ASK AMY: Boyfriend's politics might be a deal-breaker – Toronto Sun
Dear Amy: My boyfriend of a few months is one of the most caring, sweetest, and genuine guys I have ever met. He’s not just nice to me, but I’ve observed his behaviour toward strangers, waitresses, friends, colleagues, etc. He is lovely and kind.
He also supports the current president and loathes the Democratic Party. He is a permanent resident whose family emigrated from a country led by a dictator 52 years ago.
I am the opposite. I was born in this country 47 years ago. I’m not too political, yet I do speak up, rally, and let elected officials know when the causes I support are being infringed upon.
I do not agree with the current administration on anything. He and I do not talk politics much, but we do talk daily about common interests, our respective days, and we spend our available time with one another.
Our chemistry is undeniably intense and while we have not said “I love you” to one another, he has both written and said how much he cares about me.
The only other supporter of this president I allow in my life is a family member who is like a mom to me.
Do you think I am crazy if I continue this relationship?
— SDJ in the Northeast
Dear SDJ: I don’t think you’re crazy at all. He might eventually wonder what he is doing with someone who is so closed-minded, however.
He “loathes the Democratic party.” That’s covering a pretty broad spectrum, but according to you, he hates the ideology — not necessarily the people.
You, however, seem to say that you ought to reject any individual who supports the current administration. You’ve made an exception for two people — both of whom you love. So, if you love a person, you will give them a pass regarding their political beliefs.
Headed into this heated political year, ask yourself: What if I loved everyone? What if I reflexively loved everyone, and let everyone into my life, even people who hold opinions I loathe?
Granted, there are people who espouse hatred and violence toward fellow humans. If you believe that support for the administration automatically places your boyfriend into this category, then you should steer clear of him.
One of the (many) unfortunate aspects of the current political divisiveness in our country is the way both sides characterize the other as “bad, evil, disgusting,” etc. Because this is the incendiary language the president uses, the country seems to have followed suit. But, maybe you’re better than that. And maybe your guy is, too.
Dear Amy: I have a co-worker who became a friend. We would get coffee, have lunch, and take breaks together. But she and I seem to have misunderstandings. We got into a fight, to a point where she told me never to text or call her again. She said that all she wants is a business relationship. She told me, “We can’t be friends, or she will escalate things and report to the boss.”
I gave in and let her have her space. We didn’t talk for about a month.
Then she came back from a trip and offered me cookies she brought from her trip. She came to my desk and told me to pick whichever I wanted.
From that day on, she started talking to me again. She started texting me for favours. I still have not texted her back.
I don’t know what to think. I asked her recently if she sees me as a friend and she said yes, but I don’t really believe her. I don’t want to get hurt again, but I do miss her.
What should I do?
Dear Workfriend: Your pal seems to be trying to make amends, without actually addressing the direct threat she made to you. No, I don’t think you should trust her. If she overreacted when she promised to report you to the boss, then she should acknowledge this and ask you to forgive her.
Until then, consider yourself burned, and keep your contact strictly professional.
Dear Amy: “Looking for Answers” was an adopted woman who was rebuffed after contacting her birth family.
I was disgusted by your response to her. You suggested that she get a lawyer involved. Why, exactly?
Dear Disgusted: My answer was long and nuanced. At the end, I suggested that if she wanted to explore her legal options, if any, she should contact a lawyer. For someone seeking answers, this would be the last resort.
On Politics: Biden Seizes on a Comment – The New York Times
Welcome to On Politics, a daily political analysis of the 2020 elections, based on reporting by Times journalists.
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Where things stand in the race
There were no new polls released in Iowa and New Hampshire on Tuesday, but the Democratic horse race was in the spotlight anyway as the presidential candidates focused on electability.
Joe Biden looked awfully pleased as he seized on a comment by Joni Ernst, a Republican senator from Iowa, to make his case that G.O.P. leaders privately see him as the toughest candidate. “She spilled the beans!” Biden said, citing her comment on Monday that she was “really interested” to see how the Trump impeachment lawyers’ arguments about Hunter Biden would affect Joe Biden on caucus night. Biden treated this like a smoking gun. “She just came out and flat said it,” he told a crowd in Muscatine, Iowa. “The whole impeachment trial for Trump is just a political hit job to try to smear me, because he is scared to death to run against me.”
Pete Buttigieg continues to hint (unsubtly) that nominating Bernie Sanders would be a needless risk, and on Tuesday he highlighted an area of concern for many moderate Democrats: what will happen to down-ballot prospects if the party selects a standard-bearer too far to the left. At an event in Ottumwa, Iowa, Buttigieg was asked if he would be willing to have a beer with Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader. After saying he would — and adding that he hoped he would be drinking with “a former United States senator” by then — Buttigieg made a prediction of sorts: “We can do that if we have the coattails,” he said of ousting McConnell and Republicans like him, “and the right nominee.”
Add to this a Democratic super PAC’s new plans to air attack ads in Iowa against Sanders over electability, and you have a closing week in Iowa in which policy positions and high-minded visions of the country have given way to appeals about who can beat Republicans.
Elizabeth Warren was stuck at the Senate trial for another day, as were Sanders and Amy Klobuchar. But she did manage to break into the news cycle after her criticisms of Alan Dershowitz, one of Trump’s lawyers and her former Harvard Law School colleague, drew a retort from the longtime litigator. Warren blasted Dershowitz’s arguments as “nonsensical” on Monday; he hit back on Twitter on Tuesday, saying she had “willfully mischaracterized what I said” and claiming she “doesn’t understand the law.”
An intriguing bit of news from our colleagues Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns: Biden aides are discussing the possibility of seeking an alliance with Klobuchar in the Iowa caucuses. Her campaign signaled no interest in such a plan.
Sanders continues to receive good news from state-level polls (more on that below), but Biden is holding steady nationwide, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released on Tuesday. It found the former vice president garnering 26 percent of the vote, roughly on par with what he has garnered in Quinnipiac polls since the fall. But Sanders is on an upward trajectory: He received 21 percent in the poll, breaking the 20-percent mark in a Quinnipiac poll for the first time this cycle
Photo of the day
A short day of closing arguments from the Trump legal team allowed Amy Klobuchar to fly in from Washington for a campaign event at Barley’s Taproom in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Sanders is surging in the Golden State
Sanders is not only leading in (some) Iowa and most New Hampshire polls. A new survey of delegate-rich California by the U.C. Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies, conducted for The Los Angeles Times, shows him pacing the field with 26 percent support. Warren was in second at 20 percent and Biden in third at 15 percent, clinging to the threshold to win delegates.
The poll is particularly significant because while the California primary is technically on March 3, voting will actually begin this week. That’s because county registrars are sending out vote-by-mail ballots by Feb. 3 — the day of the Iowa caucuses. And if a candidate runs up a quick advantage in early voting, he or she could be hard to catch on Election Day.
That 15 percent threshold is crucial. Campaigns must reach it in congressional districts to win delegates in them, and there are some warning signs for Biden, who was at only 11 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the poll.
The story of Sanders’s lead in California is centered on young voters. He got 54 percent among those under 29, and about two-fifths of those in their 30s. Here are the full results:
Sanders: 26 percent
Warren: 20 percent
Biden: 15 percent
Buttigieg: 7 percent
Bloomberg: 6 percent
Klobuchar: 5 percent
Yang: 4 percent
Steyer: 2 percent
Trump hits the stump in New Jersey
The president held his first rally in New Jersey since taking office, packing the town of Wildwood with supporters — many of whom camped out in frigid temperatures. He was there to stump for Representative Jeff Van Drew, the anti-impeachment Democrat who, you might recall, flipped parties last month and pledged his “undying support” for the president.
Our colleague Katie Rogers was on the ground. Here’s her take:
I’ve been to dozens of Trump rallies by now, but this one has a particularly surreal backdrop: It’s taking place in a shuttered boardwalk town in the dead of winter, so most places are closed to the rowdy “Make America Great Again” crowd. Some of the streets are eerily empty, but for the people drifting around in Trump gear. Before the rally, some people were camping because the hotels are either closed or exorbitantly priced. I met a woman here who arrived on Sunday night and sat in a chair outside for the past two nights. She said it was all worth it once she was admitted into the venue at the front of the line. One definite theme I’m sensing is how desperate people seem to be for the opportunity to proudly fly their Trump flag in a blue-leaning state.
Impeachment moves into the questions period
The president’s legal team on Tuesday wrapped up three days of defense arguments in the Senate impeachment trial. On Wednesday, a new question phase will begin; it is slated to take up to 16 hours, so it is expected to stretch on through Thursday evening.
Here’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg, one of our congressional correspondents, to explain how it works and what she’ll be watching for:
Unlike regular Senate debate, where senators speak on the floor, the question-and-answer portion of the impeachment trial will feature written questions — and unscripted answers. Senators will write down their questions for either the House impeachment managers or Trump’s defense team, and will then give them to their respective party leaders. (Much of the question-writing is already being coordinated behind closed doors.) Those leaders will then submit those questions to Chief Justice John Roberts, who will read them aloud at the trial.
I’ll be looking for both sides to try to poke holes in the others’ arguments. Keir Dougall, a former federal prosecutor, floated these for-instances: Trump’s defense team has argued that unless the president commits a crime, he cannot be impeached. So Democrats might ask: “What if a president decides to simply quit coming to work? That is not a crime. Can he be impeached then?” Meanwhile, Democrats have argued that the president was trying to advance his own political agenda. So Republicans might ask: “Doesn’t every president do that? Where do you draw the line?”
Until this week, it had appeared that the trial might wrap as soon as Friday. But on Sunday night, The Times reported that the former national security adviser John Bolton’s soon-to-be-published memoir contained passages that appear to contradict key elements of Trump’s legal defense. On Tuesday, Republican leaders were working feverishly to block testimony from Mr. Bolton or other witnesses but indicated they didn’t yet have the votes to do so.
Pete Buttigieg’s campaign is desperately trying to win the support of black and brown voters at the ballot box. But by some accounts, it has struggled to even win the confidence of its own minority staff members.
Senator Doug Jones is in a delicate political position, a Democrat in deep-red, pro-Trump Alabama. He faces re-election in November, and everything he says and does during the impeachment trial could put his support at risk.
A pro-Israel Democratic Super PAC will start to air attack ads against Sanders in Iowa as moderate Democrats worry that he could win the caucuses there.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. An Olympic curling coach. A host of “Queer Eye.” With impeachment forcing the senators running for president off the campaign trail, their stand-ins have become the main attraction.
And finally, we nuzzled up to the dogs of the 2020 campaign trail, including those that have had their snout shaken by a certain billionaire former New York mayor. Fans on social media follow the dogs’ lives, learning of their hopes and passions — including those that have to do with peanut butter.
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Is there anything you think we’re missing? Anything you want to see more of? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at email@example.com.
The 2020s can end America’s generational divide in politics – Brookings Institution
As the new decade begins, a generational divide stands at the heart of our political debate, impacting a raft of issues including the current question on impeachment. For example, according to a recent Qunnipiac poll, 60% of registered voters under 35 believe the U.S. Senate should vote to remove President Trump from office—compared with just 42% of those over 50 who believe so.
In many ways, our racially diverse, younger population is beginning to flex its political muscle and raise national consciousness on a variety of progressive issues. This contrasts sharply with the rapidly aging population of mostly white baby boomers and their seniors, who have pushed back mightily against such policies. Unless some accommodation is reached, the struggle between our past and our future will persist, leaving our nation and its economy vulnerable.
The generational confrontation came to a head during the just-concluded decade, epitomized by the presidential transition from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. Obama, the nation’s first African American president, received solid support from voters under 45 and racial minority voters, signaling the rising political power of a younger, diverse America.
In a not-so-hidden backlash, white, working-class baby boomers and their seniors were the core constituency that subsequently elected Trump, who preyed upon their fears of a changing America with messages of nostalgia, isolationism, immigrant deportation, and rants against political correctness.
In his first three years in office, Trump’s administration has done much to curtail programs that benefit younger families—health care, benefits to immigrant children, public education, housing assistance, and many other social supports. And, alongside a Republican-controlled Congress, it has handcuffed future spending on such programs with irresponsible tax cuts, virtually guaranteeing ever-larger budget deficits.
Younger generations—millennials and Gen Zers—are strongly supportive of issues that would positively impact their futures: greater racial justice and inclusion, more favorable treatment of immigrants, stronger environmental protection, and effective gun control. But policies that support such measures are low on the priority list for Trump’s aging base.
Underlying this generational conflict are racial demographic dynamics which should further empower younger, diverse generations. One of these dynamics is the continued aging of the white population: There was an absolute decline in the number of white children and teenagers over the past decade, a consequence of there being fewer white women of childbearing age and low white immigration. Racial minorities, on the other hand, accounted for more than half of the decade’s births, as well as accounting for all growth in the country’s under-18 population.
Youthful diversity will be even more prominent in the new decade. The 2020 census will show that more than half of all children under 18 identify as a racial minority. During this new decade, as more white baby boomers age beyond 65, there will be an absolute decline of whites in their prime working years, meaning that racial minorities will contribute to all of the decade’s labor force growth.
The only part of America’s white population that will grow appreciably in the 2020s will be those of retirement age—increasing 23% over the next 10 years. This bulging, boomer-driven group will become increasingly dependent on a much slower-growing (2%) and rapidly diversifying labor force to support the federal programs that will benefit them, such as Social Security and Medicare. It is therefore vital for these boomers’ own interests to encourage government programs that benefit young families and future workers, including education and job training, Head Start, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, children’s nutrition, and child care assistance. Such programs will especially help children of color—many of them first- and second-generation Americans—who will soon contribute to our young adult and labor force populations.
However, diversity-driven demographic change will not necessarily alter politics if older, white boomers cannot be convinced to invest in America’s youth. While the 2020 census will show that 40% of the American population identifies as a minority, it is likely that white Americans will comprise about two-thirds of eligible voters (minorities are more likely than whites to be too young to vote or legal noncitizens) and more than seven in 10 actual voters in the 2020 election (whites, especially older whites, have the highest turnout rates). This voter gap will be even greater in places with high voter suppression and, for congressional elections, in states with gerrymandered districts.
If the political division between ages and races continues into the next decade, our social conflicts are sure to intensify. In 2030, the 50-and-under population—comprised of millennials and Gen Zers—is projected to be less than half white, nearly a quarter Latino or Hispanic, 14% Black, and 11% Asian American and other races, while the 65-and-older population will still over 70% white. Today’s oft-derisive and cynical cries of “white privilege” and “OK, boomer!” would likely escalate, and be more than justified if older whites continue to horde and benefit from the federal largesse while progressive polices to support criminal justice, immigrant rights, and racial equity are held at bay.
But these racial and generational identity politics do not have to continue. It is possible that older whites will eventually hold more generous attitudes toward today’s highly diverse younger generations as they age and disperse across the country into suburbs, exurbs, and currently red states, while the children and grandchildren of baby boomers marry those in other races. Millennials themselves can be positive role models as they age and take on leadership positions in business, politics, and public life, serving as a bridge generation between the boomer-dominated nation we have been and the multihued nation we are becoming.
Most importantly, if we are to keep our strength as a country, leaders of political parties and officials at all levels of government need to help their constituents understand the value of co-generational dependency between the old and the young. If this occurs, and I hope it does, the 2020s can be a decade of improved harmony and economic prosperity for Americans of all ages and races.
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