This is the first time in years I haven’t been in a parade which actually is a relief.
Well, I did get an invite of sorts to join the Geauga Democrats today in the hot humid heat but I had to decline. I was driving out to Lake County to be with my favorite Trump supporter, my father, in Mentor, Ohio where I knocked a plate with a deviled egg and cubed watermelon off a wooden television tray and on to a carpet.
It’s funny, as I see posts on Facebook of people at parades in Parma, Lakewood, and other places around the Cleveland area, I began to think about all the political campaigns I have worked on over the years, and the T-shirts I accumulated. Starting with Commissioner Tim McCormick’s race in 1996, I was all over Cuyahoga County as part of one crew or another, walking or running alongside a candidate (be it William Denihan, Jane Campbell, Ed Jerse, or Sherrod Brown) passing out candy, holding signs, and shouting to the crowds the elected official or candidate’s name. Then were the many times the long walks back to where we started since there weren’t always enough seats in the car at the end of the parade waiting to take volunteers back. Now, as I get out of bed limping to one degree or another until my tendons stretch due to plantar fasciitis, I wonder how I had the energy to run all the way down Pearl Road.
Before I headed out into the oven, I started to look for some of my many T-shirts for those races. Except for the Yuko, Cavanaugh, and Polensek ones, I haven’t seen any of them since I stopped working out at the gym. Those in the photo are just part of the pile I wound up with. Over the past few years I have been thinking about finding a T-shirt with the title I HAVE WORKED ON POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS FOR TWO DECADES AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT but I don’t think we can fit that on the front unless in small letters even though I am now an extra-large.
So, I never got to get an office job with Governor Strickland or with Sherrod Brown. I am lucky people at the sign in tables know who the heck I am when the Cuyahoga Democrats have an Executive Committee Meeting (fortunately, there are still a few who do!). Yet, despite the replies I get to some comment I make on Twitter, the replies I receive from someone on Facebook, or my discussions with real life family members, a part of me still believes that you must do something. If anything exercise your right to vote like I always do. I will most likely get involved in something related to the Democratic Party in the upcoming months (like I did going to two fundraisers two weekends before) and even see what’s in my budget to spend at a few other events foolish as it may seem.
For those of us, to borrow a phrase from Richard Nixon’s race 50 years ago, the real ‘Silent Majority’ which is suddenly findings its voice, it is important to show the world that what we have now in our Federal Government doesn’t represent the majority of the population, what we think this country stands for, and what we want to be in the future. It’s time to start putting the dark side of our country which has come out again with a vengeance (starting with the T-Party in 2010, and not just Trump) back into the closet and once again, like we have done so many times before, get our best and brightest people to help reverse the damage and get us back on track.
Of course, this is my opinion and it means to be honest nothing. However, there was more to it behind all those T-shirts than wishing to work for Sherrod Brown or get experience to become a campaign manager for someone. We all have to try to participate in making things better and help those who you believe want to do so as well. No matter how many times you may say, you can’t give it all up.
Happy Fourth of July ladies and gentlemen.
The author (center( with State Representative John Rogers (left) and State Senator Kenny Yuko (right) at a ODP event in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, in June.
Photographs taken by James Valentino.