The parallels occurring in America between the 2012 election year, what is occurring in America as a nation and in the South, and the events of 150 years ago are startling.
While most Americans have some knowledge of the GOP Primary, few have any idea of the Sesquicentennial (the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War) and the events occurring in the Southern movement. And yet, what is occurring is like mirror reflections of one another.
Let’s start with what most people know about, the GOP primary. Mitt Romney is the sweetheart of the northeast Republicans. He is super rich, someone keenly involved in the international economy. He is a social liberal, the father of Romney Care, the proto type of Obama Care. He is not Christian, or atleast his faith, Mormonism, is not Christian and this suits the northeast elite who revile the Christian faith. God has no place at the governing table. Heavily Catholic in the northeast, it is also heavily liberal. Abortion starts and ends there, along with feminism.
There is a strong Jewish constituency in the northeast, and though divided on many issues, many Jews see America as an extension of Israel. Not the other way around… American foreign policy revolves around Israel. We are in two wars, and threatening a third for Israel’s security not our own.
Former Governor of a blue, dark blue state, Mitt Romney is keenly aware of all the above.
But Romney can’t win a majority of Republican votes anywhere. He has spent maybe twenty million dollars and the best he can do is garner about 35% of the vote in any state. Why? Because the conservative core of the Party rejects him. It’s instinctual. It’s not Rush, or Hannity. They have no effect on this. Neither does Beck, a Mormon who I would bet is committed to Romney. Beck has backed away recently, but his fangs have already shown.
So if the conservative base will not support Romney in the Primaries how is it that the GOP elite think Romney can beat Obama? ( Maybe they don’t, but that’s for a different article. ) Because the Republican elite, the Neo Cons, the Karl Roves, the Bush’s, et. el figure the conservatives have nowhere else to go. If Romney is the nominee, if he is forced on the party, they will have no choice but support him. Some conservatives may stay home, but the Republican elite just can’t believe enough of the conservative base would stay home, or vote for Obama to give the Democrats the win. So conservatives…once again, as you have time and again, you will have to accept the lesser of two evils. You know like McCain and Bob Dole, this is the best we can do. Suck it up! ( an old Army expression.)
For most of us conservatives we know the story. Its burned in our political memories.
Well, the parallel is in the South. For most of the nation the Sesquicentennial doesn’t mean much. Many Americans ancestors arrived after the war. Italians, central Europeans, Greeks, and almost all the Latino’s have no direct connection to the war, or the division of the nation. In fact, most of these people have no connection to the founding of the nation. They came for material wealth, not liberty and freedom. In their mind, government is supposed to provide. The Tenth Amendment, what’s that?
But in the South, where there is a tie to Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy, and southern nationalism, the Sesquicentennial is more than a minor occurrence. If you have ever seen the movie “Sweet Home Alabama” it accurately portrays what occurs in the South every year! The Sesquicentennial is NOT the only time reenactments occur, it’s just when the biggest ones do. A special effort is made.
Recent work at Texas A & M on genealogical formula’s indicates that between 50 and 80 million Americans have blood that traces back to a Southern ancestor. That would be one sixth to one fourth of all Americans. Pretty sizeable crew.
But the Sesquicentennial is occurring during the Obama Presidency and there seems to be a real effort, though hidden and underground, to reduce the Southern Pride. Example; the Museum of the Confederacy (M.o.C.) Located in the heart of Richmond, the capitol of the Olde Confederacy, the Museum occupies prized ground that surrounding hospitals or other businesses want. The pressure has been on them a long time to get out. So, this year, the M.o.C. opens its first extension. Many of us believe the opening of the extensions will allow the Museum to leave Richmond eventually.
But the selection for the first opening is evidence that Yankee interests have invested the museum.
Is the first opening in the lovely Shenandoah where Jackson beat three Union armies in one campaign? No. Oh I know, it’s off Interstate 95 at Chancellorsville, the site of Lee’s greatest victory! NO. OK, maybe up closer to Washington, D.C. on the Manassas battlefield where the Confederacy won two major battles? Nope. So where?
Appomattox, the place where General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. You are kidding! For a Southerner, only Andersonville could be a worse location!
Nope, it’s Appomattox. A location more than an hour from any interstate! A location not heavily visited. Great plan don’t you think? Take the musuem out of Richmond and put it out in the middle of nowhere?
But the subtle attack on the Confederacy gets better. No Confederate flags will fly on poles outside the Museum of the Confederacy! Not one.
But hey, you Southerners dig into your pockets and shell out some money for the M.o.C.
The fight in the South goes well beyond this.
At THE CITADEL, in Charleston, South Carolina, where the cadets of this school fired the first shots of the war, this school played Dixie as its fight song at football games in the 70′s. Confederate naval ensigns flew proudly on the RV’s and cars outside the stadium at the cookouts before the game. Crimson red dominated the area surrounding the stadium
Crimson red still dominates, but it’s not the Confederate battle flag. And Dixie, well you don’t hear that one anymore. THE CITADEL is not the only culprit. The University of Texas at Arlington, which used to be Arlington State College, and was known as the Rebels where Dixie was also played, is now the U.T.A. Mavericks. The effort to erase Southern history proceeds unabated. The heritage organizations responsible for defending the Cause, overwhelmed or apathetic shrink in inactivity. Oh yes, every once in awhile you will hear about a Court case. But with a potential base of 50 – 80 million Americans you would think they could make more than a whisper.
Where Gettysburg in Pennsylvania nets three hundred million in tourist monies every year, employing 6,000 people, battlefields in the South are hidden. When you drive into a Southern state go to their Visitor’s center and look through the brochures for Maps about the Civil War. Probably won’t find them. They are there but you have to ask at the counter. The north can prosper from the war, but the South…nope.
Groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy treat Southern patriots like the GOP treats their conservative core. You have nowhere else to go so suck it up!
Ok, so why are you writing this article? Well Republicans remember you thought the conservatives would have no choice? If there is a parallel between the South and the GOP you better rethink that.
In the South, since the heritage organizations would not fight for the South, new groups have spontaneously arisen, and you know what. Much of the activists in these groups are members of the heritage organizations who are tired of inactivity and defeat without a fight. They are in the streets, and they call themselves Flaggers. They reject the passivity and leadership of the heritage organizations. They are causing more pressure on the enemies of the South, and getting more attention then anyone can believe. They are only a handful, but in a South tired of being kicked they are growing.
Well, the same could happen in November at the ballot box.
Sarah Palin is still with us. A candidacy by her would end Romney, nominee or not.
History does repeat itself…but this time the history is simultaneous. Patriotism is not dead. Individuals willing to fight for what they think is right, and who are tired of sorry leadership are on the move. Will it snowball? Let’s watch.