Saturday, June 30, 2018

Chicago a state; who dumps whom?

It is one of those periodic measures that gets introduced before the Illinois General Assembly – one that calls for the rest of Illinois to break away into its own state, or one that calls for Chicago to be separated from Illinois.
EMANUEL: Mayor gets a chuckle over splitting state

Regardless of the details of anyone’s specific proposal, those measures always manage to make me snicker. Largely because the people who are trying to express frustration with Chicago don’t want to admit how much the sentiment is mutual.

HOW ELSE TO interpret the comments Mayor Rahm Emanuel made this week during a meeting with the Chicago Community Trust. Although it should be realized that Emanuel, himself, was joking around.

For the record, the mayor was talking about Supreme Court decisions of recent days that were blatantly politically partisan in ways that go against the city’s interests, when he said, “Right now, after the last 48 hours, I’d like to pull out of this one nation and one state.”

When asked if he was talking about Chicago breaking off into its own independent city-state (a la the Vatican City that many people might mistakenly think is part of Rome), Emanuel quipped, “I’m going with Toronto.”

Which is Canada’s largest city, and one that is just slightly larger than Chicago.
Would these flags … 

OBVIOUSLY, NO ONE is going to seriously try to move forward with an independence drive. The real solution is that we all have to learn to work together, and to realize that each and every faction that comprises our society at-large offers some benefit.

That goes for just about every place in this nation of ours. We already had our “war” over secession in this country, and they lost!

I have similar thoughts when I hear there are officials in California who seriously think “the Golden State” ought to be broken up into three – the northern part of the state that would have San Francisco as its primary city, a southern part that would focus on San Diego and a third being the Los Angeles metro area.
… be at the heart someday … 

As though there are people who can’t appreciate having the nation’s second-largest city as part of their own political boundary.

SOUNDS SIMILAR TO those rural Illinois residents who think the whole world is focused on farms – even though most farms these days are corporate entities and trying to cling to the vision of a family-run farm is a large part of the reason those rural communities are so isolated from the mainstream of our society.

So are we ever going to get a state of Chicago that is separate from Illinois? Not likely, unless our society gets a whole lot more stupid than it already is tumbling down to in this Age of Trump that we’re now in.

Seriously, I think if anybody tried to split the state of Illinois up, they’d have one heck of a time figuring out where the boundary ought to be. Because it sure couldn’t be as simple as the city limits. Are we prepared to fight a “war” over who gets Naperville or Joliet?

I think people eager to think in terms of kicking Chicago “out” would be amazed to realize how much of Illinois would throw its lot in with the city. All those suburbs (more than 100 in Cook County alone, and those in the surrounding collar counties bring the tally to 250-plus) account for about two-thirds of Illinois’ population, and many of those residents merely think of “downstate” as the place where they, or a relative, went to college before coming back to “Sweet home, Chicago.”

THE REST OF Illinois’ population would be about 4 million people – placing the state at about No. 27 – just between Kentucky and Oregon (although bigger than Iowa’s 3.05 million), rather than the state’s current population rank of No. 6.
… of a 'battle' for the right to claim Joliet?
Anyway, this is all fantasy – which is why Emanuel can make jokes about the idea of “Oh Canada” becoming the new national anthem in these parts. Although it would be interesting if a new baseball rivalry were to develop between the White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays.

The reality is that we are one, and that is our greatest national (and regional) strength. It is why I always have mocked people who try to tout the concept of “state’s rights,” because it seems to think we’re better off separate, and if it were really true, why not “city’s rights” being preeminent in which we work from the bottom up?

The truth is there’s a contribution to be made by everybody, and the only people who think of breaking apart as a serious concept are ones who deserve the label of “knuckleheads.”


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