- Politics and Social Issues
Introducing the 51st State of Chicago (aka) Learning How to Properly Accommodate the Absurd
I recently read, 11/25/2011, a story about a couple of Republican legislators living in Downstate Illinois, one of them from a town by the name of Decatur, who propose to separate Cook County, primarily, the City of Chicago from the rest of Illinois. I guess the new state would be called either “Cook” or “Chicago”. These two state legislators are identified as Bill Mitchell and Adam Brown.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been through Illinois, downstate and upstate. While Chicago is just a little rough for this guy, there is a lot to see on any visit. The rural areas of Illinois to the south is fertile farm land, most lovely. I guess while I was writing this the iconic work of art from Grant Wood’s, ‘American Gothic’ came to mind.
What are the explanations for such a draconian proposal from these two?
1. They say that Chicago-style politics are dominating the state
2. Chicago is overshadowing the rest of the state; Mitchell believes that families in the other part of the state believe that Chicago is dictating its views.
3. They believe that it best for Cook County, the second most populous county in the U.S. to become one state and the other 101 counties to become another.
I confess this is the first time that I have heard a proposal that would make an urban area into an independent state of the union. But leave it to the GOP. As Yosemite Sam said to Bugs Bunny once, ‘we are not fighting like gentlemen anymore, now we is gonna fight my way, dirty!’ History has an example of states going from one to two, the biggest one, of course, is Virginia and West Virginia. I have heard scuttlebutt from Texas and Oklahoma about combining themselves into a conservative empire, keeping all the liberal loons outside of its borders. I know of talk in California to separate the north from the south, just to make it all easier to administer. Then there is the situation in Arizona, where the more progressive Southern half of the state, represented by Tucson, wanted to part ways with the more conservative half of a generally conservative state, represented by Phoenix in the north. But seriously, to make a city, a single county into one new state, now that is unprecedented.
Case in Point
So what is behind all of this? A losing bid by the right-winger to gain control. Representation and appropriate legislators are determined by population, not just geographic area. Have we forgotten the concept of ‘one man, one vote’? If I were to go with their logic, then the situation in my native Colorado would be a target. The votes of relatively liberal/progressive Denver and Boulder counties win the day against other far more conservative parts of the state that vote pretty much like they do in neighboring Utah, Kansas and Wyoming. Should we now have a state called Denver/Boulder? Well, thank God for cities and growing progressive populations. Instead of all this nonesense, the rightwinger/GOP candidates better learn how to appeal to these growing urban populations. Because, these populations are not going away. It would be a most interesting inquiry to find out why urban people are so much more progressive than their rural and suburban counterparts. In any case, the complaint about large urban areas dominating politics in a state is as old as the pyramids and I will just tell my conservative friends to get over it and live with it as a fixture in American life.
These two fellows, be it Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello, if you wish, need a brisk refresher in civics. They embarrass themselves and the political party they represent with such nonsense.