Thursday, February 21, 2008

another day, another democrat

The students at Youngstown Chaney High were shoveling snow at sunrise in preparation for Hillary Clinton:

It was her second appearance in the Mahoning Valley in less than a week. Barack Obama and his staff came to Youngstown as well, filling the basketball arena at the university downtown:

And suddenly, in the eyes of the candidates and other politicians, Youngstown has become relevant again.

Reporters from the New York Times, npr, the Wall Street Journal, and other national media outlets have come to town to write their stories. Matt Lauer's interview with Senator Obama on Tuesday's Today Show prominently featured Youngstown and YSU to a national audience. Bits and pieces of Youngstown have appeared through the hundreds of other articles and blogs in print and on the internet.

The media's archetype of Youngstown is bubbling to the national surface again, with our "shot and a beer" mentalities and "hard scrabble" unionized temperaments.

Sometimes it's fun to join in on this working class aura, other times the realities show us there is much work to do.

Youngstown is what it is.

Like many communities, it's a combination of people with different opinions and different backgrounds, different sensibiliites.

It is what it is.

- - -

What's interesting to me are the similarities between presidential campaigns and cities.

In both cases, they are complex systems with many people and many different components with their opinions.

Some good, some bad . . . well here's mine:

When you choose a candidate, you are not just choosing one person. You are choosing their advisors, their political appointees, their cabinet, and the thousands and thousands of other people the President gets to install as head of the Executive Branch.

Maybe that's why the years of the Bush Presidency have been such a struggle: not only do we get George W. and his personal opinions, but we also have inherited the actions of his entire cadre of followers and policy makers.

Painting with a broad brush, the team now in power has drifted far away from the responsibilities of sound fiscal management as well as the protection of personal liberties.

So Youngstown, so Ohio, when you are making your choices in the upcoming elections, don't think of the candidates as individuals.

Do you want McCain and all the people he is affiliated with?
Do you want Clinton and all of her followers?
Do you want Obama and the staff he brings together?

Just like these campaigns, cities are more than just one person and their opinions.

Remember this, as you read all these media reports and go to the polls this year.

good luck.

1 comment:

Dave said...

good shit! great video links and nice thought provoking points near the end. starting to come to your blog for youngstown news instead of checking