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April 22, 2013

Demonstrating The Divide

Jill King

While national news rocked TV's, social media, and radios everywhere, taking a break to attend local and state events was a must for those who really need to be in the know.


A legislative luncheon for the Republican Women's Club of Frederick County and the Maryland GOP convention brought hope and, of course, more disagreements and challenges, due to infighting and frequent disagreements on how to move forward.


The luncheon, featuring Del. Kelly Schulz (R), Del. Donald Elliot (R), and an unconfirmed speaker Sen. Ronald Young (D).


The initial confirmed speakers also included Del. Kathy Afzali and Del. Michael Hough. Although both had other matters to tend to, Delegate Hough was the only one who sent a representative who may have had the ability to speak for him.


The crowd of about 25 people listened tentatively as they heard two different versions of what happened in Annapolis during the just concluded session of the General Assembly.


Walking into a room loaded with conservative Republicans and leading off was Senator Young, who gave numbers proclaiming the budget did not increase; also he talked about gun legislation, and other decisions in the Senate.


Senator Young was admired for his courage to show up in this atmosphere, but then became the target to many audience questions, even after he sat down.


One stumper, surely not in line with the history degree he touted, was the comment as to why the Second Amendment occurred.


He stated that when this concept was pitched for "protection from Indians and slaves." There are thousands of arguments for this including the Federalist Papers and the fact that since we are free from these societal norms now, we have no public or private threats. This sent many heads spinning while attempting to swallow this highly debatable comment.


Even the senator’s son, Frederick County Commissioner President Blaine Young engaged. "Dad, I love you, but I can't agree with your politics."


Delegate Elliot was next up, speaking freely about what he witnessed in Annapolis. "This is the worst year ever," said the seasoned legislator. What happened this session included a budget. He produced a flyer to how rapidly it had increased since Martin O’Malley became governor. It didn’t include the taxes and fee increases introduced this year.


Delegate Schulz talked about the new wind energy which had been defeated every year within reason and through research, until this year where all they needed was the votes and no rhyme nor reason. Science here was a crucial point; why wind?


Her passion to represent people to the best of her ability was apparent as she spoke.


Explaining the new driver’s license ties system for illegal immigrants became a hot button topic. Previously, the state failed to honor the federal identification law and its citizens paid for the indiscretion. Reasonable amendments to this bill were disregarded. Fingerprinting, the same method used for gun owners, was not justifiable for those voting in the majority. Adding this would help track persons, who could use any name without proof of their true identity.


Apparently, these legislators do not remember that there were ties to Maryland ID's in the 9/11 attack; more recently there are influences in Maryland's melting pot that surrounded the recent Boston marathon attack.


With the new barcode, there will be a difference when identifying those persons. Will this be enough for our security, or will it be enough for other states, who once refused our ID system due to the lack of compliance? Who will even look for the additional strip and why are we catering to non-citizens while jacking up prices of those citizens who are taxed so high that many are and bleeding?


One thing for sure, passing these taxes and fees in a non-election year was obviously planned, with hopes people would forget before the September primary next year. The flip side is when they go into effect people will feel the strains and hopefully those who fall somewhere in the middle are paying attention and will beat the street, helping the public realize why it is becoming increasingly difficult to live in Maryland.


The offering of amnesty, non-business friendly measures or fees for solutions that have no scientific evidence of being realistic, instead of trying to let people recoup their losses from the economic downturn, is creating particular problems for lower wage earners. Their answer to this was to propose an increase in the minimum wage, taking another inconsistent and immeasurable approach. Luckily this failed.


On a flip note, the Maryland GOP convention designated a new chairman – Collins Bailey. Reading the winner of this race was very difficult especially when it appeared Greg Kline had a strong following. Shockers never stop.


Although the Blaine Young for Governor Room was the place to be, with superb appetizers and top rail open bar services. The ending became a call out between a recent senatorial bid and a once delegate who have differing views. Publicly witnessed and not in the most tasteful manner, the camps will divide again.


For what it is worth, this observation is not unique to the Republicans and can be viewed as a social norm with all groups. This is quite possibly why the surge of unaffiliated voters is emerging, along with why differing names that come with the two parties.


Can we all just get along? Of course not.


Essentially, there is a rule that states we must compromise. When there is a great level of one party in the system compromise tends to mean sit down, shut up, and obey. If, as a party, we can't find common ground, how can we do it with others?


A rule to be realistically approached is consistency. Some are still trying to figure out the appropriate level, but it is necessary when making decisions.


Maybe all there is to do is to listen to a majority of citizens, which is necessary. Accuracy, and the science that go into polling, never seems to be representative of this; how do we figure this out?


retraining my brain for the future, conferring with my past...


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