"Tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken."
Sam Adams, John Hancock, John Adams, or one of many other famous leaders who called Massachusetts home at our country's founding might have spoken this phrase at Faneuil Hall in 1773. But, of course, these words were spoken at Boston's Park Plaza Hotel in 2010 by Scott Brown, the winner of yesterday's special election for U.S. Senate in that same state.
The many ties of Brown's victory to the nation's patriotic history are difficult to ignore. Like many of the founders, Brown was a political underdog from Massachusetts, his seat was once held by John Quincy Adams, and his supporters were largely frustrated by an establishment who insisted, through their actions, that holding onto power was more important than the wishes of the people. After what some in the media have called "a new Boston Tea Party," Brown's election could be the start of a new kind of revolution in 2010.
And once again, it starts in Massachusetts.
In the latest "Engaging Democracy", Eric O'Keefe discusses the factors that lead to Brown's swift rise, the impact of yesterday's election, and its close ties in political meaning and geography to the critical times and places of our country's founding.