The “Split Personality” Of State Politics: Massachusetts, New York, California, And Wisconsin As Examples

The election of conservative Republican Scott Brown to the US Senate in Massachusetts shocked many as that state was the home historically of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Edward Brooke, and Henry Cabot Lodge among others–liberal Democrats and moderate to liberal Republicans.

But the same thing was true in New York historically–senators such as Robert Wagner, Jacob Javits, Robert Kennedy, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Hillary Clinton–all liberal Democrats and moderate to liberal Republicans–and yet the state elected James Buckley to one term in the Senate in 1970.

California is another example, a state which elected Alan Cranston, Thomas Kuchel, John Tunney, Barbara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein, and yet also elected S. I. Hayakawa to one term in the Senate in 1976.

The most tragic example of a “split personality” state, of course, is Wisconsin, the home of progressivism, which elected Republicans Robert La Follette, Sr., Robert La Follette, Jr., and also Democrats such as William Proxmire, Gaylord Nelson, Herb Kohl, and Russ Feingold, and yet infamously twice elected Joseph McCarthy, the “witch hunter” who exploited the “Red Scare” in the 1950s, and is regarded as the absolutely worst member in the US Senate’s history.

One issue or a small percentage of voters can transform the image of a state politically on a temporary basis, but to expect that conservative Republicanism is the future of Massachusetts is to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy! 🙂 LOL

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