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Letters to the Editor

August 26, 2010

Munson-Shank debate would benefit county



To the editor:

Maryland's Sept. 14 primary is only weeks away, and Washington County is acutely attuned to the crucial state Senate race between Sen. Donald F. Munson and Del. Christopher B. Shank.

Munson and Shank have discernible differences in their political ideologies and legislative approaches. Both candidates have extensive legislative records and both have made many public statements throughout their careers as elected officials. I believe the most applicable manifestation of their contentions is the process of a public political debate.

Thomas Paine, author of "Common Sense," wrote, "Every man who acts beyond the line of private life, must expect to pass through two severe examinations. First, as to his motives, secondly as to his conduct." A debate will offer the candidates a distinct opportunity to present clear, concise and transparent positions on the issues tangential to Washington County.

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Therefore, I propose a moderated 90-minute public debate, held at a neutral venue, with 20 publicly submitted questions on the most pressing local and state issues. At its conclusion, the candidates could take 15 minutes to answer questions from the audience. Finally, to maximize its exposure, the debate could be broadcast live on Antietam Cable and WJEJ Radio, as well as a live Internet broadcast and a live public discussion via Facebook and Twitter.

Washington County will benefit exponentially from this debate, and I call upon Munson and Shank to heed this as an opportunity to strengthen the political discourse in our community.

Ryan R. Miner
Hagerstown




All people should have the same rights



To the editor:

I am responding to the editorial cartoon by Gina Woodford ("Is this REALLY why our forefathers fought and died?") in the Aug. 24 edition of The Herald-Mail.

At the time our forefathers wrote the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and other documents, they never envisioned a time when slaves would be free. They were guaranteed rights 100 years after the end of the Civil War. It took much bloodshed and tears, but eventually they received them. As they should have. Because all men are created equally. Right?

Women received the right to vote only in the 1920s. I guess all men are created equally, but they did not respect women enough to give them the right to do anything but bear children and stay in the home. I'm glad times and thinking have changed. Women are vital to our workplace and I look forward to when we have a female elected president.

Our forefathers never expected gay rights to become an issue because homosexuality was thought a mental disease and was keep a dreaded secret. It was only after Stonewall in 1969 that gay, lesbian and transgendered people started fighting for our rights, the same rights that our forefathers spoke of in the aforementioned documents. If I married my partner, how would that threaten your marriage?

I was taught by my parents to respect other people and how they believe. I expect the same. I want nothing less than the rights our forefathers said we all should have. All men (and women) are created equally in the eyes of God and the laws of our land.

Tim Poole
Hagerstown

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