In their first joint press conference, Ted Strickland and Ken Blackwell upheld the tradition of Ohio politics by not going into great detail on the great moral issues of the day. Of course, Strickland is infinitely preferable to the opportunistic Bush family sycophant, J. Katrina Blackwell.
One thing they could agree upon was excluding the Libertarian and Green Party gubernatorial candidates. Apparently, they were massively afraid that a real debate might perhaps break out and democracy might flourish. Indeed, there’s nothing more subversive than a marketplace of ideas. When asked by Bill Cohen, of Ohio Public Radio, what he thought about the two “minor” party candidates being left out of the event, Blackwell looked uncomfortable and mumbled, “Keep working,” and then ran. Literally ran out of the room. The video will be on the website soon.
I’ve thought long and hard about the bizarre nit-picking debate on the internet blogs over my exact words on how I would handle the Ohio National Guard situation. So let me be as frank as possible. If they would have let me in the debate, here’s what I would have said: I will do everything humanly possible to end the unjust and criminal war being illegally waged in Iraq. I will issue every order possible to block the deployment of the Ohio National Guard. I will give sanctuary to every soldier who seeks to disobey the illegal orders of the president of the United States. I will convene a committee of noted human rights scholars like Professor John Quigley at Ohio State to see whether the president should be tried as a war criminal.
Now my pragmatic friends, what’s Ted Strickland’s position on the war? Or, J. Kenneth Blackwell? The Democratic Party risks going the way of the Whigs, who refused to take a stand on the moral issue of its day – slavery. On basic principles of human rights, we cannot compromise on torture, illegal spying and criminal illegal wars. What defines us as Americans is not how much ass we can kiss with the powers that be, but that long tradition of direct dissent against the powers that be. Is my position clear enough?
Is my position clear enough?