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Letters: Contrary to column, indoctrination doesn’t exist; Columnist’s version is not true conservatism | READER COMMENTARY

Contrary to column, indoctrination doesn’t exist

After reading the May 15 column by Chris Roemer (”Keep school curriculum decisions local because left won’t be satisfied with indoctrinating college students”), I’d like to start by answering his question on how to react to a statement from one member of Congress who is on the far left on political ideology. The answer: the same way I react when I hear quotes by Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andrew Clyde and others on the opposite side of the spectrum.  I rejoice that our Founding Fathers included a balance of powers and a framework for a Congress that now numbers 535 individuals representing nearly every community and belief.

What I will not do is indict “millions” of Americans, nor our entire system of higher education. For me and the many young people I am privileged to know, our belief systems were formed long before college. Our parents, teachers, mentors and events of the world shape us. College is an opportunity to be exposed to a wider range of thought. Of the hundreds of fellow McDaniel College alums I know, our politics run the gamut. I feel certain that graduates of other institutions experience the same. To say that millions of parents see a metamorphosis in their children is naïve at best and perhaps delusional. There are certainly many young people who gain their voice to express their beliefs during their college experience. Some do even sway, but that can occur in either direction.

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Unlike Roemer, I cannot claim to be a former middle school principal. What I can say is that in my many years of being part of a large family and an even larger community, I have met hundreds of young people. I have mentored quite a few of them and I have never known any of them to be “indoctrinated” by teachers at any point in their educational life.

In fact, I am not sure why Mr. Roemer chooses to write such a detailed account of a problem that simply does not exist. Can we agree to give young Americans credit for having the ability to process their experiences and the information available to them and to think for themselves?

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Corynne B. Courpas, Westminster

Columnist’s version is not true conservatism

Christopher Tomlinson, your Red Dawn high school defense on the Times’ Monday Opinion page (”Republicans made election partisan in an effort to liberate ‘Wokeminster’ from liberal leaders”) leaves you with 1980s dried breakfast egg yolk crusted to your lips.

As a matter of record from your previous columns, Mr. Republican Central Committee man, your absence of an apology for your local dog whistling candidate in the Westminster municipal, nonpartisan election for mayor burns near the edges of our beloved and  celebrated constitutional, democratic form of government as did your absence of an apology for your fellow travelers and their Jan. 6 insurrection of our United States Capitol.

Your obviously divisive, zero-sum game of pandering to demagogic  Trump partisanship not only in local municipal elections but across Maryland and America is not what leaders of true conservatism, like Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney stand for. Why?

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Conservatism never was meant to pinch off  well-deserved raises and benefits for Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputies, for Carroll County Public Schools teachers, nor to hurt small local business and farming in favor of billionaires getting off tax-free to create a privileged, private legacy for their offspring and be damned with kids who grow up in poor and middle-class Carroll County households.

Just to remind you, true conservatism stands for government of the people (GOP), by the people and for the people ... not for the infamous developer who simply kisses Putin’s, uh, feet, in exchange for the developer’s name emblazoned on a hotel for billionaires dinning on tax-free amenities at the expense of the poor and middle class high schoolers that, like indentured servants, have to sell their futures and forgo home ownership to take out massive loans to pay for what could be free college.

John D. Witiak, Union Bridge

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