I was recently asked, “Who, or what, is the Chicago Machine?”
I think the question is fair enough. After all, I blame this entity for much of the problems in the State of Illinois.
The Chicago Machine has a history[i] that started early in the 20th century. It was built primarily through patronage jobs of the Democratic Political party. The most effective use of this came about during the tenure of the first Mayor Dailey’s tenure. The Machine lost some of its power through inability of the mayors who followed Dailey the first, in maintaining discipline and power. Some of the effectiveness of the Machine was also lost through the disallowing of the patronage jobs and number of other issues that eventually saw the power of the Machine reduced but far from eliminated.
In today’s Machine we see much of the mindset of the past that allowed the very powerful few to ride herd and direct much of the power of the around 7 million plus inhabitants to vote over the top of the rest of the state. The population of this, relatively small geographically, section of the state rules over, what I call, the country folks, who are spread out over the rest of the state.
This large population of City people has a different mindset than the Country folks. They tend be more dependent on city services for a whole range of things. Most things require some kind of license, or an inspector or what have you. Much of this built up through jobs that purchase power and votes. Now there is a dependency that is just not comprehensible to downstaters or country folks.
This population can elect enough representatives with the ruling mindset, and the dependency on government mindset, that they can heavily influence most legislation at the state level. The Chicago Machine legislators appear to think, “What is good for Chicago must be good for the whole state.” The corruption just cannot be comprehended by the Country folks, or the rest of the states for that matter. For evidence, the number of 2 term governors is enough. By 2 terms, of course, I mean a term in the “state house” and a term in the “pen house.”
This Chicago Machine has ruled the state by sponsoring the unconstitutional gun laws, such as the FOID card, and the complete ban on the carry of firearms on the public way. Illinois is the only state with the FOID card scheme. This scheme allows anyone from any other state to buy ammo and guns without a FOID card, but doesn’t trust its own citizens enough to allow them to buy ammo or guns without it. All of these gun laws have primarily emanated from one source, the Chicago Machine.
I was at a store in Missouri a month or so ago. I was behind a man in line checking out with an ammo purchase. The man was offering to show his identification, a FOID card, when the clerk says, “we don’t need that over here, you must be from Illinois.” Illinoisans have put up with the Chicago Machine and their iron fist for so long we think it is normal. Once these unconstitutional laws are in place it can take untold years and much suffering to get them eliminated. The suffering comes through all the people who have been unjustly charged with the unconstitutional laws that have been put in place; people who have been made felons for exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear an arm of their choice.
I prefer the animating challenge of Liberty, self reliance, and self rule, to the ‘rulership’ of the far off, completely out of touch with the Country lifestyle, Chicago Machine mindset. I do not feel the need to have “a multitude of New Offices, and … swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out [our] substance.”[ii] We already have more government breathing down our necks than we need. If it was so important to society to have all of these alphabet soup agencies, then how did our country ever become such a success? Now our state has more agencies than it can pay for and leads the country, even ahead of California, for the worst economy and the most corruption.
One of the founders is quoted to the effect, “When the government fears the People, then there is Liberty. When the People fear the government there is tyranny.” I will say that I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams any government fearing me. However I do fear my government. I fear the consequences of exercising a very clear fundamental right.