15
   

The Bubble that is New England

 
 
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 10:59 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
There are the complicating factors that self educated people often do not have degrees, by definition, and some with degrees become chefs, carpenters, etc.


Um I agree with the gist of what you're saying - but I don't want to suggest that degree-burdened chefs and carpenter somehow not 'as good' as other degree holders, or that people in those professions can't be 'enlightened'.

Certainly some of the dumbest people I know have degrees and some of the smartest don't. Don't need a licence to have an enquiring mind.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 12:25 am
@hingehead,
Me either - that's what I thought I was saying, or meant to - all sort of a late response to ebrown's comments, though I doubt he disagrees with us.

hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 12:26 am
@ossobuco,
Yeah, we'll have to argue by pretending to disagree Wink
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 04:58 am
Maine is always a political place of interest.

Its liberals are clustered about cities and poorer counties while the Gold Coast (Coastal Maine from Kittery to Bar Harbor) is staunchly conservative.
However, conservatives and liberals have many points of congruence and , like gun carrying liberals, or pro choice conservatives, Maine is atually not so polarized as you seem to present for MA.

To Thomas, Id look at the distribution of voters on a county by county basis, as each state has a surprising divergence in political view.

Im most familiar with Pennsylvania which, as said by Tony Auth of the Inquirer has called it"Pa is Philly and Pittsburgh separated by a large tract of ALabama"
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:35 am
@littlek,
littlek wrote:

Hey fishin. No, it's not just Boston. I know there are plenty of districts here that voted red, but they were often more merely pink. I know NH is leaning Blue because we are moving up there in droves. I did through in the word 'generally' a few times. Also, I know that labels aren't absolute.

Do you think that some liberals in MA are voting blue just because? And vice versa for conservatives?


I understood that you weren't talking in absolutes. Wink

I think a lot of people vote along party lines and they do so because either their parents voted a certain way or they think they have to for some other reason (like the fact that we have an absurdly high percentage of the population working in government jobs.). We also have a huge number of elections where people run unopposed - something else I've never seen on the same scale as happens here.

I had a discussion with someone a year or two about one of the elections and basically the guy told me he was voting for the Democrat because that's what his Union Rep. told him he should do based on the premise that the Democrats support the Unions. When I pointed out that his Union is corrupt and his Union Rep. is probably on someone's political payroll he chuckled, shrugged and agreed - but he was going to vote for the Democrat anyway. If he wante d to stay in good standing with his Union he was pretty much forced to vote the way they told him to.

But on a larger scale, I think most of the people in MA vote in their own close personal interests and they don't really care who it helps or hurts. When we had the ballot issue a year or two ago about allowing grocery stores to sell beer & wine I was amazed at the number of people that said they voted against it because they had a liquor store within walking distance of their home so it didn't matter to them. What about the people that don't have one nearby? If people in MA are primarly liberal then why not vote to liberalize the laws? The same goes for all of the local issues that people will vote for to restrict more and more things. It seems like every time I run into someone and the topic comes up they mention that they voted for the increased restrictions and that since they know someone (usually a relative) in some government functionary job they can get around it. So it's ok to restrict everyone else as long as you can bypass the law? How does that make for good government? And how is that a "liberal" view of things?

Anyway, I see this sort of thing a lot here in MA and I've never seen it anywhere else. I mean, people have and probably always will vote their pocketbook/wallet but I've never seen the absolute self-interest like it plays out here. And it does happen more right in and around Boston than in the rest of the state and, let's face it, the Democrats control Boston. If you want to get anything done you have to suck up to the politicians that are in office so the gravy train lines up behind the Democrats.

(I won't even get into the absurd levels of politicization of public offices in this state. Where else in the world can you find 15 people running for an elected position as a Library Trustee that pays a whopping $50/year? Why are these sorts of things even elected positions?)
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:36 am
Thinking of places I've lived...

California -- for sure -- has it's uber-liberal enclaves (San Francisco, various small cities on the north and central coasts, parts of Los Angeles County), and seems to favor liberalism (such as it is in DC) in its senate choices. At the same time, though, its governors frequently are very conservative, at least in fiscal matters. Nixon and Reagan came out of CA, after all.

As far as the people behind the votes, though... Well, much of Orange County is staunchly conservative, though this frequently has seemed to me to be largely issue driven -- no to loose immigration policies, no to anti-gun laws -- and perhaps not reflective of an over-arching reactionary mindset. In much of inland northern California, on the other hand, I've encountered scads of folks who buy the fundamentalist Christian view of social conservatism hook, line, and sinker. Frankly, I'm not sure these conservatives (if we may paint with a broad brush) have a whole lot in common with the issue-driven conservatives of coastal southern California. Similarly, I'm not sure that the near-libertarian liberals of the north coast really belong in the same category as the social-agenda-driven liberals of San Francisco and the central Coast. Of course, on TV they both show up as "red."


(Please note I'm dabbling in artifical labels here, but I'm trying to describe some trends that I think do exist.)
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 08:56 am
@littlek,
cjhsa wrote:
Taxachusetts has fallen down the slippery slope of liberalism, and rejected the ideals that our revolutionary founding fathers embraced.

See? That's what I meant when I talked about framing issues in terms of "good v. evil" as opposed to "nuts and bolts".

littlek wrote:
How did we get here from the original post?

Returning to the theme of your original post, here's something I'm curious about: When you lived in Athens, what were your experiences when you talked politics with the locals? Sure, a small university town like Athens may be unrepresentative of Georgia, perhaps even a bit of a bubble itself. But I imagine you travelled around from there and met a good sample of the Georgian population. What were your conversations like?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 09:00 am
@farmerman,
Farmerman wrote:
To Thomas, Id look at the distribution of voters on a county by county basis, as each state has a surprising divergence in political view

That's a good point. And I'd expect it would bring out an even closer correlation between education on the one hand and liberalism and religious skepticism on the other.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 03:22 pm
Thomas, Athens was also very much a bubble. While there were classic rednecks and hillbillies, there were also musicians, artists and educators, a supportive gay scene (and plenty of drugs when I was there). I got out of that small city some, but not much. And I almost never talked politics. I had nothing major to complain about because 'my guy' was in office.

There was one funny song written while I lived there about Clinton: "The President's Penis is Missing", by the Driveby Truckers.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 04:09 pm
@littlek,
littlek wrote:
I had nothing major to complain about because 'my guy' was in office.

Yeah, mine too. It does make a big difference to ones political mood, doesn't it.

littlek wrote:
There was one funny song written while I lived there about Clinton: "The President's Penis is Missing", by the Driveby Truckers.

I must admit I never heard of it. So I Googled the song and found it on YouTube. It's funny and clever -- I approve!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOKFiI30oLs

0 Replies
 
margo
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:10 pm
This is a good question, K.

As an outsider, we oftsn get funny views of Americans - glad to see I'm not alone.

One thing puzzled me:

Fishin said:
Quote:
When I pointed out that his Union is corrupt and his Union Rep. is probably on someone's political payroll he chuckled, shrugged and agreed - but he was going to vote for the Democrat anyway. If he wante d to stay in good standing with his Union he was pretty much forced to vote the way they told him to.


How the hell does the union know how anyone has voted. Don't you have secret ballots?
littlek
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:39 pm
@margo,
I didn't really understand that either. Certainly, the man fishin was talking about wasn't going to feel comfortable about advocating against the union pick, but voting is private.
patiodog
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:58 pm
@littlek,
I saw the machine in action when I lived in Chicago. My neighborhood was an old Ukrainian neighborhood (full of old Ukrainians), and our polling place was the copper-topped Orthodox church around the corner. On election day, there were uniformed Chicago cops standing just outside the doors reminding all the little babushka widows who to vote for on their way in.

They didn't so much as look at me though.




Now the babushkas are dead, their kids long since fled to the suburbs, and the neighborhood is full of yuppies. Dunno what happens on election day...
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:59 pm
@patiodog,
The Daleys are the scum of the earth, by the way, no matter what party they're affiliated with...
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:59 pm
@littlek,
I had that same question.

Re unions, I don't like forced group think, but don't mind those who do think the same way being able to gather and have influence. Sticky wicket there.

I've long had the impression, as a Los Angeles person who lived in NY and Chicago as a child, mother from Boston - but not from my own experience, more from reading - that the eastern cities' ethnic blocs were more encased in concrete than LA's.

Funny I should say that, LA, early gang progenitor, still with fierce stuff going on in some areas.

Of course I don't know that my impression from reading is true.. but that sort of rings true from Fishin's comments re Boston. I'm part Boston Irish via my mother (she left there in something like 1918) but pretty much shorn of the culture that comes with that, plus, no lace curtains to show for it..
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 06:00 pm
@patiodog,
Were the cops and the babushkas part of the same union?
patiodog
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 06:03 pm
@littlek,
I don't think the babushkas were organized, except to elbow their way off the bus when their stop came up.

But it's part of the Chicago Democratic Machine, and the babushkas play a key role.




Mind you, I register as a Democrat, but that doesn't mean my people aren't largely a collection of dicks, rogues, and assholes.
margo
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 06:11 pm
@patiodog,
I fail to understand the whole "register" bit!

Can't you just go along and vote!?

I forgot - voting isn't compulsory - is it?
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 06:16 pm
@margo,
In Wisconsin you can register at the poll the day of the election -- but you still have to register. Other states require registration in advance.

Voting most certainly is not compulsory in the United States.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 06:23 pm
@patiodog,
They throw elbows and rustle their plastic bags in people's ears.



0 Replies
 
 

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