Bush: a conservative who will rebuild social...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 24, 1999

Bush: a conservative who will rebuild social institutions

Michael Olesker's column criticizing Texas Gov. George W. Bush's visit to Baltimore, "Candidate Bush comes up empty in Baltimore visit," (July 18) ignores the obvious.

The abandoned children, abandoned homes, trashed neighborhoods crippled by drugs and guns, and "textbooks dating back to the Carter administration" have not happened because families have been "stiffed by conservative Republicans."

No Republican has held office in Baltimore City for 32 years. Nor has there been a Republican governor for him to blame in more than 30 years.

And the fact is that Republican presidents and the Republican Congress have continued to increase funding for urban programs.

The disintegration of urban communities is a product of misguided liberal Democratic programs that have destroyed self-respect, personal responsibility and family stability.

Forty years of welfare programs that discouraged marriage have allowed young men to grow up in broken families dominated by women, with no stable relationship to male authority or rational expectations about the future.

The inevitable result has been chaos -- crime, violence, unrest and people lashing out at the whole social structure.

Unlike Mr. Olesker, Governor Bush understands that federal programs can't take the place of fathers, families, churches and neighborhood associations. As governor of Texas, he has demanded accountability and personal responsibility and supported faith-based programs that strive to restore the vital institutions of a civilized society.

I invite Mr. Olesker to visit Texas and find out why it has safer streets and record test scores (especially for minority students) under the leadership of this "compassionate conservative."

Ellen R. Sauerbrey, Baldwin

The writer is Maryland chairman of George W. Bush for President.

GOP hasn't caused Baltimore's decay

I appreciated the attention Texas Gov. George W. Bush's visit to The Door brought to what is clearly an effective and valuable faith-based community service program. I hope the publicity brings added support and resources to The Door's programs.

I also found it interesting that columnist Michael Olesker apparently believes Baltimore has the governor of Texas to blame for the social ills of a city long governed by a Democratic administration.

Thomas Pentz, New Freedom, Pa.

Michael Olesker chides George W. Bush for his hollow-sounding solutions to severe problems during his recent visit to a distressed Baltimore block.

But Baltimore's wounds have festered in a city that has had a Democratic mayor for 32 years, a state that has had a Democratic governor since Spiro Agnew, a country soon to have had a Democrat president for seven years.

The fact of the matter is that those looking for government (of any party) to solve their problems have disappointment as their destiny.

Dave Reich, Baltimore

A candidate who has no message to offer

Judging from his endorsements from all segments of the Republican Party, including Ellen R. Sauerbrey and Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., George W. Bush's self-proclaimed "compassionate conservatism" has captured the hearts and minds of the Grand Old Party.

What these politicians won't admit is that, by Republican standards,"compassionate conservative" is a euphemism for "moderate" -- a word guaranteed to anger the party's extreme right.

This might be the reason Mr. Bush is ducking the hardball questions that are beginning to be lobbed his way.

As long as he can get away with these semantic games, why stir the pot?

W. Cary deRussy, Timonium

Texas Gov. George W. Bush is going to forgo federal funds ("Bush spurns federal funds," July 16). He says he'll use the huge contributions to his candidacy, (which will be unlimited) to get his message out.

It's a shame there's no indication that he has formulated a message to send.

Stanley Oring, Pikesville

Mayor's race could set better racial tone for city

Baltimore's voters and mayoral candidates are in a unique position this year: We have the opportunity to highlight positive attitudes on race relations.

Four years ago, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's re-election campaign used the race card to defeat City Council President Mary Pat Clarke.

That campaign cut the city like a knife. Black and white communities were polarized and are still recovering.

In 1999, candidates and voters can set a moral standard to guide us into the new millennium. The candidates have a chance to lead by example, to place Baltimore's needs ahead of their own and help reduce prejudice.

Voters must evaluate the candidates fairly, and disregard race as they cast their ballots.

We can learn from our history and celebrate Baltimore's diversity or ignore our past and be doomed to repeat it.

Nancy Fosler, Baltimore

`National Road' recognition locally is long overdue

Designation of the "National Road" as an "All-American Road" is long overdue. ("Reviving the National Road," July 18)

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