By federal tax law, we can’t endorse political candidates or political parties. We can, however, educate voters on candidates (and parties’) positions on issues, including relating to guns.
Wirepoints has a great editorial worth reading about the lack of anyone even remotely “moderate” in the Democrat caucus in Illinois. And with the retirement of Lance Yednock, that party caucus is sure to drift further into the weeds on the left.
Can’t even one moderate Democratic candidate emerge in Illinois?
By: Mark Glennon*
Suppose, just suppose, for this fall’s elections, a Democratic candidate emerged somewhere in Illinois and said something like this:
I want prosecutors who prosecute. I want the border enforced – millions of illegal immigrants every year is suicide. I believe in school choice for kids in failing districts. I want no political or social indoctrination in schools by any side. I believe in the goal of colorblindness and the melting pot, and I reject today’s identity politics. Biological men should not be competing in women’s sports. I want government to get off the backs of Illinois employers. Term limits, fair maps, real ethics reform and property tax cuts are long overdue. And I will work with anybody in any party to achieve each of those goals.
Wouldn’t a Democratic candidate running on those things do well in most of Illinois, even in most of Chicago?
Every one of the positions above is widely popular in Illinois, yet not a single Democratic candidate I’ve seen, in any Illinois race, has staked out a centrist platform something like the above.
As recently as ten years or so ago, all those positions would have been considered mainstream. What happened? Why are no such candidates emerging?
The full answer may be debatable, but much of it surely is that yesterday’s far left became today’s ruling establishment. Gov. JB Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Chris Welch would not agree with a single point in that moderate platform provided above, nor would most other members of the Democratic supermajority in the General Assembly. They’ve routinely supported even the most radically progressive officeholders such as Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Therefore, to embrace positions like those above would mean crossing Illinois’ Democratic establishment – and its money. In December alone, JB Pritzker contributed $500,000 to the state Democratic Party, and the party has an exceptionally strong “ground game” of political workers and activists.
Another cause is the deep and vitriolic tribalism that rules the day. Most candidates no doubt figure they couldn’t possibly say something like the above, no matter how popular it would be with voters, because they’d be accused of being one of “them” – the other tribe.
Still, it’s a wonder not even one Illinois Democratic candidate somewhere has the independence to claim the political center. On issue after issue, polls show our ruling progressive majority is out of touch with most voters. You’d think that a least some moderates would see the opportunity to challenge progressives far to the left of voters, but it hasn’t happened.
To the contrary, one moderate Democrat is calling it quits because he’s out of sync with the ruling majority. That’s Rep. Lance Yednock of Ottawa. “My moderate views at times can make for strained relations in this current House Democratic Caucus,” he said in a statement announcing that he won’t seek reelection. For example, he voted against the SAFE-T Act that eliminated cash bail, which polling says Illinoisans opposed but was passed by the Democratic majority.