By Nicholas Riebel || Staff Writer
The current Mayor of Chicago is Rahm Emanuel, who is a former Democratic Congressman and Chief of Staff to President Obama. In the recent primary to be the Democratic nominee for mayor, it was uncertain whether or not Emanuel would win outright, or take a plurality. Only a majority would have allowed him to win the primary outright, a plurality would have required a run-off election, against him and the runner-up.
Yet, despite raising far more money than Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, he wasn’t able to win a majority, meaning they will face off again April 7.
This time, the winner will advance to the general election, where it is extremely likely they will be re-elected (in Rahm Emanuel’s case) or become mayor (in Chuy Garcia’s case) in this liberal, Democratic city. Some may argue that we should oppose the more liberal candidate, that we are beginning purges and purity tests like the Tea Party. They are wrong.
There is a great deal of criticism of the Tea Party, in that is an obstructive, obstinate force which irrationally hates and opposes President Obama. A great deal of the criticism revolves around the fact that they tend to “primary” Republican officials who they deem as insufficiently conservative, anti-Obama, bipartisan, and who are not aggressive enough in their regressive ideology.
Many, especially who claim to belong to a “sensible center” argue that it is efforts such as these which are damaging our government and our democratic system of government. That is, we should encourage more moderation, bipartisanship, and the like. Ostensibly moderate Republicans such as Arizona Senator John McCain and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel should be encourage and laughed, and we should put an emphasis on having more of them, so that we can help fix our nation. Yet, this is just at best a somewhat naive view of our politics, and at worst a deceptive and damaging philosophy.
I will admit that the Tea Party is “good” in at least three ways, that may not be obvious to those who do not know much about American politics. The first good thing, which I consider to be best, is that they help show what I believe is the true face of the Republican Party to America, with all that implies. Second, they do help in forcing or pressuring Senators and Representatives who have been there so long, or are so corrupt, or both, that they have long forgotten that they are servants of their constituents and the American people.
Third, is that they truly are a democratizing force, in a way. In primaries, if they feel one of their party in power fails to represent them, they replace him or her with someone they feel will do a better job representing them. This is the point of our representative democracy: not to elect the best people for the job (which I feel is the way it ought to be), but the people we feel will represent us best in our government.
Yet, even this sort of democracy is better than what we have now, in which unrepresentative politicians serve the richest and most powerful rather than all of the people. Those who usually advocate for “Centrist” policies usually mean that they will advance the fiscal conservative, neoliberal, Wall Street agenda. Fortunately, the people are beginning to wake up, which is why Net Neutrality is going to be implemented.
That sort of corporate stooge, the type that exists in both parties, is exemplified very well in Mayor Emanuel. This is why the people of Chicago should support Chuy Garcia, who stands for them, against the corrupt deals and unwise fiscal conservatism of Emanuel, who would likely feel more comfortable with his free market, neoliberal beliefs in the GOP.
The great city of Chicago can do better than him. And that city can have a champion for the people like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Bill de Blasio, than a Wall Street puppet like Governor Cuomo or Former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As liberals who want the best for the people, the Democrats of Chicago, and then all of Chicago, (as most of that city, even those who are not Democrats, I suspect do consider themselves to be progressive) to support a new candidate for mayor, who doesn’t condone black sites in the city, who will not be beholden to Wall Street, fight the teachers to benefit his wealthy backers (whom he seems to be rewarding for their services), and shut down schools as part of a likely privatization effort. Chuy Garcia will be, even if he cannot solve every one of Chicago’s problems, I suspect will be a step in the right direction.
For further information, please see our writer’s references: