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Chicago's Next Mayor: Trading Bad for Worse

chicago mayor brandon johnson gestures behind podium with blue city of chicago sign
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson speaks after taking the oath of office on May 15 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Jacob Lane By Wednesday, 17 May 2023 10:36 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Will the last person to leave Chicago please turn out the lights?

Just when you thought things couldn't get much worse for the Windy City and its 2.7 million residents, they did.

In the latest mayoral election, voters not only showed the door to incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot, but then dialed up the level of crazy by choosing someone even more questionably qualified to lead the city!

Brandon Johnson, a progressive Democrat who seems to have taken his political cues from the Democratic Socialists of America, secured victory over his moderate opponent Paul Vallas, and was elected as the new mayor of Chicago.

Johnson's approach to governing the city, which he inherited already mired in crisis, involves imposing hefty taxes on commuters, businesses, and the so-called "wealthy," while engaging in lavish spending on social programs to the tune of $1 billion.

I mean, who cares about the potential consequences of driving away job creators and investors, right?

Johnson also made it crystal clear throughout the campaign that he would never support charter schools, which he viewed as nothing but trouble for the public education system.

Keep in mind, this is the same school system that supports 55 schools where no students were reported proficient in math or reading in 2022!

And wouldn't you know it, this anti-school choice stance helped him nab an endorsement from the Chicago Teachers Union.

Turns out, he was also a paid lobbyist for the group. Talk about a stroke of luck!

Johnson's close ties to the Chicago Teachers Union no doubt gave him a leg up against Vallas in advocating for policies such as increased funding for education and social services at the expense of funds for law enforcement.

However, the consequences of these policies have been disastrous, as evidenced by Lightfoot's decision to reduce the police budget in response to calls to defund law enforcement.

Lightfoot made headlines for cutting $58 million from the city's police budget in 2021 as part of her efforts to embrace this movement.

The consequences of such a decision cannot be ignored. In the past two years, Chicago has experienced a surge in homicides, with 804 murders in 2021 and 695 murders in 2022.

These figures represent the city's highest homicide rates in 25 years, and they'll likely continue to climb under Johnson's leadership as he has supported the defund-the-police movement in the past, calling it an "actual, real political goal."

While he has since attempted to backtrack his support, Johnson campaigned on a platform of halting any future increases to police funding or hiring. Instead, he has called for replacing law enforcement officers with social workers.

This, at a time when more than half of Chicagoans will be able to add "witness to a shooting" to their list of things they'll do before they turn 40, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association!

With policies as unhinged as these, it's no surprise that Johnson received endorsements from the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and "Squad" member Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

And let's not forget about the support of the Chicago Teachers Union, whose track record on successful education policies is about as impressive as the finger paintings created by the toddlers they instruct.

It's almost as if Johnson was deliberately seeking endorsements from the most out-of-touch individuals and organizations he could find.

It's clear that Chicago's voters have lost touch with reality, and their decision to elect Johnson is proof of that. I only hope that residents prepare to say goodbye to many more of their friends and neighbors as they flee the city in droves.

Even the Chicago Bears appear to have had enough, and will likely be joining the thousands of taxpayers making a dash for the suburbs after the next NFL season!

During his victory speech, Johnson told supporters that by standing on their values, Chicago can "show the world what's possible." However, it's hard to see how the rest of the world would follow Chicago's lead on whatever it is that Johnson is standing for.

All sense of sanity has truly left the Windy City. Perhaps the city's motto should be changed from "Urbs in Horto" (City in a Garden) to "Urbs in Insania" (City in Insanity).

It's got a nice ring to it, and effectively sums up the current state of affairs.

Good luck, Chicago. You're going to need it.

Jacob Lane is a Republican strategist and school choice activist. He has worked for GOP campaigns at the federal, state and local levels, as well as with various PACs and non-profits. Read Jacob Lane's Reports — More Here.

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It's clear that Chicago's voters have lost touch with reality, and their decision to elect Brandon Johnson is proof of that.
chicago, mayor, worse, defund police
Wednesday, 17 May 2023 10:36 AM
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