Why are Obama and Clinton running around Youngstown and its surrounding suburbs like it’s the newest thing since, well, whatever–you know that saying. It’s been so strange these recent days leading up to March 4th to see so much attention being paid to this area. Part of me, frankly, wants to give any of these people the finger. Where have they been all these years, and now they come into town, look around and see that the place has potential, as Hillary said last night to a packed crowd at a local high school, though there’s also these shots you find of them in the newspaper, or that you see if you’re at these events yourself, where they seem to have a vague look of disgust on their faces–that “get me out of this dump” look that you grow accustomed to seeing on the faces of visitors who are used to living in communities with better economies.
I’m torn between wanting to support someone who will actually help advocate and arrange for change in my community, because we desperately need it, and yet there is this part of me that says, “Don’t hold your breath, Chris, they want your vote, and then they’ll forget about this place, just like always.” Just like they’ve done with New Orleans, and other places that have suffered economic and natural catastrophes throughout history. When it comes to regions and cities that truly need help, I just haven’t seen any hands extended in my lifetime, and then they roll into town and tell people they’ll do this and that if they’re elected. So I voted today, because, like I said, I force myself to participate in what has, for me, been a political system that has done nothing but break the bond of trust between a people and its government for many years now. We’re products of our environment, partially at least, and since my environment is a region that has continually been used and abused by politicians for decades now, I have this instinct native to this region to not trust politicians. And yet I participate in the political process still hoping that one day, some day, one of these people who roll into town during particularly heated election periods like the one between Obama and Clinton, will actually keep their promises. I’m split between being a fool for hope and a distrusting cynic. The fool wins every time, and the cynic in me keeps on telling the fool, “When are you going to learn?” I hope one day that conversation can come to an end.
Hillary will be making her third foray into town tomorrow. Obama’s got a campaign headquarters that set up shop in an empty storefront in the downtown. These streets haven’t seen so much action in a long time. So why is Youngstown and the surrounding region such a hotbed these days? If you click on the map in the corner (via the Ohio Democratic Party) of where the delegates in Ohio are, you can see Trumbull and Mahoning Counties (in CD17) has a hefty load compared to other areas of the state.