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July 29, 2014

Shock and Awe on Us

Harry M. Covert

From the sublime to the ridiculous. The best way to change leadership on levels is the ballot box. Watching the crowd in the nation’s capital is further proof they are out of touch with the nation.


In this printed space it’s supposed to be dignified and proper to discuss the foibles of our local government leaders as well as those on the state and federal level without silliness and bogus opinions and suggestions.


As the world seemingly is on the brink of disaster, Frederick’s city and county managers and office holders seem to be in the quality category and holding their own.


If we continue to learn anything, it’s that the mess continues and the whole world is watching us in shock and awe, to borrow an old saying.


Let us stop and think, seriously, for a moment. I can well be a partisan, and I am, but how the nation has reached such a stage where congressional leaders obviously are caring only for themselves.


It is a complete and utter waste of time and political energy threatening and planning to sue Mr. O, of Pennsylvania Avenue. Or to even consider an impeachment process when the nation needs action.


Reading and listening to the politicians of both sides “efforting” just to make hay, that is headlines, good poll numbers and hopefully getting re-elected is discouraging. I’ve been following the politics game a long time and this stage is nothing less than frightening.


From this standpoint, imagine what bad shape Frederick County and city would be if leaders just haggled all the time and never had a vote for the betterment of all citizens. At least, the commissioners and aldermen do what they say.


The old joke is that journalists and used car salesmen rank at the bottom of public favorites. That has changed more than somewhat with the current crop of would-be congressmen and senators.


Sure would be good to see in this day and age the likes of William Donald Schaefer, a man who made things happen, as Baltimore’s mayor and Maryland’s governor. The national constituency misses such doers as North Carolina’s Jesse Helms, Georgia’s Sam Nunn, Virginia’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr., and John Warner, and Frederick’s Roscoe Bartlett. These were outstanding leaders who represented not only their states but the nation.


There are plenty of good candidates out there, who won’t be susceptible to the antics of the crowd holding the “keys to the kingdom” as it were.


It is not a positive feeling to put the knock on the incumbents. There are ways to handle the immigration problem. There are ways to keep people working and retiring successfully. There are ways to be leaders in the world without acting so weakly.


Nothing is wrong with taking a firm hand in matters, large or small. Something is wrong when political partisans throw out red herrings to stall and to avoid making decisions.


Fortunately there have been some above average decision-makers. Who can forget when a Maryland governor, his office filled with a bunch of protesting college students, had them thrown out?


It’s hard to forget the man from Missouri who fired, without equivocation, a five-star general for disobeying his civilian boss.


It’s hard to forget the old actor who got the American hostages released in Iran on his first day in the oval office.


There may be some who disagree with the taxi driver-commissioners’ president, who tells early what he’s going to do and does it, and harbors no flimflamming.


Everything rises and falls on leadership. Friends, the term limit issue comes up again, 98 days until that November day.


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