Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Don’t need no ticket

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I read Hayduke’s post, People Get Ready, and have been thinking about it ever since.  It was thought provoking and a very introspective piece of writing.

Yes Hayduke, I am interested in what you have to say whether it is partisan or not.

Introspection is a very very good thing.  We all should indulge ourselves in what truly is a very selfish act.  That it is selfish is a fact, but that doesn’t mean introspection is wrong.  It is actually very healthy and I don’t think enough people spend enough of their time indulging themselves.

Introspection is about oneself.  A review of what you have been doing.  For a lot of different reasons I have been indulging myself lately.  There’s a train a-commin’ and I can hear it.  Did you ever have that feeling?  I am sure you have.  I think at one time or another we feel a change is in order whether we initiate it or are just swept up in it, and I ain’t talkin’ politics.

Relative to partisanship dear reader, if you haven’t figured it out yet this is a partisan blog.

When I started this blog it wasn’t because I am a partisan.  I started this as a challenge to myself to keep up on issues that are effecting me and my family here in Howard County.  I have always had a keen interest in politics and I blame my father.  Local politics is where Government mostly effects one’s life on a daily basis.  Whether it is trash or snow removal, tax increases, or new programs at you kids school, or tax breaks for senior citizens.

This is a partisan blog.  I can’t help it and I don’t apologize for it either.

Even though I am a partisan I firmly believe we are all trying to achieve the same things regardless of political affiliation.  Ninety-nine percent of us are inherently good people and we don’t want to see people suffer and we want to lend a helping hand.  To me it is about who should be helping lift people up.  Other people or Government?  It is easy to let Government do it.  The cost comes out of my paycheck and I never really see it.  It is kind of like paying an indulgence (pardon the pun).  Problem is Government doesn’t do it very well.  My church does it better so I would rather have my tax dollars back and give it to my church and go volunteer to help out.

I believe in the ideals of the Republican Party which to me is primarily limited government.  The United States first form of government was defined in the Articles of Confederation (post revolution and pre-Constitution) which envisioned a very weak Federal Government.  When Congress wrote the Constitution it envisioned a stronger Federal Government because the States were bickering with one another and even refusing to execute the laws passed by Congress.  For the reasons stated in the anti-federalist papers, and because of the experience of many people and countries before we came to be many people were adamantly against a stronger Federal Government.  A government with too much power is a threat to civil liberties and States rights many argued.  The reason for the weak Articles of Confederation drew upon the experience of the times.  Our founders were of a time when the memory of Oliver Cromwell, over 100 years after his death, was still a vivid memory.  They were experienced with the abuse of so much power in the hands of only a few people (namely the King of England) so far away.  They were concerned about a dictator.  Which is why I admire George Washington so much.  President Washington could have been President for life and he knew it.  He left the trappings of Washington because he loved this Country and its experiment more than himself.

To that end the US Constitution seeks to limit the authority of the Federal Government.  It reserves a great deal of power to the States.  Since the Constitutions adoption we have seen an erosion of State’s rights and thus civil liberties.  I am not going into specifics.  I will say that I often thought that Newt Gingrich and the ACLU had more in common than they had differences.

That does not mean I don’t believe in government.  I think the US Constitution is brilliant.  I believe in it strongly.  I believe that the Feds should provide for a strong national defense, regulate interstate commerce, but that those things not enumerated in the Constitution should be left to the States.

Now, I don’t claim that the GOP is the only party that feels this way, and it certainly isn’t its only platform issue.  I also don’t confuse the ideals of the Republican Party with policy – with which often times I disagree.  I believe that Republican’s believe in limiting the power of the Federal Government more than the current power structure in the Democratic Party.  To that end I am a Reagan Republican.

I don’t think I am so partisan that I can’t be persuaded.  I often am.  I want to be fair minded, and I don’t want to be closed to new ideas, or perspectives, or new ways to think about something.  My God, who would want to be condemned to a life of mediocrity like that.  That is not to say I don’t get hot about an issue, or passionate about a discussion.  Whew you should see my family go at it.  The in-laws can’t stand it because they are convinced a fist fight is going to break out in the middle of the family reunion.  Not to worry.

The other reason I started this blog is because I wanted to run for County Council District One.  I decided it wasn’t the time to do so having just adopted two children.  Given my interest in the position, politics, and the issues facing Howard County I thought that writing about those things would be a great way to stay informed, research the issue, get to know more about how this County works.  I never thought I would learn so much about how County Government works.  I would never have thought how easy it is to piss some readers off.

It has been a great experience and I think I am doing what I set out to do even if I didn’t know that is where the train was headed.

Now, did I expect to be a vocal advocate for people running for office.  At the time no.  But when I have something to say about a person I have known for a long time who is running for office I am going to say it.  I don’t think it is partisan but I am willing to argue about it. 

These writings are my thoughts wrapped tightly around my beliefs and relationships so it is natural that my bias will be apparent.  This is not a newspaper.  Although I don’t intend to be partisan (all the time) I am sure that from any number of readers perspective I appear to be partisan and doing it on purpose.  That is fine.  Perception is reality and who am I to deny someone their perceptions?  Call it emotional baggage.  The fact is it is me.  That is why I write.

Oh, and like Hayduke I wanted to become a better writer.

In the end, Hayduke I was hoping you would play too because I was counting on you to keep me honest.  Although I do respect your decision I felt we balanced each other out, and I liked to be challenged – it makes me introspective.


One Response to “Don’t need no ticket”

  1. Hayduke said

    Oh, don’t worry. I haven’t gone anywhere — I’ll still be keeping you honest. I’m just trying to avoid tit-for-tat discussions that devlolve into “I know you are but what am I” type stuff. Personally, I thought one of our shining moments so far was the coverage of the competing tax breaks, and I look forward to my like that in the future.

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