In early 1775 the primordial United States was in turmoil. The colonists and their British overseers had been involved in frequent arguments, confrontations and demonstrations, and tensions were mounting. As the Redcoats looked to pinch off the disorganized colonists’ network of supplies and to stymie any possible rebellion, British regulars met the Minutemen and a small contingent of colonial American militiamen in the sleepy New England towns of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. You may have heard of them. It was at Lexington, on April 19th, 1775 that an unknown colonist fired a single shot, that like a spark to the fuse of a powder keg, ignited the greatest revolution the world has ever known. The “Shot Heard Round the World,” spawned the greatest nation the world has ever known. Ragtag ruffians from the colonies, derided by their adversary through six pitched years of battle, defeated the best funded, best trained, best organized, best supplied and most formidable military force on the planet and wrestled independence from the hated British.
Today Massachusetts, though notably more liberal, stands as a similar milestone in American history. On Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, Scott Brown, the conservative Republican nominee for the Senate seat vacated by Edward Kennedy in Massachusetts, takes on state Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat, for what would undoubtedly be the 60th vote in the Senate for Democrats. A seat which, in any other year, would be a runaway victory for Joe Democrat in the most liberal state in America. However, in 2009 the Democrats, flush in both Houses of Congress, were hounded amidst a year in which they rammed through an unpopular and failed stimulus bill, continuously blundered international affairs and the war in Afghanistan, and edged dangerously close to ramming through another unpopular bill. This bill, health care “reform,” threatens the liberty of all Americans and has only been pressed to the brink of passage through corrupt backroom deals and by levying selective taxes on minority groups across America. America today stands at a precipice.
Buoyed by an increasingly unpopular and ill-experienced president, “Tea Parties,” much like those in 1775, have sprung up all over the Fruited Plains, and a groundswell of grassroot rage is teeming, enthusiastically waiting to turn Congress on its head in 2010. Early victories by Republicans in the states of Virginia and New Jersey in off year elections have been discounted by pundits and Democrats alike as the natural ebb and flow of party power in off year elections. Demonstrators have been degraded and demeaned with sexual slurs by figures as lowly as Keith Olberman and as powerful as Bill Clinton. Democrats thus pressed forward with their unpopular agenda, anticipating slight but not insurmountable losses in both Houses in 2010. Still, as Americans begin to realize just how liberal Democrats have become and as Democrats continue to ignore the will of the people, those with their ear truly to the ground can hear the rumbling of conservative revolution.
Virginia and New Jersey’s governorships are one thing (okay, two). Massachusetts’ Senate seat is another story altogether. In a state known for its liberalism, the “Bluecoats” would seem to have the decided edge, as Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one. The Massachusetts’ Democrat political machine is a well oiled–uh, machine, rivaling those of Illinois and New York. The Commonwealth has not elected a Republican Senator since 1967, and is busting at the seams with well trained Democrat candidates, as the last open Senate seat was won by John Kerry in 1985 (before your author was born). Coakley led by as many as thirty-one points in polls two to three months ago and didn’t campaign until two weeks ago. A Coakley victory, it seemed just a few months ago, was fait accompli.
In the mean time, Scott Brown moved to organize the disparate organs of the conservative movement in Massachusetts and to nationalize his race against his opponent, creating a massive enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats in Massachusetts. Martha Coakley’s coronation was put on hold, as Brown had narrowed the gap and drew even in early January 2010. Just days before the election, Brown is shown leading and over 50% in most polls. Scott Brown, it would seem, is riding just a ripple in the coming tidal wave of conservative voters in 2010. In the last two weeks, the Democrat machine has engaged, and national special interest funds, labor union thugs, and the supposedly popular president Barack Obama have begun pouring into the Commonwealth to stump for Coakley and to drum up votes. It seems Democrats are suddenly aware of the importance of this seat. Time will tell if Democrat efforts can salvage Coakley’s campaign from an embarrassing upset.
As election returns pour in Tuesday night, the eyes of the world will be fixed upon Massachusetts, which could again be the birthplace of a revolution. A Scott Brown win on Tuesday would be another Shot Heard ‘Round the World. Upon certification, Brown would deal a fatal blow to the health care bill and stop the Democrat agenda in its tracks. To date, myriad Democrats have faced polling numbers, oft ignored, which spelled trouble, from Senators Dorgan and Dodd, to Senators Landrieu, Lincoln, Boxer, Nelson and even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Republicans, it has been said, would need to run the table nationally to recapture both Houses of Congress. A Brown victory, or even narrow defeat, would send a signal to Democrats across the nation that no seat is safe, and that they will have to fight tooth and nail for each and every seat this November in order to avoid a conservative ascendancy and a new Republican majority.
Win or lose, this Tuesday’s Shot Heard ‘Round the World will shock the Democrat Party down to its very foundation just as the shot in 1775 shocked the British Empire. After all, the colonists actually lost to the Redcoats at Lexington and Concord. It was not until the Battle at Old North Bridge did a contingent of a few hundred under supplied, poorly trained militiamen defeat three companies of the King’s well trained regulars and signal the start of revolution. The biggest difference between this Tuesday and the shot fired in 1775, is that everyone will know who fired this one.
David Teesdale, is a student of history. Can you tell? Leave your comments below.