Thursday, March 3, 2011
I’ve been listening to what the outside world has been saying about my hometown. The nation recognizes Madison as a liberal oasis. Many (especially those calling in to the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity shows) see what they are calling “riots” of “violent thugs,” and blaming this on Madison’s left-of-center world view.
Madison is associated with “Fighting Bob” La Follette and the Progressive movement. Voters have chosen Democrats in national elections for more than 50 years. We’re called “The People’s Republic of Madison” and “The Left Coast of Wisconsin.” Madison’s counterculture became national news in the 60s and 70s with anti-war demonstrations, some of which unfortunately became violent.
In addition, Madison is home to the Freedom from Religion Foundation. It has a larger-than-average secular population, a larger-than-average gay population and a larger-than-average pagan population.
Sounds like a hellish place to live. So what’s it really like living in this cesspool of sin and socialism, corruption and communism, anger and anarchy?
From a variety of sources:
Madison is known for its exceptional quality of life. Money magazine named Madison the “Best Place To Live in America” in 1996 and the “#1 Best Mid-Size City to Live in the Midwest” in 1998.
Over twenty-five other major national publications, including Parenting, U.S. News & World Report, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Expansion Management, Bicycling, Outside, Ladies Home Journal and Entrepreneur, have recently honored Madison with top-tier rankings in key categories including:
“Great Places to Raise a Family”
“Best Schools in the Nation”
“America’s Safest Cities”
“Best Cities for Working Moms”
“America’s Best Places to Live and Work”
“Where to Retire”
“Best Places In America to Start and Grow a Company”
“One of America’s Seven Dream Towns”
“Best Cities For Women”
“Best Bike Towns in the County”
“Most ‘Child-Friendly’ Cities”
This is a partial list.
Also, Forbes.com released its list of the 10 best cities to look for work in 2009, and Madison tops the list. And Businessweek calls Madison one of the top places to ride out the recession. So apparently, Madison’s doing comparatively well in the financial area, too.
Maybe there are a lot of scary thugs in the Capitol right now (although I’ve been there and haven’t seen any). But I like it here. I think I’ll stay.