Orlando Anniversary

Hard to believe it’s been a year since then. I won’t write a long post, I don’t have much to say about it that hasn’t already been said. But this was a big deal for me, I’m too young to remember 9/11 well so I never truly understood the emotional impact that had on people, so for me this was the biggest American tragedy that I remember. And the first time I ever really felt scared to be gay. I feel safe where I am, but I’m sure people felt safe in Orlando too.

Democrats Need To Get A Grip

During the eight years Obama held the presidency, Republicans went crazy with conspiracy theories. Obama is a secret Muslim, Obama was born in Kenya, Obama hates white people, Obama is going to take away our guns. None of this was true, of course, and Democrats prided themselves on being in touch with reality.

Five months into Trump’s presidency, I can no longer say my party’s voters are more sensible. The majority of us keep our criticisms based in reality, and between scandals and bad policy there’s plenty of material to work with. But so many Democrats think the “rogue white house” twitter accounts are real, even though there’s zero evidence they are. Crazy people like Louise Mensch have followers on the left. People are eager to believe anything that confirms their biases, no matter how unreliable the source. The end result is that people I thought were sane now believe in conspiracy theories. Someone I know who’s perfectly intelligent is convinced that every Republican member of Congress is compromised by the Russians.

More than anything, rhetoric has become unhinged. People who support Trump are complicit, they’re traitors. We must impeach Trump and remove him from office immediately. There’s a civil war coming, and we gotta be prepared.

Put down the crack pipe and come back to earth! I was scared when Trump got elected, and I said some stupid stuff at the time that I now look back and laugh about. But it’s been 6 months since the election and it’s time to calm down. Trump is obviously corrupt, but until we get an independent investigation and uncover strong proof, there’s no way he’s going to be removed. You are not going to die the instant you set foot into a red state. Half of America made the wrong choice about who to vote for in November, but half of America does not consist of a horde of neo-nazis with flaming pitchforks killing liberals wherever they find them.

Trump is a terrible president. We don’t need to make shit up or blow things out of proportion to make him look bad. Doing that only makes us look bad.

Can We Trust Jeff Pastor?

Jeff Pastor is running a great campaign, no doubt about that. His story and campaign appeal to both poor black people in the hood and working class people on the West Side. Raised by a single black mother, he calls the working poor the “forgotten class” and acknowledges how they fall between the gaps because they make too much money to qualify for government assistance but too little to get their families out of poverty. His platform calls for increasing education funding, improving metro to connect people to jobs, and creating a housing court, a platform the majority of Cincinnatians can get behind. His involvement with the black community and the fact that his wife is black are a reassurance that he’s not a self hating Uncle Tom. And he has a great social media presence.

Pastor is also wise enough to have avoided making public statements about the presidential race. However, according to a Trump supporter on the Greater Cincinnati Politics facebook page, Pastor told him that he campaigned for Trump. In any other election year, I wouldn’t care that the Republican candidate voted for the Republican candidate for President, but this was Trump. If Pastor thinks Trump was the better choice, I question his judgment. If he just did it to curry favor with the Hamilton County Republicans, he’s unprincipled.

He is also intentionally vague on policy. We all agree with his goals, but do we agree with his tactics? For most Democrats, I suspect the answer is no, but we can’t be sure because he rarely goes into details. According to this Cincinnati Business Courier article, Pastor wants to privatize the streetcar, which is a stupid idea. He does appear to walk the walk when it comes to improving public education. He supported the public schools levy in 2016, and he’s standing up against schools being funded by property taxes, which leads to inequality in Ohio schools. Unfortunately like he says, the city has no control over this. The fact that he’s a charter school teacher makes me wary also. That’s how his whole candidacy makes me feel; there’s nothing explicitly terrible about it, but I feel like he’s hiding something from us.

I’m not voting for Jeff Pastor. But love him or hate him, he’s gonna win this election. I’m fine with that. If nothing else, he’ll probably be a step up from the yahoos currently on council. It’s not like we can do worse.

What do you think of Jeff Pastor? And does he have any more detailed policy ideas like the ones listed in the Courier article that I may have missed? If so, leave a link in the comments.

Yvette Simpson: Inspiring, But Vague

Yvette’s story of rising from poverty to become a successful lawyer and member of city council is an inspiration to us all. Her personal experience with poverty is a reassurance that she will prioritize the poor in this city and that she understands the issues people face. I like the ideas and initiatives she has written and spoken about, such as attracting 21st century jobs, improving metro, and trying to prevent violence at its root cause in addition to supporting police. But ideas are one thing, specific plans are another, and results are what we really want and we don’t have much of those from her. On her site, she says she will “work to attract jobs of the future by prioritizing the preparation of Queensgate for middle-class employers.” How is she going to prepare Queensgate for middle-class employers? Who knows. She’s on the transportation committee but hasn’t introduced any legislation related to metro in her years on council. Until quite recently, she hadn’t done anything to address our problems with heroin either. Sittenfeld and Mann are the only members of council who seem to have made an effort on that very important issue. I don’t trust either mayoral candidate on this, sadly.

Even Yvette supporters I have talked to do not tout her achievements, they talk about how she is a “real progressive,” how she’s a good person, and how Cranley sucks and is a DINO. I don’t care who’s more progressive, Cranley isn’t a DINO, and I don’t vote based on who I’d rather get a beer with. I’m not a fan of Cranley’s term as mayor (to put it mildly), but we could be doing worse. Will Yvette actually do a better job? I can’t tell. And does she really prioritize people in the city, or is she more focused on fighting with Cranley? She’s spent more of her time in city council fighting for the streetcar than fighting for poor people or the black community. Skinfolk ain’t necessarily kinfolk; take a look at Smitherman and Wendell Young. Then again, it’s not like Cranley has done much to help people in Cincinnati either apart from his friends.

As it is, I’m leaning towards Yvette, but I’m skeptical. Her campaign site is more fleshed out than it was during the primary, which I appreciate, and she may wow me during the mayoral debates. I’ll just have to wait and see, and research in the meantime.

Welcome!

This is my first post of what will hopefully be many on my first blog! I’m planning on mostly writing about politics, but I don’t plan on limiting myself. Whatever I write about, I’ll try my best to say something about it that hasn’t been said many times before.