Tuesday, April 7, 2015
A Wrecking Ball: Chicago's Runoff Election. When Miley Cyrus Met Rahm Emanuel
Chicago's runoff mayoral election is today.
When talking about the "Arab World" one of the tired Western media pundit cliches has long been "what does the Arab Street want?"
I am a man of the people who alternates between the shoe leather express and the Chicago Transit Authority's buses and trains.
Like I wrote about here, a similar principle holds in terms of measuring organic public opinion in the public sphere at the site of communicative democracy: what are the People telling and saying to us on the streets, while riding mass transit, sitting in the barbershops, and moving about and congregating elsewhere?
A black brother was working hard on elevated subway here in Chicago. He was politely and enthusiastically handing out campaign flyers for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia that depicted sitting mayor Rahm Emanuel as a type of Miley Cyrus figure, straddling a wrecking ball, as he destroys the city.
The brother was also a pragmatist: a black man working to unseat Rahm Emanuel for a Hispanic candidate is one more signal to the sea changes in America's political demography.
[I worry, what does the future hold for Black Politics as Hispanics and Latinos assert themselves?
Moreover, what will happen as some of the latter are grandfathered into Whiteness and fully (and publicly) embrace anti-black animus as the price of admission into that semi-exclusive club?]
I have no great enthusiasm for either Jesus Chuy Garcia or Rahm Emanuel. But, I will be voting my pocketbook and immediate experiences with a city that has continued to go up on mass transit fares, cut services, and protected white neighborhoods and rich folks (especially their schools) from any sense of "shared struggle" in a time of manufactured "economic crisis".
Rahm's runoff is being heralded by some as a sign that the American people are sick of neoliberalism and how the banksters have reorganized public and private life to their own advantage at the expense of the working, poor, and middle classes.
I am not the enthusiastic about what this challenge actually portends. I am more basic and quotidian in how I read the classic saying that "all politics is local". While the polls suggest that Rahm will win another term, I hold out hope that there are enough people who are disgusted by the state of the Chicago's basic services and balancing of the budget on the backs of working class and poor folks--many of which are black and brown.
The good social scientist in me says that Jesus Chuy Garcia is dead on arrival. The dreamer hopes otherwise.
For you who watch national and big city elections, what do you think Rahm's runoff portends? Are the People sick and tired of being sick and tired of the Democratic Party's embrace of a type of "soft" neoliberalism or is this just a bump in the road as the United States and her elites idolize, and thus surrender to, a type of Singapore-like authoritarianism and surveillance society?
Predictions about Chicago's elections?