It has long been an unfortunate corollary of political elections that they reveal as much about our predispositions as they do about our personal circumstances. For as surprising as the Illinois primary election victories by adherents of conspiratorial theorist Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. may seem, the more patently troublesome--and revulsive--aspect of this occurrence is that their victories are being largely, if not exclusively, attributed to their “more appealing” Anglo surnames, in contrast to their opponents’ “ethnic-sounding” names.
The overall implication by political analysts that voters were attracted to (and, evidently, preferred) Mark J. Fairchild and Janice A. Hart for the nominations of lieutenant governor and state treasurer, respectively, only manifests inherent prejudice.
If, indeed, voters were intent on supporting, however summarily, Fairchild and Hart, would these candidates’ political affiliations truly be of any consequence in influencing their decisions? Does the individual voter who casts a straight “American” ticket ever really consider his actions inimical to democratic principles? Moreover, would the resolute bigot be anymore compelled to vote for an “organization” Democrat (or Republican, for that matter) if he were made aware of an even more vile menace? Sadly, I think not.
Considering the growing disaffection with establishmentarian politicians anyway, it is not at all inconceivable that LaRouche’s surrogates were deemed quite desirable given the “Jewish” and “Rooskie” alternatives, as Chicago columnist Mike Royko so elegantly surmised. As such, in the final analysis, the state of Illinois succeeded less in “demonstrating how important it is to cast (our) vote with care” than it has in providing an embarrassingly mundane rationale for a glaring election quirk.
JAMES M. RIVERA