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Democrats

KUZMINSKI: Can GOP, Democrats Compromise?

Column by Adrian Kuzminski on June 29, 2018

Can GOP, Democrats Compromise?

Adrian Kuzminski

About a year ago, a deal was suggested between President Trump and establishment Democrats whereby Trump would support a path to citizenship for at least some illegal aliens while Democrats would support something like The Wall on the southern border.
The deal came very close, after Democrats met with Trump, but fell apart. It’s now back in the news again.
Is such a compromise possible, or even desirable? A Wall is anathema to Democrats. Closing off the southern border with some kind of impenetrable human barrier seems to them a crime against humanity.
Thousands of refugees from Central America in particular are fleeing the violence not only of drug lords, but also – this isn’t so well reported – of authoritarian regimes suppressing dissent, especially in San Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
A case could be made that the American support for these governments has contributed to the violence, and that the U.S. owes it to these people to take them in – but the Democrats aren’t making that argument.
The idealism of some Democrats has reached the point where, in their minds, national borders are an anachronism that should no longer exist. Since all peoples are equal, what could possibly justify any kind of barrier to admission to the United States?
Isn’t everyone really a citizen of the world? Isn’t the United States – as the exceptional society defined by the Constitution, not by ethnicity – the representative of the future, and thereby the natural home of all refugees?
Some Republicans, on the other hand, are alarmed by the loss of national identity and traditional values. They fear cultural dissolution not only from unrestricted immigration, but from the related forces of globalization and secularization.

This week’s controversial Time magazine cover juxtaposes a photo taken last week at the border in McAllen, Texas, with a photo of President Trump.

The certitudes of family, religion, custom, ethics, patriotism – even the rule of law – seem to be eroding away in favor of a disorienting cosmopolitan culture without clear values, where money rules, and traditional roles and behaviors are replaced by consumerism and egotism.
Walls don’t seem very promising. Think of the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, the Berlin Wall, or the current Israeli West Bank Wall. Border; security only seems to work when there is normal traffic, not a press of desperate refugees or insurgents.
On the other hand, there is arguably no national sovereignty if there is little or no border control at all. That’s long been the case on our southern border, where a blind eye has been turned to illegal immigrants because they provided cheap labor for jobs no one else would do. The result has been an illegal American underclass, estimated at around 11 million people.
In a deal, Trump would get his Wall, or some version of it, which would probably be more effective, if not foolproof, than what we have now. In return for this, the Democrats would get no less than a reasonable path to citizenship for ALL illegal aliens currently in the country, not just the Dreamers. Immigrants would be offered a dignified formal process for citizenship, with families kept together, in place of the police state tactics we have seen.
Some kind of standard of what it means to be an American would be established. Not everyone (criminals, etc.) would qualify, but most presumably would. Think of Ellis Island. The promise of an America for all would be restored, and the underworld of illegal immigration would be drastically reduced, if not eliminated.
Compromise takes courage and vision, now in short supply. The challenge is to figure out a definition of America that lies between the relentless march of a global cosmopolitanism that undermines traditional values, and a desperate reaction to it that doubles down on chauvinism, racism, and religious dogmatism.
The middle ground between these extremes is where a real compromise can be found. It would be the reinvention of a viable American center, something long overdue.

Adrian Kuzminski, retired Hartwick College philosophy professor and Sustainable Otsego moderator, lives in Fly Creek.

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Collier, Backers Watch Returns At Upstate Grill

CD-19 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

Collier, Backers Watch

Returns At Upstate Grill

Intently, Congressional candidate Erin Collier and her campaign manager, Paul Feingold, watch returns at an Election Night Watch Party she is hosting at this hour at Cooperstown’s Upstate Bar & Grille.  So far, only Schoharie of the 11 counties in the 19th District has reported all precincts, and has gone to Antonio Delgado. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Congress Hopeful Flynn Pays Visit

Congress Hopeful Flynn

Hosted At Meet, Greet

Brian Flynn, now living in Hunter, Greene County, discusses his position on various political issues with Margaret McGown of Cooperstown at a meet and greet hosted this evening at The Shack in Hartwick Seminary by Leslie Berliant, the recent county board candidate. Flynn is one of six Democratic candidates running for the 19th New York Congressional District challenging incumbent John Faso, R-Kinderhook. Flynn discussed what needs to change in Washington D.C., and how he would address the concerns of the voters in the 19th district.  Tuesday night, he will attend another meet and greet in Oneonta. (Parker Fish/AllOtsego.com).
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Democrats Elect New Chair

Before Electing New Chair,

Democrats Debate Finances

The Democratic County Committee meets this evening at Cooperstown Village Hall to elect former Oneonta mayor Kim Muller as its chair.   But first, committee members closed the doors to the public and debated finances for an hour and a half – a discussion still underway at this hour – although Muller’s elevation was still on the agenda.  Democratic Vice Chairman Dennis Laughlin presided; also at the front table is Hank Nicols, secretary.  (Parker Fish/AllOtsego.com)
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Otsego Democrats Gather At Foothills Dinner

Otsego County Democrats

Gather For Foothills Dinner

Above, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, along side Rich Abbate, Otsego County Democratic Chairman, addresses the democrats gathered at the annual Henry Nichols Democratic Dinner held at Foothills on Saturday evening. Local representatives were able to network and meet upcoming candidates while enjoying a prime rib dinner from Mel’s at 22 in Cooperstown. At left, guest of honor Jeff Katz, Mayor of Cooperstown, was the recognized for his work and leadership as an Otsego County Democrat. He is seated next to guest speaker Sabrina Ty, the president and CEO of the New York State Environmental Corporation. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Democrats Gather At Foothills Performing Arts Center

Bagnall-Graham, Teachout,

Magee Feted By Democrats

Introduced by Democratic County Chair Richard Abbate, left, state Senate candidate Jermaine Bagnall-Graham of Sherburne said he was "truly honored to share this moment with all these great Democrats." The annual Henry Nicols County Democratic Dinner at Foothills in Oneonta includes candidates Zephyr Teachout, for Congress, and Assemblyman Bill Magee, who is up for reelection. Also attending were Mayors Gary Herzig of Oneonta and Jeff Katz of Cooperstown, with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli as the keynote speaker. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Introduced by Democratic County Chair Richard Abbate, left, state Senate candidate Jermaine Bagnall-Graham of Sherburne said he was “truly honored to share this moment with all these great Democrats.” The annual Henry Nicols County Democratic Dinner at Foothills in Oneonta includes candidates Zephyr Teachout, for Congress, and Assemblyman Bill Magee, who is up for reelection. Also attending were Mayors Gary Herzig of Oneonta and Jeff Katz of Cooperstown, with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli as the keynote speaker.  Oneonta’s First Lady Connie Herzig is in the foreground.   (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

 

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LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATE AT COUNTY DEMOCRATIC DINNER

CUOMO’S RUNNINGMATE HOCHUL

SURPRISE AT DEMOCRATIC DINNER

Kathy Hochul, Governor Cuomo's runningmate for lieutenant governor, is in Otsego County this evening for the annual Jedediah Peck Dinner at the Country Inn & Suites  in Hartwick Seminary.  Here, county Chairman Richard Abbate introduces the candidate to former Oneonta Mayor John Nader, at left is Kim Muller, Nader's predecessor.  Congressional candiidate Sean Eldridge was also in attendance, and state Controller Tom DiNapoli was due to deliver the keynote.  The guest of honor was Bill Streck, retired Bassett Healthcare president/CEO and a prominent local Democrat.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Kathy Hochul, Governor Cuomo’s runningmate for lieutenant governor, is in Otsego County this evening for the county Democratic Party’s annual Jedediah Peck Dinner at the Country Inn & Suites in Hartwick Seminary. Here she shakes hands with former Oneonta Mayor Kim Muller as county Chairman Richard Abbate introduces her to Muller’s successor, former Oneonta Mayor John Nader.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Congressional candidate Sean Eldridge is briefed on local issues by county Rep. Beth Rosenthal, Roseboom.  Counterclockwise from left are Rosenthal's husband Craig Levy, Barbara Monroe of Milford and Bennett Sandler of Fly Creek.
Congressional candidate Sean Eldridge is briefed on local issues by county Rep. Beth Rosenthal, Roseboom. Counterclockwise from left are Rosenthal’s husband Craig Levy, Barbara Monroe of Milford and Bennett Sandler of Fly Creek.

HARTWICK SEMINARY – County Democratic Chair Richard Abbate told the county committee when it met last Tuesday that he would have a “surprise guest” at the party’s annual Jedediah Peck Dinner this evening at the Country Inn & Suites.

State Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, left, congratulates Bill Streck, guest of honor at this evening's Jedediah Peck dinner,   Between them is Streck's wife Karen.
State Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, left, congratulates Bill Streck, guest of honor at this evening’s Jedediah Peck dinner, Between them is Streck’s wife Karen.

It was Kathy Hochul, the former congressman from the Buffalo area and former Erie County clerk, who is on the ticket with Governor Cuomo for the lieutenant governor slot.

State Controller Tom DiNapoli, who would keynote the evening, was among the other VIPs. The guest of honor was recently retired Bassett President/CEO Bill Streck, in attendance with wife Karen.

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