Duke's DefeatsEditor: M. Dion Thompson wrote an excellent...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 21, 1991

Duke's Defeats

Editor: M. Dion Thompson wrote an excellent Perspective article about David Duke in the Dec. 8 Sun. But it was marred by an unfair statement that Presidents Reagan and Bush ''created a comfortable atmosphere'' for Mr. Duke.

David Duke is trying to mask his fascism by latching onto many disparate themes. As Mr. Thompson notes, Mr. Duke is hammering away with evocative protectionist rhetoric. Does that mean that Rep. Dick Gephardt, who ran for president as a populist protectionist, should also be accused of creating a comfortable atmosphere for Mr. Duke? Hardly. That, too, would be unfair, as tariffs have been part of our mainstream political dialogue since before the Civil War.

The voters of Louisiana weren't fooled by David Duke. They defeated him in two consecutive statewide races. In losing his race for governor, Mr. Duke even lost his legislative district and will be out of the legislature in January.

I'm very optimistic that Republican voters in Maryland will respond convincingly in our March 3 primary, backing our president and thereby becoming the first state in the nation to decisively reject David Duke in 1992.

Howard A. Denis.

Annapolis.

The writer is a Republican state senator representing Montgomery County.

Not Fair

Editor: Your editorial of Dec. 7, ''Fairer Representation for Howard,'' wholly mises what I regard as the major problems with the redistricting proposal of the Governor's Advisory Commission as it affects Howard County.

One of these concerns the enormous and unnecessary population disparities between districts, with Howard getting some of the most over-populated ones.

The other is that the 75,000 residents of Columbia would remain cut in two and thus unable to elect a senator of their own choice.

This same commission came within 753 people of exact equality with their congressional proposal. Yet one of their state senate -- districts would have over 10,000 more people than another. And delegate subdistrict 14B (primarily in Howard County) would have a population disparity of 7.8 percent over the average. It's clear that they weren't very serious about achieving equal representation here.

As your editorial indicates, the Howard countians who are paired with people in bordering counties generally have a compatibility of interest with those people.

But it is not the same with Columbia, which is easily the most liberal and most Democratic part of this county.

Cutting it in two serves only to dilute the vote of Columbians and prevents them from getting the kind of representation (especially in the state Senate) they deserve. Some people (including some incumbent legislators) obviously like it that way.

As you also say, the commission's proposal can be changed by the governor. Even the legislature itself can eventually change it.

It would be nice if ensuring fairness is the reason for any changes, but I am rather cynical about the motivation of most incumbent legislators when dealing with redistricting. With most them, personal political survival (not fairness) is at the top of their agenda. Unless the public gets actively involved and insists on it in no uncertain terms, I don't expect much fairness.

Kenneth A. Stevens.

Savage.

Gay Adoption

Editor: Lately there has been a lot of talk about gay couples wanting to adopt children. I realize that these couples can create a loving home for crack babies and babies with other problems who are not easily adopted.

However, what these people are really doing is creating a modern fairy tale for themselves by thinking that things will be wonderful for the child's entire life. They should realize, though, that a child raised with homosexual parents may suffer unnecessary psychological problems.

Children grow up wanting to be like their friends and do not understand when they are different. How do you explain to a child on Father's Day that he (or she) has two mothers and no father?

It is nice that gay couples want to make a child happy by adopting it but it is cruel to put a child through unnecessary suffering.

Leticia Lyford-Pike.

Glen Arm.

Christmas Tree Sends Message

Editor: I know many of readers enjoy the family experience of cutting their own tree, but consider the following before you choose a site this year.

Do you remember the weeks of smoke and the discomfort last February from the now infamous ''stump dump'' around the Woodlawn, Randallstown and Catonsville areas? That fire is still burning. Many of us still smell it in the morning when we leave for work or late evening.

The official name of the ''stump dump'' is Patapsco Valley Tree Farm. It is a ''cut-your-own'' tree farm on Dogwood Road, not far from Security Square Mall. This farm has a long history of indifference concerning its impact on the community.

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