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The [Tuesday] Papers

The Tribune editorial board is of the opinion today - and everyday, along with a host of other pundits and commentators - that you can be part of the solution to our political ills by voting today. I beg to differ.

I'm not advising you to skip voting - though I will. I'm a journalist, and as such, I don't participate in party activities. It's not my role to help a political organization choose its nominees.

What I do mean, though, is that a quick glance at any sample ballot - now and in the fall - will give you in almost every race a choice between candidates (when they actually have opposition) who have no interest in "solving" our problems. That's how they got there.

(The first words in Annazette Collins' campaign commercial: "A reformer . . . ")

That doesn't mean I don't have a rooting interest in a few races, either. It just means that electoral politics, such as it is, isn't the end-all, be-all. Or maybe it's the end-all, but only if the be-all is fixed.

I have no doubt that better candidates will compete and even win in a system that isn't structured to discourage just that; that's why folks like the Tribune editorial board and the usual bevy of commentators are chumps for so vigorously encouraging you to participate in a system so perverse that the leading state Supreme Court candidate can brag about having the endorsement of her neighbor the mayor who not only helped her raise mucho dollars but who has already heard the case that helped him become mayor. And when the mayor calls her his "swing vote" on the court?

Sure you can vote for one of the other candidates - and there may even be one that is halfway decent. Not so in so many other races.

My preference would be for everyone to stop being so cynical and begin organizing independently of the parties. Occupy your democracy. Otherwise the bastards will occupy you.

Vote Boat
"This is usually the time of year when I urge readers to vote on Tuesday," Phil Kadner writes in the SouthtownStar. "I'm struggling with those words this time."


Kadner's complaint is much the same as mine. His conclusion, however, is one I respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree with:

"But as long as people have an opportunity to vote, they should make the most of it. Staying home is not a protest against corruption."

I don't see how voting for a corrupt candidate is.

"The political bosses of Chicago would like nothing more. They will always get the vote out for their candidates."

That's true. And that's why my vote doesn't count.

"They want the independent voter, the person outraged by corruption, to stay home on Election Day."

Yup. But I'm not going to vote for one of their candidates out of spite!

"That ought to be reason enough to vote on Tuesday."

Not for me, but again, this is a primary. We'll see when the general rolls around.

Beachwood Voter Guide!
We still have one - less for the voting booth than for the news consumer, but use it as you will.

South Side Teen Gets Shot, Blows Up
Meet the kid who is quite possibly the next big thing in hip-hop.

Kids Still Collect Baseball Cards
A recap of last weekend's Chicago Sun-Times Sports Collectibles Show.

Teaching At The Oasis
Part Two in our series: Starting a lifetime of catch-up in kindergarten.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Guide our lights.


Posted on March 20, 2012

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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