We're changing | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
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 …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

We're changing | Tom Camfield


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.