Wednesday, February 20, 2013
How Does the South Reclaim its Legacy? – Part II
By Mark Vogl
Politics – Economy – Cultural Identity
The campaign the South needs to engage in occurs on three fronts, politics, economics, and cultural identity.
In the 1960’s the South was the anchor of the Democrat party. It was a solid block. As solidly Democrat then as New York, Massachusetts and California are today. And the South was still the South. If you went to an Old Miss game or for that matter a Friday night high school football game you were likely to hear “Dixie” as a fight song, after you prayed. If you went to a NASCAR event you would see the Confederate battle flag waving not just from the stands, but actually painted on the cars that raced around the track. Many, if not most Southern political leaders had some affiliation with their local Sons of Confederate Veterans.
In many respects the defiance of the South was then unreconstructed. Some of what went on in the South, and in the North, the racism, was an evil of Satan. But most of what the South was, was good. It was family, God, state. Air conditioning had only been recently invented back then, and the Yankees had not come in their second wave of invasion yet.
But they were about to. And this time their weapon would not be the bayonet but money.
Money, Yankee money and foreign money would change the South, alter its cultural center of gravity. It would take advantage of a Tory element that had existed even in the heat and passion of secession. These Tories had never been a part of the South spiritually and in modern times they are ashamed of Southern history and Southern culture. They are the fifth column within the South. In the heritage organizations they are called “grannies,” the men and women who wear uniforms and period dressed but shutter whenever anyone suggests a more aggressive stance towards the promotion of the South. They see their “vindication of the Cause” in small, quaint social events of no consequence, and do all they can to block the formation of modern Southern legions prepared to enter the fray of modern American politics with an objective of reasserting the Southern Legacy. They warn “we are prevented…”
I would assert that many of these grannies are actually modern liberals whose personal inclinations are driven by causes outside those of the South. They could be government workers, union members, atheists, Libertarians, or others who place their personal agenda above the retaking of the South. They assert that there are “proud of their heritage” but their love for the old South ends there. They don’t want to bring it back. They like America and the South as it is, and as it is evolving, ever leftward and ever more agnostic.
So within the very ranks of the Southern movement is the first line defense against a revival of the South, and a revival of America. (While many in the Southern movement cannot see the two together, I do. And because I accept secession as American, I can accept a states right to secede. In fact I see that right as essential to maintaining the original checks and balances within the Constitution itself.)
Back to the Democrat Party. When the Liberals in the 70’s and beyond took over the party and consolidated their position, they began to embrace political concepts like socialism that were anathema to the South. For a time, the South stayed Democrat despite these moves because of their justified hatred of the other party. Reconstruction left a bitter taste that was not easily forgotten. But in 1980 a man came along who had a bottle of mouth wash, Ronald Reagan. And from that time, until recently, the South has been solidly Republican. Why? Because the South is conservative, and the Republicans had demonstrated (at least for a while) they were significantly more conservative.
But the Republicans, though they needed the South for its Senators, and its electoral votes had long had its own ruling elite. Dominated by the mid-west, and northeast, Republicans were more conservative solely because of commercial reasons, and the threat of the Soviet Union. They made accommodations to the South because they needed them. However, with the fall of the Soviet Union, much changed.
Today we see the Republicans as narrowly defending some of their commercial interests to the exclusion of all else. But a lot of the commercial interests are now focused on foreign markets, and foreign production. Asia is seen as the next bonanza for profits. And corporations which during the Cold War had waved the flag, now have put the American flag in the closet. While main street is still in America, Wall Street is everywhere but.
The Republicans have replaced God, with their God, commerce. Anything that hinders commerce, including God, borders, morality, patriotism, standards, nationalism are all to demeaned and eradicated.
For the Southerner this creates a real question. How do we forward our colors in the arena of politics.
Actually, there is a great opportunity here. Neither party, at their core, is pro Southern, or pro any values which are Southern. So that makes the choices a tactical one, depending on who needs our votes the most. Whoever will do the most to forward our cause deserves consideration.
We who want a Pro South agenda must do what other special interests do. We must place our Cause above other priorities in our lives. Politics is about choices and priorities. I believe that for grannies and others who seemingly sabotage Southern initiatives, their motives are certain, their purpose to stall the South.
But at the moment we are treading on ground forbidden to heritage organizations. Let’s move towards the politics that is fertile ground for the Cause. That fertile ground is the governing of America, your state, county, board of education, etc.