"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What makes the 46% tick?

Is tribalism the issue in the matter of mainstream Dems supporting Todd Stroger, son of stricken Cook County board president John Stroger, in the recent election that gave him 46% of the Oak Park vote? This was a vote cast in the face of uncontested overwhelming evidence of budget-busting favoritism in hiring of friends and supporters with minimal regard to competence and other standard criteria, not to mention honesty in handling other people’s money.

Our ranking Oak Park Dem, state Sen. Don Harmon, was named in an 11/22 Chi Trib editorial with many other ranking Dems who endorsed Stroger. We may assume family matters for him, though Oak Park has traditonally shown a civic sense that counts for more than one’s tribe. It often does, anyhow, but not for the 46%.

That many do not care about hiring people with minimal regard for competence, etc. Tribalism may count among us also, but more likely livelihood or career — or those ol’ social values. Chief among these is the right to abort a fetus, with gay-rights issues not far behind followed from a longer distance by gun-banning and other such matters.

This is an interesting conflict, between social liberalism and political reform. It leads to asking if it is progressive — a cherished liberal description — to support the hiring of the incompetent or less competent because they will plant signs on street corners and knock on every door.

2 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Only been there once, but Chicago is one wack town, and tribal if not clannish certainly describes it, Jim. Politically, it resembles Tikrit more than New York City---no way a Michael Bloomberg let alone a Rudy Guiliani could be elected there.

When it comes to the voting both, there's a certain dyslexia in the water that prohibits seeing Rs, only Ds.

Evanston said...

Jim, how do you vote for judges? I'm fairly sure that in Illinois we never see party affiliation on the ballot. I'm embarassed to admit it, but a lot of times I just vote against all incumbents so they don't get too full of themselves. Other times I pick based on names -- that's even worse. Talk about tribalism, the Chicago way is that if you're Irish, choose Irish names, etc. It's a worldwide phenomenon, but I gotta agree that in Chicagoland we seem worse than most other "bodies politic."