Friday, February 17, 2006

Vote Red

As predicted, temps here are sliding toward zero and even subzero, even though we got rain yesterday and not the blast o’ snow that hit Wisconsin and Michigan. When I hear the heater blowing in the wee hours of such nights, I’m sometimes comforted for a moment. It’s warm in here. But then I have a Mr. Krabs moment: That’s me money that’s burning!

Back on Tuesday after a non-blogging federal holiday weekend. Not that I’ll be lolling around much over the “Presidents’ Day” three-day weekend, since I have a few articles finish, and other things are bound to come up in a two-child household too.

In honor of the occasion, however, I might spent a little time with the incomparable reference Presidential Fact Book by Joseph Nathan Kane, even though I need a new edition, since this one only goes up to Bill Clinton’s second term. Picking a page at random in this book while writing this, I learn that the US Communist Party candidate for president in 1932, packinghouse organizer and Stalinist William Z. Foster, was nominated at the “People’s Auditorium” in Chicago on May 28 of that year. Not sure where that would have been.

Foster, though harassed at times by police during the election, did better in ’32 than Gus Hall ever did. The Fact Book tells me this as well. That year Foster polled over 102,000 votes. At his peak in 1976, Hall only got about 59,000, and by then the population of the nation was considerably larger. Then again, of there ever was a time when Communists might have captured more than a minuscule number of votes in this country, it was during the pit of the Depression. Even so, Herbert Hoover polled about 150 times the number of votes as Foster that year.

You might call it trivia. I think of it as drilling down deep.


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