Blame non-voters for state’s problems

Blame non-voters for state’s problems

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Blame non-voters for state’s problems

Blame non-voters for state’s problems. Everyone is complaining about Illinois’ poor economic situation, the excess spending and the skyrocketing taxes. But the majority of people complaining don’t even take the time to vote

By Ray Hanania

RayHananiaColumnPodcast_Last week’s column hammering the stupid idea of term limits brought on a lot of emails from readers.

And I thank them for sharing their views.

Most said they understand my logic that imposing “term limits” on elected officials strips voters of their to decide who should represent them.

One person argued district “gerrymandering” is the problem. I disagree. The districts are drawn by the elected officials in power. If you want to change who has power, vote. If not, don’t vote.

And apparently, most people in Illinois really don’t blame the elected officials for the state’s problems. Because the majority of people who can vote, don’t.

There are about 12.8 million people in Illinois. About 9.9 million are of voting age, about 77 percent. But the number of people who actually vote is only 3.96 million, about 40 percent.

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So, whose fault is it? Is it the fault of the candidates who work hard to win voter support? Is it really the fault of voters? Or, is it the fault of the challengers?

The mainstream American news media is partly to blame. No single factor impacts what the public does more than the media. Instead of providing facts, the media has become cheerleaders for politicians.

Look at the race for president. The media hates Donald Trump and they twist, distort and exaggerate everything he says. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is getting a pass. All she does is attack Trump, too. She answers no questions and has proposed no real plans.

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(I’m talking about “journalists’ and “reporters” whose job it is to be objective, not columnists like myself who share their opinions. I look at the facts and tell you what I think. You can like me. You can dislike me. Or, you can even ignore me.)

In reality, the public isn’t that stupid. They see through the media bias.

Maybe that’s why more than 60 percent of people who can vote don’t.

Not voting is unpatriotic, too. A lot of blood has been spilled by our soldiers who died defending that precious voting right, a right many people in this world will never experience.

But I guess if a candidate is uninspiring, inarticulate and lacks fresh ideas, I can see why most voters don’t want to waste their time to vote.

Governments have tried to give lazy registered voters every opportunity to vote. They just don’t care.

We’ve extended early voting. We’ve eliminated checks and balances to make it easier to vote.

The cost of these efforts to bend over backwards to make it easier for lazy non-voters to vote has been the rise in voter fraud. Voter fraud is a problem, and not with the incumbents and winners. It’s the losers who will do anything to increase their numbers.

If you don’t vote, don’t complain about the system. You don’t have that right.

And if voters don’t care then why should government? Chicago’s schools are terrible. Public transportation is even worse. We don’t have enough police in Chicago to stop the street gang thugs.

Chicago needs money. To keep people in Chicago happy, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is increasing water costs to reinforce the corrupt public and teachers pension system.

Imagine, school teachers who retire from a system that can barely send kids to college are rewarded for their failure with 6 figure pensions.

Police who put their lives on the line everyday, are blamed when a street gang member doesn’t listen to police orders and is killed.

They are not the problem. It’s the people who don’t vote who are to blame. Don’t punish those who vote, or punish the winning candidates who put their reputations on the line just so they can be unfairly attacked by the biased mainstream news media.

And, if your candidate has no charisma, no money and not enough supporters, why are you surprised if they lose an election? Maybe you are to blame for picking the wrong people to represent what you believe.

Pick better candidates to run, or stop whining!

The truth is, though, that many of the candidate the whiners complain about would still win even if every person who could vote did vote.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. Email him at Published in theDes Plaines Valley News, SW News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, Illinois News Network.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
Ray Hanania