"Who should I vote for? JB, Kennedy, Biss? No one impressed me at the WBEZ debate."
I blinked at the question. Messages firehose at me all the time—on Facebook, Twitter and email, now a distant third, nearly occupying the tenuous position that letters written in blunt pencil on blue lined notebook paper once held.
But this was coming in over iPhone Messenger, from somebody with my phone number. In the next line, he ID'ed himself. My old college roommate. Ah.
As a professional journalist, I couldn't summarize the 2018 primary election more eloquently than he did in 16 words. Then again, he was a political science major. Months of increasingly wild accusations, millions and millions spent on grim, black-and-white TV commercials and what are we left with? A sulfurous smell hanging in the air and three not-so-appealing choices. I'm not certain which of these guys to vote for and I've had long conversations with each.
The opening question is telling. It assumes, as I do above, that the only election of interest is the Democratic primary. That's true. (I was tempted to tease my friend with, "Aren't you a Republican by now?" But that seemed cruel). Compared to the Democratic slugfest, the Republican primary has been a muted sideshow. Or make that, freak show, starring Jeanne Ives in a tent off the midway, a lady tattooed head-to-toe with vile and shameful appeals to the bottom rung of the Republican Party, using every racist code in the book short of semaphore flag: Immigrants are murderers. Transgender people are predators.
Who can blame anybody for tuning out this Punch and Judy show? I prefer to experience the election as a civilian, primarily through the relentless TV and radio commercials. Pritzker scored points early by swinging hard for Obamacare enrollment, his money stepping in for the delinquent Trump administration firing back at Trump's immigration slanders.The idea of a rebel stronghold in Illinois, based on emergent state power and the bottomless Pritzker fortune, is something I could get behind.
To continue reading, click here.