Romney’s PC attitude towards the South important on Super Tuesday!

Mitt Romney’s attacks on the South, part of a larger offsnsive spearheaded by the federal government in this Sesquicentennial era.
by Mark Vogl
Monday, March 12, 2012

The Confederate Wave, a Pro South political website has much to say about this election, and should be a place Southern voters stop by on their way to vote in the GOP primary.   About the Confederate battle flag Mitt Romney said:  "That flag frankly, is divisive and shouldn’t be shown. Right now with the kinds of issues we’ve got in this country, I’m not going to get involved with a flag like that."

"The people of our country have decided not to fly that flag. I think that’s the right thing."

In a Press Release on Dec 3, 2007 — Sons of Confederate Veterans (S.C.V.) leader Christopher M. Sullivan issued a statement in response to the CNN Republican debate, Wednesday 28 November. "Mitt Romney proposes himself to be president of the United States but last night he clearly demonstrated not only his ignorance of American history but also his contempt for Southerners who love and respect their Confederate ancestors.

The values of the South are under attack on all fronts.

In Virginia battles rage over the South during this second year of the Sesquicentennial.  First, in Richmond, at Oakwood Cemetery the Sons of Confederate Veterans is struggling with the Veterans Administration to get the government to meet a commitment to provide VA headstones for more than 12,000 dead.  US law authorizes the VA to issue headstones for Confederate dead.  But the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who recently took over administration for these dead from the City of Richmond say the VA misled them during the negotiations to relieve Richmond of the responsibility.

Also in Richmond, the Museum of the Confederacy is close to opening a new site at Appomattox, Virginia.  While some could question the location of this site, as Appomattox is far from the major interstates which traverse Virginia and therefore is not as well visited as the Shenandoah or the Interstate 95 corridor, the real fight is about why no Confederate flag of any type will be flown at the Museum.

A new group of Southern activists, known as the “flaggers” is active in this fight.  The “flaggers” are essentially a group of men and women who see a need for political activism in the Cultural War ongoing in America.  They originated during the fights over the design of the Georgia state flag, and the flying of the Confederate naval ensign over the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina.  The flaggers are only one part of a rising Southern movement in America.  

The flaggers are really being tested, as they are also engaged in another fight at the location of the Confederate Old Soldiers Home. Here the United Daughters of the Confederacy (U.D.C.) have pulled down the Confederate Battle flag, and chased away flaggers claiming their presence threatens the U.D.C.’s 501c3 status.

That same argument was used as a ploy by the Texas Division, S.C.V. to remove one it’s No. 2 statewide officer who has been calling for engagement by the division in the Culture War.

Texas has seen its fill of government rebuffs.  First, more than a decade ago when then Governor George Bush removed plaques honoring the United Daughters of the Confederacy for raising the funds necessary to build a state building.  Bush’s actions occurred in the middle of night, out of the sight of the news or the people.  Later in a lawsuit, the Court decided Bush acted improperly, but did not order the plaques be returned.  Loss for the South.

And then recently, under Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Department of Transportation refused to authorize vanity plates for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  In an 8 – 0 vote the Committee voted to deny the S.C.V.’s application, the first time in the state’s history a not-for-profit organization was refused.  The leader of the Texas Division, S.C.V. was present at the committee but made no statement on behalf of his organization.      

It seems that in this 150th Anniversary of the War for Southern Independence, better known as the American Civil War, that federal, state and local governments have been on a purge of Pro South history, and organizations.  Whether the threats against Southern heritage groups 501c3 not-for-profit status emanate from the government, or from weaker leaders within the Southern movement is unknown.  The southern heritage organizations have been undergoing tremendous dispute within as two different mind sets wrestle for control.

What is known is that the charters and purpose of these groups were created long before that status existed.  And one has to wonder if forfeiting those not-for-profit filings might not be in the organization’s long term best interests.

The inaction of the southern heritage groups has caused people in the South to act on their own.  These individuals have received some assistance from local S.C.V. camps, and some encouragement from S.C.V. state and national leaders.  But, the organizational aspects of the S.C.V. work against a unified front in heritage fights like these.

As the federal government grasps for more and more control of all aspects of life, was Governor Perry’s almost random comments about secession a prelude to what could be the future?  The writers of the Constitution of the United States, in their system of checks and balances did not just create three branches of the federal government, executive, judicial, and legislative, but with the Tenth Amendment made clear that all powers not granted in the Constitution to the federal government were reserved to the states and the people respectively.

The Civil War was in large part about forcibly setting aside the Tenth Amendment.  And the Supreme Court, through its decisions, has gone a long way to do just that.

The fight over Southern heritage and history is not a uniquely regional fight, but more a microcosm of what the federal government and the culture war is doing to all parts and cultures within America.  What happens in the South will set the direction of this nation, and it could be your culture on the chopping block next.

©2012 Mark Vogl

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