Monday, March 18, 2013

Meet Andrew Hounshell-- The Democrat Running For The Ohio Seat Boehner Is Occupying


If you've been reading DWT with any regularity, you no doubt heard me warning readers that lifelong Republican spoiled rich kid Patrick Murphy, who ran against neo-fascist GOP war-criminal Allen West, would make a horrible congressman. Murphy managed-- albeit barely-- to beat West. And he has been a horrible congressman, immediately joining the New Dems, racking up a voting record that has him siding with Boehner and Cantor on most crucial roll calls and seducing a gaggle of naive freshmen Democrats to join the GOP in it's efforts to cut benefits to seniors who rely on the Social Security and Medicare payments they have earned (while Murphy was working hard to become an heir by picking wealthy parents).

I know a lot of ex-Republicans. Not all of them are like Patrick Murphy. I have tremendous respect, for example, for the work Markos Moulitsas has done organizing the Daily Kos community and as an author and activist. He's started out as a Republican, saw the light and has worked hard to do the right thing. When I first met Andrew Hounshell his reasons for leaving the GOP he was born into reminded me of Markos' story. I asked him to write it out for DWT. I hope you'll read it-- and consider contributing to his campaign to beat Boehner here at the 2014 Blue America page.

Why I'm A Democrat

by Andrew Hounshell

I was 5 years old when I heard the dreadful news that our President had been shot in a failed assassination attempt. Even at that young age, I felt the impact the event had on the grown-ups around me. On the way to the grocery store, I asked my mother if we could get a get well card and send it to President Reagan. Together, we picked out one and mailed it to the White House. A few weeks later we received an official letter on White House Stationary from the President, thanking me for the well wishes. Our local newspaper ran a story, “Middletown Boy Gets White House Response,” and I was the talk of the town. From that moment on, this 5 year old from southwest Ohio loved President Reagan and thought he could do no wrong.

Fast forward 10 or 12 years, my brother was stationed in Germany while serving in the Army and was being transferred to Ft. Lewis, Washington unable to take any leave to visit his family due to his orders. His wife had given birth to our parent’s first grandchild and they had yet been able to see him. As legend goes (time clouds the memories in my family), someone made a call to our Congressman’s office (then a fairly new John Boehner) and my brother was able to get his orders changed so he could take leave and visit with his family before reporting to Ft. Lewis. In my young impressionable eyes, John Boehner was personally responsible for me getting to see my nephew for the first time, and getting to spend some precious time with my oldest brother after not seeing him for years. Once again, a young Andrew Hounshell was quite impressed by yet another Republican politician showing how much they cared about my family. These guys were great!

What I didn’t know was what was happening to other families around me. If I had been older than 5 years old when I bought that Get Well card, I might have known that it was only five months later, when our President fired over 11,000 PATCO striking Union workers; a move which has been described as starting “America’s downward spiral;” that our nation’s wages would stagnant for the rest of my life. That decision didn’t affect me as a kid, but nearly 30 years later, it is an event that persuaded me to take a deeper look into policy decisions that our elected officials make and ask myself a deeper question. Could it be the dear Republicans I grew up admiring, were not as supportive of the very middle class that I now spend my adult life fighting for?

Yep... triplets
Memories like mine can mold and shape a person’s voting patterns for a lifetime. Luckily for me, my thirties brought on a time of clarity. There wasn’t one particular event that turned on a light bulb, but rather a combination of many: college, union work, community work, my father relying on the VA for health care, my mother relying on her Social Security to survive, in-laws going without health insurance because they can’t afford it after my father in-law was laid-off from Delphi, having 3 children at one time (the list goes on and on). I realized that through policy, our elected officials do have a huge impact on our livelihood. Through cuts in Social Security, appointments to the NLRB, cuts to the VA, immigration reform (or lack thereof), tax loopholes for corporations, subsidies to oil companies, etc., our middle class has been eroded and we are not taking care of those who can no longer take care of themselves.

The Republicans I loved as a child, and I thought loved me back, were the very ones who were supporting this erosion. How could this be?

The five year old in me feels so betrayed. It turns out, I’ve been caught up in a very real version of the fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood. At first glance, Grandma looked sweet and innocent, with her thank you card from the White House and an a few weeks of leave for a soldier to visit his family. Now that I am all grown up and have a family of my own to support, I see what big teeth you have, and how you have used them to take a huge bite out of the Middle Class. Like many voters in Ohio’s 8 th District and in this country, I see the GOP for what it really is. No disguise is good enough to hide the Big Bad Wolf these days.

Now I dedicate my time to trying to make this world a better place for my children and that includes supporting those who actually support the working class in this country. In 2012, when I looked for that person in the 8th District of Ohio, the ballot was blank. It was then that I decided in 2014 there was going to be a Democratic option for my family, neighbors, coworkers, and community; an option that leads to re-building our Middle Class and a stronger America. No More Boehner. Our Time is Now.

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At 1:00 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

I'm hoping Steve doesn't get involved & force Andrew to drop out of the race let him campaign freely make his case about his candidacy & support him we need more good candidates with a voice & courage like Andrew we've got your back Andrew all the way.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Andrew;

I PRAY that you are all that you profess. I want so much for people to have the representation they deserve. I want the useless out of our House of Representatives. I wish for this party of Democrats to make a thunderous voice come midterms. I hope you make it all the way to unseating the most indolent congressman in the House. You have my vote. Furthermore, I will do my best to campaign for you. Good luck!

At 4:48 AM, Blogger Goldie Locks said...

I don't even live in Ohio, but as this race draws closer, you'll have my support.

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Yankee from VA said...

You're absolutely right about much of what you write about the Republican Party... corporate welfare and so on. But the Democrat Party is not the answer either. Robbing Peter to pay Paul will inevitably end in economic disaster. And, thanks to Boehner, Obama, Reid, McConnell and a host of others, we are moving fast down that road.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Daeros said...

I feel terribly sorry trying to tear apart the veil of illusion of republican innocence to those who are former republicans who are now seeing this. it breaks my heart to shreds to have to tell the kids the president sent them off to war for no higher purpose but my take on that is what will finally convince them to question shit unless they KNOW the truth?

i don’t LIKE taking people’s happy lies away from them. it’s not a sport for me really. It’s only when their happy lies make fixiing things that much harder that I just tear my hair out.

I actually nearly cried when I told my mom how i felt about things. I was like you know how much that’s going to hurt them to say the president sent people to die and there was no real sense of purpose to it at all other than bush’s ego and cherrypicking the facts?

I never wanted this at all. I’d honestly prefer to be in the dark myself even though I am very far left wing.

the truth is markos was a former republican. I never realized that until recently. I haven’t really started my own life but I don’t want to do it ignorantly and without wisdom so… philosophy…

That’s what dailykos taught me. it’s what it means to me. without philosophy how can we see what’s really happening?

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous David Flatt said...

If you are serious, now may be your time. Republicans are doing some damage to the country. Democrats need to be constructive.


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