Upon (not) conceding the Florida Republican primary to Mitt Romney on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich let loose with the type of language that someone trying to distinguish themselves as more conservative would use.
"It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, Newt Gingrich, and the Massachusetts moderate" said Gingrich after loosing decisively to Romney. Those words went in and out of most ears without any alarms for offensive language going off because we have been so used to this type of talk from Gingrich and other conservatives for a long time. What most of us have become so inured to is regions or states being used as pejorative modifiers
The putting down of U.S. states goes on in general discourse as a matter of ribbing, be it light-hearted or mean-spirited. Liberals, for example, love rolling their eyes at the South, Texas, and now Alaska. Everyone has taken shots at New Jersey which has found it hard to live down its reputation as the kind of place that rhymes with chithole. The difference is that not everyone engages in this sort of regionalism when running for president. It is certainly not a habit of liberal-leaning presidential candidates who are more likely to embrace inclusion and acceptance.
Gingrich, on the other hand, may give lip service to the notions of inclusion and acceptance, but then will turn around and hold up the entire state of Massachusetts as a symbol of derision. Like all name calling, the root of Newt's denigration lies somewhere amid the "disvirtues" of anger, insecurity, and fear be it his or that of the few people who egg on his antisocial behavior. What is most absurd about this is that Gingrich is running for president of the entire country which includes Massachusetts. Are we to assume that Newt Gingrich loves his country with some exceptions?
The use of Massachusetts as an adjective has been around at least since the 1988 presidential election when Vice President George Bush ran against Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis. Bush dispatched Dukakis in part by referring to him as a Massachusetts liberal. It sounded mean, but it was acceptable coming from Bush. He was, after all, born in Massachusetts. It would almost be akin to a black person calling another... never mind.
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