Chicago, Illinois has a well-earned reputation for political corruption, voter fraud, financial mismanagement, and now in recent years, growing murder and crime rates.
The bad news for other states is that the corrupt players in my state are not hoarding their expertise on voter fraud. Most, if not all, big metropolitan areas in the country seek to employ many of the same methods for padding voter roles and stuffing ballot boxes. Yes, even in red states.
Despite some key conversations with important Illinois political players, I have been unable to convince them of something that is obvious (at least to me)—especially after what happened on November 3, 2020: Illinois Republicans have zero control over and almost no serious oversight of the elections. Thus, Republicans cannot win governing majorities.
It can be pointed out that as recently as 2014 Illinois elected Bruce Rauner, a Republican, governor of the state. Let me assure you that Rauner only won because key powerful Democrats wanted the incumbent, Pat Quinn, out of office. They abandoned him–compare Quinn’s numbers to those of other Democrat statewide candidates in 2014.
That’s a massively depressing fact but it doesn’t have to be permanent situation. All that’s needed is for Illinois big donors to stop wasting their money as they currently are and instead begin to fund real election work.
A book could be written about the psychology of Illinois Republicans and conservatives who hold positions of responsibility in the party or in elective office with regards to their beliefs about the state, its voting system, its electorate, and their own wonderfulness.
Regarding the latter, I have written on the topic previously. So many smart and successful people enter politics and are convinced things will be different now that they’re here. Others don’t believe they have to bother going to the proverbial political school because…well, c’mon man!, it is only politics!
Other political veterans—even some good conservatives—have reached the end of their capacity to learn more. Admittedly they know more than me in other areas, but when it comes to taking a fresh look at our failure to reach more people, get the political ground work accomplished, and do the work necessary to insure honest elections, well, it’s beyond their intellectual reach.
While psychological study on that phenomenon could be a long book or the subject of a graduate school level college course, I will only touch on three things.
One is the fact that it is not easy to get people to stop thinking that old solutions can solve all the new problems. There has to be thinking anew, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out:
The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
Two is that few people are looking for the solution. Few want to spend the time to figure out what that new approach would be. They are too busy, believe they already know enough, or just plain lack a sufficient understanding of our side’s failure to win enough hearts and minds and do enough real election work.
Lastly, an excellent example is being played out right now here in my home state of Illinois. The Republican primary election for governor, to see who will take on billionaire Democrat incumbent J.B. Pritzker, is gaining steam as the months pass. In recent days, a new candidate has entered the race and he has a lot of backing from both establishment and conservative Republicans. Most importantly, it appears he has the backing of some very wealthy people who can make sure he has enough money to compete with Pritzker’s billions.
There are a couple of problems with this new candidate. One is that he’s really a Democrat. Two is that those running his campaign are well-schooled in the campaign consultant’s manual for how a consultant can get rich in just one election cycle.
How do you do that? You get a percentage of the money spent on signs, direct mail, and of course the lottery-winning like dollar amounts of producing and placing tens of millions of dollars in TV ads.
That is not thinking anew. It’s cashing in and ignoring the reality of who controls our elections.
The Ground War ongoing series of articles can be found here.