Forging Our Own Path: Gubernatorial Election 2014

Lauren Salzman

Are you tired of all the unending negative attack ads for the governor’s race?

 It is hard not to be. Add after add highlights the air war that is taking place for this upcoming governor’s race between current Governor and Democrat Pat Quinn, and his challenger, Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. And, with all of the TV ads attempting to shove their opinions down your throat, it is important to take a step back and analyze both candidates without the ever-present bias of the television and the Internet.

Regardless of whether you are of the age to vote, it is still beneficial to be informed. Every voting citizen of Chicago needs to think about how each gubernatorial candidate will affect one’s own life, and the lives of those around them. The most important thing is to learn all of the facts – to educate yourself. Millions of dollars are spent making television commercials to relay negative information about the opposing candidate. Most of theses ads, however, do not show the other side of the story.

Some of the very important issues in this race include the income tax rate, solving the budget deficit, the unemployment rate, whether to raise minimum wage, and Illinois’ $100 billion unfunded pension liability.  Although the two candidates change their opinions sometimes (what else would one expect from politicians), they differ on many issues. One of Rauner’s biggest selling points is that he classifies himself as a businessman, not a politician. Quinn frequently says that he inherited a mess, but is gradually getting the job done and is moving Illinois is the right direction.

Another significant topic is abortion rights. You may see flyers being handed out at ‘L’ stops, or in front of your local grocery stores regarding this issue. With Personal PAC endorsing Quinn, he has come to be known as one of the most pro-choice governors in the country. Governor Pat Quinn has had many important people speak on behalf of him, such as President Obama, who was here recently at Northwestern University.

Latin’s Honors Politics class offers an insight to American politics in general, but is now focused on the ever-pressing upcoming race. Isabella Norris, a junior in the class said, “Now that I’m close to voting age, I’ve felt more obligated to engage with politics and the politics class has been a great way to do that. I think that it’s important to be knowledgeable about issues within the state and how our government addresses them.” By informing oneself on the race, one gains a greater understanding of the issues facing Illinois and is able to formulate their own opinion.

Notwithstanding, this politics class does not have a bias built into the curriculum: It teaches the facts and lets the students work through their own opinions and fight for what they personally think is right. That is one of the greatest aspects of Latin: There are teachers to pave the way, but eventually, students make their own paths and informed decisions.

If you want to learn more about the issues, tune in to the upcoming debate on the evening of October 20th. And if you are of the age to vote, make sure you do so because in this tight election, every vote counts.]]>