Monday, March 15, 2010

On Maine's birthday, reasons not to break up the state

On the occasion of Maine's 190th anniversary, today's editorial in the Bangor Daily News tackles the recent proposal by a state legislator to break us into two states. It's an idea that's been percolating for at least a decade, usually driven by the rural, poor, and neglected East and North's distrust of the allegedly Massified South and Midcoast. (For those of you from away, that's "Mass" as in "Massachusetts.") Regional political divisions over hot button issues like same sex marriage and casinos only inflame matters.

Whatever grievance would motivate such a peculiar plan? To answer that, the News cites a brilliant and knowledgeable source who, I'm surprised to discover, turns out to be me.

The quotes are from one of my Lobster Coast talks, where I explain how Maine's past has shaped its identity and present day political landscape, arguing that we are, in fact, a post-colonial society. (If this piques your interest, you can read more about historic Maine-Mass cultural tensions in in the book.) I'll be giving versions of the talk later this year here in Maine.

Oh, and for the record, I'd sooner have the whole state join Canada than see us split apart ourselves.

[Spelling correction, 19:38 EST]


  1. "piques" not "peaks" interest

  2. Thanks for the correction. I need a copy editor around here.