Friday, March 15, 2019

Irish luck tops electoral enthusiasm?

This weekend is going to be an event of great cultural significance to the reality of Chicago; something that gives us a large part of our character. Something that will get people nationwide talking about us. 
The Chicago River won't be the only body of water turning green -- the Daley plaza fountain also likely to take on color. Photo by Gregory Tejeda
Oh, and by the way, the early voting for the mayoral election run-off also starts this weekend.

BECAUSE ALL THOSE crowds coming to downtown Chicago on Saturday sure ain’t a gonna be headed for the Loop supersite, at 175 W. Washington St., which will be set up so that anybody living within the Chicago city limits can cast their ballots for mayor.

Lori Lightfoot, or Toni Preckwinkle?

Personally, I expect the pathetically low, near-record-setting, turnouts that we saw on Feb. 26 will recur themselves again for the April 2 run-off, with the early voting portion actually beginning Friday.

So yes, people can take a trip downtown Friday, Saturday or Sunday to cast their mayoral vote. Maybe even do so Saturday in and around attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade – the annual tradition that now takes place along Columbus Drive.
Will Lightfoot top Preckwinkle (below) … 

BUT I DON’T expect a lot of people to turn out to cast their ballots. The Luck of the Irish will probably mean too much green-dyed beer being consumed for people to even want to think of casting a ballot.

Even though all those Irish politicos of the past would probably think that casting a vote, particularly if for a “Machine” candidate of Irish-American ethnic origins, is the ultimate gesture of cultural support one could show.

Perhaps if it were Toni O’Preckwinkle on the ballot, she’d be able to get more excitement from would-be voters. Or if Alderman Edward M. Burke hadn’t have won his Feb. 26 election so handily?
… for public attention, or … 

But I suspect this weekend will be about people trying to find the appropriate way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the date upon which the saint used his shillelagh to whack at snakes and chase them out of Ireland.

OR AT LEAST that’s what we were taught when I was in grade school. I suspect the reality of the holiday is to have an excuse for beer companies to push their product, similar to the way in which they have turned the Cinco de Mayo holiday into a generic Mexican fest.

Only I’ve never seen anybody dye the Chicago River a Red, White and Green tri-color mixture the way the city every year turns the city’s namesake river a bright, obnoxious Kelly green that in some ways looks even more sickly than the dingy shade of green the river takes on the rest of the year.

Seriously, those people who miss out on Saturday’s downtown parade can always venture out to the Beverly neighborhood’s South Side Irish parade for a chance to see the Irish bands and dancing girls work their way along Western Avenue, and the local residents will have to spend the rest of the day (and night) chasing away the overly-imbibed partiers who don’t have a proper sense of when it is to go home.

I’m sure all of this will be more on people’s minds than their mayoral vote. For all I know, they may view the St. Patrick’s festivities as an escape from the political nonsense that wishes it could overtake our lives for the next couple of weeks.
… will Madeline Mitchell top both on Saturday?

MAYBE THIS WEEKEND would be more intense if we’d have got a Daley, a Joyce or a McCarthy into the run-off election. But we didn’t. They didn’t have the Luck of the Irish back on Feb. 26

But we are getting closer to it all being over.

For Monday is the day that early voting extends to the neighborhood polling places. One site in each of the 50 wards, so that you can cast your vote without having to make the trip downtown.

Then on Election Day, you can go to the polling place located in your neighborhood proper. A chance to take part in this great American experience of Democracy – which also includes the four-year follow-up period of voters ranting and raging on how stupid the electorate was for choosing the nitwit who ultimately prevails April 2.


No comments: