Ward: The mourning afterWritten by Lisa Renee Ward | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The morning after an election can inspire a mixture of thoughts and emotions. On Nov. 3, I kept flashing back to a quote from the movie “Coyote Ugly.”
“You ever wake up sober after a one-night stand and the guy laying on your arm is so ugly you’d rather chew your arm off than wake him? … That’s coyote ugly.”
In Lucas County, more registered voters did not vote than voted. Did they wake up the morning after the election and wish they could take back the day before and vote?
On Twitter, I saw a comment from a young man who stated he was “Too tired to vote, so I’m going to vote myself to sleep.” Did he wake up happy that morning with the choices those who voted made for him?
Typically, voters will return someone to office if they’ve felt they’ve done a good job. Here in Lucas County, voters did just that with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez. At the state officeholder level, that did not happen Nov. 2.
In Ohio and across the nation, people are angry. Yet did some of them wake up the morning after voting against someone rather than for someone and wonder?
A similar “Coyote Ugly” morning theme would be when you wake up and wonder how so many people who you share a part of the country with can be so uninformed.
Before and after the failure of Issue 5, the Toledo Public Schools (TPS) levy, comments were made by some in the public that “TPS should just be shut down and the private schools and vouchers should replace it.”
States are constitutionally required to provide a public education system. States have limited control over private schools, and our U.S. Constitution places limits on the funding of private schools. There’s this little thing called the “Establishment Clause.”
Setting aside the federal and state constitutionality and funding issues, if you shut down TPS tomorrow, the current private and charter school system isn’t large enough to serve the student population. If they expand, where do you think the teaching and other staff will come from? Probably TPS.
It’s popular to blame the Toledo Federation of Teachers Union (TFT) for what ails our public school system, but while the TFT deserves part of the blame, eliminating TFT is not going to eliminate the problems.
Others who were against Issue 5 focused on the “unconstitutional form of funding” Ohio uses for public schools. We could debate the present constitutional status of Ohio’s school funding, but for the sake of this column, let’s say it is unconstitutional. How does voting against it change that when TPS, as well as every other school district in Ohio, has no control over that?
We have one side blaming unions, the other blaming corporations, when the reality is most of us in this area don’t belong to a union or own a corporation.
It’s popular to say in Lucas County the majority always votes for Democrats but the highest number of registered voters in our county are unaffiliated voters who don’t declare a party during partisan primaries.
The Nov. 2 election results also show that’s not true when you look at the judicial races. Justice Maureen O’Connor, Judge Steven Yarbrough and Justice Judith Lanzinger were the top vote-getters in Lucas County. Lanzinger received 72.47 percent of the unofficial vote count, which was the highest percentage of any candidate, with the exception of Michael Ashford, who received 76.13 percent of the vote for his run for State Representative for District 48. Democrats voted for Republicans.
The pundits and the political parties will focus on why they won or how they lost for the next week or so; a few months from now when promises made are not delivered, the next wave of political rhetoric will begin, some of it fueled by those of the party who lost, some of it fueled by voter remorse.
All too often, we pick the candidate who tells us what we want to hear rather than the truth. It’s becoming more popular to vote against rather than for, to demand someone else fix the problems and to blame the problems on anyone but ourselves.
The truth can be ugly, which is why so many don’t want to face it, especially the morning after an election.
Lisa Renee Ward operates the political blog GlassCityJungle.com.