Since last week’s election returns, the national media has focused on a number of significant victories for progressive and Democratic candidates, with many commentators concluding that the results point to trouble for President Trump and his Republican Party loyalists. We do not simply hope this is true, we intend to make it true.
Ryan Ottney, who won election to the New Boston Village Council, helped kick off the SOPM's Progressive Voices Speaker Series in March 2017. Photo Credit: SOPM Media
The moral and political corruption embodied by Trump is shared among Republican office holders across Ohio. From Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis to Congressman Brad Wenstrup, Ohio’s Republican officeholders model the same lack of ethical standards and back the same heartless and failed policies that have only enriched the wealthiest of Americans, while undermining social programs with proven records of helping working and middle-class Americans. Voters in Ohio and across the nation are heeding the wake-up call of the real reformers, the real champions of the common man and woman.
All eyes are now on the Congressional midterm elections that will be held next fall in 2018. In less than a year, we will elect a new representative for Ohio’s Second and Sixth Congressional Districts; we will elect a new governor and other state-wide offices; and we will elect new representatives to Ohio’s state legislature. Victory in these elections will take more than simple opposition to Donald Trump and his failed administration. We need candidates that have innovative solutions to our problems and a compelling message that will resonate with our friends and neighbors. We need organizers and canvassers going door-to-door. The exit polling is clear, the youth are on our side and they have the energy and interest to transform the political landscape. That is what the local, state-wide, and national progressive movement brings to the table and it is what helped turn the tide in many of last week's elections.
A new Democratic Party is emerging, one that is being rebuilt from the bottom-up, one that is organizing in every zip code and township. In this light, the most significant (progressive) Democratic victories this past week were not the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey, but rather the local races won by newcomers, progressive candidates that won seats on city councils and state legislatures across the nation. And, here, in southern Ohio, we see this new day dawning with the election of Ryan Ottney to the New Boston Village Council. Ottney has shown himself to be a proud progressive and Democrat, volunteering and supporting the work of the Southern Ohio Progressive Movement since our earliest days. It is a beginning and the progressives of the region should find hope in last week’s results.