Scott Brown, a.k.a. the Mass. Man in a truck, the “Scott heard ‘round the world,” and “Hottie McAwesome” according to HillBuzz, won the special senate seat election in Massachusetts to fill Ted Kennedy’s place in the upper chamber. Congratulations to Brown, the Brown team, and all the fine people of the Bay State.
I have a dark confession to make. Since I was sixteen years old, I have harbored ill thoughts of Massachusetts. That year, I went to Provence to spend the summer with a French family. For a week before I was to meet my host family at a “MacDo” outside Marseilles, I traveled with a group of North American students from Paris to Provence. The majority of the kids were New Englanders, with a few Canadians, Mexicans, and Californians thrown in. I never had any prejudice against Yankees before, but I developed a dislike that week. Luckily, I made friends with a corn fed all American fellow from Indianapolis, an Italian boy from Buffalo, a pretty blonde from Kentucky, and a sweet Mormon girl from Oklahoma. We were the kids who appreciated the trip, delighted at the sights, and gave thanks to God for such an awesome experience. The New Englanders were all wealthy brats who had been there and done that. They were insufferably pompous and bored in the arrogant, ill mannered way of new moneyed punks. I became a regionalist.
My years since have reinforced the stereotype, at least with folks from Massachusetts. I have come to know rather well a hundred New Englanders since then, and the term “Mass. Hole” has empirical evidence for it. While I now appreciate New Hampshirites, Mainers, Rhode Islanders, Connecticuters, and especially Vermonters, there have been precious few Bay Staters who broke my ugly stereotype. A fine chap who was a Latinist and traditionalist papist from Worcester almost redeemed the commonwealth’s reputation in my mind, but he became an expat in Edinburgh, having had the good sense to emigrate.
So it was until my father and I traveled to New England this past summer, about which I wrote on this site. I loved the land of the Yankees—its history, culture, and, yes, denizens. I expected to hate Boston, but both my father and I fell in love with the city, and we found most people to be quite genial. I continued to believe that Massachusetts drivers were rude on the road, and, for whatever reason, the crop that I have tended to meet throughout my life has been largely unpleasant, but I found the Bay Staters on their home turf, even in Boston, quite amicable. I still blamed them for their political idiocy (the Kennedy clan, the Tsongas tribe, O’Neill, Dukakis, Frank, Studds, Patrick), but humans are not perfect. How the land of the Bradfords and Adams has fallen since Calvin Coolidge (P.B.U.H.) was governor . . .
Then, the Senate race happened. It is just amazing! I have written before that I do not think that the United States have had a more destructive political figure than Edward Kennedy. On a personal level, I liked the man, and I admire what he did for his family in his later years. However, he was a harmful political force, and he may have, more than anyone else, doomed the republic’s fate. I do not even say that about Wilson or F.D.R., who changed the country in so many ways for the worse. Still, they had many redeeming qualities. Ted was a cancer on the body politic. Yet, to think that Chappaquiddick Teddy has been replaced by a Republican who is as conservative as one can expect in contemporary Massachusetts, and that he did so by running against socialized medicine and against the Leftist messianism represented by the Obama presidency—it is joyous! What a wonderful, glorious moment in American history! Even in politics, the Bay State has surprised me.
Thus, after so many years of insulting Massachusetts, I wish to say how proud I am of those Red Sox fans. They are wicked good.