Bush failed because he ran from the rightWhile the media...

the Forum

November 11, 1992

Bush failed because he ran from the right

While the media insist on portraying Bill Clinton's election as a "mandate" for change -- what a joke! -- the truth is the American electorate did not wholeheartedly embrace Bill Clinton, but rather it repudiated George Bush.

Not Reaganism, not Republicans in general -- we gained a seat in Maryland's congressional delegation and nine seats nationwide -- just George Bush.

Why this repudiation? Certainly not because Bush ran too far to the right. He lost because of 1) a slow, but far from disastrous economy and 2) because he ran away from the right.

While it's true that Bush occasionally engaged in the rhetoric of the right, it was almost always done with a nod and a wink -- and never backed up by aggressively fighting for the issues he claimed to believe in.

In short, Bush knew Ronald Reagan, Bush worked with Ronald Reagan -- but Bush was no Ronald Reagan.

That's why George Bush was beaten on Nov. 3 (by a scant 5 percent of the vote). George Bush gave nothing but lip service to the issues and ideals that earned Republicans the White House throughout the 1980s, and now he's been replaced by Clinton and Al Gore.

Maryland Republicans take notice: If we really want to win back the White House in 1996 we must not again make the mistake of nominating a consensus "politician" as our candidate.

We must nominate a principled individual who will stand and fight for what is right.

I wonder what Pat Buchanan is doing these days?

Joseph F. Steffen Jr.


Time for a change

I believe that one of the reasons President-elect Clinton was victorious is that the American people were sick of a gridlock government.

We wish to hold one party responsible and not blame the other party for our failures. It is certainly easier to change the presidency than to change the complete Congress.

It is interesting to note that our state has had one party in control of both the executive and legislative branches for over 25 years.

Should we not hold both the Democratic governor and Democratic General Assembly responsible for the sorry state of affairs our state is in? Is it not time to change both the executive and legislative branches of our state government?

David Blanch


Year of the Monkey

As you may know, the Chinese calendar counts years in groups of 60s rather than by centuries. Within each period the Chinese system has cycles of 12 years. Each year of the cycle has its own particular animal symbol whose origin stretches back to ancient China.

According to Chinese tradition, each animal which came to pay homage to Buddha was given a year named for it. Each of the animals -- the rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the sheep, the monkey, the cock, the dog and the boar -- then contributed its characteristic traits to that year, making the year distinctly its own.

On Feb. 4 of this year the clever, mischievous monkey took command of the year 4691, as reckoned by the ancient Chinese calendar. Because many of us admired and liked President Bush, we hoped that the ancient predictions would not come true.

The last time the lunar monkey ruled the calendar -- in 1980 -- Republicans wrested control of the White House from the Democrats. (By the way, America was established in a monkey year -- 1776.)

All during 1992, nothing seemed to be going President Bush's way. He certainly deserved a better hand from fate. And then on Nov. 3 the GOP's 12-year grip on the White House was broken.

I have never had much faith in the predictions and symbolisms of our lunar animals. Now I wonder. The monkey's resourcefulness, cleverness, and skill certainly turned politics around in 1980 and 1992. Will the GOP have to wait until 2004, when the agile lunar monkey returns to rule, for the pendulum swing back and return a Republican to the White House?

Lillian Lee Kim


The writer is director of Grace & St. Peter's Chinese Language School of Baltimore.

Smokers' rights

Your paper reported (Oct. 27) that Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy of the Court of Appeals, Maryland's highest tribunal, planned to issue an order prohibiting smoking in all courthouses in the state

Most smokers will agree to reasonable restrictions on their right to smoke. However, it does not seem fair or just to force juries, clerks, witnesses and even judges out into the snow and rain to enjoy their habit, which has been legal since the days of Sir Walter Raleigh.

The proposed action is discriminatory in the worst sense, as it is being ordered without any basis in law and without a public hearing.

Should smokers be given less consideration than felons convicted of the most heinous crimes? I think not.

Harold T. Boone


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