Public safety is the fundamental right of every American. It is a civil right. – Paul Vallas
The more I listen to him, the more I like New York Mayor Eric Adams. Despite progressive claims he’s feeding the Republican narrative on crime, Adams called Lightfoot’s loss a warning to all major metropolitan mayors correctly asserting that “Public safety is a prerequisite to prosperity.”
I’m wondering if the Big Apple would take two Chicago mayoral candidates and an alderman to be named later in a trade for Hizzoner.
Lightfoot’s precipitous decline can’t unilaterally be attributed to public safety issues, but it certainly was the largest nail in her tightly sealed political coffin. Think about it! Chicago voters are so fed up with carjackings, armed robberies, and murders that after four short years of a progressive mayor they pulled a 180 by voting for the old conservative white guy.
And Paul Vallas will win by a landslide, too, but we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here on that one.
So, since human beings, and particularly voters, are persistently prone to a herd mentality, what lessons have we learned and what predictions can made from mayor Lightfoot’s dizzying demise?
The first is that the progressive movement is all but dead as a driving force in Democratic Party politics, and it’s not likely to recover without the now-impotent Agent Orange as a foil. We saw the beginning of the end in the 2022 Dem primaries where progressives lost to moderates by huge margins, but the Second City mayoral race puts the period on the movement.
Why? Because whether its Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand, Gavin Newsom in California, AOC in New York, the Elgin Community Task Force on Policing, or Lori Lightfoot right here in Chicago, they can’t deliver because ideologues never can. Rather than accede to any form of compromise, an integral requirement for good governance, their strategy is to double down on their core tenets because they can’t conceive of the possibility that they might be wrong.
(Yes! Newsome is still governor, but only because Californians take a lot longer to catch on than normal folks.)
The core tenet of the new “woke” theology, the perception that white people are inherently flawed but minorities aren’t, is a bizarre extrapolation of the worst of the university “social sciences.” It inexorably leads progressives to believe the absurd notion that by simply removing the “jackbooted foot of majority oppression” from minority necks, it will solve all our social ills.
And Baltimore was supposed to become a progressive paradise, right?
This is why Brandon Johnson will lose, and lose big. His determinedly disingenuous effort to disown his previous “defund the police” declarations certainly won’t help him in a city begging for stability, either. His hypothesis that economics are the only answer to inner city turmoil is a good one, but it belies a failure to understand that “Public safety is a prerequisite to prosperity.”
Put more simply, nothing positive will EVER happen on Chicago’s south and west sides until the most violent offenders are buried underneath the jail, because that’s what it’s going to take to break Chiraq’s homicidal cycle. Progressives are loathe to admit it, but some souls can be irrevocably lost.
And since we’re talking, ending the pointless drug war would also go a long way towards effecting that elusive prosperity, too.
Briefly returning to Elgin, Illinois. If anyone still believes that councilman Corey Dixon will be their next mayor, Lightfoot’s loss removed any lingering doubt. I’m not saying progressives can’t win anywhere – they’ll continue to get elected in Illinois’ heavily gerrymandered urban districts – but I am saying the movement is predictably imploding.
Democratic candidates have also taken note of Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman’s blue collar approach to defeating the higher profile and better funded Mehmet Oz. Now, Lightfoot’s lopsided defeat is the equivalent of a political check engine light, and they’re closely watching Adams hands-on approach to taking a bite of the Big Apple’s major crime numbers. I know it takes a lot for the Party of the Jackass to see the light, but their need to win races is finally taking precedence over their woke purity contest.
Another fascinating phenomenon we’ve previously touched on is that black candidates have a very difficult time winning without Hispanic voters, yet they continue to behave as if they don’t exist! That truth became abundantly apparent in the Chicago primary, and it’s another reason Johnson will go down in flames.
Chicago may be 28 percent black, but it’s also 29 percent Hispanic. It was no surprise that Chuy Garcia won the Hispanic wards, but the perceptive observers also took notice of Paul Vallas coming in a close second while Lightfoot and Johnson got less than 5 percent of the Hispanic vote.
No major Chicago candidate can win with those sad numbers, even in a bloated field of nine candidates, but instead of courting those all-important voters, Johnson is attacking Vallas for being too conservative, the very reason Latinos will likely lean in his favor.
This dynamic is even more pronounced in Elgin where the 47 percent Hispanic population outnumbers the 6 percent black community by almost 8 to 1. But that disparity hasn’t stopped black candidates and elected officials from ignoring their Latino counterparts outright.
So, what has Lori Lightfoot’s loss taught us?
1. The progressive movement will no longer be a driving Democratic force because, not only do they fail to deliver on their promises, but their stilted policies make everything worse.
2. Democratic candidates have taken note of Lightfoot’s third place finish (among other things) and are currently adjusting their campaign messages back to the center.
3. Paul Vallas will destroy Brandon Johnson by 20 points because, as progressives are prone to do, Johnson is doubling down on his “woke” credentials.
4. If Corey Dixon had any chance of becoming Elgin’s mayor, he doesn’t now.
5. Considering they’ll soon be the big city majority, if black candidates can’t figure out a way to build bridges with the Hispanic community, they will find it increasingly difficult to get elected.
2024 is going to be a fascinating electoral year.