Editorial: Our Area Has Become a Token

The once quiet streets of the Youngstown/Warren area are now filled with clatter and commotion from both the national media and politicians.

It all started with the idling of the General Motors Co. Lordstown plant that recently shot the area into the national spotlight.

Once GM CEO Mary Barra announced multiple U.S. plant closures, politicians and the media sprinted to Lordstown to showcase the tale of another city “broken” by the shipment of manufacturing jobs overseas.

Then, President Donald Trump threw fuel on the fire by firing off his usual tweetstorm; although, this time it hit home.

On March 17, Trump tweeted, “Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce. G.M. let our Country down, but other much better car companies are coming into the U.S. in droves. I want action on Lordstown fast. Stop complaining and get the job done! 3.8% Unemployment!”

Trump’s criticisms of Green led to 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke to rush to the area to have a surprise discussion with Green, while he made an official stop in nearby Cleveland, Ohio.

On March 18, O’Rourke tweeted a picture of him speaking with Green with the caption, “Impressed w/ David Green, UAW 1112 president. His leadership, the way he’s fought for employees at GM’s Lordstown plant & how he’s conducted himself while being attacked by the President. He’s fighting not just for his members but for their families, this community & all workers.”

Sure, it looks nice to have candidates have the backs of blue collar workers, but do they really support our families or does it just look good on camera?

And now, the recent last-minute visit of Bernie Sanders only exemplifies the notion that this area is becoming the media and politicians’ next pawn — a broken city yearning for a savior to help it rise from the ashes.  

It’s no secret the Mahoning Valley has been through significantly difficult times from Black Monday to constant political corruption; however, this area is not the media’s next token city awaiting a national messiah, like presidential candidates. It’s looking for real answers and real solutions, not lies made on camera. The media needs to stop chattering and politicians need to start doing.

Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, this area will see a plethora of visits over the next two years from politicians spouting empty promises and feeding area residents lies about how they plan on saving the area, only to run off to the next struggling blue collar city and make the same statements.

But, never fear! The politicians and national media will once again rescind their tidal wave of attention, return to their high castles in big cities and forget that Youngstown and Warren exist.

The streets will be quiet again, and life will return to normal — our normal, not some abnormal, twisted wasteland that the national media wants to so desperately depict us as.

We are proud to be hardworking, blue collar, Northeast Ohioans and no politician or national media outlet will take that away from us.

1 comment

  1. Yes, many presidential candidates and presidents have come to Youngstown over the years to promise good things will happen here. I have witnessed many, including Richard Nixon (who avoided protesters at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport), George Wallace (whose motorcade nearly ran down protesters in front of Stambaugh Auditorium), Jimmy Carter (whose Secret Service detail cleared Jambar staffers so they could tag along during Carter’s downtown visit), Ronald Reagan, both Clintons, and now Trump, who has the absurd notion that that he will cause the rise of new steel mills along the banks of the Mahoning River. Trump also comes here believing Youngstown and Mahoning County supported him in 2016, when the majority vote went to Hillary Clinton. But it doesn’t matter. The editorial writer is correct in noting our city will survive, as it has on its own through decades of labor strife, shutdowns and economic hardship. It’s the strength of the people in the Mahoning Valley that will form our future, not any particular political affiliation nor candidate’s promise.

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