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Kennedy: Partisanism in nonpartisan elections, racism in Carroll, obstructionism by both parties must end | COMMENTARY

As something of a postmortem on the mayoral election in Westminster I offer these thoughts. The number of ballots cast was a sign that since there was no incumbent running, both candidates stirred up interest among those who rarely, if ever, vote in the municipal elections. I’m of the opinion that Dennis Dillon’s, and by extension the county’s Republican Central Committee’s, insertion of political party affiliation into the campaign probably garnered a few votes for Mr. Dillon but, I think, cost him many more. Mona Becker earned a full 63% of the votes cast for the office, a landslide if ever I saw one.

Perhaps this will convince those who are strictly partisan to stay out of races for elective office that are by law and historical precedent nonpartisan. Let’s hope so. I was quite dismayed that that Delegates Haven Shoemaker, R-5, and Reid Novotny, R-9A  penned a letter to the city, parroting the former president and his ill-informed backers, by making charges of election improprieties in the days before any ballots were cast. Alleging election improprieties, is to me, the last desperate act of a candidate who has lost the race, from the most local to the presidency of the United States.

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On another disturbing note, the reports of racial slurs thrown about during a lacrosse game by members of the team from Francis Scott Key toward one of their opponents, besides appearing in this paper, also made the pages of The Sun. Such actions continue to perpetuate the idea that Carroll County is, to a great degree, a racist county and is not welcoming to minorities of any race, creed, or any other kind.

It’s no wonder that the school system can’t recruit and retain minority teachers.

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The, so-called student-athletes who engaged in these actions should be summarily dismissed from the team and not be allowed to engage in interscholastic sports until they demonstrate an understanding of how their words and/or actions negatively affect their targets, and as importantly, the impressions that those outside their group, school, and county hold. This is a very large black eye for FSK that is, unfortunately, going to take some time to heal.

The Republican members of the House of Representatives have, in my opinion, shot themselves in the foot again by removing Liz Cheney from her position as the third-ranking Republican leader. Rep. Cheney is as conservative as they come and holds firm in her opposition to abortion rights, any firearms restrictions, and most of the hot button issues that divide the two parties. Her one “mortal sin” was to fail to kneel before the party’s titular head, the disgraced and disgraceful former president, and profess her fealty to him.

As one of a bit more liberal bent, I disagree with many of her positions, but I have always respected her for her ability to discern right from wrong and hold true to her well honed sense of decency and decorum. Unfortunately for her, she called out the previous president’s “big lie” about the election being “stolen” and continues to do so, as well as voting to impeach said president for his actions in inciting the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Following the lead of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, our toady congressman, Andy Harris, who was one of those who, after the mayhem at the Capitol had subsided, still spoke for the denial of certification of the electoral college vote, called Cheney a “distraction” and voted for her ouster.

If the party on the right doesn’t get its act together, come up with some real answers to the issues — as presented by the party on the left — instead of concentrating on Dr. Seuss books being taken out of print and the sex of Mr./Mrs. Potato Head, and as Mitch McConnell declared recently that,  “One hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration,” they’ll find themselves as irrelevant quite quickly.

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Whatever happened to the idea of offering a different idea on a particular issue, or simply a different way to accomplish the same end? The obstructionism — by both parties — has gotten in the way of getting anything of merit accomplished over the last several administrations. This kind of crap has got to finally come to an end. It’s either, as an old saying goes, “lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.” That goes for both sides.

Bill Kennedy writes from Taneytown. His column appears every other Monday. You may contact him at wlkennedyiii@verizon.net.

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