Why is it when I watch political news, the conservative guy usually finds a way to make some passing and sarcastic reference to my home state of Massachusetts? Why is it that my former governor, now presidential candidate, Mitt Romney doesn't like to actually say the name of the state that elected him to office? We're always "where I served as Governor" or "back where I was in office", as if it was such a shitty post to be the governor of Massachusetts. Poor Mitt, had to slum it with those horrible liberals. Eat me.
Conservative politicians and the parasitic, political pundits like their straw men and scapegoats. They like to have an neat, little, packaged focal point of scorn for them to malign — Lou Dobbs has immigrants; Falwell had gays; and conservatives of any stripe have their beloved Massachusetts. In fact, they may appreciate my home state even more than I do, but just in case you are undecided, here's a few choice facts for any of you out there who are somehow under the impression that Massachusetts is something distinct from the America you love:
Hmmmm, where to start? Maybe with the fact that the damn Pilgrims landed the Mayflower on Plymouth rock (note: it did not land on them). And since the establishment of Massachusetts Bay Colony, I think there have been a few other mentionables. Let's see…do you like seafood? How 'bout lobster? Or Clam Chowder? You like those too? You're welcome.
Not patriotic enough yet? Well we also have a stellar line up of patriots: Benjamin Franklin, Emerson, Thoreau, Norman Rockwell (did you hear that. Norman friggen Rockwell. How much more American does it get?), Eli Whitney (try ginning cotton without Massachusetts.), W.E.B. DuBois, the J. Geils Band, Horatio Alger (this is getting unfair), and the "Block" where the "New Kids" were from is sitting nice and pretty in Massachusetts. Oh, I could keep going, but we "Massholes" were raised better than to brag. Oh wait, I forgot about some other patriots, The New England Patriots.
But what are these conservatives really scoffing at, it's our politics right? One would be led to believe that Massachusetts, overrun with liberals and progressives as we are, must be some lawless wasteland of vice and Un-American activity. I mean, we're the first state to provide marriage rights to homosexual couples, as we did in 2004; we just elected the 2nd black Governor in U.S. history; our U.S. Senators are John "hates the troops" Kerry and Ted Kennedy; and the man who has been my congressman all my life is none other than my favorite Barney Frank — he's homosexual, Jewish, and went to one of those elite schools called Harvard! How do people living in Massachusetts make it through the day alive?
Well it helps that we're 2nd in the country for per capita income, home to some of the top ranked public schools in the nation, and remain a bastion for people around the world seeking the best in education from the esteemed private schools and the over 40 universities in the Boston area. But, just in case you don't make it through the day in one piece, we are also the first and only state to mandate health care coverage for it's citizens. Doesn't really seem like such a bad place to live, considering the state legislative branch is made up of less than 13% Republicans.
So, the next time you put your John Hancock on something or hang a lantern in a church tower or dump a whole mess of tea in a harbor, show a little respect to my home state. And if someone asks you, "What's the matter with Massachusetts?", you tell them, "Absolutely nothing!". Say it again.