"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
One thing that can be said of the GOP collapse in the Northeast is that it provides an opportunity to rebuild the party from the ground up, as the AP piece observes.
Old Dominion Tory comments re the AP article:
Speaking as a Yankee Republican, I am saddened by the demise of New England Republicanism because it means the rise of one-party states and the attendant increase in corruption and cronyism at the state and local level as well as the advancement of appalling policies at the national level.
The author also attempts a neat trick in staking out what it means to be a Yankee Republican, describing them as "socially liberal" and for the "protection of personal liberties, including support of abortion rights. . . .They also support embryonic stem cell research." The trouble is, of course, that the definition of socially liberal has been warped beyond recognition -- and the arbiters of what it means to be "socially liberal" are constantly redefining it. Somehow, I can't see Saltonstall, Herter, "Sarge," Theodore Roosevelt, and the Henrys Cabot Lodge embracing abortion on demand, partial birth abortion, embryonic stem cell research, the notion that porn (on-line and otherwise) is as deserving of protection as political speech, and "gay marriage."
If engaged properly on "social justice" issues and moral issues (think Rick Santorum, Ian Duncan-Smith, and RFK getting together), Catholics could be the core of a GOP revival in New England. I know it will be tough to surmount all sorts of ethnic stereotypes and grudges as well as neutralize the power of fashion (A Republican?! The idea!), but I have a feeling it could be done. There are millions of voters who don't bother going to the polls in Massachusetts because they have no one to vote for or, if they do, little hope of seeing them elected.
If the Mass. GOP begins to rework itself as a party devoted to social justice (to include a well-argued pro-life position and eschewing socialism), prudent fiscal management, reasonable environmentalism, and an end to the Progressive Hack Alliance, it will begin to restore some balance and (dare I say?) dignity to Massachusetts politics.
My own sense is that the region indeed does need a centrist movement, and that a revived GOP indeed should emphasize active citizenship and stewardship.
I think a Catholic RFK sensibility – one that encourages sacrifice, stands up for the disenfranchised, defends life and appeals to the human spirit – would be a powerful inspiration for a renewed conservatism. This certainly would speak to me more than a mere appeal to self-centeredness -- which is what the Dems' libertinism, on the one hand, and GOP-Libertarian no-tax-free-market worship, on the other, tend to seem to me.
Old Dominion Tory comments:
I sense "The Pine Tree Manifesto" being developed.
I very much like that idea.
Reader input hereby is invited on the content of this manifesto, and on the tavern in which it should be drawn up.