We are worried that our democracy could be threatened by global industrialization.
The concern of fearing a crisis approaching unnerves us and causes us to tremble for the safety of our country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudice of people until the wealth is exaggerated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed.
We would like to claim these thoughts as our own unique contemporary view of the country regarding the perils it faces in a global world in economic chaos. To make such a claim, unfortunately, would be sheer plagiarism because the forgoing statements represent paraphrased quotations from two former presidents, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The convergence of these thoughts regarding the issues of our time serves as the basis for our short chat with President Barack Obama.
On Oct. 5, as CEO of Med-Econ Inc., a Darke County-based medical practice management corporation, I had just completed meetings with medical groups and legal clients in the Cleveland area. Dr. Reier, having grown up in the near suburb of Euclid, suggested we use the remaining time to visit one of his Cleveland haunts of over a half century ago.
First, we traveled through Murray Hill, an ethnic Italian neighborhood where the first “pizza pie” was introduced in Cleveland shortly after WWII. We decided to visit the Great Lakes Brewing Company and the WestSide Market located in the Flats abutting the famous Cuyahoga River. This river was once called the “Burning River” because it went up in flames following an uncontrolled petroleum discharge from Standard Oil refineries (Rockefeller) in 1969. This is also the name of a brew drafted by the Great Lakes Brewing Company, an increasingly popular haunt for Cleveland professionals - and a great place to have lunch. After a long wait and an expensive trip to the gift shop, we were finally seated and served. Little did we realize that the half hour delay was giving us the opportunity to cross paths with the president of the United States!
After lunch we decided to shop at the WestSide Market which is over 100 years old, but still in near perfect condition and virtually unchanged since Dr. Reier left Cleveland. The merchants in the fruit and vegetable area outside continue to be a diverse ethnic cross-section with fewer Italians and Slavs replaced by vendors from the Middle East and South America. Inside under the arched brick mosaic tiled ceiling were the shops with the iconic names and families that continued unchanged in their businesses just as the Buchy name remains in Darke County.
Soon after entering the building we saw a young man with a dark jacket. Printed on the back in bold white letters were the words SECRET SERVICE. We thought it would be interesting to have a picture of him. Little did we know he was clearing a secure pathway for President Obama’s impromptu visit. Having made this realization, we edged to a strategic position hoping to catch a glimpse of him in passing. What short sound bites of encouragement could we shout as he passed by? Pleasantly, although crowded, there was an absence of pushing and shoving and a high level of civility and politeness among the crowd. As a result, we were able to exchange thoughts with several college students in the area.
Suddenly the president appeared, turned our way and looked directly at our group. Within seconds I found myself face to face with President Obama with his hand reaching out to me. I grasped his hand and said, “Tell Mr. Romney that without strong government, we will have ANARCHY.” He looked deeply into my eyes and said “Good idea.” But then he paused, still holding my hand and again looked directly at my eyes and said, “Yes, that is right.”
He then reached out his hand to Dr. Reier, who promptly said to him “Stop Romney and his policies of ‘don’t tax the rich’ and destroying Social Security.” Within seconds this memorable event came to a close as he passed from our sight. An hour later we heard the loud thunder of Air Force One leaving Cleveland - the plane that has served so many presidents and now President Obama. The noise could be annoying to some, but to us it was symbolic of the strength of this great county. We thought “God bless America” - which at this moment is one of the few “equal opportunity” countries in the world.
To those who might think our warning of Anarchy (which simply means a breakdown of government) is somewhat extreme, we refer them to the historic concerns of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Senator Barry Goldwater (R) believed that extremism in the preservation of our historic values is indeed a virtue. Interestingly, he succinctly expressed this sentiment in a debate with another great Republican - George Romney. Although George was proud to show his Federal Income Tax records, preserve jobs in America and secure his personal wealth in American banks, he lost the Republican presidential nomination to Goldwater. George’s scion Mitt Romney unfortunately, in contrast, hides his tax records while giving away American jobs and banking the profits in the Caymans, Bermuda and Switzerland. Oh, how we miss the George Romney (R) - it is so sad for the country that his mold has been broken.