Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has declared the city a “Trump-free zone,” announcing on late night television that he intends to prevent the president from even stepping foot within the city’s boundaries.
Speaking to Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” the mayor said that he’s even given the city a new title. “Our motto: A city he’ll never sleep in. We don’t want him,” Emanuel said.
“Look, Donald Trump is driving forward looking through the rearview mirror, and I’m not going that way because I want my city going that way and I want it to be a Trump-free zone,” he continued.
The metaphor only makes sense if you believe Emanuel is driving backward while looking in the rear-view mirror — an image Emanuel probably did not want to present, but one that is, nonetheless, accurate.
Emanuel is currently presiding over a city that is losing population faster than any other urban area in the country. Chicago has sky-high taxes, but such poor management that it can’t pay its debts. City services and schools are bankrupt. Chicago’s debt burden is in the tens of billions of dollars. It’s credit rating is nearing junk bond status, and, just a few short months ago, it looked as though Chicago might be the first major city to declare bankruptcy.
In 2017 alone, Chicago has had more than 600 homicides — so many, the head of the Chicago Police Union actually went to the White House to speak to President Trump’s aides after Emanuel sloughed off the administration’s offer of federal assistance.
Chicago’s biggest worry is far from whether Donald Trump occasionally rents a couple of his own hotel rooms.
Yet Emanuel has routinely accused Donald Trump of attacking Chicago to distract from larger, national problems. That seems to be a bit of projection, as the city closes out another year of grim milestones.