The psychological phenomenon of “Stockholm Syndrome” focuses on the strange tendency of a victim or captive to develop sympathetic feelings toward their captor–sometimes even enabling them as the case with publishing heiress Patty Hearst. In 1974, Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and subsequently aided them in robbery. Because of the complicated relationship between identity politics and victimization, I argue that despite Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley’s announcement yesterday, that he will indeed not seek re-election, the city will not be free as many would hope but will instead elect another political captor. Daley will be gone for good however the odds are excellent that the “Democratic Machine” politics will remain.
From the start of 2010, it was evident that “King Richard” as the mayor is dis-affectionately called, was on a downturn. Chicagoans learned in 2009 that they had lost their bid for the 2016 Olympics to Rio. Even the star power of city heavy weights Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey could not help the city that boasted violent crime levels and an ousted Governor “Blago”. Though Daley put everything from his political muscle to the stolen kitchen sink in the failed bid, he was expected like any hearty Irishman to rebound. To the contrary, he did not. Chicago’s economy sank even lower than the morality of its politicians. Budget cuts, increased crime- 300 plus shootings in the month of July alone. Even the highest court in our nation told Chicago that it was the weakest link concerning gun laws and the 2nd Amendment. Rarely had King Richard ever been so politically battered and emotionally drained. His wife Maggie Daley has been battling breast cancer for years, his foot soldiers – the Chicago police- were being killed – one right in front of the station with his own gun. Daley had lost a good deal in the way of respect from his supporters when he told a journalist ‘If I Put This [gun] Up Your Butt, You’ll Find Out How Effective It Is’… Yes it was definitely time for King Richard to step down from the sludge covered Chicago throne.
From this story in the Chicago Tribune:
Daley won’t run for record seventh election to be mayor
By Bob Secter
September 7, 2010
Richard M. Daley’s 21-year run as mayor will end next spring with the city broadly reshaped by his vision and unprecedented grip on power, but with his image as Chicago’s sure-handed leader increasingly challenged.
He stepped off the political stage in stunning fashion Tuesday, with the city in a time of great transition, years of recession taking its toll on his reputation as a shrewd manager, and money running out to keep Chicago moving forward.
His rule was defined by bold strokes and secretiveness, traits that brought him his greatest successes but gradually undermined his effectiveness.
Daley leaves a legacy of broad accomplishments, such as Millennium Park and neighborhood revitalization. Other initiatives remain incomplete, such as the ongoing efforts to improve Chicago public schools and expand O’Hare International Airport.
Daley often spoke of how his passion for leading the city remained strong, so his decision to pull the plug led to questions about his underlying motivation.
Was it the fragile health of his wife, Maggie, who has been battling cancer for years? Was it the looming $600 million city budget deficit that could make running the city in the short term about as enjoyable as a root canal? Or was it the increasing un-restiveness of a once docile City Council emboldened by public outrage over the parking meter deal and other administration missteps?
Or, perhaps, it was the realization that his city may be suffering from Daley fatigue. He was elected to his sixth term in 2007 with 70 percent of the vote, yet a Tribune/WGN-TV poll in July found that just 31 percent of city voters said they wanted him elected to a seventh term while 53 percent said they did not.
For his part, Daley on Tuesday said the answer was none of the above, though he revealed very little about his thought process as he insisted he has been thinking about retiring for the last six months. He said he became increasingly comfortable with the idea in the last couple of weeks.
“It’s time, everybody is replaceable in life, no one is here forever,” Daley told reporters at a reception at the Chicago Cultural Center. “I knew it was my time. I was not afraid of any election … I don’t work on an election, I work on what to accomplish as an incumbent and I’ve done that for years.
“You know like anything else, it’s time, it’s personal, there wasn’t one reason at all and it’s hard for people to understand that and this was the best kept secret in Chicago.”
For all his longevity, the younger Daley remains a sometimes baffling study in contrasts — different in so many ways from his powerful father, Richard J. Daley, yet a chip off the old block in others.
To many, he has been the model of a progressive big city mayor, straddling the need for economic development with community inclusiveness in a diverse city. Yet others see him as a well-intentioned but sometimes inflexible autocrat who for most of his time in office ruled almost by fiat rather than consensus.
When he leaves office next spring, Daley’s tenure will surpass by several months that of his father, whose legacy as the last of the old-fashioned, iron-willed political bosses still hovers over the city…
As a side note, including the tenure of King Richard’s father, Mayor Richard J. Daley do you realize that that is 42 years of Daleys???? The article above, speaks of the Daley clan in romantic terms. Chicago’s love affair with iron willed politics. Have you ever seen this clip from the movie The Untouchables?
Sure you have. Who hasn’t? It was rather shocking for me to see that scene as a teenager in the Village Movie Theater. My quarrel was not so much with why would someone kill someone in broad daylight view of his “colleagues” but rather, why would anyone continue to avow loyalty to a “team” in which its players could be clobbered to death without so much as a warning or hint from fellow players- particularly the captain.
They tell us that life imitates art…So tell me how different is the art of Chicago corruption in The Untouchables from this slice of real life depicting Mayor Richard M. Daley speaking to his teammates in a Chicago City Council meeting.
Courage? Principles? Ha!!! Talk about the Divine Comedy or Waiting for Godot! In Chicago life does not imitate art. It mocks and shoots it in the head at point blank range then kicks it for good measure before keeping its mouth shut with duct tape. Take a close look at the woman to Daley’s right. She is most likely hoping there is not a baseball bat under that table. And liberals say that 12 years of Bush was bad…Why would constituents continue to vote for someone that threatens them whenever he does not get his way? If you do not vote my way, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will not pick up your constituents. They can get on a garbage truck. Okay…
Let’s be honest here. Chicago politics is not just about the Daley dynasty. It is also about the dynasty of corruption and its citizens undying loyalty to Democrats. Chicagoans have always distrusted the Democratic run political machine- can’t you tell?
Yes Mayor Daley is stepping down but the liberal delusion is still up and running. Looking at the above evidence, everyone should recognize that there never has been and obviously for whatever insane reasons cannot be any conservative in the mayor’s seat. The voters will not take the perceived political risk- which is what exactly? What could go so wrong if they do elect Republicans in a city that does nothing but pizza and hot dogs right?
Really, what is the worst that could happen if conservatives ruled in the city of liberals with no spine and big shoulders? Maybe just maybe the sales tax of 9.75 % will go down even further than the measly half cent, the Democrats rolled it back from 10.25%. Maybe someone will actually help our failing public schools or allow more vouchers. Maybe the citizens will have their gun rights restored so they can protect themselves from the criminals who do not seem to care about the gun laws.
Rarely has a Democrat in Chicago been successful at dealing with any of the aforementioned issues. Not Daley I or II. Not Governor Blagojevich. He was a better impeached governor and an especially inspirational figure in reality television.
Not Jesse Jackson. Not Arne Duncan. Not Valerie Jarret. In several cases, these Democrats are the problem . Jarrett is a slum lord and Duncan did nothing for the Chicago Public School system. Which brings me to the biggest most ineffective Chicago Democrat- President Barack Obama. He is the most seriously unqualified liberal of them all. His record on fighting crime, poverty or corruption in Chicago— ZERO.
In reaction to Obama’s lackluster record in Chicago, I rewarded him by NOT giving him my vote during the 2008 presidential election. Understand that my behavior was normal. Most Chicagoan failed their fellow Americans by not demonstrating the truth about Obama. If someone captures me and makes me suffer under their ineffective political regime, I do not vote for them in future elections- regardless of political party. Some- those with political Stockholm Syndrome, will forgive such local blunders as high taxes, high crime. I do not. I did not do it for Mitt Romney when he was my governor in Massachusetts nor did I do it for George W. Bush when he was my governor in Texas. Neither man has nor ever will receive my vote for the United States Presidency. This voting approach may be bottom up but it also applies to top down election decisions.
The burden of political responsibility lies with us all. It is not just about what the politicians do. It is about what we do in the voting booth. Invariably, politicians play a crucial role in shaping our sociological destiny. Corruption, lost hope and lives are all ailments that have not changed much historically in Chicago- unless that change involves the problems growing worse with time. I should know- I am a native. You cannot have real hope or change without the determination to change the system. In Chicago there is an absence of that determination. The slave is free but where do they go? they know nothing else. Yesterday’s Blago is today’s Rahm-bo.
That’s not change. That’s just stupid.
There are Chicagoans who will rejoice at Mayor Richard’s recent announcement in the blood covered streets but the shocking truth remains that their next mayor will be a Democrat and no better than the person who held them captive for nearly twenty-two years.
The jail door is locked tight and the key buried far beneath the earth in a place called hope.
Autographed Letter Signed,