Tag Archives: Ohio

The Right Words at the Right Moment

HerdmanI rarely publish the words of others on this blog. But there are rare times when somebody in a position of authority says the right thing at the right time in the right way – and there’s no need for embellishment or comment.

While announcing a single charge filed against a 20-year old self-defined white nationalist and would-be mass shooter in northern Ohio – U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman just delivered such words.

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman’s comments on recent Ohio cases involving political violence

Now let me speak generally to those who are advocates for white supremacy, or white nationalism.  I am talking directly to you.  The Constitution protects your right to speak, your right to think, and your right to believe. If you want to waste the blessings of liberty by going down a path of hatred and failed ideologies, that is your choice. 

Democracy allows you to test those ideas in the public forum.  If you want to submit your beliefs to the American people and get their reaction, please be my guest.  Keep this in mind, though.  Thousands and thousands of young Americans already voted with their lives to ensure that this same message of intolerance, death, and destruction would not prevail – you can count their ballots by visiting any American cemetery in North Africa, Italy, France, or Belgium and tallying the white headstones.  You can also recite the many names of civil rights advocates who bled and died in opposing supporters of those same ideologies of hatred.  Their voices may be distant, but they can still be heard.

Go ahead and make your case for Nazism, a white nation, and racial superiority.  The Constitution may give you a voice, but it doesn’t guarantee you a receptive audience. 

Your right to free speech does not automatically mean that people will agree with you.  In fact, you have an absolute God-given and inalienable right to be on the losing end of this argument.

What you don’t have, though, is the right to take out your frustration at failure in the political arena by resorting to violence.  You don’t have any right to threaten the lives and wellbeing of our neighbors.  They have an absolute God-given and inalienable right to live peacefully, to worship as they please, to be free from fear that they might become a target simply because of the color of their skin, the country of their birth, or the form of their prayer.

Threatening to kill Jewish people, gunning down innocent Latinos on a weekend shopping trip, planning and plotting to perpetrate murders in the name of a nonsense racial theory, sitting to pray with God-fearing people who you execute moments later – those actions don’t make you soldiers, they make you criminals.  Law enforcement doesn’t go to war with cowards who break the law, we arrest them and send them to prison. 

As I said, this case was made by a concerned member of the public and a responsive police officer.  That’s all it takes to stop you.  The men and women of our community are allied with law enforcement.  And every single member of law enforcement took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Many of us have taken that oath several times – as police officers, federal agents, prosecutors, military members, and elected officials. 

Together, we represent the absolute best of what America has to offer.  Our skin is every color you can imagine, our families come from a hundred different countries and a hundred different faiths.  What makes us different doesn’t split us apart, though.  Those differences are insignificant compared to what is the same about us – we are united in our commitment to each other, to our families, and to our communities.  We are the living embodiment of everything you say is impossible.

Together, we are united to ensure that you commit no further acts of violence in the name of your beliefs.  When you wake up tomorrow morning, no matter what time, I want you to remember something.  You can’t set your alarm clock early enough to beat us out of bed.  The men and women of law enforcement don’t wake up.  We never went to sleep.  We are always awake.  And arm in arm with the public, when your hatred leads you to break the law, we will do everything we can to be there to stop you.

 

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Filed under History, Politics, Truth, Uncategorized

GOTV: Occupy the Voting Booth!

It’s Sunday morning, President Obama’s giving a great speech on C-Span, and I’m going to an Obama for America call center this afternoon to spend a few hours helping to get out the vote in swing state Nevada. My daughter is going door to door for Obama in Wisconsin this weekend. My cousins in Cleveland have already voted early to help make sure the GOP Secretary of State in Ohio can’t mess with them on Election Day.

It’s GOTV time. Those of us in heavily blue states MUST get out and vote in big numbers so Obama-Biden captures the popular vote as well as the Electoral College.

Let’s go, California progressives! Vote like the Golden State is a swing state and the polls are within the margin of error.

Vote to re-elect President Barack Obama!

From Andrew Sullivan in The Daily Beast:

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Home Sweet Swing State.

“And again I say unto you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a Republican to win the Presidency without carrying the great state of Ohio.”

With apologies to Matthew 19:24

Ohio and the American Presidency have a very close relationship. In fact, there have been seven U.S. presidents who were born in the Buckeye State. Topping the list is my personal hero Ulysses S. Grant, followed by Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren Harding.

In the period after the Civil War, from 1869 to 1923, seven out of the eleven men who won The White House were Ohioans — including three presidents in a row: Grant, Hayes and Garfield, Civil War veterans all.

And one of the four presidents who weren’t from Ohio was named Cleveland!

Of course, presidential politics are fraught with contention on all levels – and that extends to the claim I heard as a Cleveland schoolboy that Ohio was the “Mother of Presidents”.

That rankles Virginians who point out, correctly, that eight Commanders in Chief were born in the Old Dominion. Ohioans counter by claiming an eighth president of their own, William Henry Harrison, who settled in Ohio and lived there until his death. Virginians counter that Harrison didn’t move to Ohio until after his marriage in 1795, when he was about 23 years old. Yielding to Virginia, Ohio now calls itself the “Mother of Modern Presidents”.

Would that all presidential disputes could be solved by the deft insertion of an adjective.

There’s another oft-stated reason for Ohio to claim the title of Mother of Modern Presidents. No Republican presidential nominee has won the White House without carrying Ohio — and no president has been elected without winning in the Buckeye State since Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1960.

Truly, my beloved home state is the mother of all Oval Office bellwethers.

In this election, Ohio is back at the epicenter of presidential politics.

As it was in the 2004 contest, Ohio is shaping up as the lynchpin among the remaining battleground states – where victory in the Electoral College will ultimately be decided.

The 2004 election was a low point for the practice of democracy in Ohio. Aided by a Republican Secretary of State who did all he could to thwart the desire of urban, minority and college voters to cast their ballots – President Bush defeated John Kerry by just 118,775 out of 5,598,679 total votes. A mere 2.1 % margin of victory gave Ohio’s 20 electoral votes to Bush – and with them, a second god-awful term in the White House for Dubya.

I hope that the election in Ohio is not that close on November 6th.

It certainly shouldn’t be.

Given President Obama’s steadfast support for middle class and working people – as exemplified by his courageous decision on the auto bailout – sensible, pragmatic and hard working Ohioans should give Obama their support.

Given President Obama’s support for women’s rights, freedom of choice and equal pay – Ohio women (and the men who love and respect their wives and daughters) should support the man who has been their champion.

I expect that a proud, blue collar state that has seen unemployment rates drop and manufacturing jobs rebound as President Obama pulled our economy out of the deep, dark ditch into which it was plunged by discredited Republican “top-down” economics won’t be fooled again by Romney’s magical plans, false promises, evasions and outright lies.

Please listen, my fellow Ohioans.

Under Romney, the nation’s deficit will no doubt rise — as the rich get richer, the middle class get squeezed, and the poor and disadvantaged among us get thrown under the bus. It’s been that way with GOP presidents since Ronald Reagan blew up the deficit and began the redistribution of America’s wealth to the fat cats at the very top of the economic food chain.

Don’t be fooled, Ohio.

Ohioans love the red, white and blue, and we salute our soldiers with pride and profound gratitude – but Romney never deals with our war veterans unless he’s using them for a photo op.

Romney said that he didn’t mention our warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan – or our returning vets – in his acceptance speech at the GOP convention because, When you give a speech you don’t go through a laundry list, you talk about the things that you think are important and I described in my speech, my commitment to a strong military unlike the president’s decision to cut our military. And I didn’t use the word “troops”, I used the word military. I think they refer to the same thing.”

Did you hear that, Ohio?

Mitt Romney doesn’t see the vital difference between the flesh and blood men and women who serve our nation heroically on the battlefield — and the corporate war profiteers who make billions building planes, tanks, ships and expensive weapons systems.

That’s why Romney wants to take our hard-earned tax dollars to plow another two trillion into military spending that the Pentagon hasn’t even asked for. Someone’s going to get rich off Mitt’s extra two trillion – and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that many of those guys are the same military-industrial complex billionaires secretly bankrolling Mitt’s Super-Pacs.

My fellow Buckeyes, Mitt Romney says he should get your vote because he’s a businessman. But why is that? What does being a businessman have to do with running the government?

Is it cost effective for the post office to pick up your Grandma’s mail at the end of a long rural road in the Appalachian mountains of southeastern Ohio? A bottom-line businessman like Romney would conclude that it’s not profitable – but our government is devoted to providing every citizen with postal service, regardless of where they live. That’s the American way.

I could go on and on about this “government should be run like a business” canard. It’s a fallacy. And Ohioans should know better than to listen to such garbage. The job of government is not to turn a profit — but to keep us safe, provide needed services, and promote the general welfare. Mitt Romney has no clue how do get THAT job done. It doesn’t interest him.

Business CEO Romney made his money as a “vulture capitalist”. I didn’t coin that term – Mitt’s Republican competitors did. Mitt and his Bain Capital cronies bought American companies, loaded them up with debt, and “harvested” them by selling off their assets and shipping the jobs overseas.

That’s a formula that made Mitt millions. But it’s not a formula made for Ohio workers.

C’mon, Ohio! Vote for your own interests on November 6th. Vote for your jobs, your homes, your communities, our veterans, your wife, your daughter, your children’s education – and so much more.

Vote for Barack Obama.

And then, we can claim Obama as one of our own. Along with William Henry Harrison, President Obama would be the 9th president from Ohio. We could drop the “Modern” and truly call our state the Mother of Presidents.

Go, Buckeyes! Vote!

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Filed under History, Politics