I recently attended Gov. Rauner’s budget address. As a fan of politics and history, I never fail to feel a sense of pride and awe when I visit the state Capitol. I think of the great people who have walked through these hallowed halls — Lincoln, Douglas, Simon, Redmond and Obama, to name a few, men and women of all political persuasions. These people respected the honor of this building, the administration and the governor.
At the address, present time and attitudes brought me back to reality. Not long after the governor began his speech, I was saddened by the laughing, the catcalls and the disrespect the majority party showed to the state’s highest office. I’m not new to party politics; I know how it works. I did expect the governor’s opponents to sit on their hands and not applaud when the man touted his plan to advance the state. Each party does that when the opposition party is in power. But the display was beyond poor sportsmanship; it was an embarrassment.
I asked several people if this was unusual. Each person said the lack of civility was getting worse, but that day’s display by the Democrats was far worse than anyone had experienced. So whether these disrupters were trying to show constituents back home or showing off to each other, or trying to show favor with House leader Madigan, it was uncalled for and a sad commentary on Illinois politics. They should know better and I hope voters will tell them it’s not acceptable.
Jim Soeldner, Ellsworth
The writer is vice chairman, McLean County Board.