Chicago: the 51st State?
An Illinois state representative wants Chicago and the rest of Illinois to break up into two separate states. Bill Mitchell (R—Redneck) has introduced a bill which, if passed, would put the issue before the state’s voters. If Illinois voters approve the measure, it will still have to be approved by Congress and the White House.
Proponents of the bill say Chicago and Cook County residents “hold different and firmly seated views on politics, society, and economics” from the rest of Illinois. Bill Mitchell said:
“These liberal policies are an insult to the traditional values of downstate families. When I talk to constituents, one of the biggest things I hear is 'Chicago should be its own state.’ Our voters' voices were drowned out by Chicago.”
If a new state was formed every time a few local yahoos talked about forming their own own state, America would have at least five hundred states instead of just fifty. There are several distinct regions of California that hate the rest of the state, and have probably been talking about forming their own state since the day California became a state.
There definitely is a culture clash between Chicago and rural Illinois. I went to a small college in western Illinois — near the Iowa border — a looong time ago. This was the late ‘60s, and it was still 1951 at this college. And the rest of the town was so much further backward, they made the college campus look like Berkeley.
But this is true for most states. Even in the Deep South, the largest cities are a lot more liberal and urbane than the small towns. All three of the Left Coast states have interior regions that might as well be backwoods Mississippi.
If Illinois voters succeed in giving Chicago the boot — or would it be the other way around? — this could start a trend. How many states do we want?