June 18, 2019
Opinion & Editorial

A Country Divided Cannot Stand

Air Force Reserve Senior Master Sgt. John Daniels speaks with Senator Brown in Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown Air Reserve Station 

My grandfather was a political science professor for over fifty years. He walked my mom to the polls when she was eligible to vote, and he taught her an important political truth. Most people in the world have a political vocabulary of just one word: Yes. In the United States, we have been given a political vocabulary of two words, including the most powerful word of all: No. This Tuesday, Americans have the privilege of voting in a midterm election. This election may be the most important in our lifetime. We should vote for candidates, Republican or Democratic, who are committed to restoring bipartisan cooperation in our executive and legislative branches.

Many Republicans, seeking office in Ohio, have chosen a divisive political path that is in alignment with President Trump’s controversial rhetoric and policies. In the U.S. Senate race, Republican Congressman Jim Renacci has defended Trump’s dehumanizing demagoguery toward people of color from “s—hole countries.” Additionally, Renacci has not promoted any bipartisan policies throughout his campaign. His opponent, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, on the other hand, has demonstrated a willingness to reach across the aisle. He worked with Trump in the last congressional session to update and reform NAFTA.

In the gubernatorial race, Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and former Democratic Attorney General Richard Cordray have sparred repeatedly on the issues, but they have mostly refrained from inflammatory partisan language. Their differences are policy-based and fall along party lines.

In Ohio’s 12th district, Danny O’Connor is fighting for a historically conservative seat against Troy Balderson. In O’Connor’s campaign ad, he asserts that he will work with congressional Republicans and President Trump to rebuild this country: “We have a chance to send a message, not about partisanship, but about pragmatism.” Balderson’s campaign is not reflective of this kind of bipartisan tolerance. He continuously attacks Nancy Pelosi, and her “liberal gun-grab.” Balderson also could not provide an example to The Columbus Dispatch of one time he disagreed with President Trump, who calls Democrats “treasonous” and “un-American.” Most alarmingly, Balderson said in a Zanesville rally, “We don’t want somebody from Franklin County representing us.” Franklin County is the most populous county in Ohio, representing nearly 1.3 million Ohioans.

Our country has not been this divided since the 1860s. In one week, an attempted mass assassination was launched against prominent Democratic leaders, supporters, and CNN by a rabid Trump supporter who had attended many of his incendiary rallies. Instead of recognizing this plot as an attack against America, President Trump blamed the victims for bringing the violence upon themselves and vowed to “. . . really tone it (rhetoric) up.”

The deadliest attack against Jewish citizens in the United States occurred days later killing 11 victims. A gunman, who blamed George Soros and other Jewish globalists for supporting the “caravan,” opened fire in a synagogue, shouting, “All Jews must die!” President Trump has repeatedly failed to provide a unified message during moments of national crisis.

There are 35 Senate seats at stake and 435 House seats up for grabs. Currently in the House, democratic enthusiasm among young voters, women, and PoC is paying off for the Democrats, and they are slated to win at least 216 seats. The Senate will likely go to the Republicans, but with this year’s record voter turnout, there is a chance the Dems could get lucky. Fifty seats are projected Republican, while 45 should go to the Democrats, and there are five that are still considered tossups.

If you are 18 and haven’t voted yet, you have one more day. Some of our own Academy boys fought in wars and sacrificed their lives, ensuring our democracy would survive. Two were from the class of ‘36. George Winger died on a bombing mission over Ploesti fields in Romania. Jack Farrar was killed when his plane was hit by a Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

Everyday our military puts their lives on the line to protect our freedom. The least we can do is vote.