When boring becomes a blessing

What it's like to live in a (mostly) politically-irrelevant state

When boring becomes a blessing

I live in Indiana.

Sometimes I don't like where I live. It lacks visual appeal. We have no oceans. Though the hills in southern Indiana are beautiful, we have no mountains to gaze upon. We are mostly just farm ground outside of Indianapolis’ city limits.

It's also an equally boring place in the political world. In presidential politics we are worth 11 electoral votes, and during the past two elections we have been the first state off the board. Right now we bleed red, with Republican supermajorities in the Statehouse. We have only 12 Democrats in our state Senate.

Last year, on election night, I texted a friend who lives in Florida as the Sunshine State’s results were rolling in. It was a seesaw, tipping back and forth between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. “Bet that’s entertaining and wild to watch,” I said. “We’re pretty boring.”

“Yes,” he responded. “But be thankful you live in a state with like-minded people.”

I had never thought of it that way. Since that time, and with seemingly each passing week nowadays, I have been thankful.

Every once in a blue moon we'll vote for a Democrat for president: our votes went to Barack Obama in 2008, the first time we chose a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson. We repented in 2012 when we voted for Mitt Romney.

We were, however, Trump’s knockout punch during the presidential primaries last year. The candidates descended into our little neck of the woods, making final pitches during the primaries. Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi, criss-crossed the state several times, desperate to take away votes from Trump, all to no avail.

Since Trump plucked Mike Pence from the governor's seat to be his VP, life has been ho-hum.

I mean, the most controversial thing in our legislature right now - the topic that has local political pundits raging (not really) - is whether gas stations can sell cold beer on Sundays.

I can't imagine what it feels like to live in Iowa and have presidential candidates constantly invade your state fair. Just across our borders are Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. Illinois is corrupt politically, poorly run and in debt. For our neighbors to the north and east, part of me pities you folks. Every four years political analysts like John King have your state sprawled all over the TV screen on election night, picking and poking at every county and your voting history and researching everything except how many times you’ve used the bathroom in the past 20 years. As an evangelical Christian who believes abortion is wrong but doesn’t like writing-in on election day, I’m certainly glad I don’t live in Alabama, where I would be forced to make a very tough decision in a couple of weeks.

All of that might change. So far as we know, none of our national lawmakers are embroiled in sex scandals.

But don’t mistake boring for inaction and lack of results.

We have a great new governor, Eric Holcomb, who is very low-key. He recently rolled out an aggressive agenda to improve our state's workforce. His lieutenant governor, Suzanne Crouch, is a former county and state auditor from Evansville. She keeps a very watchful eye on our lawmakers and their ethics.

We have remarkably low taxes. Indiana is the second most affordable state in which to live (only Michigan is better). Carmel, a community on the north side of Indianapolis, was recently named as the best place to live in the United States. Indianapolis is a growing downtown area and routinely hosts national conferences, which give a strong boost to the city’s economy.

Sometimes boring isn’t so bad after all.

Being boring is actually pretty cool.