Thursday, March 17, 2005

Courage, Not Fear

149 out of nearly 500 possible Lucas County Democratic precinct committee members met last night and installed Jack Wilson as party chair. Fritz Wenzel reports in this morning's Blade that WIlson said "Hate is a good thing" and that Carty Finkbeiner agreed with him - supposedly in the context that disunity within the local Demorcatic party helps us win elections.

Disgusting.

Carty has led this self-centered effort for the past 2 years, behind the scenes, and while employed as an on-air political commentator at WTVG Channel 13-ABC. His actions and words reflect shamefully on his associates, WTVG, 1817 Madison Avenue and the present officials of the LCDP.

A few weeks ago I publicly asked Carty to dispense with running for Mayor this year, to act like an elder statesman and help heal divisions. His response, available at heartlandpolitics.com (in the archives) is "No Way." He and his boosters have been on the phone and running around all over town for months "promising" jobs, threatening people, and asking for campaign cash commitments. Carty is responsible for stirring up the sentiments reflected in Wilson's remarks.

Hate is fear. The present Lucas County Democratic Party is now consumed with fear. Sure, Kerry lost to Bush, the GOP presently dominates our state and is pointing daggers at the foundations of organized labor, threatening prevailing wage, taking away labor's voice through big money campaign finance reform, and even Right-to-Work is being mentioned in Columbus. Jobs and benefits are being threatened. There are unmistakable racial fears to all this, too. A generation of us have grown up only knowing diversity - not the open & sanctioned racial divisions of our parents youth.

The response to fear is not hate, not appealing to our base instincts. The response to fear is courage, its finding noble words and deeds that inspire us to our better angels.

6 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

Thank you Frank for your courage in speaking out about this topic!

As a local democrat I too was disgusted by the comment by Mr. Wilson that "hate is good." This is not the voice of leadership that we need as Democrats or by anyone serving our great community. This continuing and very public division from within seems so incredibly counterproductive.

I wonder how Mr. Wilson would choose to explain to my 5 year old son why he thinks "hate" is good. When my son heard this, he quickly pointed out that "hate" is a "mean" word, and asked if he was a mean man. It is heartbreaking to know that this is what our future leaders are learning about out Democratic Party. Behaviors like that go against so many of the values that I am trying to teach my children, and what is most distrubing is that they have been coming from the party that I hope they choose to support as they become adults.

Mr. Finkbeiner's comment about Jesus himself being unable to heal the rifts in the LCDP, is not only disrespectful, but serves to relieve those who have contributed to the divisions of their obligation and responsibility to try to fix it. I think we should expect better from our great Party.

Frank, you eloquently lay out perhaps the most disturbing consequence of this continuing division. The Democratic Party and the values it stands for are at risk. Just because we “always win,” does not mean we can expect the same results in the near future. This is a time when the weaknesses of internal division will most certainly be seized and preyed upon by members of the GOP who do not share our beliefs in the protection the integrity of working families through wages that cultivate pride and respect, quality educational opportunities for all, and adequate funding for our most basic and needed services such as police and fire.

Though you are not an elder by any means, thank you for standing up and standing in when the voice of a positive and progressive "elder statesman" is needed! I know you will continue to work to bring the Party and the community together through the courage that gives us hope.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Kathy Rutkowski said...

Isn't it a shame that WGTE felt it necessary to air the discouraging words of hate and devisiveness coming out of LCDP's new leader?

Too bad they couldn't have heard the encouragement, optimism and determination of the over 300 right thinking democrats who attended the organizing meeting for you and Mayor Ford. That room which, by the way, had a higher attendance than last night's committee chair meeting, was filled with people who know where we must go and what we must do to preserve the democratic ideals of the County and the State. If Mr. Wilson and Carty want to wage their campaign of hate on fellow democrats, they can only lose. There are too many of us who know that we can and must be unified and courageous to win - and we will!

12:59 PM  
Blogger Michael Veh said...

The idea of “Hate is Good” sounds like something straight out of Orwell’s 1984. The absolute stupidity of that comment only accents the trouble this region is in and the lack of leadership in the right places. While I will concede that we have some fresh blood with new ideas emerging, it is unfortunate that the real decision makers still come from the same swamp that has generated the creatures that came before them.

Once again, we turn to the unions for direction, forgetting that a growing number of area residents are not union members and have little or no respect for the authority or leadership of the unions. This is old thinking and it is apparent that Mr. Wilson has no plan to bring Democrats together or to turn from the policies that have led the region into economic decline. We cannot grow by simply staying the way we have always been but we keep putting people into positions of responsibility and power that prefer to maintain the status quo.

At some point, we as a community have to decide that we need to steer a new course – to go off on a new direction – because the course we have been following since the 1970’s is not taking us toward the future but tethering us to the past. There are so many opportunities ahead of us but because the leadership with the responsibility for moving us forward is more comfortable holding us back, we continue to miss them. It is time for change and change is good. Revolutions can reshape and realign priorities and perspectives so that we can start with a fresh point of view. Dysfunctional leadership can lead to revolution. As John F. Kennedy once said, “Those who make non-violent revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

Why is it that the supposed 'leadership' of the LCDP can't get their stuff together, when the Democratic grassroots and citizens of the area are actively meeting, discussing issues and coming to meaningful commonground? If the citizens and the grassroots can do it - why can't the supposed 'leaders', unless their are not truly leaders, but instead traitors.

This is one of the most Democratic counties in the nation. The LAST thing we need is to follow 'leaders' who have turned their backs on our core values and have decided to become pseudo-Democrats. If you want to be a Republican, stop running as a Democrat, stop leading as a Democrat, and stop dividing the Democrats!

2:10 PM  
Blogger ToledoJoe said...

Frank--

Thanks for the post. I was shocked when I read the article that Jack Wilson thinks "hate" is the way to run our party. I think this shous what the "B" team is all about. Whoever is associated with them has lost my vote for a long time. Good luck on the campaign.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I dont agree with the comment that was made,It doesnt help when we oursleves as a group refer to each other as a "A"or a "B"team....We will always be seperated if we continue like that...

2:04 PM  

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