“I may not agree with you, but at least we can talk”

The mainstream media often gets unfairly criticized for being a liberal mouthpiece. Ray Marcano, whose opinion column appears each Sunday, reached out to local conservatives to ask them what issues concern them and met with a group of eight with varying ideologies on June 28. They discussed several issues over 80 minutes, including the Supreme Court, perceptions of conservatives, Donald Trump, and term limits. Below is a short synopsis of what each participant discussed, edited for brevity and clarity.

Scott Dalesandro, Hamilton:

“I’ve seen family members turn on family members…”

I have probably voted Democratic more than Republican in my life. But something has changed in the last four or five years, mostly because of Trump. I’ve seen family members turn on family members because of the Trump vote. And if you voted for Trump, you automatically become a racist, you’re a misogynist. There’s no arguing with it. There’s no defending yourself. It’s almost gotten to the point where you would rather not talk to people than admit that you voted for Trump or anybody like a Republican. My main concern is the way Republicans and conservatives are looked at right now. It’s just very troubling to me.

Sean C. Hathaway, Dayton

“Loves his country … "

Let’s talk about Donald Trump. He’s not a politician. Donald Trump is a man who happens to love his country, saw it going down the drain and decided he was going to do something about it. He’s not a white nationalist. He’s not all those other things that they say about him, a racist, a bigot, a homophobe. Donald Trump is a man who loves his country. (On Roe), back when they were appointing liberal justices and the liberal justices were writing Roe V Wade everybody was happy. Now that it’s been turned over, everybody’s upset and their hair’s on fire. You can go back to Albert Tanney and the Dred Scott decision. Everything changes over time as society changes over time, and that goes (for) the court.

Tim Stump, Englewood

“Compromises honest relationships … "

If you ask about something that I think people have a misunderstanding about, it deals with CRT (Critical Race Theory) in the schools. I would agree with you that it’s not taught in (K-12) schools. I think it manifests itself in the schools through its jargon. When I used to hear the word racist, we assumed that meant somebody who had a racial prejudice. But then CRT comes along and adds the word “power” to it. And that simply means that if you are white or the dominant person or race at that particular time, and you were a power, then suddenly you automatically become racist. Systemic racism, CRT, and all the other jargon have worked their way into the schools through the instruction and training of teachers both at college and in seminars, etc. (CRT) rejects the traditional ideals of individuals and equal rights and freedom, and it compromises honest relationships and discussions like we’re trying to have.

Eric Reibly, Centerville

“Govern for the people … "

I think we’ve reached a point in society where we have extremes that are driving both ends of the spectrum, and people that make the most noise get the most attention. CRT by itself, I don’t agree with, (but) systemic racism does exist in this country. I will never get pulled over for going 38 in a 35-mile-an-hour zone because I’m white. (On term limits): The problem with our political system has become money and about getting reelected. I am all for a constitutional amendment, that will never get passed because they would never vote on it, for term limits of some type. I don’t know what the right answer is. That’s up for debate. In my mind that is one of the biggest fixes that can be put in to fix the system. Then maybe there’s a chance that we govern for the people rather than worrying about getting reelected

Jack Dalie, Springfield

“They’re coming for us … "

We’re looking at $174 trillion in promised government programs. We only have a $23 trillion economy. It’s not possible to do this, so we’re going to crash and burn. It’s just a matter of whether it’s sooner or later. Maybe you’re familiar with the great reset, but we’ve been sending people to the World Economic Forum and they’re in the process of trying to give away our sovereignty. They want the WHO (the World Health Organization) to oversee our healthcare, they want the UN to step in and run green energy and these people mean business. They’re coming for us, and unless we turn our economy and our debt system around, the whole thing’s going to collapse. We’re headed for a worldwide depression right now. So they’re going to use that to say capitalism has failed. We need to turn this thing around and we need to have something like a worldwide government and all these people at the World Economic Forum will be glad to step in and give it to you.

Brad Karoleff, Okeana

“How does that work?”

Editor’s note: Brad started a spirited discussion on the Supreme Court.

Should there be term limits on the justices of the Supreme Court, a mandatory retirement age, and or a new selection process for justices? Tell me how everything works. When Merrick Garland sat and waited and some senator from Kentucky just decided unilaterally that he was not going to be interviewed for the job? He was perfectly capable of being a Supreme Court Justice and pure politics kept him from the opportunity to be a justice. So tell me, how does that work other than for the people in power? All I’m saying is, give him a hearing. Give him an opportunity. I don’t necessarily believe that an 80-some-year-old justice is an effective justice. I don’t believe a lifetime appointment is correct at this point, and I think the selection process has proven to us that the selection process does not work correctly.

Ron Suprenant, Washington Twp.

“Punishes those who have been responsible”

My topic is student loan forgiveness. I am very much against it. And I’m not really against it only because of the trillion dollars that it would cost that we don’t have. I think it sends the wrong message. We need to teach our students personal responsibility and accountability and to live up to their commitments. Student loan forgiveness does the opposite. It tells people don’t worry about it. You can take on this responsibility and the government will take care of you and bail you out. I think it punishes those who’ve been responsible and paid it off. One of my mentors said to me … you can go into debt and be a doctor. You’re going to be all right. So I made an economic choice. I made commitments, and I lived up to my commitments. And so I think this is characteristic of the difference between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives really want to see us foster self-reliance, and liberals want to see us fostering reliance on the government.

Helena Gerrard, Washington Twp.

“Are you kidding?”

I’m a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. I do believe in a hand-up. I do not believe in a handout. I am a coal miner’s daughter. We were very poor. No bathroom, no running water in the house. My perspective is, that you really have to be financially responsible, and I think our government is not financially responsible. I’m a forensic accountant and I look at the waste in our government, we do not need to be spending the money that we’re spending. It appalls me that currently 40% of what the government spends is on interest, and interest buys you nothing. I agree with term limits because there’s too much money in Congress. People are more concerned about raising money so that they can be reelected so they can continue doing nothing. Why the hell are we paying them to be there? I do not believe in paying off school debts. Are you kidding?

At the end of the conversation, I asked: What’s the one thing you want someone who doesn’t think like you to know?

Eric Reibly: I may not agree with you, but we can at least we can talk and work things out. That’s become the biggest issue. I think of the polarizing realm of politics.

Sean Hathaway: I am a solid supporter of Donald J. Trump and I think he was the best thing to happen to the Presidency of the United States since Ronald Reagan.

Brad Karoleff: We all don’t have to think alike because if everybody’s thinking alike, nobody’s thinking. So it’s good to have differences. It’s good to be able to air them civilly and hopefully. We can get some progress out of the system.

Ron Suprenant: The great giveaways that are going on in the country don’t help the people that they’re designed to help and are destroying the moral and economic fiber of our country

Helena Gerrard: I think people don’t understand that I have a need to collaborate.

Scott Dalesandro: Just because I didn’t vote for your person doesn’t mean that I am totally against whatever that person has done.

Tim Stump: We’ve just proven that you can have a civil discussion.

Jack Dalie: If you vote Democrat, you’re guaranteed to crash our economy and our country.

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