A rarity for 2016: Agreeing to disagree

March 16, 2016
Vienna, Ohio March 14, 2015 Donald Trump campaigns for the Republican nomination for the Presidency, speaking in the Winner Aviation hanger at the Youngstown-Warren Airport, to a crowd of several thousand people. PHOTOGRAPH by ALAN CHIN

Partisanship was more the order of the day, as this picture of one of the thousands of people who attended a March 14, 2016, rally for Donald Trump near Youngstown, Ohio, shows. PHOTOGRAPH by ALAN CHIN

Primary day dawned cloudy and damp in Ohio, and over 3 million voters, a third of the electorate and considered a high turnout for a primary, found their polling places and cast their ballots. Bernie Sanders’ campaign won a lawsuit allowing 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before November to vote, extending the franchise slightly.

At a Sunoco gas station in Youngstown, two strangers, both retired white male schoolteachers, started chatting in a neighborly way while pumping gas. On an election morning, the talk quickly turned to politics.

Akron, Ohio March 14, 2015 Senator Bernie Sanders campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, speaking at the Akron Civic Theatre at 182 S. Main Street, in downtown Akron, Ohio to a crowd of approx. 4000 people. PHOTOGRAPH by ALAN CHIN

A scene from a Sanders rally in Akron, Ohio, March 14, 2016. PHOTOGRAPH by ALAN CHIN

Steve, 67, a native of Youngstown, was wearing an “I Heart Ohio Voting” sticker on his black T-shirt. He asked for his last name not to be used to protect his privacy at the ballot box. “I voted for the local sheriff, and I voted for Hillary Clinton. I’m a Democrat. I like Bernie Sanders, but he might be a little too far to the left – not for me, but realistically.”

David Telesco, 60, in button-down dress shirt with a checkered pattern, said that he hadn’t voted yet, but that he would for Ted Cruz. “We had an ideologue on the left side with Obama, and now we need an ideologue on the right side,” the Connecticut native said.

Steve’s admission that he chose not the candidate he prefers, but the one he thinks will win, may account in part for Clinton’s dramatic victory in Ohio last night. After all, Ohio’s vote comes just days after Sanders’ unforeseen victory in Michigan last week. He continued, “We need freeways, highways – social projects – to get society moving. But it’s hard for a lot of people to get past it, once you’re tagged with a name like ‘socialist.’”

To put it mildly, David saw it another way.

“When Obama became president, I became a Republican — I was unaffiliated before. Trump is an unguided missile. I’m voting for Cruz because you know what you’re getting. But if I have to, I’ll vote for Trump in November. I will never vote for Hillary Clinton after Benghazi,” he said, referring to the attack on a U.S. facility in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as several others.

Both men agreed that Youngstown hasn’t recovered from the collapse of the steel industry in the 1970s. The city has lost two-thirds of its population over the past several decades.

“What the steel mills provided,” Steve said, “that doesn’t exist any more, was the combination of high-paying, low-skilled jobs. You didn’t need a college education.”

The Rust Belt, in a nutshell: with the legions of white, working-class men who are the bulwarks of the Trump and Sanders campaigns. But Ohio did not, as it turned out, reward either candidate. Favorite-son Governor John Kasich took the Republican delegates. He was unlikely to have been David’s choice under any circumstances.

“What really nobody’s looking at with Kasich is how he brought in Medicaid-expansion and Obamacare.”

The two men then talked a bit more about ex-wives and their experiences working in their respective school systems, and then shook hands. They got into their cars and said goodbye.

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If everyone is so embarrassed and ashamed because of Donald Trump, why is everyone voting for him?

Donald Trump – Business as usual. He’ll be on the side of Big Corp, and soon the complaints will go away.

Posted by GitmoreDolluhrs | Report as abusive