One aspect of this modern Republican Party that has evolved over the last decade in Butler County is that it is very effective and surprisingly unified. I had been thinking about it for a while, but the matter became quite clear for me at the launch event for George Lang’s run for senate in Ohio. While there I found myself associating in a friendly way with many people, I would have called rivals years ago. Suddenly they were friends largely because the party had united so well behind the Trump administration. Ten years ago, we called more liberal Republicans RINOs while I ran more with the Tea Party Crowd. Then during the primaries, everyone had their various picks. Some liked Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or his dad Ron. Others liked the way the Bush family ran things. I was from the very beginning a Trump supporter, so there were obvious disagreements when Republicans came together for something like a public announcement by a great politician like George Lang. But at this most recent event I couldn’t help but notice how unified everyone was and it was good to see.
After George made his announcement and many politicians came forth to give their endorsement and tell stories of why they supported George through testimonials, seen in the video above, Sherriff Jones and I reminisced a bit about the last ten years while walking through the parking lot of Miami University’s Hamilton campus. As we talked it became obvious to me that the Trump presidency, which has deep roots into Butler County, had gone a long way to uniting Republicans in a way I could have only dreamed of. And it was only natural that a person like George Lang could build bridges in a positive way with all the different types of people that were in the Republican Party and get so many people to come forward to say such nice things. The Trump administration in all its genius had united Republicans in ways that just weren’t possible prior to 2016 and I was very happy to see it.
During all this contemplation I was thinking about why I liked George Lang so much and had for such a long time. I was very happy to hear that he was running for a senate seat, but I wasn’t sure why until after his announcement event. It wasn’t just that I liked him as a person, it was for another reason, a more important one. I have been involved in politics at many different levels for several decades, and it has been my choice to stay on the outside as much as possible to avoid too much corrosive contact. But I have never felt that way about George, whom I have now known for well over a decade. Even in the hardest of times George has always been a solid person and loyal to free market ideas, especially when they weren’t all that popular. Yet to my eyes he has always been constantly a good person, and that was rare in politics.
A lot of my reason for staying on the outside looking in, even when the door was wide open to step inside, was that I have always viewed politics as a dirty business and honestly, I don’t like the dirt. I’m happy to sling mud when challenged, but personally, I’d rather think about big things and find ways to bring about larger concepts to people. So politics just wasn’t conducive to that kind of thing. However, over time, George has pounded away his own kind of honesty in politics and it has shown to be a different way of doing business as a politician. George can still go out and raise the money it takes to run big campaigns, and associate with people all along the very fine edge of the political spectrum without becoming so disagreeable that relationships are no longer possible. George had found a way to work within the political spectrum of Republican politics at the local and state level without losing himself along the way and to me that is enormously encouraging.
Political enemies of George might want to roll their eyes at my assessment, but I have been with George through some perilous times and I know the guy well. I know his family and a dishonest person just can’t cut it with those kinds of relationships. George is an honest person who stands by the people close to him through thick and thin and oozes sincerity. Sure, there is always someone out there who wants him to do something that he doesn’t want to do, or that he disagrees with, but he never seeks to make an enemy out of them. Yet he has a tendency to stand resolute and that does make enemies. But that’s part of the territory. You can know a person by the way they are when the cameras are not around and nobody else is looking. And in those conditions, George Lang is the same good person. That ultimately is why I like George Lang so much; he takes the dirt out of politics.
George was going to be successful in politics whether or not President Trump ever entered the White House, but due to the current political circumstances, a politician and businessman like George Lang is poised to do much greater things than ever before. Under the Trump administration good people like Lang have far more clout than the back-room dealers of yesteryear and that was as much of a relief to the other Republicans giving testimony about George’s qualifications for higher office as it was me. Truly we are experiencing a new day in politics, something that none of us had ever seen. Trump’s presidency had like a vacuum sucked up all the disjointed disagreements and plotting for power that used to go on for the sake of obtaining any elected office and replaced it with a sincere effort to be a part of a greatness in keeping America great now that it has been built that way once again.
There is tremendous room in the years to come to make Ohio one of the great economic powerhouses of the world and George Lang sees it, he has always seen it. I remember a very dark time when he and I stood in the parking lot of a restaurant and contemplated the universe and how unfair it seemed at the time. Neither of us thought we’d be able to do much to help it. But George has always been the same person, from that hard time to the opulent present, he’s had the kind of integrity that is contagious to other people and a real desire to help people reach their full potential in life. And for George, that is as a senator doing great work now that the Trump administration has set the pace for allowing such audacious dreams to happen.
You can tell a lot about a person by the type of people who will actually come forward and provide an endorsement, and on that day a wide range of people who have been in public office for a long time came forward and said nice things about George, and the event was a great unifier. If one little event can show that kind of solidarity toward purpose, just think what a senate term in the Ohio Statehouse could provide. The prospect is very exciting and is something we can all look forward to with George Lang as the 4th District Senator in Ohio.
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