The impending election will remind us of an obvious but profound truth.
Elections matter. Elections have consequences.
Those consequences are certain to be much more profound this year than for many previous years. We stand at a crossroads.
J. B. Pritzker beckons us to follow him down a path that leads to the left. Darren Bailey beckons us to follow him down a path that leads to the right.
The paths, and therefore the consequences of our choice, diverge sharply. The difference is almost literally “the difference between night and day.”
Start at the top of the ballot. A proposed constitutional amendment, endorsed by Pritzker and opposed by Bailey, would alter conditions in the labor market significantly in favor of unions. Since voters rank the economy as a major concern, they should know that this amendment would have a major impact over time.
Crime is also a primary concern for voters. Those voters should examine closely the Pritzker and Bailey positions on the SAFE-T Act. Many of the features of this statute are already being implemented, revising law enforcement policy and procedures in a very significant way.
The provision of the statute regulating pretrial detention and bail goes into effect in January. The current presumption in favor of bail will change to a presumption against bail. Pritzker supports the statute while Bailey favors its repeal. The difference between the position of the candidates is profound and requires our judgment.
The position of the candidates on abortion policy could hardly be further apart. Pritzker is strongly supportive of abortion rights and offers Illinois as a sanctuary for women from more restrictive surrounding states who seek an abortion. Bailey is adamantly anti-abortion, opposing exceptions even in cases of rape, incest, and threat to the life of a mother.
On education policy, Pritzker promotes public education policies that have garnered the support of teachers’ unions, while Bailey favors school choice. Bailey has also echoed criticisms of some public school curricula for the inclusion of certain controversial subjects.
On questions of firearms policies, the two candidates divide sharply — Pritzker favoring more regulation with Bailey urging much less. In their recent televised debate, Bailey took sharp issue with Pritzker on the subject of guns.
Let us pause for a moment to reflect.
The candidates and their parties offer us vastly different visions for the future of Illinois.
The aforementioned path to the left and path to the right diverge very sharply. Pritzker and the Democrats are running on a very progressive platform that promises to turn an already blue state an even darker hue.
Bailey and the Republicans are running an avowedly populist platform tinged with Trumpist themes. There are even sharp geographic differences between northern urbanites and southern rural voters.
The differences on the vital issues could hardly be more pronounced. Our votes will literally determine the future in which we will live. Elections matter. Elections have consequences.
Robert Evans is an associate professor of economics, business and political science at Rockford University.
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October 28, 2022 at 07:05PM