The attack on the Maryland League of Women Voters during this campaign is an attempt to rewrite American and Maryland history. Anti-choice writers are conveniently overlooking the league's long history of advocacy beginning with its successful struggle to gain voting rights for women.
Most Marylanders know the league for the work of its voters education arm -- candidate debates, forums and election guides based on candidate responses to questionnaires.
However, for 72 years the league has also been recognized for its effective action on issues of significant public interest, which its members have selected for concerted study and discussion and on which they have reached a consensus to act.
The league has been visible lately advocating for safe and affordable housing, child safety from firearms, cleaner air and water, a more equitable tax structure, affordable and comprehensive health care for all and uniform and convenient voter registration.
In 1983, league members across Maryland and the United States decided the government should not interfere in personal and private reproductive choices.
In June 1991, the Maryland league voted unanimously to support enactment of the new reproductive choice law (now Question 6).
While we acknowledge that this and other positions we have supported throughout our history are of such public interest that candidates and political parties feel the same way we do, that does not mean that we back those individuals or parties. We simply do not support or oppose candidates or political parties.
Partisan? No! Political? Yes! The League of Women Voters has always stood for informed and active participation in government.
Lessons from the Past
Isn't it interesting that when our lives are beset with recurring problems we invariably search for a solution as though the problem were being confronted for the first time?
For example, several years ago the Grace Commission produced a document addressing the astronomical waste in government and proposed an orderly program of remedy.
The report received transient interest, but was soon relegated to oblivion. Not long thereafter, Congress addressed the same issue with a whole new approach -- the Gramm-Rudman bill. With great fanfare and applause our government would now become fiscally responsible . . .
More recently, on a more local level, the Linowes report gave us hope for renewed interest in budgetary responsibility. Again, this effort met with an untimely demise.
Now, with elections soon upon us, many incumbents and aspiring candidates are barraging the media with pseudo-nouveau ideas which have a startling similarity to Grace, Gramm-Rudman and Linowes.
Why is it so difficult for us to learn or to accept the wisdom of those who have gone before us? Is it not apparent that to repeatedly reinvent the wheel is in itself not cost-efficient? Are our leaders and advisers so hypocritical as to think these constructive studies are simply academic exercises? Sooner or later our fiscal policy must make sense, or truly we shall have no credibility as a world leader.
Neither President Bush nor Gov. Bill Clinton have addressed the fundamental issue of sound fiscal policy. Perhaps such a goal is no longer achievable, and therefore not newsworthy.
Current negative accusations are the order of the day rather than specific health care plans, realistic defense cuts, planned work programs and, yes, planned parenthood management.
If only history could be our guide: Jefferson's federalism, Lincoln's humanitarianism, Teddy Roosevelt's national pride, FDR's anti-Depressionism, Richard Nixon's foreign diplomacy and the uplifting Americanism of the great communicator, Ronald Reagan.
Reflections upon our many repetitious failures suggest that we have little interest in the great insight of our predecessors.
Such an attitude brings to mind a pertinent antithetical quotation attributed to the late Alex Haley: "With the death of an elderly person a library of books burns."
William H.M. Finney
As an African American, I felt compelled to write this letter to express my heartfelt sympathy to the family of Pamela Basu.
Though many in the African-American community are appalled by the senseless and tragic consequences of Mrs. Basu's death, not many are willing to openly express that feeling.
Perhaps the real tragedy is how and why we have allowed the type of people who perpetrated this crime to have so successfully permeated our ethnic group. We need to eradicate them from the face of the Earth.
I think I speak for many by saying our hearts are heavy and we share the hurt and pain with and for the Basu family.
Garland L. Crosby Sr.
Issue Bonds to Save Cromwell Valley
The Campaign to Save Cromwell Valley applauds The Sun's position on open space and the importance of issuing state bonds to buy green spaces for preservation.