I shall make my first trip to Yankee land next week, and I am looking forward to it. Yet, New England as a culture baffles me. Consider Massachusetts. Not too many generations ago, the Bay State elected Calvin Coolidge as its governor. Now, it sends the likes of Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank to Congress. How did the home of the Puritans’ descendants, the land of those realistic W.A.S.P. Republican Yankees, transform into the Leftist bastion of America?
Did the indigenous New Englanders get replaced by the F.O.B.‘s from New York City? Should we blame the Irish? (Of course, we should, but would such be causally accurate as opposed to morally justified?) Was it the Ivy League’s transformation into a Gramscian Marxist establishment that poisoned New England?
I have no idea. Clearly, New England was always a seedbed for political and religious lunacy. Mary Baker Eddy had a lot of company back then. We should not expect the progeny of utopian Calvinists to have turned out well balanced. Look at the history of the nineteenth century, and you will see that New England’s “progressivist” social engineers have been misunderstanding man and the human community for many generations. Perhaps, New England’s transformation was simply the maturation of its cultural life cycle. Maybe, secular Leftist Massachusetts is the existentially logical consequent of Congregationalism. Having no love for either, I still find it sad to know that the latter became the former.