Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Never Vote for a Finn

A friend of Patrick's ran for mayor in Eveleth, a town up on the Iron Range in northern Minnesota. She lost, and she thinks it was because she's a Finn.

When she was door knocking, people told her they would never vote for a Finn, because the Finns were too radical in the big iron strike in 1916 (or maybe the strike of 1907 -- I'm not sure). As a result, the National Guard was called in, and the miners lost the strike.

I am back thinking about Elizabeth Moon's argument that America requires that people assimilate. But they don't. People of Slavic descent on the Iron Range are still mad at the Finns a hundred years later. I remember that the Icelanders had to fight three wars with the British in order to control their offshore fishing. I also remember that the Danish government pretty much left the Icelanders alone to die of starvation when Iceland was a Danish colony.

I don't spend a lot of time being mad at the Danes. But I do remember the British are no friends of Iceland. Does this matter to me? Yes.

I think people grossly underestimate the extent to which Americans are loyal to ethnic groups and local regions.

The middle class is less ethnic than the working class; and the upper middle class and the rich know no loyalty to anything except their own class. So I think pundits and politicians underestimate local loyalties.

What does this mean. It may mean that the country is more fragile than most people realtize and could fall apart.


Blogger Foxessa said...

Yes, indeed.

A close study of the Adams-Clay vs. Jackson-Van Bruen presidential campaign of 1826, which mirrors in so many ways our current situation, particularly how certain sectors of political-economic interests cynically play the voters out of their own interests, reveals so much. Thus, I for one, feel strongly that an sp nomination and presidency is more likely than it is unthinkable.

Our nation has ever been thus. The intereggnum of relatively mild politicing of the comfortable white, male, middle-class of the 50's (which itself wasn't so mild when you look closely) was short. Extremists such as nullificators and know nothings are the norm here. Just as bank failures and economic panics and depressions were, until FDR changed so much. Now that all those rules and regs were chipped away at since Nixon, we're back into that.

Love, C.

8:57 AM  

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