'The Bostonian mind ...'
Walter Russell Mead
intellectually parachutes into Boston and tells us what we're thinking: "The godly must keep the rabble in line or intellectual, political and social chaos will ensue. The Bostonian mind doesn’t just believe this; it knows
it, and the path of duty is clear."...
For many Boston Blues, President Obama’s 2008 election was such a high point because it looked as Camelot might return. Barack Obama does for Blacks and blues what Kennedy did for the Irish and the Brahmins; like JFK he is an outsider who bought into the New England worldview. The high school he attended in Hawaii was founded by New England missionaries; his Ivy League education at Columbia and Harvard Law further steeped him in the values and outlook of the New England mind. To have a charismatic Black politician sweep the nation with a campaign evoking the communitarian big state vision New England had long favored was both a vindication of core Boston values and a sign that more victories were coming.
Of course, many Boston Blues so longed for Obama that they voted overwhelmingly against him
in the Democratic 2008 presidential primary, perhaps to send a message that their love shouldn't be taken for granted. They later fell into his strong arms in the general election, only to push him away again 14 months later
, perhaps in an attempt to provoke intense jealousy.
And did you know that Boston's Irish and other Catholic immigrants (re: "Europeans") "looked to government to defend them against the greed of the robber barons much as their forebears in Europe hoped that strong kings would keep their feudal oppressors in check"? And all this time I thought Honey Fitz and James Michael Curley merely wanted to get their hands on the patronage jobs. ...
There are a lot of insightful nuggets in the piece. But there's also a lot of hoary cultural dots that Mead feels compelled to connect, sort of the way national and international journalists parachuted into Boston
for the 2004 DNC, telling everyone how Boston was either overrun by IRA terrorists or existed as one vast Oxford campus. These journalistic parachute drops rarely work, whether their target is Boston or some breakfast diner in the deep South, etc.