Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Political Philosophy

Chicago Vistas

Chicago has long been a favorite city--not exotic in the way San Francisco and New York are, with less history than comparatively tiny Boston, but even so it has a character that still speaks to us.  This came to sight as I sunned on Ohio Beach, next to the Navy Pier.  From this vantage point the city's vista is spectacular.  Vision, ambition, low politics, greed but above all pride created such a scene.  The skyscrapers are the sensuous products of these noble and base passions.   One cannot look at Chicago without being affirmed that this is a country full of ambition, a great country bent on even greater things.  

But the perspective from the water taxi into Michigan Avenue notes weaknesses in the facade.  The local Trump Tower lacks the seriousness of the older buildings, some with Gothic pretensions. 

I am staying in the "Dick Tracy" house, in the Chicago suburbs, the one in which the young Chester Gould got his family and cartooning career started.   How appropriate that the always proper Dick Tracy was given birth in mob-fascinated Chicago.  Contrast the steady Tracy with our psychically tortured Batman.  Shouldn't virtuous acts be done with pleasure, in order to be virtuous?

All this puts into perspective the strange case of our Chicago-based President, who has brought to the national scene all that is low about Chicago and who seems intent on suppressing all the grand motives that made America a great nation.  His vision of American destiny would rob America of all its distinctiveness.

Discussions - 3 Comments

with less history than comparatively tiny Boston

The Census Bureau's enumeration of tract development issued in 2002 put the population of greater Chicago at 8.4 million and that of greater Boston at 3.9 million.

"Greater" includes the suburbs. Chicago, the third largest city, has 2,851,268 residents as of 2009, and Boston, the 18th largest, has 645,169. The cities were being compared, not the suburbs. That's the difference between just under twice as large and nearly five times as large. The comparison holds.

A five to one ratio does not render the smaller 'tiny', so, no, the comparison does not hold. Dubuque is 'tiny' compared to Chicago. Boston is merely smaller.

Poor usage aside, why would you be comparing the population of fragments of the whole settlement? Conventions for delineating legal and formal municipal boundaries differ between one metropolis and another. That is of interest if you are local and are concerned with the contours of the tax base and service demands. That is not what the visitor sees.

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