By John F. Di Leo, Opinion Contributor
The Chicago mayoral primary election is underway. They’ve winnowed the field a bit – down to seven challengers plus the incumbent, at this writing – and people are doing their polling, walking precincts, and putting up yard signs.
And there are commercials; in the biggest media market in the Midwest, in which the Democratic mayoral primary is the biggest contest, you can already be sure that the only real winner in this election will be the radio and TV people, selling those 15, 30, and 60 second spots to put ads on the air.
What are the issues?
Tax and regulatory policy have employers and employees alike fleeing the city, county and state at a record clip; should that be the issue?
Chicago schools are worse than ever, with dropout rates climbing and test scores plummeting; should that be the issue?
The welfare state ensnares ever more members of each generation in the same lousy neighborhoods, unraveling the American dream of each generation doing better than their parents did. Should that be the issue?
Oh, no. One issue dominates every conversation, because it has to. Crime.
There are the statistics: We hear the number 723 most; because there were 723 murders in Chicago in 2022 that we know of. But there are other numbers to worry about too: 2832 shootings, that were reported, anyway. A 23% increase in reported robberies. At least 1800 carjackings. And a brand new report last week revealed 523 sexual assaults of students – primarily committed by Chicago Public School teachers and administrators – that had been kept out of the papers over the past decade.
Now, Chicago is a big city. A city of some 2.7 million. While this is a huge drop from its onetime peak – 3.6 million in the 1950s – Chicago is big enough that you should expect some crime. The tenements will have robberies and the alleys will have rapes. The bars will have brawls and the parks will have rumbles. The shopping districts will have purse-snatchers and pickpockets; the business districts will have embezzlers.
And ever since Cain slew Abel, there has always been murder.
As awful as it is, these numbers will never reach zero. In a city, everything is concentrated; there’s more danger, more opportunity, more criminals.
But still, there is no excuse for these numbers. None. And while Chicagoans have lived with high crime for decades, there are signs that this recent acceleration may finally be too much. The tax base is moving out, the press is reporting the truth, the politicians are flailing around for answers and solutions.
Chicago Democrats like Governor JB “I Got Mine” Pritzker and Mayor Lori “You’ll Get Yours” Lightfoot naturally repeat the standard mantra of the Chicago Democrat: “Too Many Guns!” They hope that voters will believe that a city that has had gun bans for 60 years will solve its crime problems by talking about gun bans again. Gentle Reader, if gun bans worked, Chicago would have been crime-free for half a century now.
The Illinois State Legislature, dominated by Chicago Democrats, recently passed yet another unconstitutional law banning so-called assault weapons, which will eventually be overturned. Only law-abiding citizens obey the law; even Chicagoans have become wise to the foolishness of depending on gun bans.
And the crime problem remains. It keeps getting worse. And worse. And worse.
So what are the real causes?
We know. We all know. Every Illinoisan knows; even the ones who hate to admit it to themselves.
3. The open border. Not only have the national Democrats ensured that our southern border is porous, but Chicago has acted as a magnet; the city, county, and state have all declared themselves “sanctuary” locations, inviting the world’s criminals to come to Chicago. The people flooding our borders aren’t just the world’s poor, sick, weak, and oppressed; they are often the criminals with a price on their heads in their native countries. The best way to avoid a death sentence at home is to come to America.
2. The lack of police. Like so many big cities, Chicago’s refusal to support its police in recent years has caused a spike in retirements and a drop in recruitments. A city in economic turmoil can’t afford to pay police what it would cost to attract new recruits, let alone keep its promises to fund its once-generous pension plans. Most would-be policemen see the foolishness in risking their lives to catch a criminal whom the system will turn loose the next day if not sooner, so they choose some other line of work.
1. The lack of prosecution and punishment. This is the key to Chicago’s crime, as in fact it is the key to most of the crime in blue states. The George Soros-funded State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, resists prosecuting most of those identified or arrested. Those who are prosecuted get “time served” or minimal sentencing as their reward, if they’re convicted at all. And on the rare occasion when convicted criminals do get put away for a decent stretch, the governor can be trusted to eventually throw open the prison gates and let them go early in mass releases, blaming overcrowding, or budget cuts, or even Covid.
Oh yes. The primary reason for crime in Chicago isn’t that we can’t catch the perpetrators; most of Chicago’s criminals are caught again and again. The reason for crime is that even after we catch them, we almost always let them go.
It doesn’t take tens of thousands of criminals to commit tens of thousands of crimes. These are all repeat offenders. It only takes a few thousand, if that, to commit a hundred thousand crimes, if you keep setting the same criminals free to do it again. And again. And again.
Chicago has had a “no cash bail” policy for years now. That’s not what it sounds like, by the way. One would assume it meant “We are holding the person until trial; no amount of cash will get him out.” Sadly, that’s not it. “No cash bail” means that bail in Chicago no longer requires cash at all; they will let almost all criminals go “on their own recognizance” – without putting up a penny – even if they’re illegal aliens or other obvious flight risks. And with Gov Pritzker’s brand new “Safe-T Act,” this brilliant state is happy to flood the city streets with criminals, and become a beacon for still more to come.
On February 28, Chicago will narrow down its mayoral candidates to two, then go into a runoff.
Every one of them is a Democrat; none can be expected to seriously retreat from the policies that have put us where we are today. Which of them would dare to cancel our sanctuary city status, or start locking up criminals again, or ensuring such a crackdown that the gangs flee the environs for easier pickings? Who would stand up to party policy and acknowledge that law-abiding gun owners are not the problem, and claiming they are just makes us a laughingstock?
From incumbent to alderman, from bureaucrat to congressman, from neighborhood activist to businessman, they may differ in style, in funding, in support, but they don’t differ substantively on policies.
Chicago is a city of graft, in a state long known for its corruption. The crime on the streets may just be part and parcel of what Illinois has become.
An honest candidate – if there were such a thing – might rightly call on people to embrace it; the public has been voting for crime for a century, why even pretend to oppose it now?
Copyright 2023 John F Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer, and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, and former president of the Ethnic American Council, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.
A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.
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By John F. Di Leo, Opinion Contributor
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The best mayor candidate is Johnny LoGalbo, a write-in candidate. if he wins, he’ll try to cut the salary of the mayor and aldermen and use some of the savings to hire more police officers. He’ll tell the officers to help ICE, whenever they find illegal aliens. LoGalbo supports the rights of law-abiding people to own guns.