My letter to Paul Hackett, Dem with a Spine
Hackett comes from a place so profoundly right-wing that locals joke car dealers in that part of the state don't bother to put left-turn signals on the cars they sell. In spite of that, he not only had a good run - he even stood for vigorous support of us GLBT folk. *
* Hat-tip, Pam at Pam's House Blend.
Dear Serviceman Hackett:
I am a former Ohio resident. I was born (1968) and raised in Dayton, spent my post-college years in Cincinnati, and finally spent my last seven Ohio years, ending in August 2004, in Columbus.
Mr. Hackett, I left Ohio precisely because my beloved Northern Midwestern State has turned into a right-wing bastion of narrow-minded, exclusively-Christian, bigoted selfishness and hate: I made it a point to move before the 2004 election because, to be utterly frank, I just plain could not take the crap any more.
Today, I was deeply saddened to read you were stepping out of the Senate race: it has been a long, long, long time since I heard a truly liberal, truly pragmatic, truly level-headed-yet-impassioned voice coming from what used to be my beloved home (Carol Graff, Howard Metzenbaum come to mind). I desperately wish those fools in the Ohio Democratic Party gave you the credit you are due and the chance you deserve.
To be yet more blunt, given what "Ohio" has become, I anticipate growing into middle and then old age in Rochester, New York. Given I am an American-born Persian, a Jew-by-choice, and a gay man in a long-term relationship, Ohio is neither a comfortable nor safe place for me to live - and the greater irony yet is that I am a medical professional and my long-time partner an astrophysicist with post-doctoral training.
Sir, kindly do Ohio's citizens, poor, disenfranchised, ill, swept-aside vets (my clinical time illustrated how Republicans - both Ohio and Federal - behave towards Vets: HORRIBLY), non-Christian, and gay-lesbian folks a favor and embrace the Latin bit of common wisdom "nolite tes bastardes carborondorum" (don't let the bastards get you down).
The reality is, while many fools with voter registration cards and Rush-Limbaugh-tuned radios live, mouth-breath, and vote around you, the reality of what is happening today demands someone of your caliber: who else is there, at least in Ohio, to stem the tide of right-wing stupidity?
The Ohio Democratic Party is no less guilty - some of the bullshit and back-biting actually made the news out here: I am truly sorry that you, of all people, were the victim of your own.
And, while I can see you may want or even need some time off, I hope you do not give up: not only are there are a lot of people in Ohio who need someone like you, there are a few key Democrats who, frankly, well-deserve a fist in their face too. I'm guessing you'd be well-qualified to act on both counts!
Please accept my sincerest wishes for success - as well as a promise to contribute to any of your future campaigns. While I cannot see reason for me to return to Ohio, deep down in my memory, despite the hatred and discrimination the Ohio government has shown me, "Ohio" will always be "home."
You know, if this is not cause to eviscerate the self-proclaimed moderate turncoats, who offer self-serving decisions cloaked in "bipartisanship" and "cooperation," I dunno what is.
Suggesting we Boycott Ohio,