Love It or Leave It

cowboy_joeThis is an interesting story (via) with a must-watch video, if you’re into dumb state legislators, about a woman who wrote a letter to every member of the Wyoming state legislature and one of the replies she received. It started like this:

I’ll be blunt. If you don’t like the political atmosphere of Wyoming, then by all means, leave. We, who have been here a very long time (I am proudly 4th generation) are quite proud of our independent heritage.

I lived in Wyoming for a few years and a very common sight was a pickup with a bumper sticker with Cowboy Joe (that’s him in the graphic) and one word, “Native”. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in surrounding states, and my experience is that the “Native” attitude is strongest in Wyoming, though you do see it in other rural Western states. The notion that there’s some innate virtue in staying true to the accident of your birth is a hallmark of close-minded stupidity, so I’m not surprised that a 4th generation resident of one of the states with the widest streets and the narrowest minds would brag about it.

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146 replies
  1. 1
    Joy says:

    After all, it is the home of Dick Cheney. Would we expect any less?

  2. 2
    Cassidy says:

    Ahem…”heritage, not hate”. Not exclusive to the west.

  3. 3
    Nate says:

    I grew up in Texas, the brainwashing is strong.

  4. 4
    Robin G. says:

    When faced with these morons, I usually point out that I’m 14th generation American, and therefore my vote should count several times more than theirs.

  5. 5
    mistermix says:

    @Joy: Cheney is not a native – born in Nebraska – so he doesn’t count.

  6. 6
    MikeJ says:

    Used to see the native stickers a lot in Colorado too. I had an “alien” sticker on my car when I was in HS.

  7. 7
    ellie says:

    Ha! I see those Native stickers all the time here in Colorado. Idiots.

  8. 8
    Robin G. says:

    @Nate: Unless they’re norteños, they can shut up about their forever claim on Texas.

  9. 9
    Face says:

    Independence, eh? So taking in more federal money than one pays out is a sign of fiscal independence now. Huh.

    As an aside, doesn’t Wyoming have the most skewed male-to-female ratio of any state in the nation?

  10. 10
    Dr. Bloor says:

    Fourth generation in Wyoming–so his family has been there since 1971?

  11. 11
    mistermix says:

    @MikeJ: The term for Coloradans in Wyoming was “greenies” because of the color of the license plates, and it was not a term of endearment.

  12. 12
    RP says:

    Christ, what an a$$hole.

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    @ellie: When I was a wee tyke and it was so foggy you couldn’t see the front range my dad would tell me the Texans had stolen the mountains because it was so boring and flat where they were.

  14. 14
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dr. Bloor: A generation is normally considered 20 years, not 10, so, 1930s. Big whoop.

  15. 15
    Slim Shady says:

    The response WAS blunt, but it was real. The guy actually read it. If we did this here in MA we’d get a form letter from a staffer, maybe. If the new resident is in the same district as Mr Blunt, then don’t vote for him next time. I guess I’m suffering from outrage fatigue, this doesn’t do it for me.

  16. 16
    Anya says:

    Sorry to go OT this early in the thread but it’s depressingly clear that our law makers do not really represent us. I know the Hagel confirmation is yesterday’s news but this graph really shocked me: Just Who Do They Represent: At Hagel Hearing, Concern for Israel Tops U.S. Troops in Combat

    As for the topic at hand, is Montana nativism different than Massachusetts nativism?

  17. 17
    tjmn says:

    Very strong strain of “native” in CA too. FSM help you if you have out of state license plates out on the 5, 8, 10 or 15 interstates.

  18. 18
    legion says:

    Frankly, using an image of a cowboy on a bronco over the label “NATIVE” while driving around reservation territory pretty much confirms how stupid, bigoted, and generally worthless those people are. Thanks for self-labeling, folks!

  19. 19
    General Stuck says:

    is that the “Native” attitude is strongest in Wyoming

    Another term that works is ‘red neck’. Lived in Bozeman a while and spent a lot of time in and around Cody Wy, and the difference between MT and Wy was night and day. They call themselves the Cowboy State, but all I ever saw were crude red necks. Alabama on the high plains. Montana was the best place I ever lived, but froze my ass off in winter that lasts forever, it seemed. It is conservative, but a different brand in the truest tradition of western independent world view.

    OH, and no one could have guessed that Dick “undead” Cheney can’t stand anything Barack Hussein Obama does, except for the drone program. Something that PBO might want to give some thought to.

  20. 20
    handsmile says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Not sure, but I think your snark-o-meter might be malfunctioning.

  21. 21
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @RP: Which one? Granted, the politician was rather rude, but if I’d lived somewhere for decades and some new yuppie resident started telling me how I needed to change everything around to suit her, I expect my response would be even ruder.

  22. 22
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @General Stuck: Just because my enemy puts pants on doesn’t mean I should stop wearing them. As for Dick, I bet Obama devotes as much time to thinking about him as he does GWB, and his title for both of them is probably “Fucker.”

  23. 23
    R-Jud says:

    “You’re conscious of your roots, your precious roots. But roots are for vegetables.” – Jonathan Meades

  24. 24
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @handsmile: Eh, could be. The math jumped out at me, and my math coprocessor is actually the strongest chip in my brain.

  25. 25
    Redshirt says:

    The “Don’t Mess with Texas” campaign always made me want to mess with Texas. I mean, I had no thought of doing so before, but with all these signs and stickers telling me not to, well, then, I oughtta!

  26. 26
    NonyNony says:

    So – any guesses as to the attitude that Hans Hunt towards the Native Americans who live in his state – most of whom can actually trace their ancestry back to the region a bit further than 4 generations?

    Yeah. That’s my guess too.

    Some quick googling reveals that he’s a 24 year old idiot by the way. From near the South Dakota/Wyoming border. I know some “fourth generation ranchers” who live in that area – my family is from that area originally. They’re kind of like any other family that passes their wealth down the line – first generation was a hustler who probably won his ranch in a card game. Second generation – a decent manager, knowing that he’s lucky to have anything given who his father was. Third generation and beyond? Born on third base and think they’ve hit a triple every one of ’em.

  27. 27
    ricky says:

    Short version of exchange:

    New Church lady: I just moved here. You pass this law and I may leave.

    Luddite Legislator: I been here a while you liberal twit. Don’t let the door hit you when you skedaddle.

  28. 28
    double nickel says:

    “I always speak my mind”….heh. Indeed.

  29. 29
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Redshirt: I’ve actually thought that was one of the more clever things my state actually came up with. Not a long list, mind you.

  30. 30
    Redshirt says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Explain please. I’ve always found it to be stupid and insulting.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    @General Stuck:

    Alabama on the high plains.

    That’ll make it into their tourism brochures.

  32. 32
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    OTOH, I’m a 4th generation North Carolinian, and I’ve been told “if you don’t like it, leave” by Damnyankee transplants who haven’t been here long enough to change the New Jersey or Ohio plates from their Old-dude Cadillacs.

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @Redshirt: It was an anti-litter campaign.

  34. 34
    ricky says:

    @Redshirt: You sir, mistake the purpose of the “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign. Designed by the ad firm famous for making Walter Mondale President, it was a call to native Texas pariotism in an effort to get Bubba to improve his throwing accuracy and get the beer cans to land in the bed of the pick up truck intstead of by the roadside where it had to be picked up by either:

    a) an orange clad hippie doing county time for marijuana
    b) an orange clad alien working for a privatized TxDOT conrtactor or,
    c) a Klansman whose Klavern had adopted that stretch of
    Farm-to-Market Road 666.

  35. 35
    bjacques says:

    I have to go give props to Don’t Mess With Texas as well. Fine piece of advertising jiu-jitsu to discourage littering, using the language of the people most likely to litter.

    Also, too, the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

    ETA: What ricky said.

  36. 36
    cmorenc says:

    The south (by that, I mean the states that were part of the confederacy in the civil war) for a long time harbored deep-seated in-state nativist attitudes toward folks migrating down from up-nawth. I spent too many of my years growing up in a small town in southeastern N.C. that was a bubble of cultural isolation and insular attitudes, dominated by a few dozen families who had lived there for generations.

    This in-state nativist prejudice has significantly waned over the last couple of decades, in significant part because the northerners moving down here to redder areas outside the scattered urban blue-leaning islands tend to be favorably-minded to adapt to the natives’ ways and political attitudes, and not just the milder winters.

    I lived in Oregon for a decade, and there was a strong prejudice against Californians moving in; “don’t Californicate Oregon”.

  37. 37
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Redshirt: It’s a don’t litter campaign. They’ve been able to get a number of native bands such as The Fabulous Thunderbirds, ZZ Top, and Los Lobos to do commercials telling people to keep from littering because it fits into a song pretty well. So, around here at least, “Don’t Mess With Texas” has a particular meaning. And I’ve thought it works.

  38. 38
    the Conster says:

    What kind of name is Hans, anyway? Doesn’t sound Murcan to me.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Mike in NC says:

    Big empty states full of empty-headed people.

  41. 41
    Summer says:

    Did anyone else attend the Colorado vs. Texas Tomato Wars hosted by the Inn of the Black Wolf in Twin Lakes, outside of Aspen? One of the bestest ever declarations of state pride. Teams competed by throwing tomatoes at each other, and if you got hit, you “died.” Texans had to defend the “Tomalamo” and Red Cross volunteers ran around, often chanting pro-tomato slogans, with stretchers picking up wounded tomatoes.

    So glad I got the t-shirt.

    It was for several years in the mid 80s…

  42. 42
    Mr. Prosser says:

    As you say in the post, it’s an accident of birth, like being a bastard.

  43. 43
    Redshirt says:

    Good points all. Still makes me want to mess with Texas, however.

    It’s so confrontational!

  44. 44
    ricky says:

    @the Conster: We gots’em in Texas, too, Conster. Hans is hun, hon.

  45. 45
    cmorenc says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    OTOH, I’m a 4th generation North Carolinian, and I’ve been told “if you don’t like it, leave” by Damnyankee transplants who haven’t been here long enough to change the New Jersey or Ohio plates from their Old-dude Cadillacs.

    Because many of the sort of folks who voluntarily migrate from up nawth to N.C. do so not only for the milder weather (and perhaps some particular economic opportunity if they’re not retirees)…but also because they are favorably inclined to a more conservative social and political environment than where they came from. The result is the paradox of selective “new traditionalism” by yankee transplants.

  46. 46
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Redshirt: As long as you don’t throw anything out your window.

  47. 47
    handsmile says:

    @Anya:

    Appreciate that link, but how grim to see that my own junior Senator (Gillibrand) is second only to Teahadist Mike Lee in “mentions of Israel” during the Hagel hearings. Representing New York State should be no excuse for such disgraceful and disproportionate pandering.

    Of course, while Lee is one of the most far-right extremists in the Senate (a distinction for which there is serious competition), he was still welcome at JoeScar’s frat party this morning to opine on Obama’s failures at bipartisanship.

  48. 48
    General Stuck says:

    more On General Stupidity

    This just swells my heart with admiration for presnit Obama, for turning the GOP into hyper churlish drama queens that don’t know whether to shit or go blind.

    I guess the election and shellacking the nutters took from a rising minority vote in this country, is loosening their sphincters enough to ease up the brown people hate. But only if it doesn’t have Obama’s name attached.

    If President Obama wants immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, he may not want to mention it at all in tonight’s State of the Union speech, a new Washington Post poll suggests.

    Seven in 10 people in the survey said they would support a path to citizenship, including 60 percent of Republicans. But when the same question was asked of a separate sample of respondents, this time with Obama’s name attached to it, support dropped to 59 percent overall and just 39 percent among Republicans.

    Titty babies, our GOP

  49. 49
    g says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Granted, the politician was rather rude, but if I’d lived somewhere for decades and some new yuppie resident started telling me how I needed to change everything around to suit her, I expect my response would be even ruder.

    Read the letters at the link. You tell me – is this the appropriate response by an elected official to the polite and reasonable feedback from someone he represents?

    This isn’t a dispute between a newcomer and an older resident – this is a citizen providing feedback to her elected representative, who pretty much tells her to piss off because she’s new in town.

    It’s not right and I hope he’s getting some flack over it.

  50. 50
    ricky says:

    @Redshirt: “So confrontational.” That’s what old Santy Annie thought when he told us to give up our guns, speak Spanish, and go to mass.

  51. 51
    dan says:

    Do you know why you are 4th generation Wyoming? Cause your mother gave birth to you there. It is no achievement on your part. It affords you no special attention or privileges.

  52. 52
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @handsmile:

    Representing New York State should be no excuse for such disgraceful and disproportionate pandering.

    Ah, but representing New York City is a different story. Gillibrand can count, apparently.

  53. 53
    Cacti says:

    There are pockets of nativism in AZ, but not so much in the Phoenix area for the fact that transplants easily outnumber the natives here. Also too, vocal dislike of “illegals” will easily overcome any local yokel’s bias against out of staters.

    Many of the transplants here also seem to want to live out their cowboy-redneck-asshole fantasies the moment they arrive (see Arpaio, Joe). Must be something in the air.

  54. 54
    Punchy says:

    For all yoose bashing Wyoming and Texas, Indiana wants in on the ignorant, bigoted dumbfuckery.

  55. 55
    Cacti says:

    @ricky:

    “So confrontational.” That’s what old Santy Annie thought when he told us to give up our guns slaves, speak Spanish, and go to mass.

    Fix’t

  56. 56
    TR says:

    Judging from his appearance in the video, that state senator’s lineage isn’t just from one state, it’s from one family.

  57. 57
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Maine is a little like that too, it doesn’t matter how long you live there, if you were not born there and then you are from out of state.

  58. 58
    MikeJ says:

    @dan: Texas, the only state to secede twice in defense of slavery.

  59. 59
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @General Stuck: He should totally mention it. Let the GOPers rip each other to shreds.

  60. 60
    AndoChronic says:

    I’m a 4th gen. Minneapolitan and I say the same thing about rubes who move to this blue city and state and try to turn them red. I suppose purple is suitable for us though, just not that kind of purple! I’m glad Wyoming natives are so proud of themselves, they’re more likely to just STAY THERE and not infect the rest of us.

  61. 61
    Walker says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Only 4th generation? So not pre-revolution, huh? That means you are not a true North Carolinian. ;-)

  62. 62
    Sly says:

    It offends me to no end when liberal out-of-staters such as yourself move into Wyoming, trying to get away from where they came from, and then pompously demand that Wyoming conform to their way of thinking. We are, and will continue to be, a state which stands a head above the rest in terms of economic security. Our ability to do that is, in large part, to our “live and let live” mentality when it comes to allowing economic development, and limiting government oversight. So, to conclude, if you’re so worried about what our legislature is working on, then go back home.

    A functioning translation of “live and let live” in all conservative contexts: “If you don’t rock the boat, we won’t smash your face in.”

    @ricky:

    “So confrontational.” That’s what old Santy Annie thought when he told us to give up our guns, speak Spanish, and go to mass.

    And get rid of your slaves. In fact, the only “rights” that Taxans had under their 1824 Constitution that had changed was the right to own people. Funny how that’s always left out.

  63. 63
    AnnaN says:

    Colorado not only has Native stickers but official license plates as well.

  64. 64
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Redshirt:

    Don’t mess with Texas! Why? Because Texans are doing a fine job of making a mess of it all by themselves.

    No help needed.

  65. 65
    ricky says:

    @MikeJ: Yep. Those proudest of our whuppin Santy Annie have “Native Texan” bumper stickers. Them what has Sons of Confederate Veteran lineage sport the “Secede” stickers. Them natives what came after the War of Northern Aggression might be silly enough to put a “Don’t Mess With Texas” sticker on their bumper. Anybody with all three is some damn liberal.

  66. 66
    handsmile says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Here in NYC, popular opinion on Israel is by no means monolithic. But as rumors flicker that Gillibrand harbors national ambitions (Veep in 2016), this may well be a croon to certain members of the city’s donor class.

  67. 67
    TG Chicago says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Actually, the new resident was expressing concerns about changes to existing law. So really, a 5,000th generation Wyominger who’s lived there for 80 years could have the same objections. Radical changes to gun laws and environmental protections are not classically “conservative”.

    At any rate, I didn’t get why that video was “must-watch”. Yes, the Reverend came off better on camera than the Representative, but I didn’t think he was all that bad. (speaking only about presentation; obviously I think his views and cordiality are misguided).

    I also came to realize that it’s a bad idea to give your kid a Germanish-sounding first name and the initials “H.H.”. Coincidence? Almost certainly, but still it’s one to be avoided.

  68. 68
    handsmile says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yes, even more than “a little.” One is branded as “from away.”

  69. 69
    RaflW says:

    OT, Speaker Boehner keepin’ it klassy:

    Dana Bash ‏@DanaBashCNN
    A quote for the ages. When asked about a path to citizenship on immigration @speakerboehner responded “how about a little foreplay first”

  70. 70
    Enhanced Voting techniques says:

    So the politician is a Wymoning rancher, good chance his ancestry is English upper class which would explain a lot. During the late 19th century a lot of British aristocrats invested in US cattle ranches to make up for their failing estates in England.

  71. 71
    Cacti says:

    @Sly:

    We are, and will continue to be, a state which stands a head above the rest in terms of economic security. Our ability to do that is, in large part, to our “live and let live” mentality when it comes to allowing economic development, and limiting government oversight.

    By “limiting government oversight” he must mean “accepting lavish federal subsidies for fossil fuel exploration, education, and infrastructure, that our population of 522,000 couldn’t hope to support on its own.”

  72. 72
    TG Chicago says:

    @General Stuck: Yet another proof of Cleek’s Law:

    Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today: updated daily.

  73. 73
    dan says:

    I’m 4th generation New Yorker and you know what we say to transplants? Welcome to New York!

  74. 74
    ricky says:

    @Sly: Shucks, everybody knowed that when them Spaniards let us in to Texas part of the deal was “if’n we gonna kill them redskins for ya we get to own all the darkies we kin afford.” Somebody’s got to tend the cotton while we’s killin the Comanch.

  75. 75
    Redshirt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Maine is pretty brutally xenophobic towards outsiders. And mind you, an outsider is someone as close as Massachusetts. The only two states that get somewhat of a pass are NH and VT, but then, only warily. Everyone else is “From Away”.

    I always took the “Can’t get there from here” bit as a Mainer messing with an out of stater. IE – giving him bad directions.

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Everything I’m reading about this SOTU by Obama, is it will be pure populist mainstream democratic party red meat. So I don’t doubt he will mention it. As well as a lot of other rank liberalism that should give the well scrubbed wingnuts a fresh case of galloping vapors. Obama unchained, it’s on the queue for tonight. Set against a backdrop of Ted Nugent and government shutdown. And ‘You lie”. What a country.

  77. 77
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @handsmile: I think it is really worst in the really tiny towns up north and west. Not so bad mid state and down east.

  78. 78
    maurinsky says:

    I’m first generation American – we were taught that Ireland was better than every other nation on the planet. My mother also thinks that Brooklyn, NY ranks second after Ireland. And yet I grew up in rural CT.

  79. 79
    Cassidy says:

    I have a snoring cat on my lap.

  80. 80
    Redshirt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Down East is just as bad. Only the coast of Southern Maine – or Northern Massachusetts as it’s called – is exempt.

  81. 81
    hoodie says:

    If this guy is 24 and 4th generation, his great-grandfather wasn’t exactly one of the founding fathers of Wyoming. I used to hang around Wyoming quite a bit back in the 70’s and 80’s and I don’t recall having armed folks in schools as a cherished local custom. That’s probably a recent development, and I would hazard a guess that it is more driven by wingnut transplants than “native” Wyomians. Natural resource exploitation and a general lack of environmental consciousness, however, has always been a tradition there, particularly in the central and eastern parts of the state, which have always had an oil and coal based economy. If the good reverend is worried about environmental pollution, eastern Wyoming is not exactly a solid choice, unless you like going into the lion’s den.

  82. 82
    Mike E says:

    Ditto on life here in NC after 25 years, the carpetbaggers have overwhelmed the natives to the point of bitter, quivering acceptance. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been the target of the Secret Southern Handshake, to check my race-hating oil level (I’m mighty white). Now I just taunt crackers, I can see’em coming a mile away.

    Now that my native daughter Miss E is looking into colleges, I’m counting days here in fracking GOP paradise. The benzene oughta keep the natives here in a Wyoming state of mind.

  83. 83
    gvg says:

    Hmm I’m 2nd generation native Floridian, and we are such a boom state population that I’m considered rare. People are surprised to meet ANY other native. Florida was a confederate state but was so low in population that we hardly had anything to mention about the Civil War. There was a small invasion where one side at least got lost. I’d have to look up which side but I think it was the confederates. Anyway we were a poor place with swamps until massive drainage projects, maleria treatments, moskito spraying and air conditioning. We started to boom in the 60’s and really took off in the 70’s. Northerners moved down here to retire and not pay taxes. Elderly northerners whose attitude was I already paid for schools for my kids who are grown, I’m going to vote no on every school tax from now on. The porportion of natives and transplants with kids was too small to outvote them and our schools got worse and worse. As if those retired northern union benefitting people didn’t need educated docs and nurses not to mention air conditioner and car repair people who wanted their kids educated…bah.

    I’m afraid my northern born mom teacher taught me to ahh look down on the transplants who voted down school taxes every time and also responded to every attempt to make teacher standards higher by watering them down because they were anti union and unions were bad because they wanted teachers to get paid more.

    The measure of who is right or wrong is really the long term good of a community. Some times the long timers are right(care about schools), sometimes wrong(racism).

  84. 84
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Redshirt: Bangor and mid-coast ME were not bad, well I mostly hung out with the families of professors and doctors and the northeast genteel Republican business types (who are a dying species in the current GOP) many of whom were from away as well. But that said I also did make many friends among the working class, been there for elebenty generations types as well. There probably was some initial resistance, but once they got to know me, they were the nicest people under their somewhat gruff exteriors.
    ETA: One example, I had an ancient Subaru, my mechanic was the local Subaru expert, and many times he did not even charge me for small stuff. He invited me and hubcat to his mother’s 80th birthday. He was of French origin and had been an elebentieth generation Mainer.

  85. 85
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Walker:

    Only 4th generation? So not pre-revolution, huh? That means you are not a true North Carolinian. ;-)

    That’s as far back as anyone can remember :-)

  86. 86
    ruemara says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Nothing she said was “change everything around to suit me”. She raised valid concerns about guns being allowed in schools. Perhaps you should reread the letter that was sent.

  87. 87
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Redshirt: Bangor and mid-coast ME were not bad, well I mostly hung out with the families of professors and doctors and the northeast genteel Republican business types (who are a dying species in the current GOP) many of whom were from away as well. But that said I also did make many friends among the working class, been there for elebenty generations types as well. There probably was some initial resistance, but once they got to know me, they were the nicest people under their somewhat gruff exteriors.
    ETA: One example, I had an ancient Subaru, my mechanic was the local Subaru expert, and many times he did not even charge me for small stuff. He also invited me and hubcat to his mother’s 80th birthday. He was of French origin and had been an elebentieth generation Mainer.

  88. 88
    ThresherK says:

    “Nobody gets hurt on the hill; they all get hurt at the bottom.”

    Is there any self-knowing humor in the archetype of native Wyomingans akin to Vermonters, Mainers, (some) NewHamsha-ites, and a very few Texans? Or is it much more the “too big for their britches” flavor, like every Texan who’s discovered secession since Election Day 2008?

    I ask as a lifetime suburbanite Nutmegger who tries hard not to be the city slicker.

  89. 89
    Russell60 says:

    This provincialist/exceptionalism is present here in Vermont as well. After Tropical Storm Irene, a fundraising campaign featured the motto “I Am Vermont Strong,” which, while perhaps providing comfort to those hit hard by the storm, nonetheless implied that there was something “special” about Vermonters. There is also a swagger to many who brag of being fourth, fifth, sixth-or more generation Vermonter. I find it all quite annoying.

  90. 90
    JoyfulA says:

    @ricky: Actually, Texas seceded from Mexico because Mexico had banned slavery.

  91. 91
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Cassidy: How nice.

  92. 92
    Petorado says:

    Some of the western nativism is due to the outsized economic power and influence wealthy out-of-staters could wield over the less well-off locals, hence the “If you (heart) NY, take I-70 East” bumper stickers from decades past, as well as the popular expression “It used to be the most feared people in Colorado were Texans with hunting rifles, now it’s Californians with U-Hauls.”

    What Rep. Hunt is expressing isn’t nativism, it’s conservatism’s standard, “Shut up, that’s why” retort.

  93. 93
    Anya says:

    @handsmile: the whole hearing was an competition over which senator loves Israel the most. I guess ours won. Yay us!

  94. 94
    Mike in NC says:

    @RaflW:

    When asked about a path to citizenship on immigration @speakerboehner responded “how about a little foreplay first”

    Raping a housekeeper? It worked out OK enough for Strom Thurmond, whose illegitimate biracial daughter recently passed away.

  95. 95
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Dr. Bloor:

    Fourth generation in Wyoming–so his family has been there since 1971?

    No, four generations is about 30 years. To illustrate, I was born in the 1970s, my father in the 1930s, my grandfather in the 1900s, and my great-grandfather in the 1880s. So four generations takes me back handy about 120 years.

  96. 96
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Mean to say “ONE generation is about 30 years”, dammit.

  97. 97
    Sloegin says:

    Wyoming was the first state to give women the vote. They haven’t done much to be proud of since then.

  98. 98
    Dnl says:

    The notion that there’s some innate virtue in staying true to the accident of your birth is a hallmark of close-minded stupidity

    As an ex-deep southerner, all I can say is YES! Though I’ve found this everywhere, I’ve seen it most in the south.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    liberal says:

    @Petorado:

    Some of the western nativism is due to the outsized economic power and influence wealthy out-of-staters could wield over the less well-off locals…

    As opposed to the outsized economic power and influence wealthy locals wield over the less well-off locals…

  101. 101
    handsmile says:

    @Redshirt:

    “Northern Massachusetts.” I’d never heard that, but it’s funny and apt.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, Portland is really the only place in Maine where we’ve not commonly encountered the state’s proud tradition of flinty wariness or, as mrs. handsmile and i call it, lying.

    To be fair though, schrodinger’s cat comment (#85) similarly describes happy experiences and warm relationships we have developed during seventeen years of summer vacations and other regular visits to the Pemaquid Peninsula and mid-coast Maine.

  102. 102
    liberal says:

    I lived there in the 1990s for a few years, in “Bolshevik” Laramie.

    Place was so low-tax that I recall some business owners in Cheyenne asking for taxes to be raised.

  103. 103
    justawriter says:

    Because someone has to say it,

    These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.

    I must say I do understand the attitude, not that I approve of it. I decided to stay in North Dakota and work to make it a better place. The problem is, all the people who were making North Dakota a better place moved away to places where you could actually be paid what you’re worth. Now I’m surrounded by Hunt-style rednecks and oil field blow by. Sigh.

  104. 104
    Ted & Hellen says:

    The notion that there’s some innate virtue in staying true to the accident of your birth is a hallmark of close-minded stupidity

    I grew up and spent a huge chunk of my life in Kansas, before escaping to the east coast.

    I could not possibly agree with this statement more.*

    *Lawrence, Kansas, home to the University of Kansas is as different from the rest of the state as night is from day; and could not be more wonderful a college town. It is a reliably blue county in a sea of red at every election time.

  105. 105
    Mathguy says:

    @mistermix: Cheney was born in Nebraska? I apologize on behalf of the entire state of Nebraska.

  106. 106
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Rafer Janders: There’s always one, isn’t there.

  107. 107
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @handsmile: Do you go to Acadia National Park?

  108. 108
    Dorothy says:

    @Redshirt:

    The “Don’t Mess With Texas” slogan was a really clever anti-littering campaign from the state highway department back in the 90s. The country song with that phrase was a commercial about making sure that your trash doesn’t blow out of the back of your pickup truck and onto the highway.

    I never saw it with the “Texas is The Awesomest!” connotations until GWB’s people co-opted the slogan in his campaign. They promptly got in trouble with the state DOT, and then proceeded to get all butt-hurt about it: How DARE they (i.e., the actual state government of Texas) tell us that we can’t use their trademarked slogan? We’ll show them they can’t mess with Texas!

    The cognitive dissonance never ceases to amaze…

  109. 109
    Michael C says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    On the other hand, Maine-centrism is gentle and even wry. (Like the jokes about tourists, which actually poke fun at Mainers.) I have a couple of friends who moved to Portland years ago and was charmed to hear them describe themselves as “from Away,” which is the local term for non-natives. My grandmother’s family lived there for 5 generations before moving back to Massachusetts.

  110. 110
    Michael C says:

    @Anya: “a competition over which senator loves Israel the most.”
    You know, if would be fun to actually stage such a competition. Complete with a video shot of cheering constituents at the end.

    Along the same lines, I had an idle daydream of standing at the main subway stop in downtown Boston and asking commuters whether they thought Congress should be involved in assassinating Americans (to make it democratic, which is how some commentator recently described our leader’s policy) or whether Congress should butt out and leave it to the Prezzydent.

  111. 111
    liberal says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Lawrence as I’m sure you know has an interesting history in the lead-up to the Civil War.

  112. 112
    socraticsilence says:

    The attitude this extremely common in Montana as well. But it has a rational explanation– in Montana at least, there is an extensive history of out of state interests moving in, changing laws and exploiting natural resources then leaving the state abruptly forcing its residents to bear the burden of the long-term costs- it happened in two locations in particular bear further mention.

    Butte (which in the mid-to-late 1800s had more Irish immigrants than Boston or New York and still has a world-renowned St. Patrick’s Day celebration) where Copper and other minerals were extensively mined– often with little regard for environmental impact (google the Berkley Pit), and Libby- where the W.R. Grace corporation mined vermiculite and lied to residents for decades about the health effects of the material (mine pilings were used in playgrounds to cite just one example).

    The state and much of the mountain west, has a unique political culture not found anywhere else in America- relatively conservative (though iconoclastically so- Montana despite its presidential voting record is far more often represented Congressionally by Democrats) but largely secular– for example the state has some of the most explicit protections for choice on a constitutional level.

  113. 113
    Mike in NC says:

    @handsmile: What is now the state of Maine was at one time owned by Massachusetts colony.

  114. 114
    donquijoterocket says:

    @cmorenc:
    That don’t californicate got transplanted to Colorado especially the western slope a number of years ago. You could find it on impromptu, unofficial billboards in the Glenwood Springs Rifle, Grand Junction corridor of I70.I lived in Wyoming for some time and have always thought of it as the state with the wind festival that runs annually from Jan.1 to Dec.31. Also where the men are men,the women are too, and the sheep are nervous.

  115. 115
    Yutsano says:

    I know a gay cowboy in Wyoming. In fact I think he is represented by Hans. And he has a kid who he’ll teach smart firearms practices to when he gets older. But I can’t imagine him approving of his kid’s teachers being armed.

  116. 116
    ruemara says:

    @Yutsano: I think you win because you know a gay cowboy.

  117. 117
    Linnaeus says:

    There’s definitely a strain of nativism here in the Pacific Northwest, although it’s been muted somewhat in the past couple of decades because so many folks (like me) moved here from other places. I’ve lived in Washington for 12 years now, and I’m just beginning to feel like I “belong”, although I think I will always feel a little out of place by virtue of being a transplant.

    I’ve thought about going back to the state of my birth to “do my part” in fixing it, since I don’t like what’s going on there, but then I wonder if I’ll just be worn down by the effort with little to show for it. I’ll have to make a decision at some point.

    In the end, though, I don’t think being a native of a particular place endows someone with some kind of essential virtue. It’s funny that some people would think this way, given that they are very often descended from people who left their home countries to come to the US.

  118. 118
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Rafer Janders: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

  119. 119
  120. 120
    handsmile says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    We’ve been to Acadia several times mostly in the off-season and, of course, adore it. In the summer months, we find both the park and the road traffic to get there more congested than we wish to endure. Our Midcoast vacation is the necessary respite from living in NYC the rest of the year.

    From your recent Nemo comments, I gather you live in Massachusetts. Do you still get the chance/have the interest to travel to Acadia or elsewhere in Maine very often?

  121. 121
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @handsmile: Not as often as I like. I am planning to go this summer. Was there for a July wedding in 2009. I had a friend who has since moved to Idaho, who knew all the cool places in Acadia that were not on the tourist maps.

  122. 122
    Nathang says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Last time I checked as a US citizen you’re free to move anywhere in the country. Once you establish residency your are free to vote and write you state legislators. If this guy has a problem with receiving letters from state residents that disagree with him he I free to resign his position.

  123. 123
    srv says:

    The problem with Texas is not the cities or the Natives. The problem is all the wingnut Bible Belters who saw an episode of Dallas and moved to the exurbs in the late 70’s/80’s. Just because they got a hat, belt buckle, wranglers, ropers and a F150 that’s never seen a farm does not make them Texans.

    Their kids, who are natives, aren’t so bad.

  124. 124
    tommo says:

    Hands Hunt, your ancestors’ inbreeding is showing.

    You are not a native. Get a dictionary.

    And you are against government over-reach? Including them getting involved in women’s healh care? Your opinions are a sick joke.

  125. 125
    Redshirt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Twas because you were driving an old Subaru. That’s close to currency in Maine.

    As for Pemaquid Point, that’s still “Northern Mass” or even New New York if you want to go that far. The land of “Down Easter” Magazine. It’s the best part of Maine, and as such has big seasonal swings with the summers filled with folks from MA, CT, and NY. Towns like Camden, Rockport, Boothbay Harbor, etc, are postcard perfect lovely.

    True Down East starts north of Acadia and goes to the Canadian border.

    Bangor/Orono are your last junctions of “civilization”. After that, the void.

  126. 126
    gab says:

    “FSM help you if you have out of state license plates out on the 5, 8, 10 or 15 interstates.”

    Just because you’re paranoid (or can’t drive) doesn’t mean someone’s out to get you.

  127. 127
    hep kitty says:

    Big woop. WY is only 100 y.o.

    Don’t make those of us “natives” from pre-Revolutionary War states snigger.

  128. 128
    catbutler says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    It’s not for nothing that the people of Maine coined the term “Masshole.”

    Of course I also encountered this type of attitude a lot when I lived in Oregon (aimed at Californians mostly).

    A bit here in Philly as well, where I now reside. Also, too. Pittsburgh, albeit much more politely.

  129. 129
    catbutler says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    It’s not for nothing that the people of Maine coined the term “Masshole.”

    Of course I also encountered this type of attitude a lot when I lived in Oregon (aimed at Californians mostly).

    A bit here in Philly as well, where I now reside. Also, too. Pittsburgh, albeit much more politely.

  130. 130
    BruceJ says:

    @MikeJ

    I saw the ‘Native’ ones from Colorado first, back in the 70’s when the glitterati were moving in and pricing humans out of the market in places like Aspen and Garrison.

  131. 131
    koalaholik says:

    My mother used to tell me I was a 7th generation native Californian, like it was special accomplishment. My reply was “that and $5 gets me a latte at Starbucks”.

  132. 132
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @catbutler: Now what did I do to deserve the title of Masshole? I have actually lived in ME for a longer time than MA and I loved it there, well except for the never-ending winters.

  133. 133
    Chris says:

    I’ll be blunt. If you don’t like the political atmosphere of Wyoming, then by all means, leave. We, who have been here a very long time (I am proudly 4th generation) are quite proud of our independent heritage.

    This has been their motto for two hundred years. Even after nonwhite people, non-Christians and other “others” got full equal rights under the law, they were still able to tell them “well, if you don’t like it, just leave, there’s more of us.”

    Demographic trends scare the shit out of them because they’ll no longer even be able to say this. Too bad, so sad.

  134. 134
    Chris says:

    @Sly:

    A functioning translation of “live and let live” in all conservative contexts: “If you don’t rock the boat, we won’t smash your face in.”

    “Unless we feel like it.”

    Every rule has its caveats. It’s hard work going through life day after day after day packing heat and waiting expectantly for the day a Savage Other will attack you and give you the right to shoot him in the FACE, John Wayne style. Hard and frustrating. Sometimes you just have to take the initiative, track down the hoodie wearing thugs and take care of business.

  135. 135
    Chris says:

    @socraticsilence:

    The attitude this extremely common in Montana as well. But it has a rational explanation– in Montana at least, there is an extensive history of out of state interests moving in, changing laws and exploiting natural resources then leaving the state abruptly forcing its residents to bear the burden of the long-term costs- it happened in two locations in particular bear further mention.

    Yeah, except that the kind of “get out of my state” resentment rarely seems to target exploitative economic interests. The resentment against DamYankees may have its roots in the days of East Coast robber barons exploiting the rest of the country’s resources, but it’s long since stopped meaning that and simply become a “fuck these guys for trying to make us act like poor people, women and Others have rights.”

  136. 136
    Cacti says:

    I have roots in Texas that include a great-gr-gr grandfather and gr-gr-gr uncle who fought at the battle of San Jacinto.

    I have a family cemetary in the Nacogdoches area with confederate veterans buried there.

    I have a deeper connection to Texas than about 99% of the twats with “Don’t mess with Texas” bumper stickers could ever dream of having, and I’ve never lived there a day in my life.

    Strangely, all of the above doesn’t make me burst with obnoxious pride.

  137. 137
    PopeRatzo says:

    And we now have states minting their own gold coins.

    If Progressives are going to turn this mess around, we’re going to have to start by turning around about 48 state legislatures.

    We can win all the national elections you want, but if the far-right trend at the state level continues, we’re screwed.

  138. 138
    Visceral says:

    @Chris:
    Rural folk may not like damnyankee city-slicker robber barons, but like good peasants they’ll never do anything about it, because they know perfectly well where the jobs and most of the taxes come from.

  139. 139
    Chris says:

    @Visceral:

    This, but I think local elites also play a big role in it as the person in the middle between the regular folk and the out-of-state business interests.

    Southern politicians especially had a sweet gig for about seventy years after the Civil War where they’d run for office by thundering on about DamYankee carpet-bagging robber barons exploiting the poor Southern man and getting fat off of his labor… and then, once they’d gotten into office, promptly turn around and sign a dozen contracts with those very same robber barons. I don’t think it was until the Great Depression that people started demanding that these politicians put their money where their mouth was.

  140. 140
    W. Kiernan says:

    “Dear Congressman. Thank you for your frank reply. I also live here in Wyoming, and I vote. However, I’m not planning on voting to be represented by a person who tells me I should either be satisfied with the political status quo or else I should leave the state. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the customer’s always right’? And who do you work for, anyway?”

  141. 141
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @Yutsano: And how does this friend feel about pudding? Or is he not a big fan of indie film?

  142. 142
    cosmokitty says:

    As a “Native” resident of Wyoming (My family has been here since before WY became a state) I have a couple things to say… First, not all people in Wyoming are like this, and I don’t mean just the 30% of the population that are Democrats. My uncle is a state senator, and a Republican, and he voted for the LGBT non-discrimination act that recently came up for a vote. Second, this guy represents 16,000 people spread out over 8,300 sq miles, and I suspect that other districts with that kind of demographics from all over the country have a pretty high percentage of douchenozzle representatives, its not a Wyoming only problem. I’m a gay. liberal Democrat, so living in WY isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but the majority of people I interact with on a day-to-day basis are kind, helpful, and generous. So lets not get too carried away with generalities.

  143. 143
    jeffk says:

    @Redshirt: Don’t Mess with Texas because it’s so messed up already.

  144. 144
    Tk says:

    I’m 4th or 5th gen wyo born. Fucking hate the place. But it is a hard place to live and always has been so I understand some of the attitude of the dipshits there. The state has been run like the rest of America, 1% of the population makes the rules (and breaks them when the whim strikes) and profits from those rules. The rest of us bite and kick each other for the scraps that fall of the table, too tired and hungry to see who gets seats at that table. Most of us move from that shithole because there is no interest in creating any growth that might shake up the pecking order. It made me tough, though. If you can survive that backwards ass geographic, cultural, and economic desert (it’s a high desert), you can survive anything.

  145. 145
    opie_jeanne says:

    @cmorenc: My uncle moved from San Diego to Elkton, Oregon in the late ’60s’. He was one of the guys yelling at the newcomers from California for moving there and messing up his state.

  146. 146
    lou says:

    My father’s family is from the Wyoming/South Dakota area and my great-grandparents were ranchers. They would side with the preacher lady. Especially my grandmother who taught in a one-room school house way back when. And my late great uncle, who was a schools superintendent in Wyoming.

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