Lori Lightfoot Means More Than Intersectionality

Lori Lightfoot Means More Than Intersectionality

Lori Lightfoot Means More Than Intersectionality

You’ve probably heard the big news out of Chicago: the city just elected Lori Lightfoot as the next mayor. Moreover, she will be the only black lesbian mayor to ever run the city, and Chicago will be the biggest city to have an openly gay person at the helm.

But there’s more here than a victory for the identity politics crowd. Lightfoot’s win represents a victory for populism in Chicago, the nation’s third largest city.

Now don’t get me wrong here. Lori Lightfoot is no conservative, and she’s no populist in the Donald Trump mold. But her victory means that the days of the Chicago Machine may be over.

Those of us who grew up in the Chicago area remember how the Daley Machine ran the city. Mayor Richard J. “Hizzoner” Daley ran the city from 1955 to 1976, for a total of six terms. His son Richard M. Daley also ran Chicago for six terms, from 1989-2011. In between was a cavalcade of Democratic mayors and their apparatchik aldermen, who padded their pockets rather than serve their constituents. It was the Chicago Way. 
Lori Lightfoot

Mayor Richard J. Daley with LBJ. LBJ Library; public domain. 

But new winds may be blowing in the Windy City. Chicagoans are fed up with politics-as-usual, and decided to throw the bums out. Citizens even rejected William “Bill” Daley, son of Hizzoner, bro of Richard M., despite the endorsement for mayor given by the Chicago Tribune. The Daley legacy came to a halt.

Chicagoans were angry at Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who covered up the 2014 Laquan McDonald shooting by Chicago police to ensure his re-election in 2015. They saw one of the most powerful alderman in the city, the dapper Edward Burke, charged with extortion by the federal government. And then there were the murders, the tax increases, and the public pension debt, compounded by the stink of corruption.

So Chicago elected Lori Lightfoot, who is not only gay and black, but is also a former federal prosecutor. As conservative Chicago writer John Kass wrote in the Tribune:

“. . . how about something even more fundamentally symbolic of change than skin pigment or sexual orientation:

Lori Lightfoot is the first former federal prosecutor, in modern times anyway, elected mayor of Chicago.

Perhaps Chicago is ready for reform after all.”

Moreover, Lightfoot defeated Toni Preckwinkle, she of the old school machine connections. Preckwinkle was the Cook County Democratic Chair and beneficiary of the corrupt Ed Burke. Burke had raised $116K for her campaign after Preckwinkle gave Burke’s son a $100K job in Cook County. She even protected the younger Burke’s job when the city was laying people off.

Doing favors for friends — the Chicago Way.

Toni Preckwinkle was also the one who finagled disgraced State’s Attorney Kim Foxx into office. Foxx, as you recall, ran the office which gave Jussie Smollett his get-out-of-jail-free card. And despite the howls of outrage, Preckwinkle defended Foxx:

“I think that she makes the decisions that she believes are in the best interests of the office.”

Maybe not anymore. Lightfoot has already said that Foxx owes the public “more information about the rationale for the decision to drop the charges.”

As I wrote above, one shouldn’t associate Lori Lightfoot with any conservative groundswell in Chicago. However, she represents the populism that’s taken over the country as voters have decided to throw out establishment politicians and replace them with outsiders. President Trump was the ultimate outsider, and now the Democratic party is experiencing its own populist shakeup. However, the sharp difference with the Dems is that their populists are socialists. Now Democratic Socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders are scaring the party establishment. In fact, in Chicago at least five Democratic Socialists have been elected to the City Council.

At this point, Democrat leaders don’t know whether they should scratch their watches or wind their butts. Republicans, however, are poised to watch President Trump become re-elected in 2020. It will be fun to watch.

Perhaps it is as Bob Dylan sang in 1964: “The Times They Are a-Changin.” Lori Lightfoot is more than just a win for intersectionality. She’s another result of American voters who have become fed-up with establishment politicians, and who want to see non-politicos in city halls, statehouses, and in Washington DC.

Congratulations to Lori Lightfoot. She beat the Chicago Machine, and I hope her victory is the start of better days for Chicago. The city needs all the help it can get.

 

Featured image: cropped from Daniel X. O’Neal; CC by 2.0. 

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

5 Comments
  • GWB says:

    the days of the Chicago Machine may be over
    I wouldn’t bet the milk money on it.

    conservative groundswell in Chicago
    Wut?!? I thought it was MAGA Country! *eyerolllllllllll*

    I hope her victory is the start of better days
    Not as long as stupidity like “intersectionality” reigns. While this might break the Daley Machine, it isn’t really breaking the cycle of grifters, cheats, liars and crooks.
    As Herman’s Hermits would sing, “Second verse, same as the first.”

  • sound awake says:

    if the voters were smart enough to elect somebody who could actually fix some or all chicagos problems they would have been smart enough to not elect the very people that caused all the problems in the first place
    i dont buy it
    they only think they want change
    all they did by electing her was to choose the form of their destructor
    instead of the sta puft marshmallow man they get lori lightfoot
    shes not going to fix the budget or taxes or pensions
    these are existential threats to chicago
    and chicago will be the next detroit as a result

  • Bill Cook says:

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…” The Who, Won’t Get Fooled Again
    This will be fun to watch, as long as you don’t live in Chicago.

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