It’s a date in the future that will live in history, and maybe in infamy for Republicans, if commonsense progressives and enlightened independents join with dedicated Democrats to seize the day on Election Day next year, thereby exercising all that “We the people” stuff about the power of voting.
Next year on Nov. 6, our broken and abused democracy will offer the next great opportunity to replace hard-right leaders who have ruled Ohio, like Gov. John Kasich, House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, among others wrong-headed actors that also include most members of Ohio’s Republican-controlled General Assembly.
The hope is that they will be replaced by elected leaders who will right the wrongs and sins of the Kasich years in addition to the sins GOP leaders have delivered to Ohioans going back to 1994, when Republicans in Washington and Columbus wrested control from Democrats.
Republicans have controlled Ohio from top to bottom, including all state-wide offices, the General Assembly, and the supreme court, for decades. Regardless of this daunting history, replacing them is only one election away – it always has been. Voters must turn out to out-vote them, just like Ohio State shows up to outscore Michigan each year when these fierce competitors end their football seasons by playing each other.
With next year being a mid-term election, and with history showing a typical 20 percent drop in voter turnout in non-presidential election years, Republicans believe they already have a running start to retain their political control.
Democrats have held the political power to alter elections for decades. But the tragedy of that reality is they apparently forget the purpose of voting each election. Electing the right people, who will do the right thing for them and as many people like them as possible, is an uphill climb. Electing selfish, elitist, mean, and hurtful politicians who do the right thing for the narrowest swath of people, seems a tough prize to claim.
If, as some Democrats argue, new messages delivered by new leaders is the panacea to winning big elections again, that new message and those new leaders, who are supposed to win the hearts and minds of Trump voters who feel left behind, have yet to be articulate or identified.
Do Democrats running for governor next year have that new message, and are they the new messengers? Only time will tell. Name a topic – jobs, guns, healthcare, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, women, taxes, drugs, voting, immigrants, infrastructure, higher taxes on the wealthy, etc. – most voters agree with Democrats.
What time does tell us, though, is that regardless of message or messenger, voting is how we decide which political party will control the game board until the next election cycle. On those terms, Democrats have almost always outnumbered Republicans.
How dysfunctional do Republicans have to become before voters say fooey with them, and elect a new cast of leaders to run government well, as it should be, not as it has been by GOP officeholders who hate it and want to reduce it at all costs.
Rich corporations and individuals whose wealth is so staggering that the man left behind can’t fully grasp the abyss between them and the one percent, can out spend Democrats but they can’t out-vote them if Democrats do their duty and show up at the polls.
One election away. It’s not hard to conceive of. It is hard to do.
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