The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Militant Moderate

May 12, 2010

Mugwump on Arizona



How many of us one-time history scholars recall the term “mugwump?”  While once so rich in meaning that it was found as an item on our American history examinations, it is now so lightly regarded that the MS Word dictionary spell check highlights it in red, indicating that it is not in its vocabulary. 


For the unenlightened, or those with shorter memories, a “mugwump” was a fence sitter, unwilling to take a stand or a side on an issue.  Thus, sitting on the fence, his “mug” was on one side and his “wump” was on the other.  (Actually, Muggeowump was an Algonquin Indian word meaning “important person,” which became political in the election of 1884 when important Republicans bolted their party to support a Democrat for president.) 


This writer has been something of a “mugwump” on Arizona, not ready and willing to come down hard on one side or the other. 


In his pen role as the Militant Moderate, this writer has normally been unabashed in taking firm positions on the issues of the week.  Usually there has been little equivocation in positions taken in this column against extremist elements within our political spectrum.  But thus far this writer has not felt really comfortable in weighing in on the loud, clanging, noisy issue of immigration law in Arizona. 


No similar reluctance would be felt if the usual and customary extremists in the Oklahoma Legislature were to come up with a companion bill as Senator Terrill is talking of doing.  Of course, all of us remember Senator Terrill as the author of most or all of our protective legislation against Oklahoma’s vast, locust-like horde of illegal aliens who threaten to drown our schools, overwhelm our hospitals, and run amok amidst our law enforcement with their hosts of criminals. 

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Militant Moderate
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