It’s been a while since I’ve done some bragging about New Hampshire, and I think it’s a bit overdue.
New Hampshire has a bit of a reputation or nativism, of being a bit unwelcoming to outsiders, and some times it’s true. The old legend of it taking at least three generations for a family to be considered “true” New Hampshirites has some roots in fact.
But for all that, there is also a newer and better tradition of welcoming newcomers — provided they come with the proper respect for our ways and come here to enjoy them, not change them.
For all the complaining we do about the “flatlanders” (a significant number of them Massholes), we also recognize that we have something special here, and it’s no wonder that a lot of people can also see that, and want to be a part of it.
New Hampshire was chosen for the Free State Project, where a bunch of libertarians decided they’d all move, en masse, and try to set up a libertarian government. The state government actually offered them an official welcome when we won the contest, and they started moving in.
And then, in 2006, the Democrats swept our US House seats and ended up controlling both houses of our state legislature, the executive council, and the governorship. Oh. well.
Even those who come to New Hampshire only temporarily sometimes shine a bit. Joe Malchow came to the Granite State to attend Dartmouth College, and while he was there he set up a little blog to talk about the college and other matters.
Well, a couple of years later, the America’s Future Foundation has decided that Joe’s efforts made him worthy of being named “College Blogger Of The Year.”
I’ve personally met Joe a couple of times, and he seems like a good guy. He’s made arrangements for Dartblog to continue after he graduates, so the Dartmouth administration (who he has irritated over the years) will not be spared this scrutiny.
I fear that graduation will take Joe away from New Hampshire, as so often happens (Adam Sandler and Sarah Silverman come to mind). But I hope he’ll remember his tenure in the state, and perhaps some day he’ll come back.
In the meantime, Joe, enjoy your prize and moment of glory. You earned it.
And we native New Hampshirites will take a little pride in that you chose to do it here.