Guest Column: Morrissey victory an inspiration for the nation

The night of April 5, 2005, was completely unlike anything I have experienced in my whole life. I was at the Paragon restaurant in downtown Rockford to watch the results of the Rockford mayoral election, and ultimately, to celebrate one of the most energizing political victories in the city’s memory.

I have been a supporter of Larry Morrissey for quite some time and have the privilege of working at the law offices that bear his family’s name. Many, many people spent far more time and money backing the campaign than myself, yet I was glad to have taken a part. “Cynical” does not even begin to describe me when it comes to American politics, and to say I have been soured on the system over the last decade is putting it mildly. Well, on April 5, my cynicism was washed away as I saw an amazing coalition of concerned citizens put an end to ineffectual, old-school politics that shut people out of the decision-making process. I have covered many rock concerts in my career as a writer. The response Larry got on April 5 eclipses anything I’ve ever seen in the entertainment business.

I looked at the sea of happy faces at the Paragon restaurant April 5 and saw the dream of every politician and civic leader. Hispanics, African Americans, rich white folks in suits, rock and rollers in casual clothes and spiked hair, everyday working people…this was truly a microcosm of the city. No, it was more than that…America itself was there that night, America in action. I think this is what our founding fathers envisioned when they wisely put our country’s democratic system together. Building bridges and alliances for the greater good…this is the way it should be.

What a contrast to the tired politics of the “old boy network.” I’ve always considered myself more of a Democrat than anything else, but the dirty tricks I’ve seen and heard on the mayoral campaign this year are really forcing me to rethink things. I guess Lewis Jordan couldn’t drive enough people to the polls this time around, or maybe there weren’t enough $50 bills to go around. Maybe, just maybe, people in the projects are tired of not having their concerns answered and seeing no progress.

I wish the whole nation could follow the model that Larry and his crew put together here. It really revives one’s faith in America. I don’t know exactly what the future will bring, but I can tell you from personal experience that no one will work harder than Larry to correct the monumental problems that Rockford faces. Let’s try to keep the energy level of the campaign up and apply it to solving those problems!

Mike Korn is the publisher of Wormwood Chronicles Webzine.

From the April 27- May 3, 2005, issue

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