by Ben Joravsky
Oh, the burden I bear.
This will not be the first time my opinion has deviated from those of the Big Two of local mainstream journalism; to cite just one example, I never endorsed Richard M. Daley for mayor.
Both papers justify endorsing Mayor Rahm on the grounds that he's the candidate best suited to undo the damage done by Mayor Daley. Conveniently, they neglect to remind you that they—like Mayor Rahm himself—endorsed Mayor Daley every time he ran.
Furthermore, Mayor Daley is endorsing Mayor Rahm—though Mayor Daley has for the moment refrained from blaming himself for all of Chicago's ills.
Looks like it's sheep-herding time in Chicago, as the herders get together to keep the sheep in line.
Because what kind of world would it be if the sheep didn't do as told—even if what the sheep are told to do today is the opposite of what those same herders told them to do yesterday?
As you probably can guess, I will not be endorsing Mayor Rahm. No offense, Mr. Mayor.
It's also because he hasn't been a very—oh, how to delicately phrase this?—trustworthy mayor. Seems like he always has a trick up his sleeve so that what he does is generally different than what he says he's doing. So we're constantly trying to figure out what he's really up to and, more to the point, how much we'll have to pay for it.
As such, I suppose the single most revealing symbol of his tenure would be the image of his mayoral motorcade blasting through red lights—blissfully indifferent to the cameras capturing their lawlessness.
All the while the mayor looks you in the eye and declares that cameras at red lights are not there to gouge everyday folks with more fines and fees, but to protect the lives of the innocent.
Like the senior citizen and the man in the wheelchair who had to wait at the crosswalk as the mayoral motorcade barreled by. One more time—thank you, Channel Seven, for your coverage of this story.
When pressed on this issue by Phil Ponce at a recent debate, Mayor Rahm said he was only a passenger in the car that went through the lights, thus throwing his security team and drivers under the metaphorical bus.
And this is the mayor you trust with your pensions, firefighters?
I can go on and on about this stuff—as I tend to do—so let me get to the point . . .
As you all know by now, Chicago has a runoff system for electing mayors. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote on February 24, the top two vote getters meet in an April 7 runoff.
Think about this, people. Every vote against Mayor Rahm increases the number of votes he needs to get more than 50 percent. Hey, man, this math is so basic that even I figured it out.
Thus, I'm endorsing anyone but Rahm. Come on, sheep, you can do it—just get to the runoff!
If you want to vote for Bob Fioretti or Jesus Garcia or William "Dock" Walls or Willie Wilson—knock yourself out.
I'm not delusional enough to believe that any of these candidates would defeat Mayor Rahm's well-financed machine in a one-on-one election.
At the very least, I'm hoping a runoff might temper the mayor's arrogance just a bit, so maybe he'll be less likely to run those red lights the rest of us feel compelled to obey.
As with most Chicagoans, I don't ask for much.
Correction: In an earlier version of this post, I joked that you should feel free to write in Stevie Wonder, if that's what you want. But my old pal, Jay Stone, emailed to remind me that if you write in Stevie Wonder, your vote will not be counted. You can only write-in candidates who have filed to run as write-in candidates. You can find a list of those candidates at this link. So, please, don't write in Stevie Wonder. That's what I get for trying to be a wise guy. Thanks, Jay.