Question of Quinn vs. Rauner for gov drives at deeper divide

Written By Neil Steinberg Posted: 03/30/2014, 07:21pm

Were I to ask you what color seat you would like on your bus trip to Cleveland, you would probably reply, “But I’m not going to Cleveland.”

Were I to insist, fanning a few fabric swatches before you — maroon, a powdery blue, hunter green — you would answer, “It doesn’t MATTER what color, because I don’t want to take a bus to Cleveland!”

Sadly, this simple logic escapes us when it comes to matters political. We fall to debating specifics — the color of the seat — ignoring a key overarching fact: Some of us want to take the trip; others don’t.

The original intention of this column was to look at the state of Illinois with a cool, dispassionate eye and ask: Is Bruce Rauner right? Are we really much worse off under Gov. Pat Quinn? Rauner points to our 8.7 percent unemployment, second highest in the nation. The Quinn people, however, observe that when he took office, it was 11.4 percent. Rauner focuses on the bloat of government, Quinn on how much has been cut.

Who’s right? The bottom line is, for purposes of conversation, that it doesn’t matter. These stats are specifics: the color of the seat. And no number or group of numbers is going to make Rauner supporters shift to Quinn, or Quinn supporters decide that a rich guy with no experience in government is qualified to run the state. I won’t say which side I’m on, but you can guess.

What decides our default, which bin, Republican or Democrat, we live in? I could be a cynic and say it’s your parents’ political party. Most follow the leanings of their parents and never question it. Having been born blinking into one particular camp, we just shrug and spend our lives there, plucking reasons to justify it as they float by.



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