Politics should be a contest of ideas, where after vigorous and open debate, we arrive at a set of policies that maximize good and minimize harm.
But instead, politics – especially in Illinois - is war by all means, and there are those who believe that there are no boundaries that should not be breached.
The State of Illinois has the lowest credit rating in the country. We also have the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest and third highest in the country. We need tax reform following a 67% income tax increase which led to an exodus of businesses and tax payers. We need budget reform, because the state spends too much and fail to provide critical services to those most in need. Illinois is inefficient and insolvent.
At no time in our history has open and honest policy discussion been more critical to the future of the people of Illinois. Unfortunately, powerful political leaders in Springfield are more concerned with maintaining that power than with considering the policy prescriptions necessary to return the state to prosperity.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the text of HB 105, and the process by which it was passed into law. HB 105 came out of Rules Committee as a bill that required universities to notify students of elections. As unnecessary as that seems, it was passed in the House. It came back from the Senate with several amendments, the first stating that voter registration will be set up in high traffic areas on college campuses – for this election cycle only. Additionally, students will not be required to show ID. Those who defend the pathetic status quo in Illinois worked to turn out their voters on taxpayer time.
It is no accident that the state is in critical condition. Those in charge of policy know exactly what they are doing. They serve a constituency, but it’s not you. They serve those who fund their campaigns and deliver dependable voting blocks. The state is performing exactly as planned.
HB 105 embodies the deceit and manipulation of Illinois’ ruling class. They believe that they are the ones who know best how to run the state. Therefore, to persuade the masses, they follow in the footsteps of Machiavelli, Marx and Nietzsche, who believed that in order to retain power, deception is more useful than the truth.
They do not want to stop reform-focused policy on its merits, but because it will diminish their personal power. But know this: their opposition is not about the poor, the sick, or the children or Illinois. It is about one thing and one thing only – power.
In “Beyond Good and Evil,” Nietzsche wrote, “… not from any morality or immorality, but because it is living and because life simply is will to power.” These men and women who will gain or retain power are not under a veil of morality, but under Nietzsche’s higher law.
“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free,” is one of the most precise teachings in the Gospel, and one of the most consequential truths in life. The unmasking of the lie is the duty of all good people. Those who peddle deception to keep control over our lives will not stop. Defeating reform policy and sneaking through bills such as HB 105 are the tools they use to retain total power over our government.
We must stop them. The policies for reform are written and waiting to be championed. Let’s band together. Let’s get to work.
We must look to legislators and candidates with the courage to support the policies that will be central to re-building Illinois. Let’s begin by unmasking their deception and manipulation around these policies at every opportunity.
Patrick Hughes leads Illinois Opportunity Project.