Ohio has been going the way of other once-conservative states. Governor Mike DeWine has failed Ohio’s small business owners, parents, and the values held by Republicans for decades. In short, he’s just another G-man. Big on talk, full of pompous rhetoric, and like many before him a Republican in Name Only (RINO).
Enter Joe Blystone, farmer, and non-profit business owner. Joe and I were introduced through a colleague. As usual, I poked around and discovered a humble, but strong-willed farmer, who came to the realization that it was his job to change Ohio’s direction.
I read Joe’s website, watched every video, rifled through news articles and Ohio media pieces. Slowly, I felt like I was discovering old-fashioned, uncomplicated substance. A common-sense man, a pragmatic, plain-spoken conservative that voters can understand and trust.
According to Blystone, it is not something that comes naturally. After all, he’s a farmer. I reminded myself that many of the Founders of this great nation were also people of the soil, old-fashioned farmers.
Don’t let his trademark cowboy hat (like the one’s we wear in Arizona), coupled with his midwest twang, fool you. Joe Blystone is a man of considerable substance, courage, thought, and pragmatism…someone who would make a good Governor.
A good governor would help Ohio. When compared with other states, 42 states have healthier citizens and health disparities are increasing sharply in Ohio. Thirty-six states have better rates of high school graduation; 46 do better in graduating Black teens. Despite its great football program, Ohio ranks 35th in college affordability but 45th in terms of affordability for students of modest income. Ohio is number 41 of all states due to high infant mortality. Black infant mortality rate ranking is in the cellar at 48th. Ohio prisons at 120% of capacity, Ohio’s incarceration system ranks third in absolute numbers for prison COVID deaths, and fourth in terms of the rate per 10,000 inmates. (source: PolicyMattersOhio.org).
There are more reasons Ohio needs Joe Blystone. During the so-called “pandemic” Governor DeWine’s oppressive policies for containment damaged small business owners, some lock their doors, others are still trying to recover. It was Joe Blystone who delivered this notice to Governor DeWine via Twitter:
— Blystone for Governor of Ohio (@JoeBlystone22) September 10, 2021
There is no ambiguity, spin, backdoor, side yard, or as we say in Arizona, “two-stepping.” Joe simply says what he means, and if he says it, he means it.
Joe and I spent about an hour shooting the manure. It would have been easy for me to cancel my entire schedule that day and spend it with Blystone.
If you’re happy with Ohio governor Mike DeWine, the state’s spending, its COVID policies, education system, taxes, and regulation, then Joe Blystone is not your guy. He isn’t a G-man. His frank approach to problem-solving is refreshing and hopeful. He’s uncomplicated, not at all like the spit-shined politicians we are used to hearing.
One of the things I am confident of is that Joe Blystone will not betray the state of Ohio for power, money, and popularity. He doesn’t need the job, but he does need the Ohio and America he grew up in and continues to love.
Blystone is a man of principle. All politicians say they are people of principle, only to amaze us later with acts so unprincipled we are left in a state of shock and awe.
I’m asking every conservative, independent, and Republican to jump on the Blystone train. Go ahead and read my interview, contact the campaign, attend an event, meet Joe, then make a decision based, not on political rhetoric but a first-hand experience.
Please enjoy my interview with Joe, then share it, quote it, use it in any way you can to spread his message of hope, freedom, and good government throughout Ohio.
Q: Out of the shoot, I would like to talk with you about life growing up for Joe Blystone.
JOE BLYSTONE: You know, Don, first I want to thank you for your service because when I get out into the state of Ohio I explain to the people in this country that we have failed our veterans. We sit on the sidelines and the things our veterans have fought for are now on American soil. We are having to fight against our own country because we don’t pay attention, and it’s time to get involved.
I grew up in northeast Ohio, the rust belt, a lot of steel mills, which are not there anymore. I grew up a Baptist kid living on a dirt road. My mother and father raised me in a very strict home where we went to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. I was in the youth group, and church camp in the summertime.
What I can say is I had a good upbringing. I was taught right and wrong. The foundation that would shape my life was built. I truly am just an old country boy, who likes simple things. Being in the limelight is not something I seek, in fact, I would rather no one know my name.
What I am doing today, in this Governor’s race, is very much out of my wheelhouse. Being Governor was never something that was on my bucket list. I never wanted to get into politics. I’m a farmer, I like what I do, rasing cattle, and owning a packing house, restaurant, retail butcher shop, and an event center on my farm. Life is pretty good!
Then, we all had to deal with what happened in 2020. Last year was eyes wide open for many of us., not only in Ohio but across this country.
Q: The things you experienced growing up are the same things tens of millions of Americans went through. When I say “America,” what comes into your mind?
JOE BLYSTONE: First and foremost, the word America brings a sense of pride to me. Being an American makes me proud. I am 52 years old and I was taught growing up that our flag, old glory, meant something. It’s something we honored and respected. We grew up with pride in being Americans. The word America is about freedom, and personal liberties. When I think about America it truly brings joy to my heart.
Q: You have a video on YouTube entitled, “Blystone Freedom’s Cry” featuring the daughters of Levoy Finicum, what’s the story behind that?
JOE BLYSTONE: Back when Levoy and other ranchers were fighting against the government, I was paying real close attention. They were trying to keep their legal access to the grazing lands they used. Because of the overreach of the Obama administration, there was a takeover of the Harney County Wildlife Center. No one’s life was being threatened or intimidated by something that was pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. Obviously, the Govenor of Oregon is what I would call a very wretched lady and in the end we all know what happened. The federal government killed Levoy in cold blood.
Yet, in that same state we can let Antifa and BLM, these domestic terrorist groups, take over entire city blocks in Portland for more than a year, and nobody does anything about it. That’s the hypocrisy that is happing in the United States of America. For some set of reasons one side of the aisle says it’s okay to do that and the other side takes a position that if you do that we are going to shut you down. What has happened and what is happening in this country is unnerving.
Getting back to the video. One of my team members had a connection to Mrs. Finicum, and the song was sung at Levoy’s funeral, and she reached out to me to ask me if I would include that song in one of my videos. She knew that I am like Levoy, I’m fighting for our constitutional rights. I am just a farmer that is now speaking loudly against the political machine. I think she saw similarities between her husband and what he was fighting for, and me.
Q: When you grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio, was there a culture that created a connection between community and families?
JOE BLYSTONE: There was. It was a culture of patriotism, family values, religion. It’s exactly what I see as a positive climate for family and young people growing up. Many are not being taught those values. In the struggle, our own government is trying to cancel out God and godly principles. The more we take God out of society the more chaotic it’s going to be. And here we are today and we’re seeing that result.
Q: We surveyed thousands of Americans on our websites and by a margin of 70%, they say our top problem is our loss of ethics and values?
JOE BLYSTONE: Yes, people understand what the problem is. God has a plan. Some of us realize that, some of us do not. I do not believe God will put America under something we cannot endure. It might get tough, we will experience some very hard and difficult times. We have a new administration in Washington and look what has happened to this country in less than a year.
I truly believe they want the country to implode upon us. They want hard times, and they want people to put their hand out and accept breadcrumbs from the federal government. If we stay on this path that’s exactly where we’re going to be, in a position of total dependence. And it will be our own fault.
Q: What have the policies coming out of Mike DeWine’s administration done to your business and other businesses in Ohio?
JOE BLYSTONE: Obviously, it start last year. He came out with mask mandates, and a month or so into it, he started picking winners and losers. You could go to Walmart and buy tennis shoes, but the mom-and-pop shoe store that only sold tennis shoes had to shut down for months. The government decided what was essential and non-essential. The big businesses had record profits while small businesses failed and many will not be able to open again. He destroyed lives.
In the primary voting last spring, the DeWine people made a decision to shut down in-person voting at the twelfth hour, and that is against our constitutional rights. He has no authority to do such a thing.
DeWine is giving away money through his program called “Vax-a-Million.” If you sign up and get vaccinated you are eligible to win a million dollars. If you’re under 18 you have an opportunity to win the cost of a four-year degree at one of our state universities. DeWine closed down hospitals and nursing homes, something that tears my heart apart because I have many friends whose father, mother, grandpa, grandma…died!
They died alone, whether in a hospital or a nursing home. They died alone with no one consoling them, no one sitting beside them, holding their hand in their last hours, no pastor, preacher, priest, nobody…they died alone! I can’t even put myself in that frame of mind. It’s an unconscionable evil. I don’t care if they had to put a hazmat suit on, families should never have been barred from being with their loved ones in their final moments. The Governor, Mike DeWine, should have allowed them to get into these facilities and hold their loved one’s hand in their last moment of life.
As we both know, in the final moments of life many, in consultation with family and spiritual leaders, make spiritual decisions about their relationship with God, Jesus Christ, salvation. That’s something Mike DeWinetook from them. It’s unfathomable.
Q: In one of your videos, you said you never thought about being in politics, that you despise politics. Well, Joe, you’re in the game, why?
JOE BLYSTONE: Not because I want to be. I am doing this out of necessity, not because I want to be their Governor but because we haven’t had representation for decades. President Trump woke up this country to all the corruption, the backroom deal-making, and the media. We are all paying attention now. What has happened in the last 18-months has really opened a lot of eyes to the overreach of government.
Today, politicians don’t even pay attention to our constitution. They trample on it and don’t think twice about it. I’m all about smaller, smaller, smaller government. We need to lead with the Bible in our right hand and the constitution in our left hand and get back to the principles this country was built on. We need to quit saying we’re sorry for being people of faith.
People will say to me, “Joe, you can’t mix God and politics…you can’t be talking about God.” My answer is, I am going to talk about whatever God wants me to talk about, whether anyone gets on board, whether they like me, whether they relate to me, Joe Blystone is going to be Joe Blystone.” I’m not here trying to win a popularity contest, I’m here to win back our liberties, and fight for people. And I think people respect that. People yearn for someone who will fight for them with moral courage, someone who will simply talk to them like a neighbor down the street. People are tired of all the political jargon, all the politicians talking over us with ten-digit words, and we are tired of them not listening. The tone has been set in the Virginia Governor’s race for what can happen across this country. The people of Ohio are excited about taking back the state.
Q: You’re old enough to remember Ronald Reagan, did you like him?
JOE BLYSTONE: Yes, I did. He stood up for America, Godly principles, and freedom. Isn’t it interesting that Trump, who had some of the positions of Reagan, was hated by both sides of the aisle when he came into office? When they saw that many Americans loved what he said and fought for, many Republicans started coming around, pretending to be Trumpers. One of the biggest enemies I have is the Ohio state GOP, they despise me, and they want me out of this race.
Q: In another of your speeches you said you were not interested in being in charge by being Governor and that you want people involved.
JOE BLYSTONE: That’s right, that’s why I am doing this. I love people, I love to talk to people, meet their families. In my life on the farm, the community is everything, it’s my business. We get a lot of families that come to the farm with their kids. It was just a good time. People are desperate and want someone to fight for them. They are worried about their jobs. I just want to grab them and hug them and fix this mess for them. They need someone who will put their life on the line and fight. They will not get anyone who will fight as hard as Joe Blystone.
Q: Ohio’s issues seem like mirror images of the issues across America. In your mind what are those issues?
JOE BLYSTONE: Let’s start with the school system. We have gotten away from educating our children, to indoctrinating our children. We need to stop this. Some of this curriculum like CRT, equality and inclusion, the sex-ed stuff, multiple genders…it’s heinous, it’s ungodly, and it needs to stop. We need to teach children how to learn, not what to learn. Our public schools are so far away from that, and we need to take away their power.
Secondly, Ohio has a problem managing money. Ohio has 11.5 million people. We have an $80 billion budget, and at the end of the day, we will spend about twice that. Our government doesn’t know how to manage money. In the past year and a half, Mike DeWinehas paid out $3.5 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits. The current Governor (DeWine) has never run a business, he’s never held a private job, yet he is running one of the biggest businesses in America, the state of Ohio. It’s time to get a business-minded person in the Governor’s office that is not going to Columbus to make popular decisions, but instead the right decisions. That includes tightening our fiscal belts, pushing our legislature to stand up for the people, and passing legislation that protects their individual healthcare autonomy.
The majority of Ohio’s bureaucrats are big failures. When they get elected they go into the office to get power, prestige, and money and they forget who put them there, and who is paying them to do a job. These people are looking for a career political job, and I am not. I don’t want to be a career politician, I want to go to Columbus, and I want the people to know that a blue-collar guy can walk off his farm and go to the highest seat in state government and put the power back into the hand of the people. After all, it has been stolen from them. I want the people to see a farmer take over and make big decisions, big changes, and then, I just want to go back to my farm and feed the cows. Someone needs to take charge and show that just because the politicians and lobbyists say, “You can’t do this,” I want to show them we can and prove them wrong.
I believe that in this next election we are going to wake them up in Columbus and show them what we the people want. We are going to take back the state of Ohio.
Q: Something close to your heart. The Feds and states own a lot of lands. You talked about AG lands being repurposed for solar panels.
JOE BLYSTONE: Currently, we are taking good tillable land out of production for large-scale renewable energy projects. One of these in southeastern Ohio, where they took over 14,000 acres of land. Ohio is not like some of the sunbelt states with a lot of sun and wind. I’m not against green energy, but it needs to stand on its own from a performance and economic perspective. If it was so good for Ohioans, why do we need to subsidize it with taxpayer money? But we are. The energy that is produced from these panels is being diverted to the east coast. Since it isn’t staying in Ohio, why are the people in Ohio paying for it?
In Ohio, the Governor appoints a panel that works out of Columbus and they decide when and where these big energy projects are going to happen and be placed. The local towns, cities, county commissioners, township trustees have no say in it. It’s run on the basis of political cronyism. You scratch my back and I will scratch your back. At the end of the day, I wonder, is there corrupt money in the mix.
I think that’s wrong! Taking AG land for these projects is wrong as well. We have other fields you can put these projects on, we have many square miles of warehouse roofs, highway medians, and more. Common sense is not common anymore. We see it every day in the decision made in our government, whether Ohio or Washington, DC.
Q: Joe, what makes a person a conservative?
JOE BLYSTONE: Oh…[pause]. I think that’s a question that can be answered in several different ways. It’s partly the way a person is brought up in life, that foundation that is built from a young age. That’s what made me a conservative. I had those building blocks coming from my family. My father was a truck driver, delivering oil for the Quaker State Oil company. He always worked hard…and after work, he would come home to his shop and do side work. He was conservative with money, he didn’t waste money, because growing up we didn’t have money to waste.
That was the introduction to conservatism in my life. You don’t spend more than you have, you watch how you live, not living beyond your means. You care about the community, you care about society. It’s not just caring about yourself. Conservatism means you love everybody, no matter what. You do things and make decisions that affect everyone positively. Being a conservative means you stand up for our freedoms and our liberty. Being a conservative means living life on the principles this country was built on, this includes good conservative values.
Q: Do you have a favorite color?
JOE BLYSTONE: I don’t know…I wear a lot of black shirts (huge laughter from us both).
Q: What’s your favorite food?
JOE BLYSTONE: You can’t beat a good ribeye. My wife is the queen of making the best cheesecake you could ever have.
Q: But does Joe eat Sushi?
JOE BLYSTONE: Absolutely, I love Sushi.
Q: What was your first job?
JOE BLYSTONE: My first job was with Bob Evans, the restaurant. I was a busboy at age 16.
Q: How is the campaign doing at the moment?
JOE BLYSTONE: We’re rocking. We have about a million engagements a day on social media. My wife and I are on the road six days a week, living out of an RV. We do many events each day. We have signage from the Ohio River to Lake Erie. Here’s the funny thing, Don…I think we’re making history. Usually, politicians have to beg people to put a sign in their yards, we don’t do that. We have tens of thousand of signs all over Ohio. It’s a movement, and God’s leading the charge. It’s exciting, it’s invigorating, and the establishment is running scared.
Q: You made the statement, “We are in a spiritual war, folks.” What did you mean.?
JOE BLYSTONE: It’s not even about “R” versus “D” anymore. It’s godliness verse evilness. Whether the infiltration into our schools or even on our local television stations. When people start feeling uncomfortable it brings them back to Godly principles. That’s what I see happening, and it’s what I pray will happen.
Q: Would you support the dismantling of the Department of Education?
JOE BLYSTONE: Absolutely, I don’t think they are doing the things parents want in terms of the education of our children. We rank last among many countries and we shouldn’t. We have the tools and the brains and we should not be failing our children when it comes to education. But here we are, failing.
Q: Why does the left hate “America First” and “Make America Great” and “Keep America Great?” Setting Trump aside, what’s wrong with that?
JOE BLYSTONE: Well, sadly, too many on the left those are racist statements. When Obama took over, that’s when the race war was fired up again. I have many black friends and they don’t like what’s going on and the push to divide America. We are all created equal. God died on the cross for all of us, for all of us, and for all our sins. We need to come together, shake hands and have some respectful dialogue. The day we can do that as a people, that is the day the government loses. that’s when it loses their control and us…we will take over then.
Q: What was your happiest moment as a child?
JOE BLYSTONE: The happiest moment was growing up in the country…being a country boy. Being in the backcountry hunting, fishing, trapping. My happiest times we being out there in the forest by myself. When I was six I got my first BB gun, when I was eight I got my first single-shot 410. As an eight-year-old, I would leave the house in the morning and come home at night, that’s how I grew up…it was was fun, it made me happy.
Q: On one of your videos you said, “Hallelujah, we have immune systems.”
JOE BLYSTONE: What I actually said was, “Hallelujah, we cured the flu last year,” and then I talked about our immune system. The government’s only way to solve the current situation is to turn to big pharma. It’s really about the almighty dollar.
Q: When I say the word “abortion” what does that make you think about?
JOE BLYSTONE: That’s a big one, Don. Growing up as a Baptist kid, I know what’s right and wrong. In the state of Ohio, many Republicans run on a pro-life platform. It sounds good on a campaign list, and like they’re going to do something about abortion, In this state there are 23,000+ unborn babies being terminated annually. These candidates are not going to work to shut down the abortion clinics in Ohio, it’s a money-making machine. I won’t support it, I will not support abortion. We need to abolish abortion in Ohio 100%, and I won’t take no for an answer.
To adopt a child in this state you have to hock the farm, and that needs to be changed. There are many children out there, completely lost in the system, shoved here, there, and everywhere. These kids don’t deserve that. These kids just want a permanent family, a dad, a mom, someone willing to love them, build their life foundation, so when they become adults they can make good decisions and be a part of the community. As far as I am concerned, Ohio needs to fund adoption. It’s our job as a community to find and rescue these lost children, get them into a good family that will provide them with a good upbringing. These children don’t deserve what has come their way, they are real victims,
Children are going to be a priority of my administration. Adults need to step up and ensure these younsters are given an opportunity.
Q: In two minutes or less tell Ohio voters why you should be Governor. Ready, set, go!
JOE BLYSTONE’S CALL TO ACTION FOR OHIO:
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