Thursday, December 15, 2011


What can I say about the Republican candidates? Not much you can say about a carny sideshow in a head long rush to the bottom of the Grand Canyon…and beyond.

It's a credit to the miracle of this nation that a first generation son of immigrants like Rick Santorum can even dream of becoming president. Luckily dreaming is about as close as he’s going to get but it got me thinking.

His father's family came over in the 1920's. The last of my ancestors to arrive that I can account for stepped off the boat in New York in 1850. She was eleven, her name was Margaret Clinton and she immigrated with her family. Probably from somewhere in Ireland. They either sailed from Belfast or crossed over to England and boarded in Liverpool. Near as I can tell, everybody else was already here going back to Massachusetts in 1635 and Pennsylvania in 1682.

Heck Rick your folks had it relatively easy. Probably came steerage but they could be here in less than two weeks. I’m not sure when liners started using radios instead of telegraph but at least the ship’s officers could yell for help if they ran into trouble and your family didn’t have to worry about small pox, typhus, and the food running short. At least your folks were on a ship with engines. Your mom or grandmother didn’t risk one of the saddest notes I’ve run across, grandmother so and so died in childbirth and was buried at sea. No note about the possible aunt or uncle, but I wouldn’t give a newborn much chance unless there was another woman aboard who could nurse that baby.

Yes, your family came over just before the depression hit, but you weren’t here alone. Hell man, the heavy lifting had already been done. Our two civil wars were over. We had a government up and running (most of the time). Your family had a place to come to, it probably wasn’t much to start with but you weren’t alone, literally building a nation from the ground up. You know Rick, showing a little gratitude for what we got right would be refreshing.

1 comment:

Lisa :-] said...

The Republican field is so laughable... When Newt Gingrich is the able to rise to the top of the list, you know that party is in some deep trouble.