Democratic Party Is Alive and WellI was interested to read...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 24, 1994

Democratic Party Is Alive and Well

I was interested to read the July 10 letter from Dick Fairbanks about his perception that Democrats are shifting to the Republican Party because my experience is directly the opposite.

I spent most of my 55 years as a committed Republican until the party in 1980 turned its back on its own heritage. The party of Teddy Roosevelt has essentially declared war on conservation and the environment. The party of Abraham Lincoln has abandoned the battle for human justice and equality. The Equal Rights Amendment was long a part of the party platform until it was rejected in 1980. Economic conservatism, fiscal integrity and striving for a balanced budget was rejected under Reagan and Bush who created deficits larger than the previous 200 years combined.

Concern for individual privacy from the government and religious freedom for all has been replaced by a crusade to impose the views of one group of zealots on everybody. The hypocrisy of advocating "traditional family values" is promulgated by Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich whose own immediate families hardly are role models.

The prior opposition of the party to the government dole has been replaced by a party which is the champion of continued below-cost grazing fees on our public lands by fat-cat Republican ranchers, continued below-cost timber sales on our public forests for fat-cat Republican timber interests, continued sale of public mining lands and mineral rights for $2.50 per acre to fat-cat Republican mining interests, continued subsidies for "farmers" to fat-cat Republican agricultural interests. Who leads the charge on these issues to protect the fat-cat interests? Bob Dole, the leader of the Senate Republicans who brags that he can block the majority in the House of Representatives and the majority in the U.S. Senate through the constant threat of the filibuster. So much for majority rule and the will of the people.

What strikes me in my associations with younger people these days is how many individuals between roughly 18 and 40 who grew up in Republican homes have shifted to the Democratic Party. The current situation in Virginia, Texas, Minnesota and other states indicates there will be further defections from the right-wing extremism of what the Republican Party unfortunately has become.

David H. Pardoc

Columbia

I was delighted, but not surprised, to read that high school seniors in Howard County are registering overwhelmingly Democratic.

The presidential election of 1992 was clearly a referendum on America's future. President Clinton campaigned to people our age, of the supposed "Generation X," on the promise that this generation of Americans, my generation, and that of those high school seniors would not become the first generation of Americans whose standard of living would be below the generation before them.

As a result, turnout among young voters (18-30) was higher nationwide than it had been in decades, and the young vote went decidedly Democratic. President Clinton has worked hard to maintain his promise to us by promoting a strong domestic agenda on issues such as national service, economic growth and health care. As a former president of the Young Democrats of Maryland, I am proud to have President Clinton firmly in control of leadership of this great nation.

By contrast, nationally and locally, the Republican Party fails to address the needs of America's generation of young people. Then-President Bush repudiated the young vote, with his famous "I am not a teeny-bopper" response of young voters in November. Locally, the Howard County Republican Party states that the high Democratic registration among high school seniors is attributed to coercion of these registrants by Democratic teachers. As the Howard County Republican Party should know, any coercion of an individual during the voter registration process is illegal. . . .

Rather, I feel that Howard County's high school students have given a loud and clear message on what party represents the best chance on the national, state and local levels to ensure them of a solid future.

By a large margin, they have selected the Democratic Party, and this is a signal that Democrats hear loud and clear, but one that the Republicans seem to feel is unworthy of a response.

Bill Woodcock Jr.

Elkridge

A Case of Racism or Just Overreaction?

"Character assassin wields ugly sword while proclaiming righteous indignation."

Catchy title, huh? I expect that Journalism 101 teaches that the most important part of an article is to get people to read it. Kevin Thomas is an accomplished writer, so I'm sure it's no accident that he ties together a catchy title, a popular Howard County restaurant, racism, O. J. Simpson and interracial marriage in his column of July 10. Since I don't have the benefit of preaching my personal views to thousands of readers on a weekly basis, I too must rely on such tricks to attract attention to my expression of opinion.

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