Book banning has no place in free societyI am writing this...

the Forum

November 12, 1990

Book banning has no place in free society

I am writing this in response to a recent book-banning issue in Howard County. It is quite disheartening to see that this country has come to the point where the government decides what we, as citizens, can or cannot read in our schools.

A graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in English, I have a well-rounded view of what literature has to give to all of us. Throughout our education experience, we are given the chance to understand worlds which we can only imagine, places we might never get to see, and feelings that are common to all of us. Without this great opportunity, children and adults are deprived of one of the greatest resources available: literature.

Once again we are faced with whether the right to ban books should be in the hands of the government or parents. And once again, it is obvious that the decision lies in the parents' hands. If you think a book is too "gory" (a comment made about C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"), then don't allow your child to take it out of the library. But I'll be damned if I let you take that right away from me or my children!

You can't keep your children in the closet for the rest of their lives. They have the right to expand their knowledge with all types of literature. If you deny them that right, you are committing the same act the Nazis did by burning books that went against their propaganda.

If this world has any sense left at all, we will stop this travesty. Literature is the greatest hope our next generation has to see ways in which others deal with certain situations in life. Don't take that right away from them.

Susan B. Williams


Haines' appeal

I've spent the past year working with senator-elect Larry Haines' campaign as communications director -- meaning I was the point-man for formulating issues, positions and, finally, "packaging" them. In that capacity, I got to see a lot regarding Haines' opponents -- first Sharon Hornberger and then Jeff Griffith. Both of these people had a distinct advantage over Haines. The former was the incumbent; the latter was very experienced. Yet both lost.

Here are the basic reasons: Hornberger failed to endear herself to Republican Party regulars. Worse yet, she made lots of enemies and couldn't find workers for her campaign. Likewise, Griffith's personality did him in. But, like Hornberger, he never caught onto the fundamental reason people vote for you: If they like you, you will win. If they don't like you, no matter how much they agree with your positions, they will never vote for you.

At the debate between Haines and Griffith I could appreciate Griffith's mastery of communication skills. But Griffith couldn't show his smarts without appearing to be an arrogant intellectual. Voters don't like to be told what the issues are. They already know what the issues are. They want to tell you. They didn't want to hear Griffith talk about "religious fanaticism crowding their liberties." Voters don't like it when politicians create boogeymen for their own cause. Voters know who the boogeymen are.

As a businessman, Haines knew the first rule of salesmanship: The customers already know what you want -- to make a sale you have to know what they want! Political history shows that i voters can trust you with their money, they can trust you with the issues -- whatever they may be. Whatever strategy changed through the course of our campaign, the one constant was Larry Haine's demeanor and personality. And in the final analysis, that was enough.

Timothy R. Ferguson


On Hayden's win

In reference to your endorsements of the incumbents in the Nov. 6 general election: It appears that you must always endorse the incumbents regardless of the qualifications of their opponent. I live in Baltimore County. You endorsed Dennis Rasmussen over Roger Hayden. Well, the people of this county who live and work here simply felt that Hayden best represented our views on our local government. We believe the future we want for our county simply would not occur under the present administration.

The people have spoken; we believe we made the right choice, and once again we have proven the big spenders with their rich backers don't control our county. To win the support of the people, you do the job you're elected to and never forget that without the votes of the constituents, money means nothing. Congratulations Roger Hayden. Good luck.

Roger R. Bryant



Congratulations to everyone involved in the production of the election coverage in The Evening Sun's 7-star edition on Nov. 7 The articles were well-written and informative, the statistics were crisp and to the point, and the graphics were eye-catching.

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