Any Given Sunday: Identity Politics and the Illinois Republican Race for Governor

Written by John Biver

Here is one definition of the expression “any given Sunday”:

It comes from American professional football, which is played (mainly) on Sunday. The full adage goes “on any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team,” meaning that a weaker team still has a chance against a stronger opponent. A related sports phrase is “you have to play the games (to determine the outcome).”

The IFI series on Identity Politics and Paraphilias continues to highlight one of the many the opportunities that the American political left has given the American political right. Leftism has been seen to be unstoppable in the past. That is not the case any longer.

This opportunity is so big for conservatives, a writer at American Thinker believes this:

We may be watching the death throes of the American left as it spirals into the black hole of excess. The left has pushed its issues so hard and far that leftists have lost all credibility.

When you read articles with titles like these it’s hard to argue with that premise:

This ENTIRE Family Is Transgender

Study: 27 Percent of California Youth Are Gender ‘Nonconforming’

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Talks to Ja Du, a White Person Who Identifies as a Filipino Woman

Make no mistake, Illinois Democrats embrace all that silliness completely. How is it that Illinois Republicans fail to take advantage of it?

The Illinois GOP’s failure on that front is inseparable from its failure to benefit politically from the wreckages of economic political Leftism that are all around us: Ever growing debt, rising taxes, lavish benefits for retired government employees (that are unaffordable to the point of insanity), and companies and taxpayers fleeing in record numbers. (For a longer list of Illinois woes, click here.)

Meanwhile, a bi-partisan group of politicians supports taxpayer funding of abortion, the right to obtain falsified  birth certificates, legalizing marijuana, and high school boys being able to use the girls’ showers.

To believe this will sadly be a “blue state” for years to come is to believe that a majority support all the above.

If you believe that we’re not a “red state” because of the fecklessness of the Illinois Republican Party over the past decades, then the path forward is obvious: More voters will have to be reached with the truth about the stark differences between conservative policy and Leftism.

That is Republican candidate for governor Jeanne Ives’ task. How is she doing so far? Anecdotally she’s doing great. The problem with anecdotes, however, is revealed in the definition of “anecdotal evidence”:

Evidence collected in a casual or informal manner and relying heavily or entirely on personal testimony… when compared to other types of evidence, anecdotal evidence is generally regarded as limited in value.

Jeanne Ives is being warmly received as she campaigns around the state. The question, though, is about math. Will enough conservatives know who she is by election day?

Every poll I’ve seen for twenty years shows that a large majority of Illinois Republicans are conservative, yet Leftist Mark Kirk was nominated and then elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Then, despite his radically liberal voting record, he was re-nominated by the GOP a second time in 2016.

Political activists will recall how Mark Kirk’s GOP opponents enjoyed a warm reception around the state as they campaigned against him. Mark Kirk’s heir is incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner. And Rauner’s campaign war chest makes him the obvious favorite heading into March. Fortunately, the game must be played, so Ives has a chance.

Jeanne Ives will have to get attention and genuinely connect with GOP primary voters. How can you get attention and connect by spending little money in a state where the liberal media mirrors that of the national media? You do not do so, in the words of one political consultant, by only sounding like a policy expert and state representative. As Bill Whittle says in this Ives Campaign video, she needs to tell a story.

First-time candidate Donald Trump showed how it can be done. Ives need not exactly imitate Trump’s words and actions, of course, but she must make a study of Trump’s campaign. The alternative is to continue listening to advisers who still cling to the fantasy that Ted Cruz has what it takes to win a national election.

Any given Sunday–and for that matter, any given election day–a weaker team still has a chance against a stronger team. Illinois Democrats continue to dominate for one simple reason: Illinois Republicans never bring their best game.

Re-nominating Rauner in March all but guarantees that the Democrats will win the governor’s office in November. Jeanne Ives can prevent that, but only if she chooses to learn from the historic and dramatic lessons taught during the 2016 Republican primary and general presidential elections.

IFI Worldview Conference Feb. 10th

We are excited about our annual Worldview Conference featuring well-know apologist John Stonestreet on Sat., Feb. 10, 2017 at Medinah Baptist Church. Mr. Stonestreet is s a dynamic speaker and the award-winning author of “Making Sense of Your World” and his newest offer: “A Practical Guide to Culture.”

Join us for a wonderful opportunity to take enhance your biblical worldview and equip you to more effectively engage the culture:

Click HERE to learn more or to register!