I spy with my Illinois eye…
“No one saw it coming”
I listened to a local, long-time serving, downstate Republican politician speak to a group of downstate Republicans this past month at a Lincoln Day Dinner. He was explaining what was happening in Springfield. He’s not in the leadership so he really doesn’t have much to report. He then told a long story about the recent Presidential election. I think this was to fill up the air time. His long story could be summarized in one sentence. “No one saw it coming”.
This is the same guy who would vote for term limits if it ever came to the floor. Of course, he’s not going to term limit himself voluntarily! He has been in office for too many years and already has a nice pension coming when he does finally leave office.
‘No one saw it coming’! This sounds a lot like what the bankers said in 2008 after the financial collapse.
Yet, I believe the politician was sincere and truly believed his explanation. After I had time to really think about his statement, I think he was absolutely correct.
In his mind, ‘no one HE knew saw it coming‘.
And I suppose the rest of that statement was that anyone who ‘saw it coming‘ was ‘no one‘.
Sometimes the truth spills out even when we don’t mean for it to do so.
Why didn’t HE see it coming?
He’s a long time Illinois Republican Party insider. Trump was the Republican Party’s nominee.
What does that tell you about what the Illinois Republican political insiders thought of Trump’s chances to win?
Were you laughing at home watching the election coverage as the results came in last November?
You could see it all over their faces.
The news pundits were wrong. The political insiders were wrong. They were wrong with their predictions. They were wrong with their forecasts. How could this be?
In searching for the answers the pundits discovered Trump’s “Forgotten Man”.
The forgotten man has always been around Illinois. Just travel slightly south of I-80 and slightly west of I-55 and you’ll easily find him (and her) in downstate Illinois. You can also find his proverbial cousin just south and west of downtown Chicago a short distance from the Miracle Mile.
In fact, the forgotten man knows they’re getting the short end of the stick. They know that the Springfield and Chicago politicians (of both parties!) are not delivering the necessary goods to properly develop a regional economy. These are services that can only be delivered by government like building a bridge over a river.
The naive response from people unfamiliar with situation will always say to themselves, “why don’t they move?” – Where? Away from home, family, farms, land, jobs, businesses?
Maybe we should ask a different question. How about asking why we are the “Region of Little Return on Tax Dollars“?
Forgottonia, Illinois – applying for foreign aid?
This is not a new idea.
More than 50 years ago a 16-county region in Western Illinois was renamed, “Forgot” -tonia.
Forgottonia was cooked up as a protest to bring attention to neglected counties in Western Illinois. The region had been ignored by government officials, both state and federal, and the 16 counties were feeling the effects.
Since the federal government had defeated bills to build an expressway through the area, Carthage College in Hancock County had moved to Wisconsin, and people and industries were fleeing. This part sounds familiar.
The name Forgottonia was created by the son of civically minded Coca-Cola regional bottler; and a Chamber of Commerce Board Member and a Western Illinois University student. The initiative grew from frustration among the citizens and public officials of western Illinois due to the lack of support, both state and federal, for regional transportation and infrastructure projects.
We were embroiled in the Vietnam war overseas at the time. The post World War II European and Japanese economy were on the mend thanks to a huge infusion of American tax dollars.
Forgottonian’s came up with a “strategy”.
“The idea is that we would secede from the Union, immediately declare war, surrender, then apply for foreign aid,” said one of the creators of Forgottonia.