Detested by the black voters of Chicago and unloved by the Democratic machine to which he owes his political career, Rahm Emanuel might conceivably lose — a previously unthinkable notion — in his bid for a second term as mayor of America’s third-largest city.
I dearly hope that Garcia is taking security precautions. Chicago politics are as ugly as ugly gets.
Chicago is a great city. It is a vibrant, sophisticated, cultured metropolis, contrary to the silly comments on this page. I enjoyed the thirty years of my youth that I lived in Chicago. It is a beautiful city, one in which those of us with modest incomes at best can live. Its politics are no more corrupt than any other American city. Richard M. Daley was simply a corporate Democrat, and Rahm, although not of the machine, fits right in. Even at my present age I enjoy playing LSD while driving on it late at night. A great, great, Town.
Although Carl Sandburg’s Chicago is no more, the spirit of the poem still lives in the neighborhoods of the city.
BY CARL SANDBURG
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
Let’s hope MacArthur’s wrong about simply a short term glitch in the gears of the machine should Emanuel get the boot, but that will depend in large measure on what Garcia can do, will do, and is pushed to do by the people of the city.
This clown Emanuel is no Democrat and no friend of anyone except the top 1%. His campaign is currently being funded millions of dollars by Republicans and his agenda proves it. He’s the biggest fraud in the history of Chicago.
Harold Washington had really started to reform Chicago in tandem with Jesse Jackson, making it less corrupt and more inclusive, much as I think DeBlasio would like to do with New York. Unfortunately, he had a heart attack and died. Funny the way reformist politicians have a way of dying before their time, or right when they are starting to become effective. The US as a whole is a very, very corrupt country. With the rulings of the gang of five on SCOTUS, “democracy” has indeed become, as Gore Vidal called it, “America’s favorite nonsense word.” Chicago, like much of Texas, has in my book, represented the kinds of outsized egos, along with the avarice and ambition, that have trashed democracy for bossism. Couple that with unlimited billionaire money in politics and you have a toxic brew. If you want a good fictionalized comment on Chicago politics, check out Kelsey Grammer’s fine series, “Boss.” It’s fictional, but appropriately set in Chicago. Or there’s also Mike Royko’s “Boss,” on Richard J. Daley. The fact that Chicago could produce Royko and the great Studs Terkel means something, but those guys were great journalists back when newspapers had real journalism. Today, I’m afraid money has corrupted everything in most of Chicago, as in the country at large. Jesus said, “You can’t follow God and money.” So the USA put “In God We Trust” on our money. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut used to say.