Monday, July 16, 2018

took a little break from other writing to do quaker plays. one, finish a herbert hoover play that i had mostly written a long time ago. it gave me a little mental boost to take an almost-finished play, put a wrap on it, and get it out there, published. when i put it on the weblog itself i technically publish it, and it's the first of several that i plan for a new volume of quaker plays, but since i've been working on another one as well, i now feel like i have a good start in this new volume.

the thing about these two is that both hoover and roosevelt-era anti-semitism have a lot in common with what's going on today, so i can stop obsessing about trump and just write about the people who tried and failed to do what he does, and make them a visible demonstration of the consequences of stupidity. hoover, for example, passed tariffs that crippled the economy and led to a deep depression; he also had this quality that, while he tried to present confidence in business and wall street, he had no credibility, so people didn't simply start hiring people and pulling the country out of the depression. finally, he was totally unable to project that quality of caring about people, so that even though he had experienced hunger and deprivation, he couldn't seem to make people know that.

in the roosevelt-era one, i'm somewhat stalled, but it deals with american anti-semitism during the beginning of the war, specifically 1939, when the m.s. saint louis was afloat off the coast of miami and nine hundred jews begged to be let in to this country. these were not people who were likely to become criminals ("rapists," as trump called the mexican immigrants), or live on american social entitlements. nevertheless the usa did not want them, and they ended up going back to europe where in some cases hitler got them. one lesson was that one never knows how quickly a bad situation can degenerate into a worse one, where victims can simply become "the enemy" in a war, or where a cold shoulder to someone in need can actually be sending someone off to their death.

my anger with trump and the people who support him at all costs, no matter his groveling to putin, no matter his record of sexual abuse and paying off its victims, no matter his blatant lying and selling out of american interests and resources - has led me to become a voter registration fanatic. at night, when the last of the kids' yelling is still getting to me and i'm wondering if i can still get anything done at all, i've taken to cruising the social media looking for the people i think would be crucial in turning our district around. all of southern new mexico is one district, a quite large one, with a single big city, las cruces, in it, but even las cruces has about a hundred thou, and pretty much everyone else is spread out over hundreds of smaller towns, and miles and miles of ranchlands, deserts and mountains. it's a very conservative district, but like many conservative districts, it actually has a chance of turning, this november, as the usual congressman is gone, moved on to the governor's race, and his replacement is virtually unknown. the democratic challenger, xochitl small-torres, is virtually unknown too. my view is that the one who registers hundreds of new voters is the one who has a chance of pulling off a surprise. i intend to be involved in that process.

political organizing (my get-out-the-vote page is completely social-media only) is difficult. but it's better than sitting around getting angry.


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