With the inevitable candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for president coupled with the commencement of news coverage which will go on right through next November, I can’t help but wonder when these people will pass through the valley and what they’ll spew to us.
It’s always the same thing, you know. Aside from the George W. Bush appearance in spring 2004 which was very minutely organized and focused on what I believe was health care, pretty much any national candidate passing through Youngstown will tell you about our industrial past, and how we need to return to these supposed “good-old days” and other reforms that’ll supposedly benefit the middle class.
It continues with each election cycle, and with all things in politics it’s merely hot air. Sometime next year, people will come around here yet again and speak of the days when steel mills lined the Mahoning River. Like they were around for it.
They won’t speak of the Youngstown Business Incubator, the Chevrolet Centre or the multimillion dollar grants to YSU, mostly because they don’t know about these occurances.
Part of the reason why candidates do this is because they’re pandering to the faction of people still living here who want a return of the mills. I am not one of these people. I believe we’re going to have to face the unfortuante reality that the blue collar job base is in sharp decline, and will likely never recover, continuing a slide into obscurity.
I think a lot of people know this, yet no one is willing to admit this painful truth. Politicians, and people who exhibit too much ignorance, still want to believe we can go back to this “old America” of the early 20th century. I am adamant in my conviction that Youngstown has a future in other industries, such as technology. The construction of the YBI extension is a start.
But our politicians of a national scale will press on, insisting one day the dormant mills we see can re-open. It is simply what we as a people do NOT need to hear. This is a new century, and like the last time a new century dawned (about 100 years ago by the way) we’re facing new challenges and we have to adapt to them.