A liberal’s perspective on Minnesota’s winter from hell

I like to complain as much as the next guy.  Well okay, I probably like to complain a whole lot more than the next guy.   But in a year with something like three feet of snow on the ground, 44 days with sub-zero temperatures, and six-ish weeks of winter wonderland still on the horizon, even I am searching for silver linings in our ubiquitous cumulonimbuses.

So, as I was out carving a canyon out of the house this morning, I asked myself this question:

“Self, why do you stay in icy Minnesota instead of moving to one of those toasty sunbelt states?”

I suspect I wasn’t the only one asking that question today.

Upon snow blown reflection, I decided that there actually are darn good reasons to stay here, at least if you’re a wacked out liberal like me.

While we have long, hard winters, I am supremely grateful that we don’t have the sunbelt’s  conservative governors leading us on a race to the bottom.  With every scoop of snow I hurled this morning, I spewed out their names to remind myself of my good fortune.   “No Rick Scott here, grunt.   No, Jan Brewer either, groan.  No Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, and Rick Perry, wheez.”

While Minnesota doesn’t rank anywhere near the top of the climate rankings, this is a good time of year to remind ourselves that it does rank in the top 10 for some pretty meaningful things.  Math and reading scores.  Percentage of high school graduates.  Crime.  Home ownership.  Life expectancy.  Health coverage.  Unemployment.  Poverty rates.  Health.  Reported well-being.

Overall, a composite score of quality-of-life scores put together by Politico ranked Minnesota second best in the nation.  On the same measure, every one of the sunbelt states led by conservative governors ranked in the lower half of the 50 states.

So while I reserve my right to whine about the weather, I’d much rather have an icy winter and warm community values than a warm winter and icy community values.

This post was written by Joe Loveland and originally published on Wry Wing Politics.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 02/24/2014 - 10:08 am.

    community values?

    “Community values” – Are these the latest “code words” for tax and spend?

  2. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 02/24/2014 - 12:23 pm.

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Winter, Winter

    While I’m as much a crazy whacked out liberal as the next guy, I have no plans to stay here one minute past retirement. Shoveling snow is a young person’s game and I have no desire to crack a hip on an icy sidewalk when I’m 70. Conservative World is just going to have to put up with one crazy ex-pat in their midst who won’t shut up about mass transit, recycling, and saving the world one healthy dose of logic at a time.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 02/24/2014 - 05:38 pm.

    My fellow conservatives and I

    are comforted in the knowledge that we won’t be followed to Arizona by a gaggle of Minnesota liberals. There is just reward for the long-suffering after all.

  4. Submitted by Ted Hathaway on 02/24/2014 - 07:25 pm.

    A Bi-Polar State

    Minnesota’s rep as a liberal state is a mostly out of date. Dayton won by an eye-lash against a weak Republican candidate. If Pawlenty had had the sense to run for a 3rd term, he would have won easily and had, in 2010, the Republican controlled legislature he’d always dreamed up. Boy, THEN we would have seen some “community values” in action: Minnesota would by now be little more than Scott Walkerland – West.

  5. Submitted by Joe Loveland on 02/26/2014 - 08:06 am.

    1) “Community values” are “code words” for using a relatively small slice of individual resources to benefit your community. Tax + spend = better community services = better community outcomes (see ranks) = better quality of life for everyone.

    2) Say it ain’t so Todd and Dennis. We’ll miss you at the potlucks. Can we stay with you over Spring Break?

    3) I agree, Ted, MN is a purple state. Moreover, we have been governed as a red state for a majority of the last two decades. But even at our reddest, Minnesota wasn’t investing in schools at Arizona-like levels or health coverage at Texas-like levels.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/26/2014 - 09:11 am.

    Tax and spend

    The 70’s called, they want their defunct Republican economic model back. Seems people have realized that taxing and spending was built into the US Constitution for a reason.

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