WASHINGTON C.H. — “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” a large crowd chanted Tuesday evening as Jerry Springer took to the podium for the keynote address at the Fayette County Democrats’ annual fall dinner.
Springer made no mention of a rumor circulating that he is considering a run in the 2018 Ohio gubernatorial race, but had plenty to say about the American people and slammed President Donald Trump over the direction he believes the country is headed.
Springer, daytime television host and former Cincinnati mayor, began with comments on the debate over patriotism that have been widely reported recently with Trump’s tweets about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem.
“Patriotism is so much in the news as of late and what I want to say — and I say it when I scream at the TV set at home — is that what our White House and our leaders and many in Washington need to know, as well as a bunch of American people, is that patriotism is not how well you sing ‘God Bless America’ during a seven-inning stretch,” said Springer.
The 73-year-old said that that is a pretty strong statement — the country was created by an idea of freedom.
“This is the first time in my lifetime, and I’m 73, that we have had a government, I’ll be more specific, a president, who is opposed to the ideal America,” said Springer in front of a excited crowd at the American Legion Post 25 in Washington C.H.
Springer said it used to be that it did not matter what religion you were affiliated with or what school you went to: “This would be the one place on Earth where you would be free and we have a president that doesn’t understand the basic definition of America.”
Springer reminded the crowd that he wasn’t making anything up about Trump.
“I’m not making this up — at first he wants to replace the Statue of Liberty with a wall. This is America and it’s not that he just gave a speech — it’s what he really believes. That’s why he says we’ll ban immigrants, disenfranchise African-Americans and attack women,” said Springer, telling the crowd not to get caught up in one issue over patriotism.
Springer said that what he tells his Republican friends is that they are willing to sell out.
“America is under attack and it just isn’t by terrorists and by the Russians in cyber security attacks against us, but it’s our own government attacking the ideal America,” said Springer. He said that despite the party affiliate classes — Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc. — you’re an American.
“It’s not just that they are attacking our idea of government. Some are attacking the American people,” said Springer.
For an example, Springer discussed the country’s response to the 9/11 attacks. American citizens came together and the government promised to go and find those terrorists, go into Iraq, and do whatever it took.
“In the beginning no hearings were held on how much this is going to cost us. Just go and do it. No plan — 3,000 Americans were killed and we had to do something,” said Springer.
The Iraq war has cost $2 trillion so far according to Reuters, with another $6 trillion over the four decades.
Springer said that although 100 percent of us will eventually leave this Earth by disease or in an accident, our government is not willing to spend the money that it takes to prevent disease.
“Why wouldn’t we spend whatever it takes on health, but we would spend it to go find someone, some terrorist somewhere?” said Springer. “The most important thing in your life is the health of your child, the life of your child. So what is wrong with us? Why are we having a debate on why everyone should have health insurance? Why is it OK for our government to say, ‘We have this plan and 60 percent of people are going to lose coverage?’ How can you profess to love America and you don’t give a damn about Americans?”
Springer had an idea for a political philosophy: “Just remember what your moms told you in the third grade: be decent, be caring — what’s the nice thing to do?”
David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, Aftab Pureval, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, and Dr. Mary Lou Shaw, along with local Democratic candidates, also spoke at the dinner Tuesday evening.
Reach Ashley by calling (740) 313-0355 or by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton