Illinois, a Failed State, and the Gubernatorial Race


It's everyone's fault: Democrat Mike Madigan, a permanent scourge in Illinois politics, union leadership with delusional demands that fail to acknowledge the state's dire situation, and Republican governor Bruce Rauner and his faux-folksy roll-up-sleaves nonchalance and insolent duck-tape commercials. They are callous ideologues in bed with special interests. They completely fail to represent the people of Illinois.

What makes me fume is that they are single-handedly screwing over my alma mater, Northeastern Illinois University. They are forcing my school to lay off teachers and cut paid student work in order to keep the lights on. This includes TRIO, a program that helps underserved students and those with special needs. I tutored these students in the program. TRIO changed my life for the better, and helped me develop people skills and training that landed me my dream job.

Throughout NEIU's history, the administration has operated with balanced budgets, all the while receiving limited funding. They are honorable folk doing a fine job, and now the school is being ripped to shreds by political foolishness. Many schools are drowning in debt, and some are in peril of being shut down. This directly affects students who can't afford going to or are unable to qualify for the Ivy Leagues and private institutions that many of my friends on here were fortunate to attend.

I'm not confident that Blagojevich-suck-up/vanity-structure-naming-crony Prizker and unintentionally-inbred Kennedy (despite his charitable efforts) can fix the problems Illinois faces. Like Rauner, these are wealthy men who have vested interests in vanity projects and expensive haircuts. We've seen again and again that many entitled people like them have a different ethical vocabulary than the people who are affected by their ignorance. On top of that, they are about to put on one of the most extravagant campaigns in Illinois history, which is pretty ironic.

We need someone who has lived a (relatively) normal life with the general population-- someone with values and ethical integrity, unswayed by special interests.

I've recently been around State Senator Daniel Biss in person at the Evanston Main Street Metra stop and at a mutual friend's wedding. He's smart, articulate, ethically squeaky-clean, a math-wiz, and seems to share the values of real Illinoisans. He has enough political experience to do a kickass job as governor of Illinois. He's a rising star who is worth rooting for.

The only issue right now is he's lacking the money and name recognition of a Pritzker or a Kennedy. His success rests on the shoulders of grassroots organizers and normal folk's support. I suggest you take a look at his website and see if you agree with his positions. If you do, consider volunteering in your free time or chipping in a dollar here and there.

All that aside, we need drastic change in Illinois politics: A move away from the millionaires, billionaires, rigid ideologies, and special interests, and instead a road toward fiscal responsibility and policies that reflect the fact that when the less fortunate win, everyone wins.