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Have Chicago Voters Said they Deserve to Get it “Good and Hard?”

Sadly, I wasn't invited to go looting in Chicago Loop. I guess it's a young man's game. Crap, I'd probably be the only one to get caught and end up spending a night in the slammer.

Nope, it's too late for me. I'm stuck just obeying the law. I'm dying of boredom.

Have Chicago Voters Said they Deserve to Get it “Good and Hard?”

By Steve Huntley, Kass News

April 23, 2023

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

That observation comes from the great 20th century journalist, satirist, and iconoclast H.L. Mencken.

Who would have guessed that Mencken’s warning would come true for Chicago so soon?

Less than two weeks after Chicago voters endorsed the hard-left mayoral candidacy of Brandon Johnson, throngs of riotous youths with mayhem and anarchy in their hearts invaded downtown Chicago, bringing fear, gunfire wounding two, a car fire-bombed, assault, looting and a vivid picture of a town suffering the logical repercussions of soft-on-crime progressivism.

Soon-to-be mayor Johnson mouthed platitudes condemning “destructive activity,” but he soon revealed his true feelings — “it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.”

You’re worried about their feelings Mr. Johnson?

The true victims are not the terrorized Chicagoans and tourists in the Loop but these poor teens suffering from the injustices of oppressive, racist America and low tax rates for corporations and the wealthy?

Lame duck Mayor Lori Lightfoot was just as out of touch. She called the awful spectacle “reckless, disrespectful and unlawful” but also scapegoated the police and then allowed that it “is wrong … to say that it was mayhem.”

The images and testimony of the innocent terrorized — like one woman whose husband was pulled from their vehicle and assaulted — tell a different story.

But like all good progressives, the mayor is adept at calling reality something else.

Recall that during the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots, a CNN reporter was standing in front of a firebombed business while a caption underneath the video read “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests after Police Shooting.”

“Mostly peaceful protest” was repeated time and again as rioters burned small businesses and looted stores. To the far left, the business owners and residents robbed, firebombed and terrified in those “mostly peaceful protests” were just collateral damage in the noble pursuit of “social justice.”

Then there was the Biden administration official who the other day said he doesn’t “buy the whole argument of chaos” in the humiliating U.S. pullout from Afghanistan in 2021. Those Afghans desperate to escape the Taliban and who clung to the body of an U.S. aircraft as it took off before falling to their deaths might have called that chaos — if they had survived it.

To the Biden administration, they were just collateral damage on the road to an America free of Afghanistan.

Then there’s the reality bending of progressives who tell us that a man can get pregnant. Or assert that biological men have a right to compete in women’s sports.

For daring to challenge that alternative universe, former college swimmer Riley Gaines — denied a trophy by a male swimmer — was assaulted, placed under siege and put in fear of her life by thugs at San Francisco State University who objected to hearing a view they disagreed with.

To progressives, the women athletes denied trophies and championships are just collateral damage on the journey to a trans nirvana.

So, Johnson and Lightfoot have plenty of company in denying reality. Those Chicagoans and tourists left terrorized by the weekend rioting? They’re just collateral damage on the journey to progressive heaven for Chicago.

Actually, the Loop rioting and mayhem shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone.

When you elect a far-left union organizer to be mayor and re-elect a progressive criminal-coddling prosecutor, as Cook County did two years ago, the voters shouldn’t be astonished when law-breaking teens unleash chaos in the Loop. These teens may be poorly educated by the Chicago Teachers Union but they can understand election results and come to the logical conclusion that law and order are out the window.

And make no mistake about it, the progressive vision of criminals as victims of an unjust society seems to be the prevailing view of most Chicago voters.

How else to understand the election results?

A city facing a crime crisis rejected the crime-fighting candidate Paul Vallas to elect the progressive defund-the-police candidate Johnson to replace progressive soft-on-crime incumbent Lightfoot as mayor of the nation’s third largest city.

The defeat of a safe-streets-and-safe-neighborhoods candidate was much worse than indicated by Johnson’s 51 to 49 percent victory margin over Vallas.

Vallas got just under half of the votes of the 33 percent of registered Chicago voters who turned out April 4. Doing the math suggests only about 16 percent of Chicago’s voters wanted to return to the tried-and-true crime-combating policies — broken windows policing, community policing, cops supported by the governing elite — that had made Chicago such a safe city before the BLM riots.

It’s worth repeating: Only one third of Chicago’s registered voters turned out for the runoff. Two thirds of the voters — more than a million of them — sat out this critical election.

An obvious, reasonable and logical conclusion is that the vast majority of Chicagoans were satisfied with the way things were going in Chicago.

They watched BLM rioting, looting and arson, they’ve seen the stories of constant carjackings and permissive local prosecutors and judges releasing the violent, and they saw no reason to go to the polls to return the city to safety.

They watched crime and fear of it creep into once safe neighborhoods and saw no reason to put in the mayor’s office a candidate committed to rebuilding police ranks and cop morale.

They watched businesses buckle and some of them close under the stress of unrestrained and unpunished shoplifting, other crime and fear of “mostly peaceful protests” and saw no reason to come out at the polls to change the direction of the city.

They watched earlier outbreaks of teens wreaking havoc in the Loop and along Michigan Avenue and decided they didn’t need to register any displeasure at the ballot box.

They watched leftist extremists in the state legislature abolish cash bail for criminals and saw no reason to shout no with their votes.

Perhaps someone should update that wonderful song about a once wonderful city made famous by Frank Sinatra along the lines of …

This is a progressive kind of town,

Chicago is a woke kind of town,

Chicago is a crime kind of town,

Chicago is one town that will let you down,

Chicago is a progressive kind of town.

Now we’ll see how the wisdom of Mencken plays out:

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”


Steve Huntley, a retired Chicago journalist now living in Austin, Texas, has contributed other pieces to johnkassnews, from an examination of the secret jail for Christopher Columnbus and other politically problematic public art to an essay on Americans suffering from Joe Biden gas pain.

For almost three decades Huntley spent most of his career in Chicago journalism at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he was a feature writer, metro reporter, night city editor, metropolitan editor, editorial page editor and a columnist for the opinion pages.

Before that he was a reporter and editor with United Press International (UPI) in the South and Chicago, and Chicago bureau chief and a senior editor in Washington with U.S. News & World Report. Northwestern University Press has issued soft cover and eBook editions of Knocking Down Barriers: My Fight for Black America by Truman K. Gibson Jr. with Steve Huntley, a memoir of a Chicagoan who was a member of President Roosevelt’s World War II Black Cabinet working to desegregate the military.

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