Scott Brown`s Victory: New Englanders Love Their “Little Platoons”. Immigration Is Hurting Them
“To be attached to the subdivision, to love the
little platoon we belong to in society, is the first
principle (the germ as it were) of public affections”,
wrote Edmund Burke in
Reflections on the Revolution in France.
New England has always been a region of
“little platoons“, where people proudly retain their local customs and accents. It`s not
a place you can just move to and suddenly
“belong” (as my California-born wife can attest). You have to put
your time in here before you can become a bona fide
That is something we both love about New
England—and it is also one of the many things our elites
can`t stand about it.
During his 1831 visit to America,
Alexis de Tocqueville was the
most impressed with
New England. It was in New England`s
that de Tocqueville found the American spirit of
self-reliance and volunteerism to be the strongest and
Unfortunately, New England—and Massachusetts in
particular—has also produced an elite culture, a
class of people who are
largely the product of the region`s many prestigious universities and
In recent decades, however, there has been a
growing antagonism between everyday New Englanders and
the post-American elites who claim to represent them.
Granted, we rarely read about it in the press, but the
tension is definitely there.
In my opinion, and I travel extensively though New
England, the forced introduction of refugees into New
England communities whose only crime was
being too white and well-functioning
has jolted the political awareness of people here more
than any other public policy trend in my lifetime.
recent interview, Peter
Brimelow said that people are drawn to VDARE.com because
they feel especially discouraged about the way their
country and culture are being forcibly dismantled, “and
they feel also that something is being done to them“.
That is certainly the way people feel in places
like East Boston, which was until recently a charming
neighborhood with great Italian restaurants, but has
transformed by Salvadoran immigrants and turned into
a stronghold of the MS-13.
It is this sense of helplessness and frustration
that has drawn many people together to support Scott
I can`t tell you how many Scott Brown signs I`ve
seen in places I would never expect to vote
handmade “Vote for Brown” signs made out of plastic, wood, and cardboard. The farther you go from
Boston, the more Brown signs you see.
Prior to this election, the closest thing I have
ever seen to this level of voter enthusiasm was Mitt
Romney`s 1994 Senate campaign against Ted Kennedy. Back
then, vast numbers of Massachusetts voters were
enormously enthusiastic about the chance to finally
Unfortunately, as I wrote in my
VDARE.com obituary for Ted Kennedy, Mitt
Romney ran a poor campaign. He also came across as a
polished out-of-town CEO, which hampered his ability to
connect to voters.
But Scott Brown is a local guy who comes across
like someone you might know. He retains his regional
accent and mannerisms. He is married with kids and
serves in the National Guard. In other words, he is not
your typical senator, and that`s a big reason why people
“We are running against the machine” Scott Brown and his supporters keep saying, a
reference to the Democratic Party Establishment that has
had a stranglehold over Massachusetts for generations.
For example: One piece of the Massachusetts
machine who excelled at pretending he was
“one of us”
was former Speaker of the House of Representatives
“All politics is local”
was Tip O`Neill`s
famous phrase. And for years now many Democrats, especially in Massachusetts,
have tried to ride the strength of this feel-good slogan
into elected office, repeating it ad nauseam.
The problem is that most people actually believe
that Tip O`Neill was giving advice on how to govern.
Actually, it was only advice on how to campaign.
In 1936, Tip O`Neill
ran for the Cambridge City Council. He
campaigned everywhere except in the neighborhood where
he was born and raised simply because he assumed that he
already had those votes in the bag.
After O`Neill lost the race, he reviewed the vote
totals by precinct and discovered that he had actually
done worse in his own neighborhood. “People like to
be asked,” a neighbor explained to him.
O`Neill never made that mistake again. And he
never lost another race.
When it came to governing, however, Tip O`Neill
believed that all politics was really national, or
rather, international. O`Neill cared little about the
people in his own congressional district, as is clear
from his life-long support for Open Borders.
“We have committed our nation to the preservation
of freedom for all peoples of the world; not only those
of Northern Europe”
loftily told the House of Representatives during the
debate over the 1965 Immigration Act.
In 1983, Speaker O`Neill continued to defend
America`s open borders immigration policy, claiming that
“The pluralistic society which has resulted from the
amalgamation of so many cultures has enriched the lives
of all Americans and has strengthened our national
But when O`Neill resigned from office in 1985, he
immediately sold his
Cambridge home and moved to a racially homogeneous Cape Cod village—Harwich Port, MA,
six-tenths of one percent black, nine-tenths of one
percent Hispanic. So much for being a local guy (with an
Martha Coakley`s biggest mistake was that she
ignored Tip`s advice and did not ask for our votes. In
fact, Coakley took
a week-long vacation
between Christmas and New Year`s Day, so sure was she of
being elected senator.
While Martha Coakley was on vacation, Scott Brown
was driving his now-famous truck across the state. In
freezing-cold temperatures, he stood on street corners
and in front of supermarkets. Brown shook hands, he
listened to voters, and asked for their support.
One of Martha Coakley`s more revealing moments was
when a reporter asked her why she wasn`t spending more
time on the stump like Scott Brown.
Standing outside in the cold is not unusual for
people around here. Most of us do it every day.
Michael Kinsley defined a gaffe as the moment when
a politician inadvertently tells the truth. Perhaps
Martha Coakley`s most revealing gaffe was when she
told a radio host that former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling was a “Yankees
The Schilling remark vividly illustrates that
Martha Coakley is really not a member of one of the New
England`s little platoons, but a post-American elite who
wishes only to preside over them. It`s hard to imagine
how anyone can be both a diehard Red Sox fan and a
“citizen of the
You will not find people like Martha Coakley or
Ted Kennedy cheering on the local high school team,
attending the church fair, riding the subway, or having
coffee at the local diner. They look down on local
customs as bourgeois.
Some Republican elites, of course, are just as
good at pretending to be one of the gang as Tip O`Neill.
For a time, George W. Bush convinced millions that he
was regular Texan who loved Jesus and baseball. In
reality, Bush was actually
a fan of Hispanicizing the game,
attempting to turn baseball into the
Last week, I
wrongly predicted that
Brown would lose the election after
his last debate
performance because of his stammering delivery, and
reluctance to attack Martha Coakley, especially on
immigration (where his position was actually quite
What people don`t seem to realize about this
oft-quoted remark is that Brown did not direct it at
Martha Coakley, but at the debate moderator,
David Gergen—a permanent fixture of the political
establishment, who clearly leaned toward Coakley.
It was David Gergen [email him] who referred to the open Senate seat as “the
And he obviously did not enjoy being
corrected. Our elites never do.
Another cog in the Massachusetts machine that is
now slowing is the Open Borders Boston Globe,
which has been lording over the commonwealth for more
than a century.
Have you ever seen the look on someone`s face when
they`re giving a public speech, and people suddenly
start getting up and leaving the room? That has been the
tone of the Boston Globe lately.
The Boston Globe is
reportedly losing $1 million per week and has had to lay off much of its staff (although it still has
a full-time immigration reporter).
They have only
themselves to blame for their declining influence.
Quietly, immigration has been no small factor in
this election. I`ve talked to several workers in the
Brown campaign in recent days and they all say that
frustration with out-of-control immigration is a top
voter concern. Brown used illegal immigration in his
push-polling. And we have the testimony of liberal policy
analyst Karen Dolan [Email her]that many of the her Massachusetts female friends
were supporting Brown, to her disgust, not merely
because “he looks
good naked” (in his celebrated 1982
centerfold) but because
bus in immigrants take over their schools…They
think she will take their tax dollars and give it to an
in Arizona for an
Scott Brown`s Body seduces. Take A
January 19, 2010.]
And, over the last few weeks, I`ve also been
asking lots of voters why they support Scott Brown.
Significantly, they are not primarily motivated by
popular issues like healthcare, taxes, or terrorism,
important as these are.
Rather, what motivates a great many Brown
supporters is the preservation of their way of life—a
way of life that has gradually been undermined by a
political class that cares nothing for them.
People love their little platoons. The Scott Brown
phenomenon was really their opportunity to band together
to defend and reclaim them.
Is this a great country or what?
Matthew Richer (email
him) is a writer living in Massachusetts. He is the former American
Editor of Right NOW magazine.