Common Good vs. Self-interest

I met a man promoting our area by setting up a blog linking gamers in the Mahoning Valley. He came to an open poetry reading at the Lime Tree in Warren, Ohio. It turns out he is Tracey Winbush’s cousin. The first thing he said to me was, “I am not crazy enough to be a Republican like her.” I have mentioned Tracey and her right-wing radio show many times before. She has a show called, “Afternoons with Tracey and Friends” at 600-AM WSOM. The cousin explained to me that Tracy is an opportunist and that is why she is a conservative Republican. The GOP in their attempt to appeal to African-Americans and women was very happy to latch onto Tracey. She became the area Republican Party treasurer. Then in 2013 the county Republican Party’s executive committee unanimously recommended Winbush to serve on the county’s elections board. Secretary of State Jon Husted approved and she got the job. In a quote from the Youngstown Vindicator Winbush said, “I’m so excited to serve the people in this capacity; I’ve always wanted this position. It’s important to oversee the voting process and make decisions in the best interest of voters. I don’t get excited about too much, but I’m really looking forward to this.”

If you’ve ever heard Tracey’s show you would know she gets excited over the smallest of things. She spends her radio time yelling over callers and cutting them off if they dare disagree with her. Her cousin said he has asked her to be a guest on the show and she has refused him. He wanted to have a debate and name it, “Winbush vs. Winbush.” He wanted the public to know Tracey was the only one in the family with conservative beliefs. I note that area GOP Treasurer Mark Mangie now sits at the microphone quite often with Tracey. I suspect the GOP feels they need to babysit Tracey so she doesn’t stray far from the party line. Perhaps, they still can’t believe their good luck at scoring a female African-American to believe in their “angry old white guy” agenda.

Sadly, three times the Community Bill of Rights amendment to keep Youngstown safe from fracking was defeated on the ballot. Winbush was very outspoken against it. “It is actually not telling the residents of the city of Youngstown about hydraulic fracturing. It has nothing to do with water and air purification. It has to do with an agenda,” said Winbush. “It is not worth the paper it is written on.” The one with an agenda is Tracey. I agree with her cousin that her agenda is to use and be used by the GOP to gain money and power.

I had a big chuckle at a recent commentary in the Youngstown Vindicator. It was David Skolnick’s article, “Portman – Strickland Senate race will be wild.” Skolnick said this about Strickland, “The former governor he spent the past 11 months as president of the Center American Progress Action Fund, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C. Based on some of the center’s policies, it wasn’t a smart career move for Strickland to work there.”

Here is a statement I got from the website of the Center American Progress Action Fund: “We believe that America should be a country of boundless opportunity—where all people can better themselves through education, hard work, and the freedom to pursue their dreams. We believe this will only be achieved with an open and effective government that champions the common good over narrow self-interest, harnesses the strength of our diversity, and secures the rights and safety of its people. Real progress will be achieved only through innovative solutions born of open collaboration. To realize our vision we must: Build an opportunity nation where every hard-working person, regardless of background, can realize their dreams through education, decent work and fair play. Reawaken America’s conscience, our sense of shared and personal responsibility, to build healthy, vibrant communities. Reform government so that it is of, by and for the people: open, effective, and committed to the common good. Use America’s strength to bring the world together, not pull it apart.”

Does Skolnick actually believe that working at a place that tries to accomplish these beliefs is harmful to Strickland or anyone? I especially like the part about “championing the common good over narrow self-interest.” As a union activist I went to the picket line and events supporting striking Youngstown Vindicator workers a decade ago. They went on strike for a pay raise and other issues following a four-year wage freeze. Of the 173 union members 93 were making less than $9 an hr. The Vindicator brought in scabs they paid $20 an hr. The strikers published their own paper, The Valley Voice, during this time. I purchased those editions and thought it was better than the Vindicator. It was a 261 day long and bitter strike. Skolnick worked at the Vindicator at that time. Did he support his brother and sister union members and “champion their ‘common good over the narrow self-interest” of the Vindicator?” I do believe Mr. Skolnick choose self-interest and crossed the picket line and went back to work. That makes it hard for me to believe anything Skolnick writes.

Music time:

John Mayall: “Nature’s Disappearing”

“Unanswered Questions”

“Gasoline Blues”

“After God finished the rattlesnake, the toad, the vampire, He had some awful substance left with which He made a scab … When a scab comes down the street, men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and the Devil shuts the gates of Hell to keep him out. No man has a right to scab so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with.” ~ Jack London



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4 responses to “Common Good vs. Self-interest

  1. Nancie Shillington

    WOW-I am about the only “liberal” in my whole large family so I can laugh at this issue! My first day of work at YSU was walking the picket line—again-kinda odd for someone whose last job was in Adm (some 15 or so years!)—life is fun of fun making, huh!

    Until it comes to fracking. I have given up that we can stop it over here BUT felt some vindication when the speaker at the meeting at Westminster this past Thurs. nite—big shot from Pa. DEP—cited so many (mostly federal) laws that have been passed since 2013—yeah! He also admitted that there were not sufficient staff to actually check the MANY calls citizens of our area make about various infractions of environmental issues (which are clearly favored n Pa. constitution)…but he told us we gotta keep alert and caling his office!

    Hope you get to the Selma march—I wanted so much to do it but can’t risk being out inthis weather with my kinda aged hip—gotta guard it!

    Good to hear from you-thanks!

  2. Nancie Shillington

    Love it–must be we’re related. Our Sunday School class is reading Wendell Berry’s book “Our One World” and he wants us to wake up and take care of it as our ancestors did (including the German, Scotch ones)–wants us to log using horses (my Grandad used oxen) to ski lumber out because it doesn’t scar the earth, etc…Kinda Amish sounding, if you ask me (and Berry mentions them). Loved your poem!

    Happy St. Pat’s and everyday!

  3. elecpencil

    Thanks Nancy and i will make an effort to get to that Sunday class this spring/summer..

  4. elecpencil

    Thanks Nancy and i will make an effort to get to that Sunday class this spring/summer..

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