District Of Columbia

George McGovern Birthday, What Would Have Been His 95th: A Moment To Remember

Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee against President Richard Nixon, would have been 95 today, a moment to remember this great man, who passed away five years ago on October 21, 2012.

McGovern may have been an historic loser, winning only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia in his race against Nixon 45 years ago.

But McGovern was, in many ways, the most principled man ever to run for President.

He ran as an anti Vietnam War candidate, who had been a fighter pilot in World War II.

He ran as a person committed to the hungry, the poor, the disadvantaged in our society. He worked across the aisle with Bob Dole of Kansas to take action to help the most deprived in our society.

He ran as a principled and decent political leader who wanted to bring America back to its purpose, to promote equality, justice and compassion.

Americans instead voted for the most unprincipled and corrupt President in American history, until Donald Trump came along.

George McGovern was my idol, my hero, as a young man in graduate school, inspired by the fact that he had, like myself, pursued a PH. D. in American history, and had taught on the college level before entering politics.

What is it about America that too often they vote for the candidate who is far less principled, decent, and compassionate–as with Richard Nixon and Donald Trump as two examples?

Why is it that we have, as a nation, too often made the wrong choice?

This is something that will be repeated until the better side of our nature finally returns to the basic principles of America, and steers away from those who exploit our fears and insecurities and worsens the American condition!

The Electoral College Future May Be Bright For Democrats Soon, With Growing Hispanic Population In North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Arizona

Democrats are rightfully very gloomy one month after the election, with the close vote but loss in three “Blue” states–Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

But when one looks down the road, so to speak, the long range future of the party is bright, since the growth of Hispanic-Latino population, and even the Asian American population, is going to have the effect of changing “Red” states to “Blue” over the next decade.

North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Arizona are moving toward a major change in their population, which cannot be reversed, and the Electoral College advantage will definitely be in favor of the Democrats, as a result.

North Carolina with 15 electoral votes, Georgia with 16 electoral votes, Texas with 38 electoral votes, and Arizona with 11 electoral votes, are all growing and becoming more population of these racial minorities, and all four states will have a growth in electoral votes after the Census of 2020 and reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives.

As it is now, these four states have 80 electoral votes, but will have a few more in the 2020s, more than enough to overcome the 46 electoral votes of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

The likelihood of any other of the remaining 15 solid “Blue” states, numbering 15 of the 20 states Hillary Clinton won, going “Red” are extremely unlikely—as the five New England states, four Middle Atlantic states and DC, two Midwestern states, and four Pacific Coast states are all rock solid. The 5 “swing” states that still went to Hillary Clinton–New Hampshire, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico–are also extremely unlikely to swing “Red”, as they did not give in to the sway of Donald Trump. The three western states are becoming more Hispanic and Asian American every year, and Virginia is influenced by its growing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital, and New Hampshire by its proximity to Boston. Only New Hampshire might go to the Republicans, but the other four seem certain to remain in the Democratic camp, so New Hampshire with 4 electoral votes is not significant enough to worry about.

So the future is bright, but meanwhile, progressives have to build state parties and win seats in both houses of Congress, a tall order in the short run, but with the hope that long term, the prognosis is much better.

Remember that the three states taken by Trump, all in the Rust Belt, are likely to lose some seats in reapportionment, while the growing states likely to go “Blue” are all to gain seats, so the Electoral College future strongly favors the Democrats.

Just now, if one imagines those four “Red” states going Democratic in the future, the electoral vote of 232 for Hillary Clinton would become 312 with the 80 electoral votes!

And of course, do not write off that Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania could revert to the Democratic camp, as the Trump wins were very small margin, less than one percent of all votes cast in the three states, and less than 80,000 votes in total!

A Rational, Sensible Proposal: Two Californias, Two Texases, Two Floridas, Two New Yorks, Northern Virginia And Washington DC Unified As A State!

There has been a lot of speculation and discussion about the creation of new states, and this was discussed in a post on July 4 on this blog.

However, despite the move toward a ballot measure to create SIX Californias, it will NOT happen, and neither will five Texases, nor three New Yorks, nor two Marylands, nor two Illinoises, nor two Pennsylvanias, and even another suggestion, two Colorados!

However, it is NOT unreasonable to suggest that there could be a division of the following states into two states each–California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

A Northern and Southern California would make sense, as the state is overly large, with 38 million people, with a division being the North California state would include San Francisco and Sacramento and the Silicon Valley, and Central California, while South California would include Los Angeles and San Diego, and the heavily populated areas around LA and San Diego.

A Northern and Southern Texas might be divided along the following lines—North Texas being the Panhandle and West Texas along with Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area; and South Texas including East Texas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio and down to the Rio Grande River boundary line except for the Western area around El Paso, which would be in North Texas.

A division of New York would be the New York City counties, along with Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland Counties, a total of nine counties, with the other 53 counties North of the city of New York (including Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester) being named New Amsterdam, the original Dutch colony name.

A division of Florida would be Northern Florida and Central Florida as North Florida, and South Florida being the counties of the Keys, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.

Finally, a good idea would be to add Northern Virginia to Washington DC, name it Columbia, and revive the old failed amendment for statehood for DC, by adding those northern Virginia suburbs to the nation’s capital, and ending the discrimination against the 700,000 residents of DC, by making them part of a state, with the state known as North Virginia!

No more Congressional seats in the House of Representatives would be created, except for the addition of the District of Columbia to the Northern Virginia suburbs, so there would be 436 House members, instead of 435. However, there would then be 55 states, creating ten new US Senators; requiring 56 instead of 51 Senators to be a majority; 61 instead of 55 to end filibuster on executive branch nominations; and 66 instead of 60 Senators to end all other filibusters.

Commentary on this is welcome!

44 Percent Of Americans Live In Same Sex Marriage States!

As of this writing, 19 states and the District of Columbia allow same sex marriage, representing 44 percent of the American people! These states include Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii. This means the Northeastern states, the Pacific Coast states, and some Midwestern states are included in this list, all for now “Blue’ states!

Additionally, the following nine states have had federal or state judges declare that same sex marriage should be allowed, but appeals are holding up action on this matter–Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Utah, Idaho. This list includes three “Blue” and six “Red” states.

More limited decisions on same sex marriage being recognized from other states has occurred through judicial intervention in five states–Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, Alaska. This is one “Blue” state and four “Red” states. Also, there has been some action on same sex unions in two states–Wisconsin and Nevada. Both of these states were Blue” states in 2012.

So 35 states and the District of Columbia have advanced on the subject in some form!

That leaves primarily Southern states and Mountain and Great Plains states out of the loop, nothing new in that regard! This list of 15 states not yet touched by same sex marriage rulings include North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona. Only Florida went “Blue” in 2012, with the other 14 states all being “Red”.

These 15 states represent the past, and nothing will stop the forward movement to allow same sex marriage in all of the United States in the next few years!

The Two Sides Of DC: The Vastly DIfferent Worlds Of Maryland And Virginia!

The District of Columbia is surrounded by Maryland and Virginia, and the differences between these two states are vast!

Back in the Civil War period, Maryland remained loyal to the Union, although having slavery and secessionists, while Virginia, with vastly more slaves and more rebels, became the leader of the Confederacy, and had the Confederate capitol at Richmond.

Now, Maryland is one of the most loyal Democratic states, very liberal and progressive, and has Governor Martin O’Malley, who is seen by many as an early favorite competitor for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016. The legislature is heavily Democratic as well.

Meanwhile, Virginia has a possible future competitor for President in 2016 in Governor Bob McDonnell, who also may be a possible Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney, if he is the GOP Presidential candidate in 2012. Also, the state legislature is heavily Republican, and now after yesterday’s election, that party will control both houses of the state legislature for only the second time in a century. Social conservatives will wish to promote their agenda as a result, although the northern part of Virginia tends to be very liberal as a bedroom community for the national capital’s work force.

Could two states be more different? That is hard to imagine, and yet it could be, in theory, that O’Malley and McDonnell could be competing against each other’s philosophies and visions and agenda in the Presidential Election of 2016!

DC Voting Rights Bill Shelved: Lack Of Representation Tied To Gun Rights

The nation’s capital, Washington, DC, has always been denied a voting member of Congress, despite its having the population of a small state, but there was hope in recent years that a compromise would allow a House member, with Utah also gaining an extra congressional seat because of rapid growth.

But the struggle over loosening gun control laws has led to the idea being shelved, denying people in the District the best opportunity in a long time to gain voting rights. Gun rights advocates wanted to loosen the gun laws in a city with a high crime rate, and that ultimately killed the possibility of a voting member in the House of Representatives for Washington, DC.

This is a sad commentary, that the gun advocates could prevent a movement toward democracy, giving DC the same status as a state, but it is nothing new, as a previous DC amendment to make it the state of Columbia failed to pass more than a few state legislatures.

So it will be a continued battle for who knows how many more years before Washington, DC is treated equally with the 50 states! πŸ™