Q&A #4: Greater Boston’s View of Western Massachusetts
Via email, “Matt” asks:
What does metro Boston think of Western Mass politically? Is it a monolithic impression of the whole area code or does it vary by municipality?
Not monolithic at all! We divide it into several zones as follows:
West turnpike. Occasional nice scenery. We keep an eye out for the Friendly’s logo written in flowers or bushes or something. We think people in this zone should pay more for the privilege of driving into Boston, but get fewer jobs working for the Turnpike. Also, we don’t understand why Western Mass. needs any new transportation projects or funding, when they have a road going to Boston. What else would you need?
The Quabbin. This is the large area bordered by routes 90, 190, 2, and 91. We once read somewhere that in the days before the reservoir was built, people used to live there.
College town west. Amherst/Northampton/Williamsburg. We imagine that it’s probably unbearable with all the hippies and lesbians, but we get out there to visit a niece or cousin every once in a while and you know what? It’s really nice. Politically, lots of potential volunteers to recruit for liberal candidates.
Route 2 through the wilderness. To be perfectly honest, we’re really not familiar with anything past Acton. We think at some point you cross into New Hampshire, or Vermont, or maybe Canada, but then end up in the Berkshires (see below). No idea what kind of people live there, but we imagine they mostly live off the land, have little tribal communities, that sort of thing, so they don’t need much from the state.
Springfield metro. This includes any western Massachusetts municipality we have heard of and assume we don’t like, all of which we imagine bordering Springfield: Chicopee, Palmer, Pittsfield, Greenfield, etc. Someone we know was there within the last few years and tells us it’s still awful. Democrats should try to get the minorities out to vote in the general election. It’s important to open a campaign office there so people in Western Massachusetts know you care about them; it is not necessary to staff that office.
Tornado victims. We feel so bad for those poor people.
The Berkshires. We love the Berkshires! Tanglewood is magical! There’s a fabulous bed and breakfast we like in Lenox. We assume that everybody who lives there votes for the most liberal person on any ballot.
So you see, we don’t lump it all together at all. However, we do believe that the total number of available votes there is roughly equal to, maybe, I don’t know, Arlington? So it’s not really all that important. Also: we like your congressman, although we usually can’t remember his name.