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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal





    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    A complicated Ohio in a complex world  

    Ohio is divided. No question about that. No poll needed for verification. The Plain Dealer separated this swing state into Five Ohios to explain why Ohioans view this presidential election through such different eyes. Less nuanced views might reduce the divisions to our large metropolitan areas vs. suburban/rural areas. (Of course, there is more to it than that, because Cincinnati and Hamilton County behave nothing like Cleveland and Cuyahoga County with Akron and Summit County and Columbus and Franklin County somewhere in between.) Ohioblog got to thinking about this because of a David Brooks column in the New York Times. Brooks wasn't writing about Ohio when he was ``struck again by how powerfully the physical landscape influences our view of politics and the world,'' but he might as well have been.

    Brooks, inspired by Adam Wolfson's ``clarifying insight'' in The Weekly Standard (this is a subscription Web site), that ``the foreign policy debate between Geroge Bush and John Kerry is really a conflict between two values: freedom and internationalism'' advances Wolfson's argument in a way Ohioans should appreciate. The physical landscape becomes an integral part of the equation, with the more sparsely populated areas symbolizing ``the Goldwateresque virtues: freedom, self-sufficiency, individualism'' and the denser areas, such as cities, ``the Ted Kennedyesque virtues: social justice, tolerance, interdependence.''

    There is a common denominator. Regardless of our physical landscapes or value systems, the Ohio and larger world we live in is a shared one that requires we figure out how to manage it given that understanding.

    - Steve Love



    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 9:04 AM



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