Thursday, November 11, 2010
Close to Nowhere
I was astounded recently to find I had something in common with the noted author Mark Twain.
Twain was also a Mugwump! “Self-avowed,” according to the Christian Science Monitor.
I don’t think the Internet will ever replace libraries and books in my heart, but at 4 a.m. in the morning, when insomnia strikes, again, it sure comes in handy as a research vehicle!
According to Wikipedia, Mugwumps were Republicans (!), who bolted from the Republican Party — supporting Democrat Grover Cleveland in 1884. The Mugwumps swung the election to Cleveland, and, a new political party (of a sort anyway) was formed!
Mugwump is from an Algonquian (Native Indian) word — mugumquomp, which means war leader. The use of the word implied that the new Mugwumps were sanctimonious or holier-than-thou, “holding themselves aloof from party politics.” (Wikipedia).
Merriam Webster says Mugwumps are “persons who are independent in politics, or who remain undecided or neutral.”
The Encyclopedia Britannica, as opposed to Wikipedia (I’d have to trust the E.B. more than Wiki) says that the word is derived from the Algonquian Indian word mogkiomp, meaning great man or big chief. They did agree it was aimed as a slur instead of a compliment!
I guess my favorite would have to be “Mugwumpery” — fence sitter! That’s from onlinedictionary.com
After this last really nasty election and the even nastier aftermath — not even who won, but how the political pundits are spouting about it — I’ve decided that henceforth I, along with Mark Twain, am a self-avowed Mugwump! I normally have leanings toward the Democrats, but usually, I’ve never cared what political party a person belonged to. It was what they said and did that mattered.
After this election — well, I was ashamed of many whom I had previously voted for and even more ashamed of some that ran against them.
But, since Mugwumps hold themselves above politics, I can’t be bothered to run for office myself! All I can do is vote and complain!
• If you are lucky enough to know a veteran — give them a hug this Thursday on Veterans Day — along with a heartfelt thank you! If you don’t know a veteran, the VFW and American Legion do, and I’m betting most veterans (male and female) would enjoy a great big hug and a heartfelt thank you!
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