Stand by Me

Rodney Clough
3 min readAug 2, 2022


Photo courtesy of Travel Triangle

An open letter to Margaret Renkl and Nate Silver

Heh, Meg and Nate,

I appreciate your opening up from the pages of the NYTimes Opinion section a real estate agency serving the Southern “Red States,” but we’ve decided to decamp to Prince Edwards Island.

That’s in Canada. Good beer and mussels.

I mean, really? Move to ‘Bama? Maybe for the football, but to vote “blue,” and reverse the fortunes of the US Senate filibuster? (1,2) Really?

My relatives moved in 1798 from New Hampshire to Vermont: it didn’t go well. Their cows who had eaten their way and exposed granite boulders in New Hampshire, repeated the same in Vermont. The boulders moved with them. Their descendants scattered westward to Central Michigan and Western Ohio, in those days the frontier, not as many boulders and bold mosquitoes.

Cow births along the way. Not pretty, if you know what I mean.

Well, it’s sorta’ the same thing you’re talkin’ about: move to where the grass is greener. I am with Mr. Poeton of Lennox, Mass. See following. I’d prefer to send money and buy me a candidate. You’ll not have to lose my bona fide blue vote in exchange for a purple one. It’s a win and a half: vote blue in Massachusetts, buy purple in ‘land a’ cotton.’

One thing we have learned from Donald Trump is that every elected official is a national office. I am happy to contribute to good candidates even in states other than my own.

“It is my way of nationalizing every election in the South and fighting back against the entrenched regional interests and narrow political perspectives that are at large there. If more voters nationwide made every contest their own, the entrenched local politicians could not compete.” (3)

In 2000, I teased my octogenarian Florida kin that a ballot with holes in it is a ballot with holes where they ain’t supposed to be. Up north we color in the little boxes; we don’t punch holes. How primitive! That’s as bad as putting catsup on Jimmy Dean sausage.

Who would do such a thing?

But I digress.

In that race, the candidate for President from the great state of Tennessee lost to the candidate for President from the great state of Texas, two of the states you want us to move to.

Say, are you two pitchin’ for UHaul?

And another thing and this is for Nate: just because we might elect another Democrat in the Senate, doesn’t mean our choice will vote like we want.

Look at Manchinema! Golly be. We wouldn’t want that…again. Would we?

Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. Photo image courtesy of Google.

I appreciate your high-minded political voting suggestions, and predilection for Yankees moving from New York to red southern states, but I am not moving to the banks of Lake Ponchartrain or Mobile Bay.

They are sinkin’ fast and the mosquitoes are bold.

August 2


1-”Don’t Like the South’s Politics? Move Here and Vote,” Opinion, July 20

2- Nate Silver Opinion

3- Letters to the Editor, NYTimes, July 27, 2022




Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.