In the midst of all of the rhetoric blowing heatedly from the Obama campaign, one question needs to be asked of Senator Obama. And asked forcefully.
Why is the fact that the death toll in Chicago this summer is about double the death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq not of concern to you, Senator?
Quoting from CBS news in Chicago: "**Information from wire service reports and the Chicago Police Major Incidents log indicated that 123 people were shot and killed throughout the city (of Chicago) between the start of Memorial Day weekend on May 26, and the end of Labor Day on Sept. 1.
According to the Defense Department, 65 soldiers were killed in combat in Iraq. About the same number were killed in Afghanistan over that same period.**"
More after the jump.So...shouldn't Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be concerned that it is safer to be a soldier on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan than it is to be an average citizen living in Chicago.
If the Obama campaign isn't concerned about that very vital set of statistics, well, the American electorate certainly should be concerned about it. Is this an example of what the kind of politics and "reform" that Obama learned from the Chicago political establishment leads to? Perhaps a little more community policing and community safety and a little less community "organizing" would have benefited the people of Chicago.
Of course, a sceptic might say that Chicago is a big city, with big city problems. That, of course, is true. I'll put aside the obvious fact that one of Chicago's major "problems" is a liberal, machine, Democrat administration and compare the largest city in Senator Obama's state to an even larger city: Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has a population of nearly 15 million people. Chicago has a population of a fraction over 9 million people. So Chicago is about two-thirds the size of Los Angeles. And what about their homicide rates this summer?
From the LA Times: "From the beginning of June through the end of August, there were 84 homicides in Los Angeles -- a level of relative calm not seen since the summer of 1967, when the city had 79 killings over the same period."
Los Angeles has had considerably less homicides this summer than smaller Chicago. About 46% more homicides in fact, even though Obama's city is one third smaller than LA.
And both cities are more dangerous to be in than either the Iraq or Afghanistan theaters of war.
Perhaps the Obama campaign ought to look to its home base when it starts talking about making America a better place to live. For most people, rhetoric eventually falls flat if it is all talk and doesn't result in concrete plans, specific reforms and detailed policies that really affect the lives of average Americans. And pretty much everything falls flat if you are afraid to walk the steets of the the town--or the major city--where you live.
Of course, I wouldn't expect Senator Barack Obama to think in terms of lowly things like homicide rates and crime prevention and citizen safety at the citizen level in a city. His eye seems to be on something "higher" than those sorts of things.
After all, he has never been a mayor.