We're changing | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
Blogger
Posted 4/21/22

I’m an old (93) white male who’s long been impressed by the growth of diversity in both our government and our society in general. Port Townsend has been a bit slow in diversifying …

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We're changing | Tom Camfield

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I’m an old (93) white male who’s long been impressed by the growth of diversity in both our government and our society in general.

Port Townsend has been a bit slow in diversifying racially over my lifetime, but I never got the impression it was intentional. What we lacked in Blacks such as my friend Willie Bynum, we made up for in Portuguese and Italian families going back to the 1880s. And in recent generations, we’ve been growing in Spanish-Americans. Women have steadily taken over the reins of government,

Look at the photograph above and you will see how our country has diversified since we declared ourselves a nation in 1776 — or even how much things have changed since my own childhood in the 1930s. We could start with age and Osario-Cortez, who at 29 became the youngest woman to become a member of the U.S. Congress (considerably younger than a couple of my grandchildren). Ethnicity in the group Includes Black, Jewish, Muslim, Spanish . . . The group, originally four women, now includes five women and one man. There are other interesting aspects of each if one takes the time to check them out singly or as a group on the Internet.

All were elected under the age of 50 and have been supported by the Justice Democrats political action committee and are on the left wing of the Democratic Party. The Squad has been said to represent the demographic diversity of a younger political generation and the advocacy of progressive policies such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, which have sometimes clashed with their party's leadership.

On July 14, 2019, Donald Trump tweeted that the members of the Squad should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.” The insinuation that people of color are foreign was widely viewed as racist; three of the four are American-born and the fourth (Omar) became a naturalized citizen in her youth.

On July 15, the four women responded in a press conference, saying: "We are here to stay."

It was about then that I became supportive of The Squad as a necessary voice in the U.S. Congress.

The recently updated history on Wikipedia states: “On July 16, the House of Representatives condemned Trump's remarks in H.Res. 489. Over the following days, Trump continued to attack the four congresswomen, saying at a July 17 campaign rally: ‘They never have anything good to say. That's why I say, 'Hey if you don't like it, let 'em leave, let 'em leave' . . . I think in some cases they hate our country.’ While Trump was criticizing Omar, the North Carolina crowd reacted by chanting, ‘Send her back! Send her back!’ Trump also falsely claimed that the four congresswomen had used the term ‘evil Jews’; none of them have been reported to have used the term. The same day, the Republican party launched a political advertisement against the Squad, titled ‘Squad Goals: Anarchy’ and focusing on the Squad's role in the Abolish ICE Movement.

“A CBS News and YouGov poll of almost 2,100 American adults conducted from July 17 to 19 found that Republican respondents were more aware about the four [original] Democratic congresswomen than Democratic respondents. The congresswomen have very unfavorable ratings among Republican respondents and favorable ratings among Democratic respondents.”

All six current members have what are considered “safe seats” in the November mid-term election — New York (2), Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, however, all of 225 Democrats and 211 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will be on the ballot this November. While members of The Squad are likely to be re-elected, it will not be unusual if Republicans come out on top and win the House.


More often than not, the party not holding the Presidency wins the Congress. And this year, red-state legislatures are busy eliminating polling places, gerrymandering districts, etc.

In fact, the money at present shows: “PredictIt’s bettors believe the most likely outcome is Republican control over the House and Senate. It’s common for the opposing party to retake Congressional chambers — and overlapping state governorships — during the midterms. But relying on conventional wisdom may or may not prove to be a reliable betting strategy during contentious political seasons.

Here are the Predictit forecasts at the moment: GOP House & Senate, 75 percent; R House & D Senate, 17 percent; D House & Senate, 11 percent; D House & R Senate, 5 percent.

Comments

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  • Thomas Camfield

    I ran out of space. Forecasts by the Predictit betting crowd also include: Speaker of House - Kevin McCarthy 72%. Senate Majority Leader - Mitch McConnell 72%.

    Thursday, April 21 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    One of the things the "squad" wants is forgiveness of student loans.

    "Most members of “The Squad” — the coterie of socialist legislators led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — fall into this category. Collectively, they owe between $180,004 and $400,000 in student loans, the records show." (https://nypost.com/2022/01/29/the-squad-want-student-loans-forgiven-including-theirs/)

    These are the type of politicians Tom praises.

    Tuesday, April 26 Report this

  • MargeS

    Refreshing to have a politician that went to college using student loans. Most just rely on their wealthy parents. I have family who took out student loans, would be great to not have such a heavy burden, but they will pay them off.

    Tuesday, April 26 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    Yeah, it would be great if I could get a loan to buy a new Tesla and then not have to repay it.

    Wednesday, April 27 Report this

  • MargeS

    You are comparing an education to buying a stupid car? College, Trade School or Community College should be free to all Americans, make it part of our educational system. In the long run we will all be better off with and educated public.

    Wednesday, April 27 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    I'm talking about the kind of person that signs a contract and then doesn't want to honor their commitment to repay.

    Wednesday, April 27 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    Thank God we're moving away from the lost Trump era when it was all about wealth and skin color. I sort of feel that the more faces we get into advanced schooling, the fewer guns we'll see in the streets.

    Wednesday, April 27 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    As if Biden never used his office to help his Son make millions from corrupt energy companies in Ukraine and China, and then lies about what he knew of Hunter's business dealings. As if Biden never said he would only select a woman of color for the SCOTUS.

    Higher education is fine, and if you need financial help there is a student loan, and you make a promise to repay that loan, as millions have. Most of the members of the "squad" have unpaid student loans, A.O.C reportedly owes somewhere near $17k, she gets $174k per year as a Rep. and she wants to be forgiven her obligation? hardly someone I would put up on a pedestal.

    Wednesday, April 27 Report this

  • MargeS

    JIH she definitely wouldn't fit up there with your idol Trump!

    What's your problem with giving people a free education? Guess your against health care for all also.

    Sound's like a Republican to me.

    We need to get people like Keven McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, etc. out of office. They are no longer functional. Time for the Republicans to decide if they want to help people or just get elected by using Trump and his hate machine.

    Wednesday, April 27 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    There's no such thing as "free" education, or "free" health care, teachers, and doctors don't work for free.

    Most of the "squad" that Tom put up on a pedestal have outstanding student loans, now they want to ignore their promise to repay those loans, loans that you and I and every taxpayer provided for them. They agreed to play by the system, now they want someone else to pay for them. I'm betting you want more people like that in government.

    Thursday, April 28 Report this

  • MargeS

    A free education means we the people will provide you an education so that you can become a contributing member of society.

    A good education is hard to come by in the U.S. compared to other industrial countries. Science. 24th, Math, 39th, Reading, 24th. [Pew Research Center]

    I know lots of foreign students come to the U.S. for college. About 72% of funding for international college students comes from personal and family funds, as well as home country government or university assistance, according to the US Commerce and Education departments. As of 2015, China, India, and South Korea sent the highest numbers of students to US colleges.Sep 16, 2016

    There are also grants available for students with little money. But I would like to see the U.S. spend some money on all it's citizens to insure they have the same opportunity to get a good education as say the 1% of the very rich.

    Thursday, April 28 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    A good education is not hard to come by in this country, that's one reason why we have the largest number of foreign students coming here. There is a cost to that good education, it's not free. If the foreigners can pay for their education there's no reason why someone like A.O.C., who makes $174k a year, can't repay their loan.

    Friday, April 29 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    "Doctors without Borders" has been around for quite a few years, can be easily checked out on the Internet—and can now use donations more than ever.

    THE PRINCIPLES THAT GUIDE US:

    We are independent, impartial, and neutral.

    We are guided by universal medical ethics.

    We are committed to bearing witness.

    We are transparent and accountable.

    We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT WHO WE ARE

    Friday, April 29 Report this

  • MargeS

    JIH have you moved to a new country? Try being a minority in this country and get a first rate education from head start to a four year college. Those foreign students are from wealthy families, you won't find the majority of Chinese, Indians, or South Koreans attending college here. Spending money on a good education in a field you are interested in, be it a teacher, computer tech, plumber, electrician, nurse, and on and on, we need to encourage our young people to go on to school, and pay them for sticking to the career they want. In the long run it is an amazing investment in the future. Remember the G.I. Bill? Opportunities for education if you go in the military? We can really do better than we are doing.

    Can the US afford free college?

    To rebuild America's economy in a way that offers everyone an equal chance to get ahead, federal support for free college tuition should be a priority in any economic recovery plan in 2021. Research shows that the private and public economic benefit of free community college tuition would outweigh the cost.Nov 2, 2020

    There are ways free or reduced costs at colleges and trade schools could work.

    Friday, April 29 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    "There are ways free or reduced costs at colleges and trade schools could work. "

    Certainly there could be, but the system that AOC and other members of the "squad" agreed to is the one we have.

    Student loan repayments have been suspended since March 2020 becuase of the pandemic. In spite of that hold on repayments,"According to the latest department data, 500,000 federal student loan borrowers – out of more than 43 million – have been repaying their loans during the pause." (https://www.npr.org/2022/04/06/1091018301/student-loan-pause-extended") Was A.O.C. among that 500,000"? No she wasn't, and she has an income three times higher than the average income for Americans.

    Saturday, April 30 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    My understanding is that the President will act soon on forgiveness of some measure of student-loan debt. Hopefully, this action also will include some sort of provision for free higher education. At the moment, however, I'm a bit more concerned with "green" energy , keeping Putin's war on foreign soil, etc. There also is a critical mid-term election looming on the horizon.

    Monday, May 2 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    " the President will act soon on forgiveness of some measure of student-loan debt"..... Do you think someone who makes $174k a year should have their student loan debt forgiven?

    Monday, May 2 Report this