It was great to see so many friends in one place as was at the Open Ohio Rally on the steps of the Hamilton Court House on 5/9/20. I wasn’t sure what to expect, there was a similar rally in West Chester at the Voice of America Park, but I wanted to hear George Lang talk, so I went to the one in Hamilton. These freedom events were actually happening all across the state upset at the draconian measures that occurred under the Mike DeWine administration over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, I was impressed with the media coverage. Most of the television media was there to cover the event as was the various newspapers and it appears they gave it a fair shake, as was obvious by the Channel 5 broadcast. But I really thought Mark Welch, Nancy Nix and George Lang did a great job speaking about why the lockdown measures needed to be lifted faster than they were and what the true impact of the government reaction to the coronavirus locally truly has been.
Even more impressive to me were the many people who drove by and honked in support. If you believe the polling most people are terrified to return to normal after two months of nothing but coronavirus discussion everyday on the news. Government has used these polls to justify this slow reopening of Ohio and other states around the country and the point of this rally was to demand that government move faster. I was moving around a lot and didn’t get much coverage of Nancy’s speech and Mark’s but I did get all of George’s and you can hear a lady in the background getting pretty rambunctious. She was mad at George because as a member of government she didn’t feel he was doing enough to get things moving, and she was even angrier that he wasn’t ready to cut off Amy Acton’s head and stick it on a pike. After his speech George did seek the woman out to talk to her. As it turned out, she wasn’t even in George’s district, she had a different rep whom she didn’t know. What she did know was that she was angry and she wanted someone to pay for what had happened to her and her country.
But it was in the little acts of rebellion that caught my attention, the many burnouts that were occurring there in front of the courthouse, the revved up engines, the hollering that was emitting from many open car windows as they drove by, people were pretty upset and it got the attention of the news. Going to the event I wasn’t sure how many people would turn out on a chilly May day, but it was an impressive gathering even though Governor DeWine had already announced the reopening schedule of Ohio—for many people it wasn’t fast enough. The main problem was that government had stuck itself in between people and their lives to a point where very uncomfortable truths were obvious, and the protesters at the rally understood those truths. They were an educated group who understood what was at stake and the politicians there to give their speeches were smarter than the average bear.
Normally at these kinds of things, the protestors are viewed as a little too extreme, but that wasn’t the case this time. If anything, the feeling was “why didn’t we do this sooner?” Well, people want to trust their government and part of the hurt in the protestors at this event was that they felt let down by people they wanted to trust, but found out they couldn’t. Its kind of like finding out that a spouse cheated on you. You still love them but they broke your heart and you’ll never feel the same way about them again. That was what was obvious at this Hamilton rally that I hadn’t seen before. These were established Butler County politicians who are very much mainstream Republicans who were heartbroken that the DeWine administration had screwed up so badly with the coronavirus outbreak that personal liberties were not respected in any context and that subtle disappointment was the theme of the day. The protestors understood that Amy Acton and her boss, Mike DeWine had really screwed the pooch on Ohio’s lockdowns, and had led the country to their own version of doom. DeWine’s Ohio went well beyond where Trump had started under the CDC guidelines and it went on for way too long, and now people were ready for a fight. By the way it looked to me, the people at that event were nice, normal people who would rather be thinking about baseball and backyard cookouts for Mother’s Day. Instead, they were a few weeks away from creating a militia and taking over Ohio government at gunpoint. The lockdowns couldn’t end any faster.
I wasn’t sure how people would feel about masks, social distancing, and other CDC countermeasures that had been talked about everyday for the last several months, but I’ll say it was nice to shake hands with people again. Most of the people didn’t bring masks, had no regard for social distancing at all and were more than ready to get back to a normal life. Professionally I have to be very aware of people’s feelings about those kinds of things since the government has scared everyone to death daily about the Covid-19 being a death sentence. But at the rally, people were done with that garbage and that was the best part of the day. The voodoo science of Doctor Doom Fauci from the CDC was in the rear-view mirror for those participants and they aren’t stupid people just being reckless. They are sick of the government lying to them to save their own ass from the terrible decisions they made to shut down our economy and ruin our lives these past several months. It was good to hear so many people utter common sense once again and regain their courage in the light of day.
Regardless of the intentions, the answer was never more clear. Government doesn’t work when it tries to rule the world through collective aristocracy and kingdom rule, which is what Mike DeWine naturally assumed under a crisis. He being a timid person himself put our state, nation, and culture under care based on his level of comfort regarding risk, and that was a disaster. Mark Welch, Nancy Nix, and George Lang all understand how dangerous that is and the results were all around us, and they were able to articulate the problem with clarity, which is a new thing in this age of Trump. Even with all the problems, the best thing about all this is that it has given people a real appreciation for their freedoms which they might have overlooked if not for the lockdowns. And now they were far more vigilant. This crowd at the Open Ohio Rally was not an anti-government Tea Party crowd, they were normal people pissed off at the intrusion of their personal liberties and that is a change. These were people who would have rather been doing anything else but attending a political rally, yet there they were. The DeWine lockdowns had inspired in them a new appreciation for their freedoms and a yearning for liberty that had otherwise been stuck in a closet like an unused toy, only rediscovered after years of neglect. And the results were inspiring and showed a hope for the future that otherwise might have never been.
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