If you have been paying attention to national news you should know that recently the Governor of New York signed into legislation an abortion bill that would allow late term abortion right up to the due-date of the child. (A bill recently introduced in Virginia could even be more outrageous if that is possible.) I know that in our local area we have varying degrees of opinions about abortion rights. My assumption is that we have a small percentage of people on the extreme right and on the extreme left, with the vast majority of people spread out somewhere between those two extremes.
Could the extreme left-wing legislation of New York ever be proposed in our “fly-over” state of Ohio? I often have differences of opinion with local Democrats over the role of government in our lives, but we often agree on many aspects of common sense daily living and values. I can’t conceive of any Democrats I know thinking that it is acceptable to end the life of a full term child. Could this ever happen in our state?
Let’s look at the state of New York. New York City and the immediate surrounding area is so populated that basically whatever legislation is passed there overrides the possible opposite wishes of the rest of the state. New Yorkers refer to the rest of the state north of the city as “Upstate.” Area-wise, upstate is vastly larger than the NYC area. My family came from upstate NY and I still have relatives living there. I feel strongly that the majority of people living upstate are as upset with this legislation as most of us are. Historically, upstate people have complained for decades that they have little say in their state government because of this.
Could this problem manifest itself in the Great State of Ohio? Are most of our cities and their suburbs growing faster than rural and small town areas? Do the people moving to large city areas tend to be more liberal? Though Ohio is generally considered nationally as tending more to conservative points of view, did you know that the mayors of all of our 10 largest cities are Democrat, as are the city councils of most of those cities? This writing is not meant to bash Democrats. I value our two party system. I respect all of the local Democrats I know and actually enjoy having respectful disagreements with them. Which, unfortunately, is becoming harder to have these days without anger created. I honestly believe that the majority of Democrats in our area are as outraged by this legislation as I am.
My real purpose of writing this is to encourage all people-Republican, Democrat, Independent- to communicate regularly with your elected officials to make your wishes and beliefs known. Have respectful discussions with people not of your political party to find areas of agreement. Learn as much as possible about candidates-local, statewide, national-before you cast your vote. We as voters should be American first. We have much more in common than we have in differences. As President George Washington warned us: Don’t let loyalty to party become stronger than loyalty to country.
Jack Chapman is a local resident.