Monday, March 18, 2019

So sad if would-be voters have already tossed this election cycle out w/ trash

I had reason to be wandering through the Beverly neighborhood on Sunday and couldn’t help but notice the dearth of political signs set up on front yards.

Election sentiments of certain voters?
While just a month ago prior to the initial election, Beverly seemed flooded with signs touting the mayoral merits of Jerry Joyce – who got barely 40,000 votes and whose 7 percent support even ranked below that of Amara Enyia’s mayoral campaign.

ON SUNDAY, WITH the run-off election being just over two weeks away and so many people eagerly trying to convince us that history is taking place, I just don’t see the enthusiasm.

I managed to find one lone lawn sign touting the mayoral bid of hopeful Lori Lightfoot – erected by a homeowner along 103rd Street.

By comparison, I actually found more signs touting Joyce’s campaign – although admittedly one was stuffed in a trash can along with, I wonder, the hopes of whatever individual has already done their house cleaning of sorts.

This shouldn’t be shocking. What with all the candidates who managed to get on the ballot, the reality of the Feb. 26 vote is that two of every three who bothered to vote (and most registered voters didn’t even bother) cast their votes for someone other than Lightfoot of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

I HAVE NO doubt there are many people across the country who are viewing the act of voting again as pure drudgery – after all, they already cast a ballot for the person they think “should have” won.

Is it their fault that everybody else screwed up and didn’t pick their person?

All I know is that this is a depressing sentiment for would-be voters to have at a time when they’re being asked to pick a new mayor for the first time in eight years. The departure of Rahm Emanuel come mid-May is not going to create a great abundance of joy.
Sign looks so depressed and droopy now that it's for a defunct campaign
If anything, there is one sentiment I have heard oft-expressed. It’s that in a run-off election in which there’s really not a whole heck of a lot of ideological difference between Lightfoot and Preckwinkle are those who say they’re willing to cast a ballot for Lightfoot – the candidate who is a Lesbian married to another woman, with the couple raising a daughter.

BUT THE PEOPLE expressing such thoughts say they’re mostly doing so as a way of “pissing off” all the right-wing ideologues who will be grossly offended by Lightfoot’s holding a position of such authority.

Almost as thought they view a vote for her as a great big “f--- you” to all of those types who are enjoying this Age of Trump our society is now entangled in.

As for the rest of the politicians, six of the failed mayoral candidates have since endorsed Lightfoot’s bid – including that of Joyce. It probably would be a significant pickup for her if the people of places like Beverly, Mount Greenwood and Sauganash (the historic enclaves where Chicago cops and firefighters live to comply with residency requirements) were to swing over to her.

In fact, it may well turn out that Lightfoot has a certain level of momentum – with far too many people voting against Preckwinkle solely because she actually has experience on the job and with the kinds of issues that city government would face.

I KNOW IN my case, that level of experience is the reason I’d be inclined to cast a ballot for Toni – which I’m sure will offend all the nitwits who are determined to say they’re using this election cycle to punish her for that “pop” tax she fought for as Cook County Board president.
I suspect many such as this bungalow resident were more concerned Sunday with St. Patrick's Day. Photos by Gregory Tejeda
But I’ve also accepted some two weeks out that Lori has the momentum over Toni – although I also encountered someone Sunday who said that reading the Chicago Tribune’s endorsement of Lightfoot seemed like more of a backhanded bit of praise in that it acknowledged Preckwinkle’s merits for the mayor’s post.

The real key to comprehending this election may well be in remembering that old axiom – talk is cheap. Forget all the rhetoric about first African-American woman as Chicago mayor.

I suspect most people will either hold their noses while voting, or find reasons not to bother. The end result will be Chicago suffering from their ambivalence.


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