Earlier this month, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) was indicted for “misappropriating” some $750,000 that was raised for his various political campaigns. And that yawn you just heard was the collective response of every voter in the Chicago-land area.
A political figure (in any state) who exploits the power of his/her office is nothing new. A political figure in Chicago who exploits the system for personal gain is called “a man of the people” and “blue-collar.”
A member of the Jackson clan embroiled in scandal and controversy is called a “Tuesday.”
So long as politicians in cities like Chicago have a “D” in front of their name on Election Day, their seat is secure. Of course there are districts in redder states that would never swing Left, but few things that are as tightly bound to one another as an urban, liberal Democrat voter and their smooth-talking, social justice-loving Sugar Daddy representative. Some commentators have even joked that should Rep. Jackson’s name be on the ballot next time around -- regardless of the results of his trial -- he’d be guaranteed another term.
To classify this as “depressing” would be a gross understatement.
And yet there are small glimmers of hope to emerge from the Jackson saga. This clip, posted on YouTube late last week, is of a few man-on-the-street interviews conducted by the NBC Channel 5 affiliate in The Windy City.
You have a few folks defending Jackson Jr., but you can see it in their faces, and hear it in their voices, that they are tired of all the chicanery. Don’t get me wrong -- anyone who put someone like Jesse Jackson Jr. into office has no one to blame but themselves. But I hear the sound of disgust and embarrassment and frustration. I hear opportunities for in-roads into communities that have traditionally kept “their guy” in office simply because there were no viable, articulate alternatives.
Perhaps I’m reading far too much into this clip, and I’m not suggesting that everyone in Jackson’s district is primed and ready for a conservative substitute. What I am saying is this: Big Government liberalism breeds corruption. It facilitates and encourages it.
How do we get this message to the voters of inner-city districts?
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