by Bodwyn ‘Alistair’ Wook
Some especially among my English friends have noted that already they seem to perceive a pulling away from all of the blissful Anglo-American romance of the bushean Anglo-Israeli phantasy-years.
This is in itself, however, but the swing across events, of an old American political pendulum that endures even to-day in our complete present post-modern perplexity, always now increasingly hispanicised, about what really we as a more-or-less still-united nation need to (try to) do next.
Historically, Middle Western Democrats have never been anglomaniacal.
This, taken together with a certain populist trend, put them often at odds with President Wilson and, later, la Roosevelt.
These Democrats of the North American interior were heavy industrial plebians, mainly Irish and Poles and such gentry of the heartland. Also, the Germans were a mixed lot, many being anti-clericalist emigres from the failed socialist 1848 ructions. They were mainly Lincoln Republicans in their day and only slowly made shift to The Democracy, as they were repelled by the imperiallising Teddy Roosevelt even whilst continuing to embrace domestic progressivisms. This was in the end as much true of the ethnically-churched Germans, protestant and RC, as the humanists among them.
They, as a rule better educated than their non-English-speaking urban counterparts of other ethnicities, opposed the Wilson war not for the Kaiser’s sake, but rather because we had ought not to have mixed in any of this European old dirt. In their wake the Germans drew along job lots of Scandinavian immigrants, many of whom had sailed to America in the 70s and 80s of the century before last in clean and efficient, nicely German-run, steamships. They fled the increasingly onerous military draughts at home and came across the North Atlantic in search of better, certainly more peaceable, lives. That was still in the late-modern age, of course, and so it was an entirely different, and far more optimistic, mood than anything we can easily grasp about our atmosphere of to-day. As my Swedish-American maternal grandfather often said, when I told him I was a history student:
“Why would you learn to do over all THAT damn stuff…you should go into science!”
President Truman of Missouri, a man of that same generation although of Old American Scotch-Irish roots, was perfectly willing to hobnob with Churchill (he knew who held all the notes, after all), but the Kansan and, actually, inward Eisenhower (“Eisenhowser” we said at home on the farm, in rural Blue Earth County) couldn’t quite manage even to bring that off.
He and State Secretary Dulles, both Republicans, were also unwashed continentalists of the first water, as can be seen in the accompanying picture, of the American President. Eisenhower for all his prowess in Europe in World War II was no Atlantic Man. And, surely, the underlying suspicion life-long of any and all chatter, of any so-called ‘special relationship’, is more than clear in this 1959 photograph from the archives of Wikipedia, not least of all to those schooled in the recently revived Sufi study, of the objective science of physiogonomy (‘ ilm al-Wuzudiyya)
In my own southern Minnesota family where I, Bodwyn Wook, had become marooned in this unhandy Emmett Smith-embodiment when an experiment in time travel with a modified Jarnell Intersplit failed, my quondam maternal second cousin Leland, who had been in England in the War, cursed the warm beer and offered to punch my English father in the nose on meeting him, in 1946. Said the sturdy Leland Jacobson: “Limey sonofabitch!” Later, when my parents divorced, my Grampa would ask with a mocking twinkle and in his whistled American: “How’ss dot wild IRISHMAN, yoor old man?” This was calculated to send my father right up to the Moon, and so it did when I repeated it later (and only once), to him.
And so, lest I remind you all, President Obama for all the Kenyan blather and seductive far throb of equatorial drums is nonetheless a Chicago Democrat, he is deeply rooted in party tradition albeit of necessity, and so the classical American policy, of floundering not-obviously-ideologically to lay a true course in the World goes on. Long may it continue…and, God bless America.
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 23 January 2009]