Because, admit it, along with disgust and shame, there’s a part of all of us that takes a bit of sick pride in the absurd dimensions of corruption in Illinois, and enjoys the prospect of shocked faces if and when we’ll be able to say that four of our last nine governors ended up in federal prison.
Eric Zorn wrote the above quote in an editorial about former Governor Dan Walker. It speaks to a larger truth about the people of Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois. We are disgusted and embarrassed by corruption, yet with sick pride, we keep reelecting the same corrupt people over and over again. Worse, we, as a mass, do not demand ethics reform. We grouse to our neighbors and families, yell at the TV and newspaper, and, well, that is about it.
There are no mass protests at City Hall, the County Building, or Springfield. No torrents of letters and emails to politicians and editors, no loud voices demanding reform. We just accept it with our eyes wide open. Then we pay the price- higher taxes, higher fees, and ridiculous taxes on everything except the air we breath- so far.
It is not just sick pride, it is sick apathy. Instead of acting, we complain angrily, shrug our shoulders, and pay, pay, pay, and pay. Waste, fraud, mismanagement, and corruption cost Chicago alone 500 million dollars a year. Just think of all the taxes that could be eliminated if we had an honest, ethical, and open government. Ed Burke, the dean of the city council and the most powerful alderman in the chamber was right- there is no groundswell for reform. Maybe it is time to change that.
Maybe, instead of wasting time protesting fallacies like social justice or economic justice, we should become activists and protesters against corruption. Better, we should throw all the bums out. Every single alderman and the mayor.
Oh, the church is empty and there is no one in the choir to preach to. Back to the coffee, newspaper and checkbook.