Nation loses when dividers win

It was a surprise that U.S. Sen. Rob Portman announced he would not seek re-election next year, and it was sad to learn about his decision. Portman, unlike some other elected officials, was steady, reliable and delivered for Ohio without fanfare. He was never a darling of the fake news, far-right broadcasters or opinion pundits in primetime on Fox News, One America News or Alex Jones.

His credentials as a true conservative, however, far outweigh media stars like U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan and other loudmouths. Jordan will answer questions from Maria Bartiroma or Lou Dobbs at the drop of a hat, but he rejects questions from media companies back home and keeps his contact information a state secret to avoid having to answer to constituents.

Jordan can deliver the hyperbolic red meat with simplistic explanations served up with a common enemy to hate, but always without substance or benefit to the state or its residents. In his entire Congressional career and his years as a state lawmaker, Jordan sharpened his skill using words that divide people but failed to deliver any legislation to assist Ohioans in their day-to-day lives.

Portman is not that kind of politician. He is so much better.

The nearly $30 million being used to rebuild the break walls in Lake Erie that protect the shoreline of South Bass Island and the Perry’s Victory Monument is money Portman fought years to secure. Substantial money made available to help families dealing with addiction and recovery — something every one of us has been touched by — was delivered here by Sen. Portman.

The rehab center, in treatment hospital and sober living community in Erie County that make up our full circle of care, were, in part, made possible by Portman, who served the entire nation in the same way.

While Jordan spent years politicizing the tragic deaths of four Americans caused by a terrorist mob in Benghazi in 2012, Rob Portman was working for Ohioans. Now, Jordan defends a mob leader, who incited the Jan. 6 terrorist attack on the U.S. government that killed a Capitol police officer and four others, in an about-face that defies logic and common decency. He is a crass exploiter for political gain, his own, only.

What makes us fear for our future is that people like Jordan — who accomplish nothing, legislatively their entire careers — are winning with too many Americans by polluting our conversation with false and fake information designed to divide and conquer, without consequence for the damage it is doing, the hatefulness he is creating.

Portman said one of the reasons he is opting out is “partisan gridlock” that makes it so difficult to achieve progress. The senator rejects that; Jordan lives for it. He defines it.

— Sandusky Register; Jan. 26, 2021.