Lady of the House


Dear Jeannette Rankin,

I know you've been dead for nearly 40 years now, but I have something to confess. I totally have a crush on you.

Yeah, that's right. I just can't get over the fact that you were the first woman elected to Congress. In 1916, nonetheless. Women in other places were fighting for the right to cast a ballot, and your home state of Montana sent you to DC. [Props to Big Sky Country, too for that one].

But, aside from being the first, you stuck to your guns. You voted against World War I. You weren't alone, but it wasn't a very popular stance. You lost some support and got voted out. That's too bad. But then you helped found the ACLU. So, there's something else I like about you.

When you were re-elected in 1940, you promised to stay out of war. And you did. After Pearl Harbor, you cast the only dissenting vote. I cannot imagine what that felt like. And even if World War II seems to have been a good idea in the long run (probably?), I love that you didn't give in, claiming you "refuse to send anybody else" to war. I want to ask you how you had the gumption to do it.

However, why am I posting this love letter to you today? Because today I came across this quote of yours: "You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake." Sigh...perfect. Just perfect.




ke said...

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

alea said...

Perfect! And topical. Happy belated, Wilfred.

(also, on his wikipeida page...he died one week for armistice. And his mom didn't know until the church bells in her town were chiming the end of war. That's awful.)

daine said...

I am determined to win a earthquake someday.

alea said...

let me know how that goes, ok, Daine?

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