Volume 14, Issue 36 ~ September 7 - September 13, 2006


Commemorate 9-11 With Your Vote

With Maryland’s primary falling a day after the five-year anniversary of 9-11, we have our best opportunity to practice the democracy assaulted that day.

The promise in the abstraction called democracy is having a say in your future. At this moment in time, politicians are promoting sharply contrasting views of that future.

Local races, not contests for Congress, are Bay Weekly’s focus as you will see in our robust Voter’s Guide in this week’s issue. In keeping with our policies, Bay Weekly doesn’t formally endorse candidates.

But we would advise you as you pick would-be U.S. senators and congressmen and women to avoid those jingoistic appeals rooted in fear, seeking out candidates who’ve thought out sustainable approaches to preserving the quality of our lives in the short term and the long.

In all races, our advice is to support those who can persuade you they understand the pressures from encroaching humanity on our water, land and air.

As Bill Burton writes this week, “in our political leadership, we need more environmental zealots, bulldogs who will grab environmental issues — and not let go.”

In our voter’s guide, we tell who is winning endorsements from environmental organizations and other advocacy groups based on their careful studies. And we take off the filter to let candidates tell you how they see their tenure in office in terms of our lives.

A note of caution: Pundits describe this as an anti-incumbent year with a throw-the-rascals-out mentality gripping the land.

Yet in our prime readership — Anne Arundel and Calvert counties — we enjoy many benefits from being represented by the president of the Maryland Senate, the speaker of the House and the minority whip of the U.S. House.

By the same token, we’ve heard from many candidates who seem to think that they deserve the job because they hold it now, have waited in line or have a recognized name. Others say superficially, “Oh, I think I can do the job better than so-and-so.”

Given the complexity of our issues — failed efforts to restore the Bay, unwise development, health care costs destroying our savings and global warming bearing down like a runaway train — now is not the time for entitlement or glib answers.

For all of us, the 9-11 anniversary is a time for reflection. Why not reflect on who can best tackle the real issues facing us, our families and our communities?

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