I am not from Ohio. I knew nothing about Ohio or Cincinnati before coming here. I am from a small state outside Philly. From that small state, I had travelled all over the country, and Ohio was a place I drove through without much thought. Then I met a smart, beautiful, talented woman, and she and Ohio became home.
Five years ago my future wife was starting law school in the Nati. We have stayed past her graduation because I started working on a PhD and she found a decent job. I have grown to love Ohio, especially Cincinnati, despite its many economic, social and cultural contradictions; its bubbling undercurrents of unrest and inequality. It is a good home with good people who have lived here a long time and will die here, having continued and grown a community that is not found in so many places in the U.S. anymore; that did not exist, does not exist, not in the same way, in my suburban home state.
Still, this morning I awoke frustrated. I wanted Ohio to change and it wouldn’t. And I don’t mean change in the Democratic and Republican sense of the word (anyone but Bush!). I mean in the let us alter our course sense of change. I wanted Ohio to be progressive and it wasn’t. I don’t mean in the liberal democrat sense of progressive. I mean the progressive that appeals for positive movement (one’s positive is another’s ‘not so much’).
What I love in Ohio, in Cincinnati is what I am frustrated by today (it now appears even Texas may have made some claims to change and progress). The roots here are strong and as a person who never had this before it is endearing, it is good for the heart, but when it means that we refuse to move away from the system that has lead Ohio to stagnation, to a lose in population due to lack of good jobs and to a general malase and/or angst amongst those who remain, it makes me worry for the future of this fine place.
There are small signs. The governor (granted he was running against a possibly very corrupt individual). And even yesterday, my beloved Hamilton Country voted in a surprising fashion. But is it enough? What will come in November? Will we keep the country from progress, from change? I hope not.