Aiming for the top | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
Blogger
Posted 2/4/21

“BUT THAT’S ULTIMATELY WHY the beginning of the Biden Era is a moment of a relief. We haven’t turned the page on an awful chapter of American history. But finally, together, we can. …

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Aiming for the top | Tom Camfield

Posted

“BUT THAT’S ULTIMATELY WHY the beginning of the Biden Era is a moment of a relief. We haven’t turned the page on an awful chapter of American history. But finally, together, we can. For the first time in four years, America’s most powerful institutions are run almost entirely by people who care about our democracy and want to see it survive. They must make the most of this moment, not just to clear the low bar set by the previous administration, but to raise the bar for future ones before it’s too late.”

So concluded former Obama speech-writer David Litt Jan. 25 in a piece for The Guardian.

I’ll try, but I may not be around for the next mid-term election on Nov. 8, 2022, when Republicans make a big push to regain control of the U.S. Senate — and also to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

It’s a bit of a stretch, as I will/would be closing in on my 94th birthday.

But for the moment, I’m curious as hell how Donald — if he’s not in the courtroom trying to stay out from behind bars — will be trying to muck up the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration . . . and the months thereafter.

That’s Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill at the beginning of this blog — and hopefully she will remain there in place of Donald’s hero Andrew Jackson as we rid ourselves of the self-centered racist society of Trump.

Andrew, like Donald, was no champion of American Freedom. Harriet Tubman was.

At noon on Jan. 20, newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden wasted no time making the country’s leaders looking more as if it were run by people who actually live here — as he had promised. (Actually he had begun this much earlier with his choice of vice president.)

In addition to his flagrant white supremacy and personal narcissism, Trump gradually axed the nation’s successful 138-year-old Civil Service system in favor of the spoils system that flourished under Jackson. Less than two weeks prior to the last Election Day, Donald signed an executive order threatening to officially return the U.S. to a spoils system in which a large share of the federal government’s workforce could be fired for little or no reason — including a perceived lack of loyalty to the president.

Andrew Jackson, seventh U.S. president, was a slave-owner and populist who played a key role in sending some 5,000 Cherokee and others on the “Trail of Tears” from the southeastern U.S. to “Indian Territory” west of Arkansas and the Mississippi River. Thus, some 4.000 indigenous Americans died in the early 1830s of illness and starvation. He generally opposed policies that would have outlawed slavery in western territories as the U.S. expanded over time.

Harriet Tubman, ca. 1822-1913, was an American abolitionist and political activist born into slavery. She made 13 missions to rescue some 70 enslaved people, using the Underground Railroad network of anti-slavery safe houses before the Civil War. During the war, she was an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. Later she was active in the Women’s Suffrage movement.

But supporters of Donald Trump prefer a photo of Andrew Jackson on their money. Tell me again about racism, misogyny and other forms of imagined supremacy — and why they should be championed by our government.

The proposed new $20 bill is one of the major symbols of difference between Biden and Trump. The change was first proposed during the Obama administration in 2016 and the change was announced after a viral on-line campaign to feature a woman on U.S. currency.

In 2020, however, Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the new $20 bill would not be released until 2030 (with or without Tubman) and the next administration’s secretary (presumably post-Trump) would make the decision on the change. Mnuchin demurred on whether he personally believed Tubman should ever be added to the $20.

Trump has expressed his opposition to removing monuments or renaming military facilities that honor the United States’ history of racism. As a 2016 candidate, he said that he did not believe that Tubman should replace Jackson, who was a slave owner, and called the idea “pure political correctness.”

“It says everything you need to know about President Trump’s values that he can’t even do the lightest of lifts to honor Harriet Tubman,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “He’s refusing to put her portrait on the $20 bill, but he’s continuing to honor Confederate generals who fought to preserve slavery,” Schumer said in a June New York Times article.

Comments

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  • MargeS

    I agree that Harriet Tubman, not Andrew Jackson should be honored on the $20 bill. However, the way things are going our currency will go like the Dodo Bird. One thing the pandemic has taught me is, plastic will soon be king. I think I have the same $50 bill in my purse I had in March of 2020. There are lots of ways to honor Harriet Tubman, our actions are the best way. The real Andrew Jackson will be written into history the same as Trump, both racists. From your writing I think you have a good many years left.

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    "America’s most powerful institutions are run almost entirely by people who care about our democracy and want to see it survive".....You mean people like Suzi LeVine?

    I support the Harriet Tubman bill. Send me your un-used Jacksons.

    Is there a Harriet Tubman day? Somewhere in America? Why not?

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    After 3 weeks (Now Feb. 25) l have regained access to Safari, which was lost in connection with a recent overall upgrade. Hopefully this means that somehow I will be back soon in the blogs/comments section. It will depend on whether I can now find the on-off switch when trying to repeat the operation.

    Thursday, February 25, 2021 Report this

  • garynovak418

    Tom, I hope when your return you can share some wisdom about reconciliation. Your generation reconciled with Japan and Germany. What is the way forward for the progressives and the conservatives of these times?

    Friday, February 26, 2021 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    Gary, you'll remember the "reconciliation" happened after a bitter war.

    Tom and the assorted other Trump-Haters have spent the last 4 years demonizing the POTUS, calling him and those who supported him every manner of evil, and now you expect them to be the ones who will bring US together?

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    After being subjected to four years of flat-out lying and narcissistic greed by a mindless fool who actually lost the general election the first time by three or four million votes—and would rather play golf than concern himself with the deaths of more than 500,000 Americans—I hope we have in place firmly, by 7,000,000 votes or more this time, an administration that will bring us BACK to sanity.

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    Thanks for proving my point Tom. Tell me, exactly what has Biden done to bring US back to "sanity".

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 Report this

  • garynovak418

    I'm taking 2021 off from contributing to a record of community hostility. I know we are a long way from forgive and forget but I am two months in to giving my mind and heart a rest from this conflict. Maybe it will open space for something better. I do know that I can go to a Vietnamese restaurant with no hard feelings now. I think we have common ground which we will discover. Clean air and water anyone?

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    First Trump holds up any logical transfer of power until the final second on Jan. 20. Then as February comes to a close about a mere five weeks (35 or so days) later, his surrogates are asking "what has Biden done for us lately?" Exactly what point are you trying to prove, Justin, as Biden works effectively to clean up the neglectful death of more than 500,000 Americans from coronavirus? (and generally clean the rats out of the administrative attic?)

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    My point is let's take a look at what Biden has done for US since taking office.

    Ask the thousands of the Keystone XL pipeline workers that are out of a job how Biden is doing.

    How about the increased numbers of illegals crossing our border since Biden reversed Trump's policies.

    How about Biden ending support to Saudi Arabia in the Yemen civil war, basically giving Iran a green light to continue supporting the Houthi rebels.

    Biden has put US back in the Paris Accords, where American taxpayers will be obligated to send Millions to countries such as China, for what?

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    Tom, for months you have been falsely claiming that Trump was responsible for 500,000 CovVid deaths. Are you going to hold Biden responsible for the deaths of those illegals who died in that van in California the other day? Biden announced that he was stopping the border wall construction and sure enough those illegals found a hole in the border.

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    They merely cut a hole in the fancy/costly new wall with Trump's name on it. A hole easily large enough to drive an SUV through.

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    Once again Tom you can't get your facts straight. The section that the illegals cut through was constructed before Trump became President. Even IF they had breached the border wall that was constructed during the Trump administration Biden is still responsible for their deaths, and whatever diseases they brought into our country.

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 Report this