Am I going to die today? That’s my question every morning before I get in the car and drive through a road construction work zone on Illinois Route 53 that has a speed limit everyone ignores because no one enforces the law. The state tells me to disobey the work zone limit at my peril. Other drivers expect me to get moving or else. What’s a driver to do when you only want to survive your drive to work?
Even if you are not from Illinois you’ve probably heard about the anti-violence demonstration that rocked Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway last Saturday. Using protest mob tactics to raise awareness of something we already know too much about by obstructing people who have nothing to do with the problem is pointless and futile.
Millions in campaign spending for the Illinois governor’s race is the reason this state is failing. Not that the money could bail us out of the state’s financial crisis even if we spent every penny. It won’t. At best, this money will buy high office in our debt-plagued, 200 year-old Land of Lincoln. Then it will be gone. We could have put the funds to much better use by spending on almost anything but political campaigns. Instead, state politics demands this entrance fee.
Preparing for the Illinois 200 Bicentennial, Governor Rauner cited our economic, academic, and political achievements. I’m sure if we look hard enough we can scrape up something to be proud of, but Illinois at 200 is a debt-ridden embarrassment that forces kids to compete with public worker retirements. Our political contributions are inertia, reckless spending, abusive government, and forcing taxpayers to support our politicians even after they are out of office and sit in prison. None of this is anything to be proud of, but we might feel some sense of pride when we finally summon the courage to leave this state.
Illinois primary campaign hell began with a deluge of impossible to ignore cardboard leaflets in the mail and robocalls to my unlisted telephone number. GOP contenders are eager to grab our attention. They have that, but what they don’t have is my vote. Here are fourteen reasons they don’t deserve it.