Does Government Matter?
On March 9, 1945, over three hundred planes of the United States Army Air Force attacked Tokyo, Japan with incendiary bombs. History books tell us that the weather was good. This late in World War II, Japan had no effective air defenses. Over 80,000 people were killed and over a quarter million buildings were destroyed by the raid. Historians debate whether Allied air raids like this were necessary and justified. Leaving those issues aside, there can be no question that the Tokyo air raid was a direct consequence of the decision by the Imperial Japanese government to attack the United States on December 7, 1941.
The Japanese who died that day in March 1945 had no say in selecting the men who led their country. Nonetheless, those Japanese died because of their leaders’ bad decisions. We can see the same phenomenon today in news photos of Russian conscripts killed in Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. While Russia goes through the form of elections, there is no choice other than Putin.
For the time-being, the United States is different from Imperial Japan and Putin’s Russia. We still have a meaningful right to choose our government leaders. That right is under attack.
The attack proceeds on many fronts. Last Friday, two federal judges appointed by donald trump decreed that Ohio must elect its General Assembly in 2022 using districts which the Ohio Supreme Court has repeatedly held violate the Ohio Constitution because they are so skewed in favor of Republicans.
A week or so ago, the high profile Conservative Political Action Committee (“CPAC”) held a major meeting in Budapest, Hungary to hear Hungarian prime minister Victor Orban. Orban’s accomplishments in Hungary have included bringing the country’s media under government domination, using government funds and platforms to campaign for his party, and gerrymandering the Hungarian Parliament so that less than 50% of the vote gives his party a majority of the seats. Wonder what CPAC wants to learn from Orban. More locally, Peter Thiel, mentor to and a huge financial backer of Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance, has publicly said that “’capitalist democracy’ is an oxymoron.”
Democracy Under Threat
A strong case can be made that democracy in America is under more serious threat than ever before in our history. What should we do? In Ohio, fighting back starts with getting a General Assembly that fairly represents Ohioans. The illegal districts forced on us this year will be re-drawn for 2024. We must have a Democratic majority on the Redistricting Commission which will draw those districts. With all due respect to our State Supreme Court, we have seen this year that it is incapable of giving Ohio fair districts from which to elect our lawmakers. We must win a majority on the Commission this year.
The Commission will always have one Democrat and one Republican from each house of the General Assembly as members. The Commission’s swing votes are the three executive officers who are members: the Governor, the Secretary of State, and the State Auditor. While it is important to elect Democrats to every office, electing Nan Whaley as Governor, Chelsea Clarke as Secretary of State, and Taylor Sappington as State Auditor must be our top priority in 2022. If we don’t, we may soon find that the Republican supermajority in the legislature has made it impossible to vote for anyone but Republicans. Yes, it can happen here.
The August Primary Election
Part two of the 2022 primary election will happen on August 2. In Clermont County, this will elect candidates for our two new state house districts, and it will elect a man and a woman to serve on the Democratic and Republican Party state central committees. Turnout for Primary Election Part Two is expected to be abysmal. Those of you in the northwestern part of the County in new District 62 already know who your state house candidates will be. Democrat Brian Flick will run in November against the woman who said that becoming pregnant from being raped is an “opportunity” for the woman. The choice here is a no-brainer.
Most of Clermont County, and western Brown County, is in the new District 63. Democrats in District 63 must vote in the August 2 primary. We need you to write in Rich Perry for State House District 63. We must get Rich at least fifty votes to get his name on the November ballot. Vote by mail, vote early in person in Batavia, or vote at your polling place on August 2. However you do it, write in Rich Perry. The August 2 primary is not an election to pass on.
Every even-numbered year, the Clermont County Democratic Party reorganizes. This means our elected Central Committee members meet to choose Central Committee officers and a new Executive Committee. The new Executive Committee then elects new Party officers. This year our meeting will be at noon on Saturday, June 4. Because we are not yet completely free of Covid and we do not want anyone to have to choose between their health and their right to vote, the meeting will be held on Zoom, hosted by the Ohio Democratic Party. The Zoom link has been mailed to every Central Committee member. Please call or e-mail me if you have not received it by Thursday. I can be reached at 513-236-5426 or email@example.com. We also need to give ODP a phone number and e-mail address for every Central Committee member and for our Club representatives on the Executive Committee. That is how ODP will verify who is entitled to vote. Please give me or our Secretary Bonnie Carlier that information.
Democratic Party rules require that our reorganization meeting be public. To satisfy that requirement, the meeting will be live-streamed. I do not have the livestream information as I write this. If you are not a Central Committee member or a Club representative and want to watch the meeting, please contact me and I will get you the livestream information.