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BY COLUMNISTS

| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


August 9, 2007

Time to Get With It

Patricia A. Kelly

Our time is up. Those of us attempting to pretend that the next presidential election is far away are going to have to give it up. The dream candidate, the one we can trust; the one with just enough experience and wisdom; the one with clearly demonstrated integrity; the one whose leadership will allow us to sleep at night, hasn't shown up, at least, not for sure.

I'm not counting Fred Thompson. He has shown up. He's just playing with us.

Leading the Democrat race for the nomination, we have Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY), Sen. Barack Obama (IL), and former Sen. John Edwards (NC). On the Republican side, we have former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

Bush is out. Not-Bush is in.

Voting against someone can be dangerous. We have good examples here in Frederick. That's how we got Jennifer Dougherty to be our mayor. She lost her first three elections.

Then, with the strong assistance of the Frederick News-Post, which ran a banner headline on election day suggesting that Jim Grimes might be implicated in a new scandal, she became our leader. (In a brief article the day after we voted against him, the paper announced that he was not implicated, after all.)

People who had unwittingly violated the rules of Jennifer's Restaurant, Ms. Dougherty's place, could have warned us. Even a regular customer could be treated to one of her tirades for violating a restaurant rule.

After Ms. Dougherty spent four years alienating almost everyone who came near her, we tried the same strategy again. We voted against her, and then we voted against former mayor Ron Young. I suppose we remembered his arrogance during his last term, years ago.

We voted for Jeff Holtzinger. He was young, appealing to the young. He had some experience in city government. He sounded like a good guy. Ms. Dougherty was so angry at losing the primary that she encouraged voting against Ron Young, assisting in the "voting against" process, and helping Mr. Holtzinger get elected.

This time we got lucky. He has quieted things down and generally proceeded to solve city problems and move us forward in a reasonable manner.

We can't count on that when voting against, though. It would be much safer to vote for, that is, to get to know the candidates before voting, and vote for the most likely to succeed. This would not be easy, surrounded as we are with advertising and sound bites.

Our country has issues. We are losing our status as a melting pot, as, for some reason, our government is fostering multiculturalism instead of a blended society. Much of the world is against us now; many are very opposed to our involvement in Iraq. People are still arriving, in droves, to live here; but the perception that we have the best society is fading. So, is the worldwide perception that we are so strong as to be invincible? We definitely have issues.

It's time to listen up and pay attention. This weekend, during the Iowa straw poll, would be a good time to start, if you haven't already.



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