Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Culleton: 'All politics is local' continues to be true

We live in times of changeable weather and changeable politics.

For the weather, this household practices old-fashioned solutions. We open the windows at night and early morning to help cool things off. During the heat of the day we close the windows. The object is to reduce fuel costs and extend the life of the equipment.


In politics things get more complex. The saying "all politics is local" continues to be true. With the retirement of unusually high numbers of Republican members of Congress and general dissatisfaction with both parties, a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives is expected. But the size of this shift depends in large part on the selection of candidates with moderate views. There are radical wings of both parties. They tend do dominate the primaries. However, the overall preference is for moderates. The result of the national contest depends on the wise selection of candidates at local levels. My best guess is that the Democrats will take over the House by a comfortable margin and the Republicans will hang on to a narrow margin in the Senate.

There are two impeachment efforts currently being pushed in the House, one Democratic and one Republican. Some Republican defenders of President Donald Trump want to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for protecting the Mueller investigation, and some Democrats are proposing an impeachment of President Trump for a variety of reasons. Neither proposal is likely to get a two-thirds majority in the Senate so both efforts are just show and tell for the respective party bases. There is no there there.


It appears that Donald Trump will be played like a violin by Kim Jong-un if and when the two leaders meet. There will be an agreement that both parties will sign and after a few years the North Koreans will violate. We have heard that song before. More serious is the Trump effort to sink the Iranian nuclear deal. We will lose far more than we will gain. A war between Iran and Israel and/or Egypt is a danger, with both sides threatening the use of nuclear weapons. In any case, the leadership of the NATO coalition is slipping from the United States to, probably, the president of France.

President Trump will continue to provide entertainment for the American people with his antics. Whoever follows him will get to clean up his messes. Trump has had great success in destroying the effectiveness and credibility of all agencies of government except Defense. He claimed that the government was a swamp of corruption, and then proceeded to create a swamp where none existed. It is no longer a question of party affiliation. If John Kasich were on the presidential ballot tomorrow against any likely Democratic candidate this household would vote for Kasich. In the Democratic state of Maryland, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan will likely be re-elected easily.

Recently, we received a postcard from a local candidate whose slogan was "Make Carroll County Great Again." Boy did he miss the mark in this household! We think it is pretty great already. But we see the hill alongside of Oklahoma Road that has been stripped of vegetation. More housing will mean more students and more traffic. One can only hope that our Republican residents will make wise choices when they vote in the all-important primary election. That will determine the future of all of us. We need bypass roads now and new schools soon.

We need a school board that will emphasize discipline in the schools and parents who teach respect for teachers. When I served in Korea I saw great respect for education. The teenage boys I saw working around the base were saving their money for a school uniform. Now some five decades later I see South Korea transformed from a poor and backward agricultural nation to one that manufactures cars and appliances that sell well in the United States. Education made the difference. They have the best education system in the world and among industrialized nations we have the worst.

The votes we cast for the school board and for the commissioners who finance our schools are the most important votes we cast. Ignorance is the cruelest tax of all. It falls on our own children.

John Culleton writes every other Tuesday from Eldersburg. Email him at