John Adams’ Ghost Meets Meldrim Thomson’s Ashes

The large stone over the crypt in the basement of the United First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts is about to crack as the ghost of John Adams, America’s second president, is escaping to have his vengeance upon the Commonwealth. Adams has returned from his eternal repose because the People of Massachusetts have violated the solemn oath to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

To wit:

  • Massachusetts voters rejected a ballot referendum that would have expanded the number of charter schools in the Commonwealth by up to a whole dozen a year. But the blue-nosed teachers unions opposed such an intrusion into their traditional money pots, where administrators and union bigwigs collect big lifetime pensions while new teachers get the shaft. Students who want a better education have to live with what they get, or pony up for private school.

And further:

“If the world is moving toward recreational marijuana, then we have to do it correctly. And I believe that we can,” [Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg] said in a State House interview. But “nobody wants to do this in a sloppy fashion.”

So, it’s not okay for students to go to charter schools, staffed by motivated teachers, to get a better education. But it is okay for them to light up to forget their woes. Mr. Adams is not pleased.

In contrast, neighboring New Hampshire voters have elected Chris Sununu as their new governor. Chris is former Gov. John H. Sununu’s son, and brother of former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu. The Sununu family is to New Hampshire what the Adams family is to Massachusetts, just a few hundred years later.

But how would former N.H. Governor, the late Meldrim Thomson Jr. have reacted? A curmudgeonly, liberty-minded firebrand, Thomson’s battle cries were “Ax the Tax” and “Keep Your Guns.” My kind of guy.

I have a kinship with New Hampshire, where I grew up, about 10 years Chris Sununu’s senior.

I’ve got a different kinship with Thomson, whose alma mater was Mercer University in Macon, where Erick Erickson received his law degree–about 15 minutes from where I now live. Thomson got his law degree at the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs. We both have Georgia and N.H. roots.

Thomson was nothing if not entertaining as the governor of my youth. From his 2001 obituary in the New York Times:

When his critics derided Mr. Thomson for espousing beliefs from the 19th century, the governor replied with characteristic confidence. ”They are wrong,” he said. ”My beliefs are rooted in the values of the 17th century, and I’m proud of it.”

So now we come full circle to Mr. Adams. Because about now Mr. Thomson’s ashes are reanimating and reassembling for battle. If Massachusetts, the bane and anathema to everything Thomson stood for, is going for pot smoking, New Hampshire darn well better do something about it.

Like what Thomson did when New Hampshire placed State Liquor Stores in purpose-built interstate “rest areas” adjacent to the Massachusetts border (selling tax free, of course) with their own dedicated exits–and Massachusetts sent undercover State Police officers to record the license plate numbers of Mass resident buying liquor. So revenue authorities could collect the tax, of course. In the spirit of Dec. 16, 1773, the Red Coats would have been proud.

Thomson did what the Sons of Liberty would do: He dispatched New Hampshire State troopers to ticket the Mass State Police officers for loitering. If Massachusetts wants to tax sin, why shouldn’t New Hampshire profit from it?

The southern spirit of Thomson would tell the Son of Sununu to do likewise: if Massachusetts is about to have recreational pot stores and head shops, why not sell the weed at N.H. State Liquor Stores? Of course, Granite State residents cannot enjoy lighting up at home, but they can hop over the border and inhale.

With the maple syrup business suffering, and agricultural jobs becoming scarce, New Hampshire can make a nice cottage industry growing and selling the wonder weed to willing Massachusetts hipsters who tire of vaping and sipping craft microbrewed pale ales.

While John Adams would be aghast at his own home state’s dedication to the corruption of youth and the treatment of education like the colonists treated debtor’s prison, he would doubtless agree that New Hampshire is doing the right thing by profiting from it.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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