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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A Conversation with Michael Hethmon; Candidate for Md House of Delegates district 27A

    A couple of weeks ago in August, I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Hethmon, a candidate for the House of Delegates in 27A, a sprawling two-delegate district which includes Accokeek, Clinton, Cheltenham, all of the South County south of Route 4 and east of Highway 301, plus the northwest quarter of Calvert County.

We talked for two hours about his views and ideas for his district, for Prince George's County and for Maryland. Thoughtful in his research, philosophically prepared in his politics and wide ranging in his knowledge, Mr. Hethmon comes to the political arena with substance behind his positions. His views are consistent across a wide range of issues that face District 27A, the county, the state and the nation.

    Mr. Hethmon is a conservative in the widest meaning of the word. He is dedicated to conserving natural resources for future generations, he is determined to conserve the traditions that have enable society to reach this point in history, and he is drawn to a fiscal sense of responsibility that depends upon the inherent conservation of options that a balanced budget brings. Hethmon is quite certain that the political process in Maryland is broken in large part because of the 112 years of one party control of the state legislature. In his opinion, this unitary system does not readily allow for new ideas. He wants, for example, to "shift spending from out-of-control entitlements to needed infrastructure and promote tax holidays for businesses that create new high value jobs in Maryland". Hethmon is eager to participate in the reapportionment process that will be taking place next year to, in his words, "…end the gerrymandering of my district, 27A,"

    The philosophical under-pinning of and impetus for Mr. Hethmon's policies and political positions are seen in his idea of a "…three-legged stool of population sustainability issues, institutional change issues in the legislature, and the structural budget deficit facing the state." He is convinced that "…the unwillingness of the political leadership to acknowledge the interdependence of these factors is fueling a "race to the bottom" in Maryland, along the lines of what is happening in California." It is this carefully crafted and considered line of reasoning that links his views into a coherent policy position. The interconnectivity and conservation relationships reinforce Mr. Hethmon's positions and build a rational and logical statement of principles that guide his political understandings and his points of view.

    Mr. Hethmon is engaged and focused on natural ecological system preservation and conservation, from historical preservation to environmental protection. He is very aware and informed about ecosystem resources and the value they add to public quality of life expectations. He is quite specific in his recognition that there is only a finite amount of land, and that economic development based only upon building on open spaces is unsustainable. He is vocal in his support for a transparent open process that will protect and enhance the eco-resources of the county and the state. He proposes to "save the Bay by fighting taxpayer-subsidized sprawl [and would use] cutting-edge land use practices" to protect ecosystem services.

    Along with environmental resource protection, Hethmon is active in historic preservation issues and lives in an historic house in Croom. Preservation of tradition and conservation of resources go hand in hand with the needs of small business – something Mr, Hethmon knows about as he helps his wife run her granite fabrication business, Granite Grannies Inc., in Upper Marlboro. As a property owner and as a business person, he is aware of the flood of costs that are incurred daily in order to maintain a house and a business. He is engaged in his neighborhood, sharing his legal expertise on land use and environmental issues of importance to the neighborhood and District 27A.

    In keeping with the understandings of Dr. Malthus, Mr. Hethmon's world view notes the finite nature of resources and, accordingly, the limited ability of nature to supply basic resources to an ever-increasing population. With this in mind, Mr. Hethmon would work to "screen out illegals from Maryland jobs and taxpayer-funded public benefits with the proven federal E-Verify and SAVE eligibility screening programs." He is determined as a Delegate to enforce existing laws equally and to distinguish sustainable legal immigration.

    The core idea of conservation extends to the arena of social policy. From making parents responsible for student discipline to steadfastly protecting the traditional definition of marriage as an institution between a man and a woman, Mr. Hethmon has thought through the power of conservation and offers it as a viable alternative to other world views. Consistent, creative and collaborative define Mr. Hethmon.

    I could have talked with Mike for another two hours, but the Amish market needed the table and we needed to go face the challenges of the day. I was impressed by his rational, well thought out, disciplined approach to conservation and conservative policies. He recognizes the importance of consensus, and the power of new ideas. He is not afraid to challenge the status quo, quite willing to support what works and fix what does not in the House of Delegates, and seek solutions that truly benefit the citizens as a whole.

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