Nowadays, I really shouldn’t be too surprised how much ‘short term memory syndrome’ (STMS) has affected most of my fellow Americans. We’ve seen folks who suffer from STMS reelect President George W. Bush to a 2nd term as commander in chief, despite how horrifying and oppressive his 1st term was in retrospect. Most recently, President Obama’s approval ratings were in a slump. However, after the horrific shooting in Tucson, AZ, the President delivered a ‘moving’ eulogy on behalf of the victims, and his approval ratings suddenly sprouted up. Is this really the America we live in? Yes, STMS certainly affects the way the American mind works, in full force. With this in mind, why should I be so surprised that no one remembers just how volatile Chicago mayoral candidate, Rahm Emanuel, can be, not to mention his poor policy decisions?
When President Clinton was in office, I was still in grade school at the time. Noting this, I followed the news when I could, and would hear about the main players in the game, such as the President, Vice President, and policy agenda. However, Rahm Emanuel is a political figure I’ve never heard of until President Obama named him Chief of Staff in 2008. Once this appointment was made, I learned a great deal about this individual, and who he was. I also learned that the Chief of Staff plays a vital role in setting aforementioned policy agenda within a Presidential administration.
Placing things into perspective, Rahm Emanuel is the polar opposite of everything the then “Senator Obama” campaigned on as a Presidential hopeful in 2007-2008. Obama was against Washington insiders and lobbyist, yet Emanuel has worn both these hats as he was once a lobbyist for Freddie Mac, which earned him an estimated sum of $320,000. As the White House Chief of Staff, the general duties include advising the president on policy, domestic/foreign, and setting a daily agenda. Along with these duties, the Chief of Staff has been traditionally been known as ‘The Gate Keeper’ to the President; hence monitoring the flow of information that comes in and out of the oval office. So yes, the Chief of Staff is technically, the 2nd most powerful person in the White House. Why am I listing these examples in regard to Pres. Obama? Well, if you read in between the lines, these are direct references to Rahm Emanuel too. As Chief of Staff, he has had the President’s ear for the past 2 years, and most of the active policies we see are more likely of the influence he’s had on the President. And just for the record, President Obama is just as complicit as well, so he is not getting a pass from me. He broke several of his prime campaign promises because he wanted to. Don’t believe me, just look at this 4 minute video expose done on broken campaign promises by President Obama. I think this shows just how much integrity both Obama and Emanuel lack as a whole. Oh, and for that public option everyone has become very disappointed in not receiving from the President’s health care bill, you can thank Rahm Emanuel for that. As Chief of Staff, he advised the President against such a measure.
Unfortunately, a select few of my fellow Chicagoans saw fit to elect Emanuel as the new Emperor, or as the office is known to most, Mayor of Chicago. I say few, because the voter turnout for what was to go down in history as a historic election was less than 50%. Now that we’ve established a true reference to Rahm Emanuel’s background, let’s get to one of his campaign pledges as prospective mayor of Chicago. Rahm talks about creating job growth for the city by supporting small businesses, yet during the debates, he publicly praises big box chains such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens. Is he out of touch with the average Chicago Joe and Jane? My answer to that question is yes. Wal-Mart is not the solution to a resident of Chicago’s unemployment woes. If you need more clarity on this matter, just watch “The High Cost of Low Price” right here on Youtube. It’s free and is highly informative. Wal-Mart is a big box store that has an adverse effect on small businesses ability to develop, and for small businesses that already exist, they typically don’t last much longer. Check out the documentary to find out why!
I could go through each and every one of Emanuel’s “campaign pledges/promises”, but why do that when I know they don’t really amount to a hill of beans. I’ve watched this city grow to become more and more beautiful throughout the years, at least downtown, but yet there are several parts of town that seem to be quite destitute. No grocery stores, no real job growth, lack of career opportunities, and a sense of community ownership. The solution to this citywide unemployment crisis; create more city government jobs. Under the exiting Mayor, Richard M. Daley, gentrification has certainly proven to be quite effective. For the past decade or so, Chicago has been undergoing a process of renovation. With the American economy on the edge of collapse, “big government” has come in full swing to help control the chaos they’ve
systematically orchestrated. With the increase of taxes, bureaucratic red tape, and fees, several companies thought it would be best to pack up ship, and relocate their operations to different cities. Now incoming Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is here to save the day by promoting more Walgreens stores, Targets, and Wal-Marts? This is a case of the age old adage…“something is better than nothing” scenario; which takes place in one’s own general mindset. If you’re born with nothing, or less than what is coming to you, you’ll be happy to see get anything. Well, Chicago used to be far more prosperous than it is now. While I’m grateful to actually have a well paying job, and though I was just a child during those past times, I know better. Chicago was a much more enjoyable and livable city for the average Jane/Joe, and not just for a select few, as it is now.
I’m grateful that my company is experiencing growth because of the field in which we are employed, thus we have very decent living wages, employer provided health benefits, dental coverage, and etcetera. Chicago, you’ve elected a Washington D.C. lobbyist and insider who has ties to things that I could only begin to speculate on. Ties so deep, you may need scuba gear to see the surface of such crud. How long will you sit on the sidelines as an outsider while insiders continue to mislead you? You’ve elected a Mayor that supported the NAFTA agreement, which has helped dry up most of the well paying jobs and professions that once existed here in Chicago, and throughout the country. Skilled industry positions with fair enough wages, that you did not have to work 2-3 jobs as an adult with a college degree. So are you now going to settle for a minimum wage job and food stamps to get by? My fellow Chicago land residents, you’ve elected a Mayor that has went on record stating “don’t let a good crisis go to waste”, which is now in full effect. His solution is to solve Chicago’s problems by placing a bandage on wounds he other political insiders helped manifest before us. As a former lobbyist for Freddie Mac, Emanuel, along with several other republicans and democrats, felt strongly enough that all Americans should own homes, they authorized lenders to draft very unreliable loans; one of which happened to be ‘Freddie Mac’. Of course, these bad loans eventually forced many American families to go into foreclosure, which led the families to become homeless, shortly thereafter.
My fellow Chicagoans, you didn’t elect your next mayor, you’ve elected your next emperor. However, you did not do so alone. It seems that over 50% of Rahm’s campaign donations were from out of state contributors with deep pockets. I tweeted about this with great outrage during the campaign trail, yet the mainstream media acted as though it was no big deal. California money, and simply put, campaign donations outside of Chicago should have no say so in a Chicago city election. PERIOD! Something is terribly wrong with this system on vast levels, which is definitely a setback for actual residents of Chicago. However, the best way to overcome such a setback is to keep a close eye on your local and state, public servants. Don’t allow them to treat you as you are the servant. Attend your local council meetings as often as possible. Stay informed of the issues, and keep up with Emperor Emanuel as well, for he will be the overseer to your local aldermen. Much like a child in a candy store, if left unattended, the government will run amuck with your candy, which in this case pertains to your money, but most importantly, your liberty. Don’t just attend the civic and town hall meetings, but rather, offer up some ideas. If you are unable to attend meetings, email, or mail letters to your alderman and advise them that way, but don’t remain absent. If your absent from the civic process, your voice does not exist. I know the big media operations preach vote! Vote! Vote, but voting is only the preliminary part of the process. Share this message with your friends, because it’s their city too. It’s our country to share in civic responsibility to take part in its continued growth. If you should come down with a sudden case of STMS, reread this entry, and always remember…”Common Sense Overrules Nonsense.”
A Valente Journal,