On February 7, State Representative Chris Miller sponsored House Resolution 0101 of the 101st General Assembly to urge the United States Congress to consider making Chicago the 51st State of this country so that it is no longer part of the state of Illinois.
In this resolution, Miller and his co-authors listed several issues that they think separate Chicago from the rest of the state, such as “gun ownership, abortion, immigration, and other policy issues.”
Miller’s support of HR0101 sends a disturbing and chilling message to his constituents. In the 2018 election, Miller won 60.7% of the ballots cast in Coles County. This means there are at least 39.3% voters in our county who disagree with his positions. When Miller makes the case that those Chicagoans who disagree with him on these issues do not belong in the same state with him, he is also saying that the residents of Coles County who disagree with him on these issues do not belong with him.
President Lincoln said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Here, Representative Miller is working hard to divide the House that is Illinois.
I remember at the candidate forum organized by the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, Miller said that there is too much partisanship in Springfield and he wanted our support so he could go change that climate. How ironic that he now suggests splitting our state in two within his first month on the job. This is reminiscent of our President Trump saying that Washington D.C. is too corrupt so we ought to elect him to “drain the swamp,” only for him to bring unprecedented level of corruption to the Federal Government since his inauguration. I urge Miller to review his choice of a President as role model and hope he would give Lincoln more consideration.
Aside from the alienating divisiveness of this resolution, the justifications listed in HR0101 are also full of misleading ideas and false premises. For instance, Miller cited the number of counties won in the gubernatorial race where he painted a picture that Chicago alone determined the outcome of the race. Whether that is true or not, 35.1% of Coles County voted in favor of Governor Pritzker. This resolution diminishes the votes of these 35.1% voters in Coles County, as well as all the Pritzker voters outside of Chicago. If Democracy is to have any legitimacy, we must recognize and protect the value of each vote. The premise in Miller’s resolution is anti-Democratic, in the sense of going against the spirit of democracy, not in the sense of being in opposition to the Democrat party.
In summary, Miller’s support for HR0101 is anti-democratic, divisive, and based on false premises. Coles County, and IL110 in general, deserves better representation than what Miller is offering.
Bill Hung, Charleston