I now know that Ohio is a serious, serious battleground state for the US Presidential election. On Saturday, the WSJ ran an opinion piece entitled “The Self-Inflicted Economic Death of Ohio” in which Finn outlines all of the ways Ohioans have sabotaged their state’s economy. His thesis appears to be along the lines of: Ohio has not invested in its human capital infrastructure and what is being left are old men with no skills, education or prospects. And as this population ages, they demand more services from their government and therefore government is the only industry that is expanding. The implication is the population is getting dumber and dumber, “clinging more to guns and God.”
In today’s Washington Post, Findlay, Ohio (not ironically known as the Flag City) got an assault with an article that claims rumors about Obama are running rampant.
Here in Findlay, a Rust Belt town of 40,000, false rumors about Obama have built enough word-of-mouth credibility to harden into an alternative biography. Born on the Internet, the rumors now meander freely across the flatlands of northwest Ohio — through bars and baseball fields, retirement homes and restaurants.
All to the delight of the GOP, to be sure. McCain probably does not even need to campaign in Ohio as he can just let the dumb people spread rumors about his opponent and rely on the even dumber people to believe them.
In the end, the fate of Ohio will come down to race. And there are enough conservative while folk here in Ohio who will simply not vote for a black man. We’re too dumb to know that black folk can be smarter than white folk. After all, we can point to over 300,000 web pages that cite scientific evidence. (We can’t graduate from college, read an entire book cover to cover, but we can Google!) It may not be what this country needs or wants to talk about, but visit any bar, any hardware store, any Little League game, any soccer parent sideline and you’ll hear it. And it is deafening.
Stick around, kids, it will be getting interesting in the “Heart of it all” as this election revs up!
PHOTO (Shamelessly stolen from the Post): In Findlay, Ohio, Jim Peterman, 74, keeps hearing that Barack Obama is Muslim, or was born in Africa, or is hostile to the flag, and he’s no longer sure what to believe. “It’s hard to ignore what you hear when everybody you know is saying it,” he says. (By J.d. Pooley For The Washington Post)