The battles in the Irish Parliament this week make me feel a little less embarrassed about the bitter gridlock in American politics. But mostly, I'm sick at heart about why we can't do better. Working together demonstrates our humanity.
But ants work together better than humans.
Each ant selflessly does their own job and the whole colony works together to achieve a common goal. But did you know that different species of ants who hate each other co-exist and work together? Compare that to the United States Congress.
In 1939, a republican senator, Elizabeth Norse got together with a democrat senator, Robert Wagner. They both wanted to do something in response to Germany's Kristallnacht pogrom against the Jews. The two worked together on legislation to allow 20,000 German Jewish children to immigrate to the United States.
Members on both sides of Congress came together to support the legislation, including former President Herbert Hoover, who'd led efforts that restricted immigration ten years earlier.
I wish this story had a happy ending. But opponents mobilized against the bill. President Franklin D. Roosevelt remained silent on the issue, and congress killed it. I wish we would learn more from history.
Did you know during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, citizens of New York City righteously criticized the authorities in Salem for convicting people on the basis or hysterical witnesses, executing them on little actual evidence?
Did you know 50-years later, New Yorkers--fearing not the devil, but a slave revolt--conducted their own witch hunt complete with hysterical witnesses and deadly justice? Remembered as the "Bonfires of the Negroes," 17 blacks were hanged, along with 4 white "ringleaders," 13 African slaves were burned at the stake and 70 more shipped to the Caribbean and sold. I wish we could learn more from history.
Enough depressing stories. Please tell me you believe there is life after Donald Trump! Share your hope that we can work together for better.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers in the blog comments, by email or social media.