James Ronald Kennedy

Most Americans, including Southerners, have no problem in proclaiming that the United States is one nation indivisible. Yet, in reality there are two Americas, the Jeffersonian republic of local institutions that Southerners imagine they live in and the liberal nation-state so loved by the likes of Rosie O’Donnell. Patrick Henry observed that when faced with a painful reality, “It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth.” Mr. Henry could have been describing modern evangelical Southern conservatives who refuse to recognize the fact that they live in something less than the Jeffersonian republic their founding fathers gave them.

Waging War Against America

Back in the early 1960s when the Confederate Flag and things Southern were permitted to be presented on national T.V. in a relatively positive light, there was an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies in which Jethro asks Granny “What was the Civil War?” In exasperation Granny administers a thump to Jethro’s hard head and exclaims, “That was when the Yankees invaded America!” Though humorous as it was Granny’s answer contains a keen kernel of truth. From the very beginning of “America,” the United States contained two divergent sections; one section, the North, was determined to use the Federal government to expropriate money and resources from the other section as a means of creating an economic empire. The other section, the South, was equally determined to protect its liberty and property while demanding simply to be “let alone.” As the minority section, the South looked to the original Republics of Republics with its written constitution limiting the scope and power of the Federal government as a means of protecting its liberty. This was in sharp contrast to the Northern majority section that sought to use clever political stratagems to seize control of the Federal government. Once in control of the central government, it would enlarge Federal power over the States of the minority section and then at last seize control of the minority section and rule America in a manner that best befitted its commercial, economic, political and social interests. Here we see the philosophies of the two Americas: One section believed in the benefits of government; while the other section feared the destructive and oppressive power of government. One section viewed the original Constitution as a living and socially evolving document that should be changed at the whim of politicians and politically appointed judges; the other section looked to the Constitution as a contract between two diverse peoples in which those two peoples set strict limits on the scope of power of the Federal government, while reserving unto themselves all powers not specifically delegated to the Federal government. The most significant reserved right held by the minority section was the right to void the contract and establish a new government if their reserved rights were threatened. The marriage, i.e., union of the numerically superior commercial North with the numerical minority of the agricultural South was anything but a marriage made in Heaven.

One Happy Indivisible Nation

The question of whether or not two peoples so diverse could peacefully co-exist within one nation hung over the deliberations on the ratification of the Constitution set before the Sovereign States in 1787. Patrick Henry, Virginia’s vocal anti-Federalist, tried to block the ratification because he foresaw a time when the interest of the people of the South would be dominated by the interest of the people of the North. Henry saw America as two distinct and opposing peoples. He predicted that should the South enter into a union with a people whose commercial interests were opposed to the agricultural interest of the South, eventually the people of the South would be dominated by the people of the North. Most Americans would excuse this inherent conflict by pointing to slavery and then announcing triumphantly that the “Civil War” settled our differences—we are now one, grand, united and happy American family. Really—let’s test this politically correct gospel of Federal Imperialism.

A recent study published by the Pew Research Center

[1]documents the continuing distinction between the America of the South and the America of the North. It must be noted that the Pew Research Center’s study was not an effort to document this continuing North-South distinctiveness. The subheading for their study is “Political Landscape More Favorable to Democrats.” Nevertheless, using their data we can demonstrate the fact that there are two Americas—but not the “two Americas” liberals are so fond of talking about. The Pew data demonstrates two Americas with very different social and political core values. For example chart number 1 is constructed from data in the Pew findings relative to the number of white evangelical, i.e., Christian, conservatives in the GOP nationwide. The Northern average (the average of all reported states less the Southern States) is 21% whereas the Southern average is 36%. Every Southern State has a larger number of “conservatives” who are self-described as white, evangelicals than the Northern average. This is true even for those Southern States such as Maryland, Virginia, and Florida who have a substantial number of “non-Southern citizens.”

Chart number 1 demonstrates that Southern GOP conservatives certainly have a different worldview than their Northern conservative counterparts. This difference is socially very important because that very small red bar on the left of the graph represents the Northern conservative faction in the “conservative” Republican Party that dominates the social will of “we the people” residing in every State listed to the right of that red bar! Remember Patrick Henry’s warning about being in a union with people with dissimilar interests? That was then but this is now! Same song—different verse.

The Pew data documents that Southern conservatives in the Republican Party have a higher concern for social values than the majority of Northern conservatives in the Republican Party. Chart number 2 demonstrates that Southern Democrats are less liberal than their Northern counterpart.

The Pew research data demonstrated that approximately 34% of Northern Democrats self-described themselves as liberal. This stands in contrast to Southern Democrats where only 25% self-described themselves as liberal. Note again that, except for Virginia, every Southern State to the right of the red bar is lower than the national average. Virginia is equal to the national average. Virginia and the other two Southern States that have “enjoyed” non-Southern immigration have the highest liberal scores. Whether Southerners are in the party of the Hillary Clinton or the party of George Bush, Southern values are marginalized. Southerners are used for the votes they bring the national (read as Northern) parties but as a practical matter Southern core values have little influence in the elected government when those values clash with the interest of the Northern majority. The South is allowed the appearance of self-government but only so long as said self-government does not conflict with the interest of the Northern nation. The will of “we the people” of the South is dominated by those whose interests are radically different than the interests of the people of the South. Apologists for the Federal Empire will deny this but what do the facts show?

The Facade of Representative Government

The people of the South do not have representative government; what Southerners have is a façade of representative government. To see the results of this façade all one need do is to contrast the voting pattern of the United States Congress with the votes of the elected representatives from the former thirteen Confederate States. Begin with key issues subsequent to 1965—after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of that year. What will be seen is something similar to the Pew data—the Southern representatives in Congress vote consistently more conservative than the liberal Northern majority. But the point that is imperative to understand is that Southern representatives were consistently on the losing side when issues that were key to the social interests of “we the people” of the South were at stake! In other words, the consent of the governed in the South has been consistently overruled and suppressed by the will of the more liberal Northern majority. Consider the sharp differences in voting patterns of Southern and non-Southern delegates in Congress: (1) 1990 act to increase legal immigration, non-Southern delegates voted 31% no, Southern delegates 53% no (act passed over the objections of the South); (2) 1994 assault weapons ban, non-Southern delegates voted 49% no, Southern delegates 66% no (the bill passed over the objections of the South), (3) 1985 bill to restrict the Federal court’s involvement in school prayer issues, non-Southern delegates voted 63% against restricting the Federal courts, Southern delegates 72% in favor of restricting the Federal courts (liberals in favor of using Federal courts to restrict religion in schools overrode the will of the people of the South); (4) vote to ban forced busing[2] and (5) the recent extension of the anti-South Voting Right Act of 1965, both passed against the will of Southern delegates to Congress.

The South finds itself in a similar condition to colonial Ireland. Although allowed votes in Parliament, the Irish were always overruled by the majority votes of the British Empire. Thus, the Irish demanded Independence because they understood that the Imperial majority held their interests hostage.

Likewise, the people of the South have the appearance of democratic representation in Congress but in reality Southern core values have never stood a chance in the Northern dominated Federal Congress. The Southern position has been and continues to be similar to that of two Northern wolves and one Southern lamb voting on what to have for supper!

The electoral votes available to the “Civil War” Northern states and the “Civil War” Southern States is yet another measurement of the South’s political captivity.

A review of Tables 1 & 2 will reveal that the old Northern states are only 15 electoral votes away from naming the president in any presidential election. The South, on the other hand is 76 votes away from electing a president. The conservative South will never be able to elect a president who truly represents its core values. To win a presidential election the “Civil War” North, needing only 15 more electoral votes, need only look to the states of Washington with a liberal index of 44 and holding 11 electoral votes and Colorado with a liberal index of 39 and holding 9 electoral votes. The North can win by leveraging its liberal core values.

The only way the South can “win” is to forego allegiance to its core values and support a national Republican carpetbagger candidate such as George W. Bush. The national Republican Party holds the South hostage—Southerners either accept the GOP’s favorite neo-conservative or else she can look forward to being ruled by scalawag presidents such as Lyndon Baines Johnson and Bill Clinton!

Rosie O’Donnell’s America

The existence of two Americas, one Northern and one Southern, was also demonstrated in a recent study of charitable giving in America. This study documents that Southerners give much more to charitable causes than do their Northern counterparts. Indeed the people of Mississippi, the poorest state in the Federal Empire, give more to charity than the people of the rich state of Massachusetts! Remember that Mississippi’s evangelical/conservative index was reported as 54% and her liberal index was reported as 25% whereas Massachusetts’ index was 9% (Evang/Con) and 37% (Liberal). Here we see stark evidence of the influence that core values have on the social actions of two very different people. Yet the people of Massachusetts (the Barney Franks and Teddy Kennedys) in league with their ideological fellows in other Northern states dominate the political will of the people of Mississippi and her sister states of the South. To most “Americans” it is not unusual to have a political system where the majority in the North force their will upon the minority in the South—“it’s the way things have always been.” The publication of the results of the charitable giving study caused no small amount of consternation among Northern liberals. After all, the liberal establishment’s press and Hollywood are constantly reminding America, “Liberals care more for people than conservatives.” But now the irony; along comes a study documenting that Southerners living in the poorest part of America, the very seat of traditional American Christianity and conservatism, are voluntarily giving far in excess to that of the people living in the virtuous and prosperous North. In their relative poverty Southerners are out-giving prosperous liberal Northerners. Such facts had to be “explained” and whom better to explain than the one contemporary American who typifies Northern liberalism—Rosie O’Donnell.

Shortly after the charitable giving results were released and picked up by numerous news sources it became a topic of discussion on the daytime television program ‘The View.’ Rosie quickly dismissed the thought that perhaps Northern liberals were not as caring as they claim by declaring that of course liberals do not give to charities because liberals work to make sure government provides for the needy! Rosie’s America is a place where big government forces huge tax levies upon productive people to pay for government programs for special interest groups. Rosie’s America is one in which private property is held at the tax collector’s discretion. Rosie’s America is a place in which America’s politicians, the majority of whom are elected by the Northern liberal majority, decide how best to redistribute peoples’ income. Rosie’s America is a place where public dependency has replaced individual responsibility. Rosie’s America is a place where nanny government has replaced family responsibility. Rosie’s America is a place where faith in god-government has replaced faith in the living God. Rosie’s America is the opposite of Thomas Jefferson’s America, a place where government would rest so lightly upon its citizens that they would hardly feel its presence. Again the distinction between the two Americas, the liberal North and the Christian conservative South, is about the differing core values and attitudes toward the role of government in society. Southerners would prefer to live in Thomas Jefferson’s America but the liberal national majority forces the South to accept its assigned place in Rosie’s America.

But Does All of This Really Make Any Difference?

Some would argue that traditional Southern conservatives—those who adhere to the political philosophy espoused by Southerners such as John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson—are out of touch with reality. “That was then, this is now,” they caustically proclaim as they consign traditional Southern conservative values to the trash bin of history. “Current reality,” they patronizingly assert, “requires us to work with today’s American political system—and anyway, people are no longer interested in such arcane Jeffersonian arguments.” They argue that Southerners are no longer interested in constitutional government, limiting the scope of Federal intrusion into our society, or defending their personal liberty. The assumption they promote is that the South is no different than the rest of America. In general, they assert, the people of the South have the same desires, opinions, hopes, and fears as the rest of America. Of course they must maintain this position because it is the only way they can justify Northern liberal majority rule imposed upon the Southern people.

For the sake of discussion let us assume they are right. Let us assume that the Southern people are just as dumbed-down as other Americans; assume that the social rot and corruption that is typified by Hollywood is equally shared by Southerners; assume that the people of the South are just as concerned about advancing the civil rights of homosexuals as the people in Rosie’s America; assume that Southerners have renounced their proud traditions of limited Federalism, States’ Rights, local self-government, and personal responsibility before a living God—assume all of this and then see if the people of the South are “better off” as a result of abandoning the faith of their Colonial and Confederate Fathers.

In the materialistic world of Rosie’s America money is still the bottom line. Rosie, as with all socialists and liberals, avoids giving her money to charities because she wants to use the police power of government’s tax collector to expropriate other people’s money to use for those social causes that liberal political elites determine as worthy of your money. The impact of taxes and inflation (a hidden tax)[3] are negligible for those with high income and close connections with those who hold the power of government. People who must live on relatively smaller incomes and who have no close connections with the powers-that-be in government bear a disproportionately larger share of the cost of government. In Rosie’s America “we the people of the South” have a much lower per capita income than the people in the rest of the country. Liberals have used slavery and segregation as an explanation as to why so many Southerners have a lower personal income when compared to the rest of America. One would think that the economic expansion enjoyed by the nation in the 142 years since the close of the “War” would have eliminated the presumed economic disadvantage of slavery. Add to that the money government has spent fighting poverty since the removal of government-enforced segregation laws—estimates run from 600 Billion up to 7 Trillion dollars[4]—and one would certainly think that the funding of liberal/socialist social engineering projects would have removed the taint of poverty from the South. So the question is again asked: “Are the people of the South better off in Rosie’s America—better off than they would be if they were living in Thomas Jefferson’s America?” Chart number 3 answers this most important question with a resounding NO!

No, the people of the South are not better off as a result of being obedient subjects in Rosie’s America. The per capita income for the U.S.A. is $30,472.00 whereas the Southern per capita income is $26,260.00—16% less! With the exception of Maryland and Virginia every Southern State is below the national per capita income. The reason for the higher levels of income for Virginia and Maryland is explained by looking at the per capita income for those residing in the nation’s capitol—it pays to have close political connections with those who control the empire’s perks and privileges! Virginia and Maryland have large numbers of these government functionaries residing within their borders, thereby artificially raising their per capita income. Even if we assume the people of the South have sold or rejected their inheritance of Jeffersonian liberty for the promise of being part of the prosperous nation—we are still left with the cruel fact that our “fellow” Americans have not delivered on their promise. Once again the data demonstrates two Americas—the prosperous liberal Northern nation and the impoverished South.

The Insidious Consequences of Self-Delusion

Why do the people of the South continue to tolerate and support the political system that systematically oppresses their core values and liberty? The Northern liberal majority can afford to tolerate their peculiar subjects in Dixie but can the people of Dixie afford to continue accepting political domination? Southerners can continue to delude themselves by asserting that they are part of “one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all”—and with passionate patriotism break into yet another stanza of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Patriotism to a nation-state that rejects core Southern values is the opium used by politicians and neo-conservative talking heads to allay Southern discontent. To maintain a pacified South, the national majority must continually labor to repress the truth that a Republic based on liberty is not indivisible. Jeffersonian republicans understand that only empires are indivisible and all too often empires are held together at the point of a bloody bayonet. Regardless of how often pacified Southerners hold their hands over their hearts and pledge fidelity to a nation that promises “justice for all” it will not change the fact that Southerners will never receive justice in the present Northern liberal dominated political system. Self-delusion is the prerequisite to self-destruction. With each passing election the South becomes less like the traditional Christian conservative South and more like the liberal Northern nation. Each year Dixie devolves into an impoverished Southern version of Rosie’s America. How long will the people of the South continue to cooperate with those who hate the very core values by which Southerners define their society?

There are two Americas in the United States today: Rosie’s America of the Northern liberal majority that can afford to wait for the slow demise of the other America; and the other America of traditional Jeffersonian conservatives that with each passing generation forgets or foregoes its inheritance of Christianity and of Liberty. The second America cannot afford an indefinite wait—a radical change must take place in the thinking of the Southern people if they are to survive and pass their inheritance of constitutional liberty and Christianity to the next generation. The opium of blind, unthinking, memorized, patriotism must be rejected and replaced with allegiance to the principle of liberty. Patrick Henry’s observation must become the South’s reason for being: “The first thing I have at heart is American liberty; the second thing is American union” or as John C. Calhoun declared “The Union, next to our liberties—most dear.”

Evidence abounds demonstrating that there are two Americas. Recently ESPN conducted a poll asking whether the people of South Carolina should be allowed to fly the Confederate flag on their state capitol grounds. Voters from Southern States voted overwhelmingly in favor of flying the Confederate flag, while voters from Northern States voted against flying the Confederate flag in South Carolina. Another poll conducted by Fox News regarding gun rights demonstrated 62 percent of Southerners are gun owners whereas only 27 percent of Northeasterners own guns. Yet, the Northern majority has the power to encroach at will upon the Second Amendment rights of Southerners—majority rule! The people of the South must accept their position as a dominated minority in Rosie’s America or be willing to make a radical change in their efforts of defending Southern core values.

The radical change needed will not come from business-as-usual conservatives. Every conservative politician has a vested interest in preserving the status quo—they can be expected to fight against radical change more so than their liberal counterpart. If radical change is to come it will come from a true outsider—someone who has no vested interest in maintaining the status quo, someone interested in replacing the current political model with one based on liberty! It is not a matter of can it be done—it is a matter of should it be done. It is often said that “silence gives consent.” Will the people of the South continue to silently consent to having their values dominated by the numerical majority of Rosie’s America? Will they continue their insidious acts of self-delusion? Or will they rise up and declare that they will no longer be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”[5] Deo Vindice.

James Ronald Kennedy is Vice President of Risk Management for a Louisiana based insurance company. He holds a Master’s in Health Administration from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the author of Reclaiming Liberty and co-author with his twin brother of The South Was Right! and other pro-liberty books. Visit his web site <www.kennedytwins.com>


[1] The Pew Research Center, Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007, www.people-press.org , pulled March 28, 2007

[2] Kennedy & Kennedy, Was Jefferson Davis Right? (Gretna, La.: Pelican, 1998), 1998, p. 274

[3] James Ronald Kennedy, Reclaiming Liberty, (Gretna, La.: Pelican, 2005), pp. 127-145

[4] ibid, pp. 134 & 106

[5] 2 Corinthians 6: 14, Holy Bible, KJV

On The Web: http://www.southerncaucus.org/rosie.htm