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March 18, 2011

Senator Ron Young

Roy Meachum

As the legislative session winds down, I must express admiration for the performance of “rookie” State Sen. Ron Young.


Late last week the Frederick lawmaker introduced a measure that would eliminate the right of commercial and governmental employers to demand passwords and any other key to give them access to email and diverse electronic ways people send messages to each other. A World War cabinet poobah said: “Gentlemen do not read other gentlemen’s letters.” Exactly!


Privacy was the same principle underlying Senator Young’s position on same-sex marriage. Our Founding Fathers established a form of government deliberately to short circuit attempts of spiritual leaders to dominate politics; they witnessed the state Anglican Church’s interfere with – and sometimes veto – issues brought up in the colonies’ faltering effort to govern themselves.


The bill to open marriage on a fully equal basis was returned to committee in the House of Delegates last week and likely will appear next session, in a year. That breaks my heart. Why should any 2011 American, of any color or gender, be barred from any aspect of full citizenship? The biggest element in the fight against the marriage bill comes from black protestant churches and preachers. And that’s sad!


Having won most of their civil rights – but not all – from a still white controlled majority, the descendents of slaves don’t want to see others liberated. That part of the population who would benefit when the bill becomes law are no strangers to prisons, manacles and other punitive measures, as African Americans were – for the color of their skin.


Most maniacal screed of all is that gays choose to be gays. Medical authorities and prominent psychiatrist have tried to kick that hateful canard out of society for years; they’ve failed because the churches interfere, opposing directly the Constitution. For proposing equality before the law for all citizens, Frederick’s former mayor has come under vitriolic fire. Frederick News-Post letters to the editor and radio call-in shows were dominated by traditional marriage types. One man yelled that if had known the new senator’s position on the controversial subject, Ron Young would not have tilted on his face incumbent Alex Mooney. My reaction to the caller’s message was disbelief that he really voted for the current senator in November.


After nigh-on 40 years experience in elected office, the freshman state senator offered these words: “There are times when you have to do what is right. We are here (Annapolis) not just to be representatives, we are here as leaders. If I lose an election over this vote, so what?”


That’s the attitude I expect from Ron Young or any decent politician. To merely mirror voters’ frequently changing opinions is no way to run any government, especially this volatile republic. On the Republican side of the State Senate David Brinkley earns equal respect.


Borrowing from former colleague Jack Valenti’s observation about President Lyndon B. Johnson: I sleep better at night because Frederick County’s affairs are in the intelligent and moral hands of State Sen. Ron Young and State Sen. David Brinkley.


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