Sunday, October 24

An Ohioan Speaks Up

Some people can't stand what has happened to their hometown paper. Hoffmania! contributor Kevin has fired this off to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Dear Editor:

There's [sic] rumors on the Internets [sic] -- as Dubya himself would say -- that the venerable Plain Dealer is being forced by its publisher to endorse a deranged, incompetent, murdering religious visionary for the presidency of the Republic.

By extension, that suggests that you are, in the public interest of the people of Northeastern Ohio, endorsing the most corrupt and corrosive administration in the nation's history, as well as the most dangerous cabal of power-seeking sociopaths ever unleashed on the planet.

I refuse to believe these rumors. Such a thing would be unthinkable in the Ohio where I was born and raised, a landscape populated by gentle folks of infinite politeness, who exercised charity and compassion as second nature, who impulsively came to the aid of strangers, who played dumb for effect, were sharp as horse-traders and could spot a con-man two cornfields away.

Although I left my home state 30 years ago, I have carried my "Ohio-ness" proudly into my adult life. Now, alas, for the first time, it makes me ashamed.

The Ohioans I knew could have no use for a man who would deceive them into not one, but two, senseless and bungled wars. They would burn their own fields before they would condone the pointless deaths of our own children, the murder of thousands of innocent people who have never harmed us, and the wholesale torture and abuse of individuals not even charged with a crime.

The Ohioans I knew would not conscience the covert dismantling of the Bill of Rights, the arrogant cronyism that places corporate self-interest above the popular will, and a government that cows its citizens with endless speculation of horrific attacks by nameless bogeymen straight out of a cheap dime-novel.

Above all, the Ohioans I knew did not care to be lied to by the people they trust. And if there is a dark side to being an Ohioan, it is that we never forget an act of betrayal. We carry our memories well and long.
And it's never too late to settle an old score.

Presidents come and -- hopefully, in this case -- go. But the day will come when the PD may be asked to explain why, at the precise moment when its wisdom and resolve could have made a difference, it cast its lot with an administration whose only gift to Ohio will be four more years of war, lost jobs, sinking incomes, gutted educational systems, deteriorating infrastructure, declining social services and local municipalities scraping to survive.

If the Ohio I remember still exists, you'd best have one hell of a spectacular excuse.

Pittsburgh, PA