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Ben Fractenberg Headshot

Will The Real America Please Stand Up?

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"Latte-drinking Northeastern liberal elites" is a cliché you hear endlessly from people like Sarah Palin. It is used to show how out of touch us East Coasters are with "the real America". The heartland, where everyone is a straight talker and free from the evils of moral relativism. The Norman Rockwell painting to our Sodom and Gomorrah, if you will.

I'm not sure which stereotype is more obnoxious and simplistic. But what really bothers me is the notion of the East Coast as un-American. It's been a couple years since my high school civics class, but wasn't this country founded by a certain 13 colonies, most of which were located in the Northeast!? Wasn't it the Northeastern beliefs in religious tolerance, just taxation and federalism that helped form the bedrock of our American values? I know Palin is probably skeptical of that Charles Darwin character, but even she should be able to see how her own belief system evolved from our American Garden of Eden.

So, Sarah Palin, hate on us all you want, but just don't forget where you come from. I know this must be hard for you, and a little like when Luke Skywalker discovered Darth Vader was really his father, but I promise we are all not that bad. In fact, you might find we actually have a lot in common. Many of us are quite religious and hate big government bureaucracy.

I would even be willing to drive you around our beautiful environs for a weekend. I think once you see the fall foliage and rustic quaintness of our New England towns you might even begin to like us a little. Heck, I bet I could get you to start drinking cappuccinos.

Just make sure you get in touch with me at least a week before you come. I wouldn't want our trip to conflict with my monthly key party, vegan potluck or Noam Chomsky book club meeting.