Friday, September 8, 2017

Does Illinois/Indiana border region personify our national partisan split?

I’m wondering if the politically partisan split our nation is currently engaged in during this Age of Trump can best be visualized by a very local place – that area at the city’s far southeast corner where Illinois and Indiana converge.
MADIGAN: Has Ill. backing DACA lawsuit

One venturing down to places like the East Side or Hegewisch neighborhoods might not think there’s anything special about State Line Road. Standing there, one might not think there’s anything terribly different about Chicago versus Hammond, Ind.

YET THE TWO states do take such differing approaches to the issues that confront our society these days. One almost has to feel sorry for someone with the misfortune to be born on the “wrong” side (based on their ideological leanings) of the street.

Illinois, because of Chicago’s dominance over the state, is solidly in the Democratic Party column. While Indiana’s major city (Indianapolis) doesn’t come close to outweighing the partisan interests of the rest of the state, allowing the Hoosier State to be solidly Republican.

Take the whole debate over immigration, particularly with whether President Donald J. Trump is in any way justified in wanting to do away with the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program.

Illinois this week became one of 17 states to join in a federal lawsuit challenging the president’s authority to do away with the program that was created by former President Barack Obama as a reaction to Congress’ refusal to do anything to address immigration reform.
DONNELLY: Pressure to pick Trump over Dems

INDIANA CERTAINLY ISN’T amongst the states supporting this legal action, which our state’s governor, Bruce Rauner, also is questioning the legitimacy of.

But the Illinois attorney general, Lisa Madigan, is on board, thereby putting the official muscle of the state behind the legal action – of which none of the other so-called “Rust Belt” states are behind and only one other Midwestern state (Iowa) is supportive of.

Now before anybody argues that the Illinois House speaker’s daughter is overstepping her legal authority by getting Illinois involved in such a lawsuit, it should be noted the heavy share (nearly one-third) of Chicago that is Latino ethnic origins, and the heavy share of Chicago residents in general whose ethnic ties are to another nation and remain strong.
RAUNER: Theoretical stance misguided?

It could be said that Lisa Madigan would be behaving negligently if she didn’t get involved. The real question may be why Rauner won’t support her. His argument about immigration being federal would be stronger if Congress were actually willing to take on the issue.

NOW ONE FACTOR to consider is that the portions of Indiana just across the state line share the same heavy Latino and heavy immigrant characteristics of Chicago. But those people (who really ought to consider coming over to Illinois) are going to be aware of their political people not willing to fight for the issue.

One of their senators is Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from South Bend. Yet he is going to be solidly in the Trump-backing camp, regardless of what he may actually think about the issue.

The Washington Post on Thursday reported how Donnelly is one of a few Dem officials facing re-election in 2018 from Republican-leaning states who are getting local voter pressure to support Trump’s stances on issues.

Donnelly reportedly has been told by many constituents how they will turn on him should he not support the president (whom Illinois overwhelmingly rejected in 2016 but Indiana solidly supported in the Electoral College).

SO ANYBODY WHO’S perceiving Democratic Party plots to undermine the president must keep in mind that the Democratic Party itself won’t be fully united in its presidential opposition.
TRUMP: Giving rise to our national divisions

If activists backing immigration issues think this will be a key to a successful Trump Dump come the next election, it might not be as solid as they wish it to be.

I don’t doubt there is a segment of our society that views Trump’s ignorance on so many issues and views it as a plus because it matches up with their own level of vacuousness or bias on certain issues.

The sad part is that all we have to do to see this difference of opinion in action is to venture to our own city’s southeastern boundary – provided you can put up with the aroma from the nearby oil refinery in Whiting.


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