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As Long as We Remember...

May 17, 2018

Grinding to a Halt

Hayden Duke

Surprise is usually reserved for others, but when I was chosen as the Republican of the Year by the Frederick County Republican Central Committee at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, the tables were turned on me. I was very surprised and deeply honored.


Reward is not what you expect when you volunteer for something – or anything. But it was nice to be recognized. Now it’s time to get back to work.


I decided to take a different tack this week and detail a few things that really grind my gears – especially with the primary just over five weeks away.


First, the word “free” gets bandied about a lot in politics these days. Regardless of the policy being discussed, whether it’s “free” college, or “free” healthcare, nothing in life is free. Webster’s – and good old fashioned common sense – define “ree” as not costing anything. Any product that is created has a cost. And, again, speaking in generalities, I would hope that our political class would start being honest with us and stop using the word “free” unless they are describing the ideal condition of all humanity.


Secondly, the time it takes to have an election really tasks my sensibilities. The filing period for the City of Frederick aldermanic race alone takes 2-3 times longer than the entire Canadian General Election.


It takes 33,000,000 people less time to have an election than it does 70,000. As a consequence our elections now seem never ending, one right after the other. This benefits no one - except the paid political consultants and accompanying hacks. Our elections should take less time and less money. You want to solve the problem of nothing getting done? Let’s reform redistricting and reform elections, then spend our time governing instead of electioneering.


Thirdly, is the dismissive political class. I’ve read about this quite a bit lately, or seen it on some “news” channels.


A bunch of overpaid prognosticators sit around, ensconced in their comfortable chairs with salaries that far outstrip insight, intellect or abilities, and proclaim that so many Trump voters, or other voters, “vote against their self-interest.”


This comment is usually made by someone who has gone years without worrying how they will make ends meet, or repeatedly checking their bank account to make sure their latest paycheck has cleared and hoping that there is a little left over.


This is the dismissive political class, the type that knows how to run your life better than you do. Perhaps, it’s not their self-interest citizens are voting against, but rather the smug pundits who sneer at them and make such pronouncements.


As things grind my gears about elections, I’ll sprinkle them here and there. Next week we return to the local elections with the remaining County Council At-Large candidates and district candidates. Suffice it to say that I hope that our Council is made up of competent candidates who truly have the best interest of the citizens of Frederick County and the county itself at heart.


Finally, a note on the passing of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. While I did not agree with him politically, I do mourn his passing. It shows us that life is fragile and can be taken from us in an instant. And, behind the rhetoric, policies and votes there are just people, regular people like everyone else.


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