|Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s original congressional photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Jackson had been virtually missing from view for weeks until it was finally learned that he had a serious medical condition that required him to stay in the hospital.
According to news accounts., he has had visits, not only from members of his family, but also former Congressman Patrick Kennedy and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Each indicated that Jackson has a ways to go before returning to work, if he does return to work.
For what is now adding up to months, Jackson has been absent from the U.S. Congress. For the first several weeks, it was unknown just where and why he was gone. Wild speculation about rehab from drugs and alcohol, running off to a mistress, and other sordid explanations were rampant; they were all denied by family members.
Apparently Jackson is suffering from severe depression associated with his condition.
|Illinois State Capitol |
(Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)
I can only wonder. Does Jackson's depression have anything to do with guilt about his behavior toward the innocent landowners in eastern Will County--the same folks which he has targeted for years. Following in a path laid out by his predecessors, Jackson tread on the people of eastern Will County as he pursued a pathetic idea--a third Chicagoland airport--that had been rattling around the Illinois General Assembly, in real estate circles, and in the leadership of the south suburbs since the 1960's. Jackson made it his own. It is unclear whether he believed the things he said about the vast economic potential of the project or if he simply was playing a role similar to that of a used car salesman or sleazy televangelist.
Either way, Jackson placed his own potential political spotlight far above the innocent people forced to deal with his political games. He wasn't even accountable to them until he convinced the Illinois General Assembly to right the wrong he did. When the legislative maps were redrawn, Jackson finally became the congressman of the district that included the airport footprint. Even before he got that done, Jackson played with the innocent people of eastern Will County as though they were merely the pawns in his life-altering chess game.
Most people would be conflicted by trying to better themselves at the expense of hundreds and perhaps thousands of innocent people. Perhaps Jackson really knows that his efforts to build a South Suburban Airport are futile and that the project itself is unnecessary.
I'd like to think that what he has done to people that were completely undeserving of his assault, has caused him angst. His accountability would humanize him.
Jackson has staked his entire political career on this one big issue. Who knows what might have occurred, had he pursued other, perhaps smaller, but more achievable projects?
An airport is the ultimate. The model of O'Hare International Airport, if duplicated, could be the one big development that would satisfy any politician's dreams. Starry-eyed at best, any objective view will show that O'Hare in the 1960's will not / can not be duplicated. That was a one-time bonanza, never to be repeated.
I'm sorry. I don't want to see anyone suffer. I feel empathy for my fellow human beings. Perhaps that explains why I got involved in the State of Illinois' battle to take private land for an unproven publics works project in the first place. The more I became educated about the lunacy of pursuing the building of another airport in the 1980's, the more suffering I have seen at the hand of state and local government. There has been untold suffering.
Perhaps this hospital stay is a good time for Jackson to take account--to consider all of the things he could have done--rather than pursuing the development of an unneeded airport. He should think about the harm he has caused to innocent people, their families, and their neighborhoods. Most of the damage was done before Jackson even represented the people of eastern Will County. Now he is their congressman. He should make amends, apologize to them. He should leave them alone, and stop beating the dead horse that is the Peotone Airport.