthia Brim finds an effective treatment for her disorder and regains her mental health and happiness. It is also the wish of the author that all positions of power in our government be held by those of sound mind. Mental illnesses are serious conditions which can impair certain faculties integral to serving the justice system and are therefore incompatible with service as a judge.