Thursday, November 11, 2004

A note from an Ohio "Blue"

Eric Gardner, my long-time friend, fellow OU alumnus, and man of a thousand beard styles, sends this from Cleveland (I'm quoting with his permission):


Just a note of hello and reassurance. Even though Ohio went "red" (for Mr. Bush), there exist here a sizable (no, not all overweight, although too many of us are) minority of "blues" (and we are unrelated to the"Blues" and the "Talls," those extra-terrestrials purported to be living in our midst out in New Mexico).

In "Civil Disobedience," Henry David Thoreau reminds us that voting is much more about expediency than it is any sort of guarantee of determining correct moral or political action. He cautions us against weakly expressing our desire for virtuous outcomes by way of voting and instead implores us to "Cast [our] whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but [our] whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight."

"Blue" Ohioans will surely exert positive resistance to check any extremist or absurdist "red" policies--Thoreau's "counter friction to stop the machine" [of government]. We must continue to educate and inform ourselves to do so best. Let us begin each to resist positively in our own way. I have already shaved my mustache and am growing a Lincoln beard ("Mr. Bush, I knew Abraham Lincoln...and you're no Abraham Lincoln.").

I hope this note helps. I find it hard to speak for and defend the whole state of Ohio, but even at the risk of megalomania, felt I should say something.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, Jon. Your friend Eric is right on the mark: all of us disappointed voters/talkers/activists/wishers have to get to work rather than moving to Canada.
--senioritis (Becky)

Jonathan Benda said...

Actually, I had toyed with the idea of swearing that I wouldn't go back to the U.S. until Bush was out of office. I had read that Pierre Salinger moved to France after Bush won the first time. But I think my visiting to the States or not really wouldn't make much of a difference either way... (And my parents probably wouldn't be happy if we stayed away another 4 years!)