It is always gratifying to see a very active and involved younger person, no matter what their political perspective, that takes a thoughtful, scholarly approach to issues with an eye on lessons to be learned from our history. Be it college students such as Tara from ISU or Josh from BSU (that we met doing research at the ISHS), high school history day participants such as Katie Forsythe in 2006 (see under History Day in left hand column of my blog) or Molly Mills (this year) or my own own three children (one daughter still in high school and two adult boys in the computer network technology field and very politically astute)...all are truly an inspiration and far ahead of where I was at that age. I like to think I am am a bit older and wiser, but these young or soon to be adults just keep getting further ahead of me!
Before I sign off I will add a Happy Cesar Chavez Day. In CA it is a State Government holiday so adds one more day to my spring vacation. However, rather then just another day off, the "kids" cited above cause me to reflect back to an earlier time when I was more aware of and involved with the plight of CA farm workers and political causes in general. Yes, I read everything I can, watch CNN and Fox (CSPAN and Public TV when I want to cut out the pundits), follow the candidates and debates and stay pretty current. But I am mostly an armchair activist as opposed to back then when we rolled up our sleeves and jumped into the thick of it. It is always gratifying to see the younger crowd involved in the much greater numbers that seem evident in the current presidential primaries. Hopefully that activism will be sustained long after the presidential election has ended. Not everything has to be about Britney, Paris, reality (but unreal) shows, obnoxious behavior or making a fast buck. The media and corporate advertisers need to stop glorifying misbehavior and focus on the many talented and good citizens among all our generations.
On this blog, I try to stay clear of partisan political discussions but one cannot totally avoid it when looking at political history. I am proud to point out that Frank Steunenberg was a democrat and even a populist during his first term, a reflection of the man and his broad appeal as a fusion candidate. Of course "populism" has morphed into many different forms today, with some on the left and some on the right wanting to cloak themselves in a populist message. However, none reflect true populism as practiced in the late 1800's/early 1900's. Maybe that is good or maybe not. Perhaps more discussion in that regard would be of interest. For now, it is just nice to know that students and others are utilizing the historical resources in Idaho that we have all been talking about and citing over the past couple of years. Some have even drawn the connection of how past history such as the Coeur d'Alene mining war of 1899, the Assassination of my great grandfather in 1905, the Haywood Trial in 1907 and over two hundred years of other political and cultural events impacts our world today. Despite the many negatives that we often see in the media, these young people are some of our best and brightest and provide a ray of hope amongst all the negative visions we see on our TV's.
You can view the United farm Worker's website and specifically the UFW history page at:
Takes me back to some of my own interdisciplinary classes in political science, history and Mexican-American studies (as it was called in those days) in the 1969-1974 time period. Also my first (and last!) bowl of Menudo as part of a cultural awareness lesson. However, most other Mexican food remains a staple in our diet.
Check out Tara's blog, The Political Game, at:
Below is a copy of Tara's March 22nd entry where she mentions my blog. Lot's of other interesting reading there too. Thanks Tara!
Saturday, March 22, 2008