Julia Ward Howe wrote in her poem, “The Glorious Fourth,” about immigrants,
Our friendly harbors open stand,
To hail the ships of every land.
The fainting exile at our door
Finds cheer and welcome evermore.”
I find poetry a way to take an entire emotion and reduce it to one word or a few words.
Ralph Waldo Emerson summed his experiences up this way…”The more cultivated, in their account of their own experience, cull out the pleasing poetic circumstance…and so seek to throw a romantic color over their life.” Kipling wrote of the sheer power of a machine gun over a village he was visiting in Africa.
George Edward Woodberry wrote:
“I pray for peace, yet peace is but a prayer.”
“How many wars have their been in my brief years?”
Then he counts them. To be honest, I have lost count. I live watching wars, and some instigators deserve death or imprisonment. George Woodberry is not the only person who has lost count. After 9/11, the average person never saw a bag left against a wall in a subway tunnel the same way again. And, the Boston Marathon massacre solidified that fear.
So, we continue to fight our wars. Anytime I run into a person in military uniforms I tell them, “Thank you for your service.” It is not much but it is from the heart.
Donald Trump wants to keep Muslims out. He is in direct competition with Julia Ward Howe. We have always been the nation that welcomes persons who have lived in hell in their own lands. My great-multiple times- grandfather came from Ireland before the potato famine. He sailed here in a ship dedicated to losing years on his life by working as an indentured servant for a Canadian farmer. He was destined to be there for nineteen years. If he had come to America during that time, he would have only had to stay indentured for seven years.
Instead, he waited 19 years for his freedom, and, when he got it, he bought a Conestoga wagon, a covered wagon, and took his family to South Dakota, where he got his forty acres and a mule from the Homestead Act. He died late in life, particularly for that time, in his eighties, and he left his eleven children eleven thousand dollars each. By 1980’s standards that panned out to 6.2 million dollars each.
Unlike Trump, John Kennedy wrote a thoughtful book on immigration while he was in the Senate. He traced the immigration decisions of people who came to various ports in order to become citizens. My father-in-law came here at the age of four to Ellis Island. They found a bump on his head and were going to send him back to Greece with his mother. Her cries and actions made them change their minds, and he became the father of a United States Senator and Presidential candidate, Paul Tsongas.
Kennedy’s book was entitled “A Nation of Immigrants.” In it he says of the days after WWII, “Political persecution was not ended by the destrution of Nazism or by the victory of WWII. Hundreds of thousands were made homeless in the 1950’s by Communist oppression behind the Iron Curtain. In 1953 Congress passed the Refugee Relief Act to admit around 200,000 refugees…made it possible for approximately 30,000 freedom fighters who escaped from Hungary…to be admitted to the United States.”
In the 1950’s it was very difficult to come to America, but here were 200,000 people who were met with open doors. My brother-in-law, who was Lithuanian but drafted into Army Service in Vietnam, has a metal plate in his skull where a shell fragment hit him. He worked hard after heroism as a machine gunner in a Huey helicopter, to become a Post Office employee who recently retired. He is quite a man.
“Trumpspeaks” is a name for what the Donald has to say. We cannot build a wall in Mexico. We need to beef up our border patrols, not build a wall that can be easily breached. Walls have never in history worked. They are testaments to a false sense of security, and people go over, around, or under them regularly. Even the small Berlin Wall could not keep the Germans in East Germany in East Berlin. The Great Wall of China, did not work. Castles in Britain were stormed and taken over by Scottish troops.
Let us see if Donald Trump can even write a book. He speaks to his audience at a fourth grade level, so it would be easy enough to translate or listen to his dictation.
Where are the smart Presidents in this day and age? Based on my review of all of the people running, few are in that crowd. Let Trump come up with realistic solutions to complex problems. What is he doing about opiods, or drug abuse? Where is he on Parliament’s attempt to disassociate him from England by stating that they do not want to see him on their soil? How tough must it be to get banned from Britain? I mean, I have heard of being banned in Boston, but this man is ridiculous.
Those are my meanderings for tonight. I hope they helped you think.