I make it a rule to not pay much attention to whatever Willard “Mitt,” a.k.a. “Billy”, Romney says.
Unfortunately, he just won’t go away. He’s effectively spent the past 17 years running for one public office or another (of which he only spent four actually in office, as Governor of Massachusetts) and now he’s running for US President, again.
On the campaign trail, it often seems as though he’s in a tug-of-war with himself, wanting to brag about his accomplishments during his tenure as Mass. governor from 2003-2007 while at the same time distancing himself from anything that actually happened here, specifically universal health care and marriage equality.
Odd to have someone who is “from” Massachusetts trying as hard as he can to run away from it. Mr. Romney either must think he doesn’t need to win Massachusetts’ electoral college votes next November in order to become President or he thinks voters here will love him no matter what he says, and he’ll win the state regardless. A third possibility is, as my close friends (and I) believe, he’s without a moral compass and will say anything and everything in order to be elected, so he’ll criticize Massachusetts now to look conservative but brag about it if he wins the Republican nomination next summer to look centrist.
While Mr. Romney does his dance, most of us here in the Bay State just sit and wonder, why would anyone disavow all the great things we’ve accomplished here?
I was fortunate to be able to sit down with three-time Massachusetts’ Governor (and US Presidential candidate) Michael Dukakis several weeks ago. While our conversation was surreptitiously about the MBTA’s (useless) bag-search policy, it was basically so I had an excuse to meet with one of my heroes. (Since my tape recorder ended up not working - which was actually a borrowed iPhone that I had no idea how to use - I have no record of that meeting, so I can’t write up a column about it. Sorry, Governor …)
He has fond memories of the his years in public service and talked about how the city and state have changed during the past 35 years. The amazing drop in serious crime, the economic miracle, the progressive politics that have made us a shining example of what good government can do. Quite a different point of view than that of Mr. Romney.
Beyond my confusion over how anyone could criticize us, what’s more disturbing is that those who are enemies to our way of life always seem so angry.
My Facebook friend, a young, gay, twinky 20-something, is a progressive in the good ol’ South who supports marriage equality and is against the death penalty. Over the past several years, he’s been slammed by his “friends” over his views. (They are apparently the same sort of people who are cheering the widespread use of the death penalty, gay soldiers, and sick and US citizens without health insurance.) Last week, he posted a status update about Troy Davis, the man who was put to death over many people’s objections.
I’ll never understand how someone could get satisfaction out of someone else being put to death. Actually, strike that. I can certainly understand how if you had a loved one killed by someone else that you might support the death penalty, but the vast majority of those who are pro-death penalty will never know first-hand what it’s like to face that situation, so why do they get so much pleasure from it?
There are certainly things I hate about our state and its peculiar reputation. Our current leadership in the House and Senate, along with our Governor, seem hell-bent upon destroying all that is good in our world with a few strokes of their pens, bringing the vulgar, low-class, and unseemly into our state. And, basically, I am disgusted by the Democratic machine that runs the state. I am, after all, from the South End, which has been represented by such illustrious elected officials as Dianne Wilkerson, Chuck Turner, and Sal DiMasi. But, that’s why I’m an independent, not a registered Democrat. The good heavily outweighs the bad.
In-state tuition for illegal immigrants? Sure. Parole for first-degree murderers? Why not? Transgendered-rights bill? You betcha! Not only am I not embarrassed by these things, I wear them like badges of honor.
So, three cheers for us, for leading the nation. If you don’t like it, I recommend throwing in the towel, giving up that anything is going to change in your favor, and moving to another state. Like, New Hampshire. Even better, Georgia. Or, Texas. That way, when we split our nation into two parts after the next, inevitable, civil war, you’ll already be settled in.
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