The “Back Road to the White House Tour” rolls on… In Ayersville, Ohio (pop. it wasn’t even listed in the Atlas), I put up a campaign flier in the Ayersville Gas Station (one pump) / Carry Out / Restaurant (one table). A guy at the cash register wished me luck and a guy at the pump said he was open to alternatives this election and would check out the website. Then it was on to Dupont, Ohio (pop. smaller than Ayersville), where I approached what looked like an extended family out putting Christmas decorations up around a house on the corner. I had a Browns cap on and two of the guys were wearing Cincinnati Bengal sweatshirts. There was an awkward moment. I then started: “Hey guys (That’s what we say in Ohio, “hey guys.”), as unlikely as this seems, I’m running for president of the country. And the football thing notwithstanding, I’d really like your vote!” They looked briefly at the campaign card, then they looked a lot longer, again, at my Browns cap. Ohio sports fans can be a tough lot. Speaking of football… Our kids’ Midget Football League Team, “The Rams,” clashed with the Ayersville (actually, I didn’t get the whole name) team. It was the last game of the season and I helped coach. As sometimes happens in these “games” with the younger kids, the coaches stay on the field like in a scrimmage situation. Our younger son Jonathan played halfback and safety. And our older son Joseph played offensive end and defensive linebacker. All the kids on our team played valiantly this day. (Read: We got beat by a lot.) And at one point this really showed in the huddle, with our offensive tackle crying (literally) with a bruised shoulder and our quarterback crying (literally) from a bruised ego. (At that point we were losing 24 to 0.) One of our coaches, a young father, started to head toward the sidelines. “Where are you going?” I asked. “I just can’t take all the crying man,” he said in exasperation. And so it goes on the Midget Football League gridiron. Now to move to a foreign affairs ‘gridiron’… This past week, I’ve been expanding our position on foreign affairs. And the last couple days I’ve been focusing specifically on our “strategic alliance” with Saudi Arabia. This is a country run by dictatorship, illiciting continual charges of human rights violations. It is a country where if you’re convicted of robbery, say, the sentence can include (and regularly does): amputation of your hands and/or feet. It is a country with no freedom of speech or press, with all media actively censored by the government to prevent political dissidence. It is a country where women are not allowed to drive, vote and only 5% of Saudi women are in the work force. It is a country with no religious freedom. In other words, it’s a country that displays principles seemingly antithetical to much of what America stands for. And last year the Obama administration rubber stamped a huge weapons deal with Saudi Arabia that could be worth up to $60 billion over 20 years. We are sending them, among other military hardware, 84 F-15 fighter jets to: help protect their “kingdom” — and our interests. (Read: oil.) So in this case, basically, our economic interests trump protesting human rights abuses. Would that, in essence, put America in the same camp as Saudi Arabia?