So much has happened in the last four days that it’s hard to keep up. Tonight, as I was driving home from my neighborhood block watch meeting, I was stunned to hear on the radio that FBI Director James Comey was fired. Of course it’s all over the news and will be discussed further in media tomorrow so I won’t write much about it. After all, this is just a blog and politics, or my life, is not the central part of this. However, with all that has happened from Macron winning the Presidential election in France, to Barak Obama’s speech Sunday accepting this year’s Profiles in Courage Award, to Sally Yates finally speaking before Congress, so much has occurred to reflect on for me.
Saturday, I went to a Democratic Action Day meeting at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio. There, on an unseasonably cold and rainy day, I spent over four hours there pretty much participating in a format I’ve sat in many times before. However, when I saw the first email regarding this event, something in my gut told me to be there.
The first part was a political action boot camp conducted by two young organizers with the Ohio Democratic Party. As I looked around who was in the audience I saw many familiar faces from Lake and Geauga Counties, many not only older than the two organizers but even myself. Their age wasn’t the point, their passion to do something was.In our little break out sessions, we were supposed to talk about why we were there. I didn’t get to speak but that was by choice. While my gut told me to be there, my head was wondering why do this once again. However, when some of the men and women in my group spoke about why they wanted to be politically active in some way, I must admit I was impressed. They were willing to do something that many my age, and younger, fail to do and didn’t really expect much out of it but to get some Democratic candidates elected. For a pretty burned out hack like myself, it was good to hear what they had to say.
The candidate’s forum afterwards was another thing I sat in many a time before. It was the same format with different people asking for support for the various offices they were going to run for; and in some cases against each other. As I sat there listening to each on pitch their case, I thought about what was going on in the nation at large; things I have sometimes touched upon in a previous quick little post. I thought about how my father told me the night before when he came over that he hoped that ‘the guy’ would win the French election; though I reminded him that Marine Le Pen was the one that Trump liked. Buyer’s remorse is finally setting in, though he hasn’t completely admitted it.
That’s why the 2018 election is important; we can’t wait four years to just vote Donald Trump out. We need to get people in Congress to be an active check not only on this White House but on people who are so willing to let him get away from it. It’s also important for Ohio that we, and this is my own personal opinion, more Democrats into State wide offices because I do honestly believe that this party can do a better job helping out everyday people and communities in so many matters. Though for twenty years of work I may seem to only have a bunch of T-shirts and bad feet, and a chip on my shoulder to boot, I know that despite what so many people I know say that I get nothing for it (and they only want my time and money) I will probably wind up working on a campaign in some form just like those people in that school room at Lakeland. You have to be part of the solution, not contribute to the problems gripping this country. All those Macron supporters in France Sunday showed what can be done even despite interference from a foreign power and a strong ultra-nationalist message from a slick operator that can be so appealing. What Obama spoke about Sunday builds upon this, not just in terms of calling upon lawmakers to protect the Affordable Care Act, but to be adults and play more than party politics especially during this time when we have an Administration which plays dirty. We have to each do our part and hope that the potential damage that is taking place for at least a few years will not be too harmful to our country we can find a person who can be a president we can be proud of again in 2020. So, you all know where I stand.
Photograph by James Valentino