An Ohioan Speaks Out

John Kasich, you are not Ohio.

Forgive me, but I’m going to generalize.

Ohioans are humble. You are not humble.

The smugliest of them all!
The smugliest of them all!

Ohio pride is rooted in the fact that Ohio shouldn’t have all that much to be proud of. We’re in the middle of the country, far from any glorious coastlines or mountain ranges. We have miles of flat nothingness. We have tornadoes and trees full of beautiful poisonous nuts. We have Cleveland, for golly’s sake (also full of poisonous nuts). But we love what we have, and we make the most of it. We celebrate Ohio State’s band. We extol our poisonous nuts by crafting delicious peanut butter treats in their image. We focus on the good stuff.

Ohioans let their actions do their talking. You let your talking do the talking.

We walk the proverbial walk. We farm the land, and when people used to build things, we were the people building things. Maybe it’s because we have nothing better to do, but we who played sports poured our souls into it, each and every day, rain or shine. That’s why we’re so much better than those lazy bums up in Michigan.

We treat our state and its variety of opinion with reverence. You treat Ohio as a bicolored vehicle for your own self-promotion.

Ohio is the heart of it all. It is home. I’ve mostly lived elsewhere since I was 18, yet I come home multiple times each year and breathe the comfortable nostalgia each time, not ironically. I still call it home, even though it sort of enabled George W. Bush to happen. You can’t pigeonhole or stereotype Ohio. We might be a year or two behind (OK, a decade), but we evolve. There’s something oddly wonderful about Bon Jovi still being played regularly on the radio, not ironically.

Bottom line: If you’d actually done anything in the great state of Ohio, people would have noticed. If you’d humbly carried on about your business like a true Ohioan, your actions would speak louder than your blathering words. One of these days, pop up High Street to The Ohio State University and see if you can funnel your passion about yourself into something bigger than yourself, something that unites rather than divides. That’s what Ohio, in all its glorious diversity and variation, is all about.

Let me leave you a little tip: Just slither away. Maybe to Michigan?


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