Cumberland Times-News

September 10, 2013

Let’s not secede; just change makeup of Maryland Senate

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— Hats off to Scott Strzelczyk for taking the initiative to seek a solution to the Great Divide that isolates Western Maryland counties and many of those on the Eastern Shore, from the larger liberal pool of Marylanders that reside in the Baltimore/ Washington corridor (“Group calling for five counties in Western Maryland to secede,” Sept. 10 Times-News, Page 1B).

I was born and raised in Prince George’s County, which borders Washington.

I watched and occasionally fought the drive to liberalize my county of birth. But, being in such close proximity to our nation’s capital it was a losing effort.

I retired to Allegany County, where my mother was born and grew up. Western Maryland embraces and sustains the conservative roots of our nation’s founding.

In living here, I feel I have returned to the place of my birth, when it too promoted self-respect, individual liberty and responsibility, faith in Our Father in Heaven, and a strong work ethic.

I wish only to suggest an alternative to Mr. Strzelczyk’s strategy.

It seems to me that seceding from Maryland, while emotionally appealing, is not likely to succeed because it must pass the state legislature and the Congress where we would have to overcome the opposition of both local and national organizations of secular liberals.

I believe we would have better chance of amending the Maryland constitution to change the structure to the Maryland Senate.

A Maryland Senate comprised of one or two senators from each county would reflect the state-wide population more fairly and put a brake against any more populous region which used its numbers to punish less populated areas with a “tyranny of the majority,” a phrase used by John Adams in 1788 to support our nation’s constitution.

Mr. Adams foresaw the situation we now face in Maryland and succeeded in supporting the protection of people who may find themselves under the tyranny we suffer today.

Gary Hankins

Cumberland