Monday, December 10, 2012

Now, we wait!

It will be curious to see what kind of rhetoric we get to hear in coming weeks when it comes to the concept of non-citizens being able to acquire a valid driver’s license from the state of Illinois.

For the conservative ideologues did their best effort to try to thwart the issue from being considered by the General Assembly. Constant statements, a rotunda rally and video clips all espousing their view that this is bad policy.

BECAUSE IT GIVES recognition to people whom the ideologues would prefer to see remain in the shadows of our society. Which means it makes all the sense in the world from the perspective of people who view things sensibly.

As best as I can tell, the political people were largely capable of ignoring all this hot air that was spouted last week!

Only one legislator in the Illinois Senate spoke out against the idea when it was debated there (although another, according to the Capitol Fax newsletter, was using Twitter to send out hostile messages about the people discussing the issue. Tweets for the twits, is how I’d describe it), and the concept got an overwhelming vote of support last week in the Senate.

But that doesn’t mean the concept is law yet!

FOR THE ISSUE never came up for a vote in the Illinois House of Representatives. In fact, I’m surprised that I haven’t heard the ideologues claim “victory” based on the concept that they “intimidated” the legislators there from acting at all.

Considering that the Illinois House seemed more interested in ending the veto session a day early, I suspect the issue really didn’t factor into their thought process at all.

Because it means the bill is still pending, and could be among the many “controversial” issues (more casinos and pension reform, among others) that get rammed through on the final day in January before the newly-elected members of the General Assembly assume control.

It would have been nice to see this issue get full legislative approval this week, mostly so that it wouldn’t have to linger all during the winter holidays. But when one looks at the big picture, what is one more month compared to a rest-of-our-lifetimes of a sensible policy when it comes to driver’s licenses.

THE BIG REASON why I support this concept is that I think it only makes sense for people to have to provide all the personal information about themselves to the state that one is required to give in order to get a license.

Most people who truly are as law-breaking as the ideologues want to believe the “foreigners” are would never want to have to provide truthful information about themselves.

Getting people out of the shadows of our society is of great benefit to all of us. Plus the fact that if these people do pass the driver’s exam that all the rest of us take to get a license, there’s no reason to deny them the right to drive.

And as for those people who claim it will be a burden on insurance companies to offer these drivers coverage, I’d say that’s nonsense.

IF ANYTHING, IT will make our streets safer – and offer those insurance companies more customers. Any company that thinks it is going to refuse to accept such business is going to find that they’re losing income, and that the companies that will put aside ethnic hang-ups will be tapping into a new business market.

Not that I expect any of the ideologues to be swayed by this. They’re going to be the malcontents who will yell and scream to the very end, and whose hostile rhetoric needs to be pushed aside (into the trash can of cheap political talk, as far as I’m concerned).

The most ridiculous bit I saw this week had to be an e-mail I received from an activist-type who insisted that former Gov. Jim Edgar was “taken to the woodshed” because he said he “doesn’t pay much attention” to the Republican party platform that opposes policies such as what Illinois is considering.

This activist just showed what an ideological fool he is, largely because I have never encountered a political official who was rigidly behind his party’s platform 100 percent.

THE SENSIBLE OFFICIALS are the ones who know when to be flexible and make accommodations.

It’s going to be attitudes such as what was expressed by this activist that will have our nation fall off the “fiscal cliff” come Jan. 1 – assuming our political people can’t be accommodating and make some sort of deal.

I’m sure this activist (whom I’m not naming because I don’t want to dignify him any more than I have to) is also among the people who believed all that rhetoric that Gov. Pat Quinn is the most unpopular governor.

For it is Quinn who said of this issue, “Our roads can be safer if we ensure that every driver in Illinois learns the rules of the road and is trained to drive safely.” Here’s hoping that Quinn, as one of his first acts of 2013, gets to sign this measure into law.


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