Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2022 |
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A torrent of bitterness
My family has not lived in Hawaii for very long. This is the only the fifth election cycle we’ve gone through, but in that decade something has changed. When we first moved here, I was struck by how civil and polite the candidates were compared with what we had experienced in mainland elections. Almost every campaign ad used to end with “I humbly ask for your vote.”
This time around, however, many candidates seem to have dipped into a toxic well of anger. The recurring theme is “the opponent is a terrible person.” Attack ads by mysterious groups nobody has previously heard of fling a steady stream of mud (or what appears to be mud), in hopes that some of it will stick. Of course, these PACs are supposedly independent and not coordinating with any candidate; but “I’m shocked … shocked” that not many of those who stand to benefit from this mudstorm have risen up to say “this is not what I stand for,” so I’m left with the impression that they agree with the tactic, even if they have to bear some of the stench.
Will this torrent of bitterness get a response from a new generation of Hawaiian voters? Or will they turn away from politics and not participate? Judging from the tone of this primary campaign, we may be left with the kind of bitter divisions that affect so much of America today. Going into the general election, I hope the candidates will rethink this strategy and remember the aloha spirit we in Hawaii boast of so proudly.
Student loan forgiveness
going off the rails
Here we go again. Another attempt to balance the scales of capitalistic injustice going off the rails because of exaggerated political accusations. People are up in arms believing that Democrats want to cancel all student loan debt without knowing anything about the basis for the Biden administration’s focus on this issue.
President Biden’s “Borrower Defense to Repayment Program” would allow federal student loan borrowers to request loan forgiveness if they were defrauded or misled by their school via misrepresentation about critical elements of their degree program. Corinthian Colleges was a for-profit college that collapsed in 2015 under the weight of federal and state investigations for mal-practice (as did Trump University and so many others).
Biden is hoping to grant justice to the 560,000 Corinthian Colleges students defrauded and left holding $6B in federal debt; as well as any student who may file a formal application seeking redress from these “schools” that pop up making grandiose promises that are never fulfilled.
The real issue here is addressing how unregulated, for-profit schools devolve into greed and deception when the founders are only interested in reeling in students for their profit gains. Biden’s program is meant to bring attention to such corruption and perhaps $10,000 in debt relief to those who’ve been deceived, swept under the rug and left struggling.
Instead, public ignorance about the facts allows politicians and media to turn any discussion of debt relief into fear-mongering resentment designed to throw another constructive program off the rails.
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