Ives background not suited to Illinois

Jeanne Ives, candidate for Illinois Governor, would have us believe that the political thoughts and practices of rural South Dakota are sufficient to manage the complex public space of urban areas in the state of Illinois.

According to the latest census, South Dakota's population is 833,000, 86 percent of whom are white. Illinois' population is 12,802,303 and has a diverse ethnic population comprised of 63 percent white, 8 percent Hispanic, 14 percent African American and 5 percent Asian. Illinois' per capita GDP is $54,091, while South Dakota's is only $48,076.

Jeanne Ives points to the diversity of political and social thought in Illinois in her campaign commercials and condemns all of these. It is this diversity that has made the Chicago metropolitan area and other urban centers in the state economic engines of the Midwest. There is a "chicken and egg" dilemma that accompanies the economic robustness of America's urban areas. Does economic strength create social diversity or does social diversity create economic strength? Both are complementary to each other.

In Jeanne Ives' world, there is only simplicity. Why is a simple farm girl who admires the simplicity of rural life living in the complex, sophisticated big city urban area of Chicago? The answer to this question is that in the complex social life of Chicago there are many and varied jobs. And in the simplistic rural life of South Dakota there are very few.

Jeanne Ives as a governor will immediately be confronted and overwhelmed by the diverse educational needs of the state, the complex relationships between rural Illinois and its multiple urban areas, the diverse needs of its transportation requirements, demands for energy, its differences in demographics and the demands of the state's diverse social groups. Is she simply going to demand everyone conform to a single rural lifestyle which she promotes?

Tom Teune


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