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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Cindy A. Rose |


Advertise on the Tentacle

November 11, 2010

What we want…

Patricia A. Kelly

The voters have spoken. “Yes, thank you, I’ll have another serving of change. This time hold the bacon.


We have spoken, as we’ve done many times before over the past 200-plus years. Just as we swung away from conservatism two years ago, we have now swung back.


We were unhappy, and we wanted change. Republican leadership had, instead of fostering the principles of the party, such as minimal government and maximal personal responsibility and freedom, taken us down the path of limitation of liberties, imposition of specific religious principles upon our diverse society, ideological (we can only hope it wasn’t over oil) wars, massive spending, and the passing of judgment on other, perfectly good cultures. We were careening down the road to ruin, to financial meltdown, recession, and isolationism. The change we asked for hasn’t proven to be better.


Listening to talk radio people discuss what people are looking for, and hearing call-ins, I sometimes cringe. Walls along the border? Sending the immigrants home and making them stop taking our jobs? Winning in Iraq? Not to mention the liberal refrains: What about the children? You can’t penalize them for their parents’ status. What about helping people in the country? What about setting up more social programs? What about government-mandated health care?


In my view, many people on both sides don’t get it.


In Frederick locally, we followed the national trend to the right, and, as in the national elections, we chose responsible, functional Democrats in lieu of the most extreme and wacky conservatives. Thank goodness.


Interestingly, C. Paul Smith won resoundingly after being driven out in last year’s city election. I like to think his vote counts were so good because voters recognized his knowledge, commitment to doing the right thing and his sensible, reasonable approach to negotiating.


Ron Young, a Democrat, beat Alex Mooney, known primarily as a “no” guy on spending, a conservative Christian ideologue, and for bringing nothing positive to the state senate. Ron has history of accomplishment going for him, so it was a good choice.


The four horsemen of the Board of County Commissioners were awesome choices. They’re businessmen; they’re awash in common sense; they believe in balancing the budget; and, as much as possible, believe in leaving people alone to pursue their own life goals.


As adults, we no longer generally live with our mommies. Why would we want to create a new mommy in Washington? “Brush your teeth three times a day. Eat your broccoli. No, you can’t have a toy with your Happy Meal. If you use your ladder as a dinner table, you might get hurt.” What are the real mommies and daddies going to do?


I live in downtown Frederick. Frequently at night I’m awakened by the crack of a car hitting the “Stop before the crosswalk” sign that some do-gooders decided should be in the middle of my quite narrow street. A valuable parking place has been sacrificed for this silliness, and I personally cheer whenever I hear the sound.


Since I came to Frederick, I’ve repeatedly heard the urban legend that the reason some of the downtown streets have no parking meters is that the residents of the street regularly broke them. I’m hoping that the same fate will befall these intrusive, redundant signs. Just as in hate crimes, the law’s already the law. Enforcement is all we need.


My uncle, named after John Wayne, lives in the hill country of Texas.  He may be more extreme than I, but he is the epitome of the independent, moral man. He worked as a barber in Fort Worth, Texas.


First, he bought a derelict house and fixed it up. Then, realizing it was never going to be a solid, valuable home, he tore it down and built a new one. To realize his life dream, he sold the house and bought a hardscrabble farm 90 miles south of the city. Commuting daily for years, he replaced the frame shack on the property with a house he built himself out of stone he gathered from the fields.


He’s in his mid-70s now, lean, rugged and much more handsome than his namesake ever thought of being. He’s still on the farm, still working hard, still smoking his deer meat and taking care of business.


When I see him, I delight in his huge, white-toothed grin and the hard muscled hug I get. His life now includes leading the tiny, now demented love of his life everywhere he goes. I’ve seen her look of love and trust as she stands beside him waiting for him to fix her plate at a family gathering. “Just put her in the truck and take her with you!” he tells his brother, whose wife is also ill.


I can tell you what my Uncle John Wayne wants from the government. He wants to be left the hell alone to live his life, farm his farm, care for his neighbors, hunt deer for meat with his own gun, and generally do what he thinks is best.


He has no health insurance. He pays for his medical care with cash. Last week he was gored in the groin by a bull. He treated the wound himself, and drove home. Why not? He always castrated his own steers.


If he ran out of money, he wouldn’t expect anyone to give him anything. He wants the government to provide security, basic public works and law enforcement.


I’m way more complex than my uncle, and a city girl to boot. To me, though, he is America. I know what I want from the government, too. I want my Uncle John to get what he wants.


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