These are the choices. The incumbent insider from the minority party who has been visionless and ineffective; a billionaire businessman-outsider promising radical but unspecified changes; and a young semi-outsider majority party governor with a detailed agenda who has failed to develop a large following.
The American people clearly want change, which means leadership, and an end to gridlock, which means effective government. Who among these three individuals, if anyone, can deliver what's needed?
George Bush is the known quantity and Ross Perot is the mystery guest. Although many businessmen find reassurance in the knowledge that there will be no surprises from another four years of Bush-Quayle, that prospect is depressingly devoid of hope for many.
The questions about Mr. Perot center on the lack of hard evidence that he has the knowledge, skills and experience to effectively lead the world's biggest and most politically complex democracy. Especially because he controls and is controlled by no political party.
Since the Texas super-salesman has no government service and has never even run for dog catcher, the absence of evidence is evidence of a critical absence. For example, Mr. Perot says he's going to fix things "when he gets there," but would you let "Mr. Goodwrench" drive your bus if he'd never driven before?
After Bill Clinton and Ross Perot select vice presidential candidates, and Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush speak to their national conventions and the American people, and all three participate in a series of tough public debates, we should be better able to judge leadership, the ability to implement a concrete agenda and, perhaps, the capacity for governance.
No one can complain that there's not much choice in 1992.
Roger C. Kostmayer
The irony of the juxtaposition of two articles on the same page of the Maryland section June 6 is lost on no one.
One described McDonogh School seniors working on rehab projects in the inner city, and the other the Dulaney High School vandals permitted to attend graduation ceremonies with their classmates.
I suppose that in enjoining the Baltimore County Board of Education from refusing to honor these graduates at graduation, Judge John Owen Hennegan must have reasoned that since the McDonogh seniors probably don't get special recognition at their graduation for the good works they do, why should these Dulaney seniors be penalized for the harm they do?
As a teacher at Dulaney High School and the adviser of a service organization within our school, I am deeply saddened that our faculty and graduating seniors, who count among their number some of the most generous and self-sacrificing individuals that I have ever had the good fortune to meet, have had to suffer the humiliation of a graduation celebration which included nine individuals who chose to mark the end of their high school education by defacing the institution which offered it to them.
My school and the students I teach are exceptional. Both deserve greater respect from the judiciary.
George B. McCeney
Several inaccurate statements appeared in the editorial under the heading, "Lesson for TABCO Teachers," June 3.
First, the "work to rule" job action was a spontaneous and somewhat sporadic reaction, which was not sponsored by the Teachers Association of Baltimore County or supported by a majority of teachers.
Secondly, the "whiners" in education were joined by many others who protested budget cuts in public services. For example, I do not recall the State Police being labeled as "whiners" when they demonstrated in Annapolis.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, since when is the exercising of First Amendment rights for freedom of speech and orderly demonstration anything other than a "peaceful middle ground?"
The frightening implication of your editorial is that the Baltimore County school system deserves to lose new teachers and be otherwise "punished" for speaking out.
Perhaps TABCO really needs a "more radical wing," since the current decorous protests certainly have had no effect on broken contracts, frozen salaries, furlough days, increasing class size and severe cuts in personnel.
In the meantime, thousands of dedicated educators continue to offer the best possible service to our children. If you wish to criticize, please get your facts straight, and please do not ask us to give up our rights as responsible citizens.
Your June 10 editorial comments about Representative Helen Bentley being the mouthpiece of Slobodan Milosevic were so far off the mark that I am constrained to write in her defense.
As a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, I recently had occasion to attend a meeting in Yugoslavia with Mrs. Bentley and several high-ranking members of the Serbian government, among whom was Mr. Milosevic.
Mrs. Bentley scathingly berated Mr. Milosevic as a handicap to peace, to the true interest of Serbia and an impediment to the solution of an extremely complex and volatile situation. Her priorities were clearly the protection of human life, restoration of peace and the termination of civil strife in Yugoslavia.
I understand that her presence in Yugoslavia was at the request of the Department of State. Where the U.S. government rightly chooses to make use of the talents, ethnic background and contacts of this dedicated woman, to misrepresent her actions and motives seems counterproductive to me.
William D. Fritts Jr.
The writer is a senior adviser to the U.S. secretary of commerce.
I would like to commend you for publishing "Perot's Plan for the Economy" by John B. Judis (Opinion * Commentary page, June 10).
My impression is that most voters are not fed up with their individual representatives in Congress, but they are greatly concerned over the economy and the failure of Congress and the president to come up with a plan to get the economy moving and to balance the budget.
Mr. Perot, in this article, clearly spells out what we all know, "that the nation's industries are in serious trouble," and he spells out an industrial policy and an aggressive managed trade strategy.
He believes that America's most urgent priority is to regain supremacy in key manufacturing industries.
Mr. Perot states, "I don't want to live in a country that can't make its own television sets. . . . If we forfeit whole industries from this country, we will have a third world standard of living here."
He opposes a Mexican Free Trade Agreement and says, "If I can build a factory in Mexico, pay my labor a dollar an hour, hire a 25-year-old work force, have little or no health care, little or no retirement, have no pollution or environmental controls -- then even if you are Einstein in business -- we in the U.S.A. cannot complete."
Mr. Perot spells out his solutions and reference is made to his success in overhauling the Texas educational system.
I hope that you editors will continue to cover Mr. Perot and his dynamic plans for the future of our country.
We won World War II. We saved the whole world from "the Dark Ages." We can win the battle of the economy, and I hope that all Americans will support a leader who in his private business life has been an outstanding success.
As Franklin Roosevelt said during the depression, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Let's elect a leader and get on with the job.
Edwin Warfield III
Right on Murphy
I want to express our appreciation for your presenting the positive side of the "Murphy Brown" issue in the May 30 issue (re Dan Quayle).
We have recently changed to your paper from the Washington Post primarily because of its political bias.
Keep up the good work.
An area of concern addressed by Stacie Spector (letter, June 9) deserves comment and underscores one of the many misconceptions some people have about S.B. 162 [the abortion rights law that has been petitioned to referendum in November].
It would appear that Ms. Spector has not read S.B. 162. This legislation is definitely not a "thoughtful and moderate solution" which addresses the middle ground, as she claims.
Ms. Spector states that a notification clause requires the abortion provider to notify the parents of a minor before performing the abortion. This is simply not the case. Actually, the requirement is waived if the abortion provider feels the minor has made a mature decision.
How many minors, especially in the emotionally stressful situation, are capable of making a mature decision? The decision in these cases then, is actually made by the person profiting from the procedure.
This legislation needs study by Maryland voters before going to the polls in November. This is especially true for those voters who are "in the middle" on the abortion issue or who may be uninformed about the pending new law.
The Sun could do its readers a tremendous service by publishing the legislation in its entirety, so that the voters can make an informed decision about its merits or lack thereof.
Patricia G. Phebus
The letter from Stacie Spector, campaign director of Maryland for Choice, was misleading in its attempt to appeal to those on the "middle ground" of the abortion debate.
While S.B. 162 does contain an apparent parental notification clause, it is one that is completely ineffectual and easily circumvented, not by a judge, but by the abortionist himself. Notice is not required if the abortionist determines that the minor is "mature" or that notice "would not be in the best interest of the minor."
Marylanders who favor real parental notification laws will probably resent the deception of groups like Maryland for Choice which deliberately use its illusive inclusion to strengthen support for the bill.
Danielle C. Kosar