Posts by: Thomas Givens

As we stare into the abyss of this primary selection season, reality only reinforces perceptions concerning the state of the American electorate. Our people are making choices that will dramatically affect the path of The United States going forward. The results of choices so far are on the whole, terrifying.

The rise of Trump, Cruz, Sanders and to a lesser extent Hillary, reflects the horrendous lack of knowledge of what was called civics when I attended high school. That course, complimented by American history courses, were designed to give students the basic knowledge of how American government works. For some […]

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If the Republican Primary season this election cycle has taught us anything it’s that we’ve seen the death of intelligence and a sense of shame in modern American politics. As I write this I can hear the chorus of all who say it died long ago. Wrong. It was in critical condition and on life support. Being something of a cockeyed optimist, I was hoping for a slow but steady recovery. Those dreams were dashed beyond repair during the last two Republican debates.

I once thought there couldn’t be a GOP primary line-up worse than the one fielded in 2012. […]

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“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Isaac Asimov, column in Newsweek, January 21, 1980.

The Trump train is a runaway. The Deadman switch to prevent disaster hasn’t worked as the Trump campaign hurtles towards Cleveland. It is belching smoke and cinders fueled by the most blatant, out in the open encouragement of white fear and […]

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As I look ahead towards the political hell scape we face for the next six months of primary season I can’t help but think of the late Hunter S. Thompson.

I mourn that in this election cycle we are bereft of Hunter’s intellect, acerbic wit, jaundiced eye and irreverent deconstruction of our two party nominating rituals. He would be eviscerating the Republican field. His utter disdain and well-known derision of the Bush clan would give brutal, piercing insight into Jeb! and his moribund campaign.

He’d have reveled in the sometimes vicious rhetoric being tossed blithely about between the two major Democratic […]

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The present anti-union climate that has openly manifested itself again in the Republican Party has a long and storied history.

Republicans were virulent in their opposition to the New Deal Wagner Act, which removed legal barriers to labor organization. They supported violent retribution in strikes, such as Dearborn police and Ford Security opening fire on unemployed auto workers, killing sixty. The atmosphere maintained the violent reaction of corporations toward the nascent growth of labor unions since the late 19th century into the 20th.

Ohio attempted to break unions in 1958 with an early “right-to-work” ballot initiative. It failed with a resounding […]

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Ohio, before and during, was a power player in shaping the War Between the States.

Ohio was a hot bed of Abolitionists. Harriet Beecher Stowe, early abolitionist newspapers, politicians (Salmon P. Chase for one) and Oberlin College were all from, about, or in Ohio. The Buckeye State was instrumental in the success of the Underground Railroad as a major path to Canada. Lincoln carried Ohio to become President.

Serving in Lincoln’s Cabinet were two former Ohio Governors, Salmon P. Chase (Appointed by Lincoln as Chief Justice of SCOTUS in 1864) and William Dennison. Lincoln’s powerful Secretary of War was Edwin […]

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Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) has some explaining to do.

He needs to explain to the people of Ohio exactly why it is a good idea to participate in an act of interference along with 46 other Republican Senators.

Senator Portman needs to share the reasoning as to why the Senate Republicans feel it is their right to undermine the Executive Branch in the arena of foreign policy. Why does the Junior Senator from Ohio feel he and his fellow caucus members need to undermine, attempt to derail, and imply the President and Secretary of State cannot negotiate in good faith […]

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All of the Ohio House and one third of the Senate are up for reelection this year. With the gerrymander from hell in full effect, there will likely be little movement in its composition. Another two years of absurdest, Republican radicalism will bring Ohio one step closer to being another Kansas and a lab and test market for draconian actions to create a Conservative utopia.

The gerrymandered districts will also restrict any real change in Ohio’s US House delegation. It will stay overwhelmingly Right Wing Republican. The days of Ohio as a moderate force in American politics is in the past, for now.


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As we careen down the home stretch of the Ohio mid-term elections, we have to focus on what is important: your vote.

We fight wars so others may exercise their franchise in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember the press and Bush Administration gushing about the purple fingers? Here in Ohio, the Kasich Administration simply gives us the finger.

Since 2011, the Ohio GOP has made a concerted effort to undo the reforms enacted after Ken Blackwell made Ohio ground zero for voter suppression and questionable shenanigans. Ohio was front page news (for the wrong reasons) in the run up to G.W. Bush’s […]

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On Wednesday, September 24, a three-judge panel of the Federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request from Ohio’s Secretary of State, Jon Husted, to delay a lower court ruling restoring “Golden Week” (when one can register and vote the same day) and cut days for early voting. Once more the federal judiciary was the only force keeping Ohio from becoming North Carolina-North.

As usual, Husted, along with Mike Dewine’s Attorney General’s office were once more appealing a loss in federal court. It is an experience both have had to the point where it is nearly a foregone conclusion. Husted has spent so […]

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In 2004, Ohio was the poster child for voter suppression. Secretary of State Ken Blackwell wowed America with his tactics. Refusing voter registrations because they were on the wrong weight paper; machine shortages in Democratic (read urban) precincts. Blackwell played fast and loose with provisional ballot procedures by narrowly interpreting law to exclude those who went to the wrong polling place, only issuing ballots to people who have recently moved, or other exclusive reasons not to permit a vote.

In short, Ohio was ground zero of hinky election practices.

People stood in the cold November rain for hours to try […]

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