Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pilgrims & Native Americans Or Republicans & Democrats?

Last night I went to sleep and suffered from a terrible case of indigestion that I am blaming on the huge, rich apple cobbler cupcake, from Crumb bakery, I had at 3:30 pm yesterday afternoon. I was sleeping off and on and had a dream that makes it clear to me that I have been spending too much time reading about politics.

This morning I was reminded of my older daughter, when she was five years old and in kindergarten. We were sitting at the dinner table one night, and it was just a few weeks before the Presidential election of 1992. She asked my husband and I who we were voting for. I know I said Clinton, I think he may have too. My daughter burst out into tears, saying, “I don’t want President Bush to lose the election!” That convinced me she was going to grow up to be another Alex Keaton (from the show Family Ties), 100% Republican. However, two years later, when she was in second grade and seven years old, she came home to find new curtains on the windows. She was dismayed to say the least. “Why did you buy new curtains, the old ones were fine?” I answered because I wanted to change them, I answered. “Well do you know how many people are homeless? You could have given them the money you spent on curtains; after all we have a house!” Then I was convinced that my daughter had crossed party lines and was now a democrat. Funny what a couple of years can do.

Which takes me to my dream. Last night in the mist of tossing and turning, I dreamt about the Pilgrims and Native Americans (formerly known as Indians). It was clear, in my dream, that they were the first Republicans and Democrats. It’s a simplistic analogy born of the pains of indigestion, loss of sleep and too much reading. The Pilgrims were upset with the BIG government in England, which was trying to tell them what they should and should not believe in. The Pilgrims wanted religious freedom. Of course no one liked it that King George was also raising taxes and trying to control and punish those who disagreed with his official opinions. So, in 1620 they hopped on the Mayflower to come to America. They arrived tired, poor and weary, but there was no Statue of Liberty to welcome them, just a big old Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. The Pilgrims were down on their luck and struggling. The cold winter froze the housing market. Half the Pilgrims died because they ran out of medicine and had no health insurance. They made up the 47% of the Plymouth colony.

One day, in the early spring of 1621, a Native American “Democrat” named, Samoset, came to visit the colony. He spoke some English and offered his friendship. He could have told the Pilgrims, the land is bountiful, use your God given ingenuity and make it work for you. Instead he offered his help, which the Pilgrims were in no position to refuse. He educated the Pilgrims about the people and places in their new homeland. He introduced them to other Native Americans, like Squanto, who also spoke English. The Native American “Democrats” taught the Pilgrim “Republicans” how to fish, fertilize the soil, hunt and plant crops. He taught them which plants were safe to eat.  The Pilgrims didn’t even need Pell Grants for their rustic education; the Native Americans helped them all free of charge…much like today’s so called “handouts.” By November of 1621, the Pilgrims prospered with a plentiful crop, thanks to the help of the Native Americans. They planned a large feast, called the first Thanksgiving. The Republican Pilgrims said a very long prayer thanking God for His blessings and thanking Him for bringing them Squanto, the American Native "Democrat," who they said was God’s instrument and “saved them from hunger.”

If you don’t get my analogy, it’s ok. I had to explain it to my husband a time or two. If you do get it, I hope it made you laugh. It got me through the night and I wanted to share it this morning. Have a great day!

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