A liberal explains; I can sympathize.
That any one state should posses such outsize power over the country’s political destiny strikes me as outrageous on its face, but that this state should be my own birthplace, the very cradle of American mediocrity and overzealous lawn ornamentation, is positively terrifying.
To those who know it well, in a way the Census Bureau only could if it were based in Akron or Sandusky, the soul of Ohio is its utter soullessness. What Gertrude Stein said of Oakland—that “there isn’t any there there”—is so much truer of Ohio that no one would ever bother to mention it, let alone be considered witty for doing so. In Oakland, one half expects to find a there and is disappointed when one doesn’t. In Ohio, on the other hand, nothing– and nowhere–ness is the whole premise.
Human beings of vision and vitality will do almost anything to leave Ohio. This urge has benefited America’s space program. John Glenn got as far from Ohio as he could. Neil Armstrong, with better technology, got further. Lebron James, not an astronaut but a very high jumper, suffered perhaps the most bitter vilification ever experienced by a superstar athlete who hadn’t actually been charged with rape—simply in order to have the privilege of severing his blah Ohio roots and transplanting himself to colorful Miami.
In fact, the only extraordinary individuals who rush toward Ohio, and not away from it, are presidential candidates.