Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I have rejoined the dark side

Growing up in a small village outside of The United States, I was somewhat is the elite class simply because of who my mother was. We were certainly not the first household on the street to get a color TV or any other technological gadget, but we never had to worry about where our next meal was coming from or worry about getting enough presents at Christmas and birthdays unlike some villagers. In fact because of our family position, Santa Claus was not the only one to give us presents at Christmas time. It was even written in the Township by-laws that our street was the first to be cleaned in the event of a storm. Being part of the elite class in a village was not all what is was cracked up to be. Unlike in a urban area, everybody knows your business and they think that you are a brat whether it is true or not. One eventually learns not to make noise. Once some young hot-heads though one small business owner in the village had kids that were too uppity so they fire-bombed his business. My grandfather once warned me that I would be the first one killed if terrorists ever did come to the village because I was the oldest in the family.

I must admit as a kid, I looked down at the average villager. At most they could speak one language fluently while my parents spoke 3 fluently. The villagers had no sense of adventure in music, fashion or cuisine. I would dream of either immigrating to a big American city or have city slickers come to my village to civilize it. In my late teen years, one of my wishes came true as city slickers started to move in. They made more trouble than it was worth and I started to finally appreciate being a villager. As a teen I was a youth representative of my then party. In my early 20s I decided to run for local office. The constituency included 3 townships. At the time I was a bit naïve and arrogant and at first I was not going to campaign in my own village. I figured that as long as I campaign enough in the other 2 townships to make it close, I would win the seat because my last name would carry me in my own township. Somebody older and with more sense told me I needed to campaign in my own village too. I did manage to make this close in the other two townships, but my margin of victory in my own township was also close so on balance I lost the race. I continued to fight for my township at public committee meetings for a time and then I moved to America.

Ironically, I moved to small town Ohio instead of Boston or Chicago. The people were welcoming and friendly and I kind of enjoyed by new position as a nobody and part of the masses. It took me a little while to lose my foreign accent and appreciate local culture, but I think pretty much there now. In terms of party, a plurality of our Country is Southern Democrats, but I have always been a supporter of the GOP. Since I lived in America, the county GOP Chairman has alternated between Moderate and Conservative. Some local Conservatives did not like having Moderate chairman, but I never cared. I gave money to the party, attended lunches and dropped off pamphlets at election time and so forth. I did not care to seek out the friendship of whatever chairman was in power nor seek out an elite position, I enjoyed not being bothered and living my life in peace.

With the position exception of being President of my Parish men’s club and being a former member of my neighborhood committee, I am just a simple new citizen. My wife can trace some of her roots to before the time of General Washington and is distantly related to a few Republican Presidents. At all candidate meetings, candidates seek her out to shake her hand. Candidates do not usually seek me out to shake my hand or ask for my signature to nominate them. So I am not the elite of the family. Our current Chairman is a Romney, but more on the Conservative side of things. He seems more a man of the people, he would always say hello to me around town or in a store and we would chat briefly. Even though he is part of the elite class, he is the type of guy who talks to all he meets. Unlike Chairmen in surrounding counties, he actually seeks co-operation from Tea Party and Patriot groups.

For one reason or another, a number of committee members told our county party chairman at the beginning of summer that could not stay on the committee. While some may have wanted to resign political reasons, many could not continue because of family or business commitments. Our chairman convinced as many of them as possible not to resign, but a few still resigned anyway. So later in the summer, I got a phone call from one of the local hacks (and I actually mean no disrespect when I use that tern this time.) He told me that the chairman would like me to be a guest at the next County GOP Board meeting as an observer. So I politely said “OK, I will be happy to be an observer.” He then explained that the Chairman would value my opinions as well and would like me to be an active participant at the meetings. So I said OK, although I wondered what I was getting myself into.

After I told my wife, she said tongue and check “now, you are the RINO of the family. Just before the first meeting, a friend of mine told me “I hope you do not turn into one of those RINOs. Just before I entered the meeting room, I saw a small businessman who is ideologically Conservative and I ask him if he was going to the meeting. He said that it would be his first meeting and that he too was invited as a guest. So guessed that the chairman believed in the old adage ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’ I am certainly not a personal enemy of the chairman, but I still wondered why a mainstream Conservative would invite hard liners.

To my pleasant surprise, the chairman himself was a bit more Conservative than just a run of the mill Mainstream Conservative. Further, other board members were also quite Conservative and a few ladies even told the Chairman that they would not attend a dinner if Mr. Romney were to be invited. So I was actually beginning to like this place. A few months later, the other gentleman and I become full fledged board members. I never thought I would become a member of the establishment even if I am just a quasi member, but I am still of the people at heart. I guess we will see how the cookie crumbles in the New Year.

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Anonymous said...


So nice of you to share a little more info about yourself, and some of your political activities. Good for you for being so involved.

Someday, you might even have Romney to one of your meetings, and you may even like it!

Have a great day, and Merry Christmas!


Ohio JOE said...

Thanks Martha, Haha, somehow, I doubt that Mr. Romney will come to one of our meetings per se, but yes it is possible that I might get to meet him some day, now that I am finally a somebody. I will be sure to let you know Martha, should that happen.

Anonymous said...

call me stupid, but was your mom like the mayor of the town or smething?

Ohio JOE said...

No, she was not Mayor, she was a professional with her own business. That is nothing special in big city America, but it other cultures, such people get attention in rural areas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, OJ. I think that trying to get good things done is a noble motive. In America, everything is winner takes all, so we HAVE to work together to win.

I went to Mitt's book signing, and I agree with Martha that you might actually be surprised if you get a chance to meet him in person. It's always better when he has Ann with him, because she is his more human side.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

OJ, I enjoyed reading about your background. Thanks for sharing this stuff. I've always wondered what country you originated from, but if you don't want to share that is totally understandable. I think it could be fun for you to post a 'guess OJ's home country thread' and see who gets it right.

Good luck with your ongoing grass roots poltical efforts. I know that you are a good hearted person and I respect your involvement as well as your sacrifice of time. Hopefully you'll rally to the Romney flag after Paul wins IA and takes second in NH.


marK said...

So OJ,

How does it feel to be part of the Republican "establishment"?

Right Wingnut said...

Great story OJ. I'll be joining you on the dark side beginning in February.

Ohio JOE said...

Well MarK, it is too soon to say, but I feel a little different, but not a whole lot. To be honest I am glad that I am just a regular board member and not the Chairman. The Chairman receives many crank calls in the middle of the night from union leaders. It could be worse.

Pablo said...


Very interesting! Like Dan, I would also be interested to hear what country you are from.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like one of the native villages in Canada.

Right Wingnut said...

I think 7:13 nailed it. OJ writes with a French accent. LOL

I'm willing to be wrong, but that was a great guess by anon.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing and good luck serving on the Death Star. Merry Christmas to you!!


GetReal said...

Very interesting stuff, OJ. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and Merry Christmas!