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
New Englander.

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
New England. It was in New England`s
“little platoons”
that de Tocqueville found the American spirit of
self-reliance and volunteerism to be the strongest and
most admirable.

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
prep schools.

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.

Just ask the good people of

Lewiston, Maine

Nashua, New Hampshire

who never voted to have

Somali Bantu
refugees forced into their neighborhoods at their
own expense.

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.

In a

recent interview
, Peter
Brimelow said that people are drawn to 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
unseat Kennedy.

Unfortunately, as I wrote in my 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
like him
dislike him.

“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
Thomas “Tip”

All politics is local

was Tip O`Neill`s

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.
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

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

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.

“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In
the cold? Shaking hands?”


, referring to a recent Brown ad that

him talking to voters outside Fenway Park.

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

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
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

However, Brown

scored a knockout punch

with the

now-famous line
“With all due respect, it`s not the Kennedy`s seat. It`s
the people`s seat.”

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
Kennedy`s seat”
nd 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.

For weeks, The Boston Globe has been

shrilly denouncing
Brown`s ascendancy,

that the public is no longer listening to them
when it comes to electing people to public office.

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

. 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

) but because

[Coakley] wants

bus in immigrants take over their schools
think she will take their tax dollars and give it to an

"illegal alien"

in Arizona for an


Scott Brown`s Body seduces. Take A
Cold Shower
Huffington Post,
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 (
him) is a writer living in Massachusetts. He is the former American
Editor of Right NOW magazine.