Friday, January 20, 2017

65,844,610 – More than just Chicago will miss what we’re losing Friday

The day upon which Barack Obama departs our federal government's employ and becomes just another private citizen has finally arrived.
A Chicago bye-bye to Barack Obama

It’s Inauguration Day in the District of Columbia and we transition into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, which has the potential to undermine the eight years of the possibility of “hope” and “change” that many of us voted for back in 2008.

BUT WITH THE quirks of the Electoral College, the 62 million-plus people who wanted Trump in office actually outweighed the 65 million-plus who preferred the thought of “President Hillary Clinton,” let alone the other few million who went for a Libertarian or Green party person – or perhaps some other stray name that appeared on the ballot in certain states.

Not that I’m turning this into a diatribe against the nitwits who stuck our nation with the egomaniacal Trump as its leader. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of reasons to write such commentary in the future.

Because this would be a sad day on Friday even if it was the chance to transition into a presidential administration that did not see its mission as to undo what little was accomplished (largely due to strident GOP opposition) during the Obama years.

The past eight years have been unique from the perspective of Illinois and Chicago because there was that sense of one of our hometown people was actually in a position of authority.

SOMEONE WHO WASN’T going to use our city to score cheap partisan political points for himself.
A "President Hillary" wouldn't be the same

Which may be the most offensive aspect of a Trump administration – he’s already taken enough cheap shots at Chicago to last a four-year presidential term; and he hasn’t even started that term yet!

We’re no longer going to have someone in office who comprehends the sense of neighborhood that makes up Chicago, or who realizes that there is a Chicago beyond the tourist traps along Michigan Avenue.
Potential to be "President Pot-shot?"

If anything, I’m sure there are those who found the fact of a Chicago president who settled into the South Side of the city was a unique touch. Living in that Hyde Park home, which actually is just across the neighborhood boundary in Kenwood. Not that most people ever noticed.

EVEN IF WE were transitioning from an Obama administration to a Clinton presidency, it would not be quite the same local touch. Even though Hillary herself would have been the first Chicago-born U.S. president who was raised in suburban Park Ridge.
Unlike any first lady because she WAS Chi!

For she left us for the east coast to attend college, then Arkansas to follow husband Bill through his own political aspirations. She became of elsewhere.

Just like Ronald Reagan, who some like to try to claim for purely partisan reasons as one of our own because he was born here and attended a local college, even though he left us for an adult life in California and never returned. The fact that spouse Nancy Reagan was a Chicagoan as a child added little to his understanding of our city.

For Ronald was the guy who gave us the “welfare queen” in the form of a Chicago woman, Linda Taylor, who managed to collect benefits while driving around in a Cadillac and had expensive jewelry and furs. Trying to claim that all welfare recipients were the same!

WE’RE COMING UP on the four-year anniversary of the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton; shot to death by a stray bullet fired in the Kenwood neighborhood. First Lady Michelle Obama was the one who famously said of the girl who lost her chance to have a significant life, “Hadiya Pendleton was me and I was her.”
Created the "welfare queen," can Trump top that?

Can anyone envision Trump or anyone in his circle identifying with Chicago, or anything significantly urban? Particularly Trump himself, whose own idea of Noo Yawk life is seen from that 69th floor penthouse he lives in when not spending time at his gaudy Palm Beach, Fla., mansion.

This is a day of note because I do remember Obama from his earliest days in the Illinois Legislature, and I suspect none of the other local clowns whom I’ve written about throughout the years will have the ambition or talent to seek the presidency.

Friday is a day of loss for Chicago, and even a “President Trump” will come to realize that. Who's he going to blame for the next homicide in Chicago without Obama around when he makes the next of his Tweets from a twit!


No comments: