This essay was first published in Southern Partisan in the Winter, 1985.
Southerners rarely while away their leisure hours by contemplating
Yankees, for there is no point in thinking of unpleasant things if one
is not obliged to do so. Yet the practice does have value; to some
extent, at least, we are defined by those attributes which set us apart
from others, and sometimes we can be made aware of such attributes only
by observing people who do not share them. Another virtue of thinking
about Yankees, in the long run perhaps a more important one, is that it
serves to remind us that they have repeatedly tried to make us over in
their own image. Indeed, though it may seem that they have been off our
backs since the demise of the civil rights movement, their latest
campaign to reform us is actually well under way.
What is there about us that has made us so offensive to them? Or,
conversely, what is there about them that has compelled them to meddle
in our affairs? The late great Richard M. Weaver, in The Southern Tradition at Bay,
addressed himself to analyzing the qualities that distinguish the South
from North, and for the nineteenth century he was perfectly on target.
“The North had Tom Paine and his postulates assuming the virtuous
inclinations of man,” Weaver wrote; “the South had Burke and his
doctrine of human fallibility and of the organic nature of society.” The
North embraced rationalism and egalitarianism; the South had a “deep
suspicion of all theory, perhaps of intellect,” and clung to a
hierarchical and deferential social order. The North bowed down before
science and material progress; the South “persisted in regarding science
as a false messiah,” and remained into “our own time” (the 1940s) “the last non-materialist civilization in the Western World.”
If you support Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Darrel Castle or none of the above, one thing is certain come November 9.
The general government still won't follow the Constitution and real federalism won't exist.
Both are as dead as a man after two doctors have visited him.
Certainly there are more preferable election outcomes. Trump has not just rocked the boat. He has tipped it over. The political class is scrambling for life jackets and more Americans are looking to third parties and non-establishment types.
It still won't be a total victory no matter who wins.
Our political class does not have statesman.
Where have you gone Mr. Jefferson? or Mr. Calhoun? or Mr. Macon? or Mr. Randolph?
Our modern "constitutional scholars" do not match St. George Tucker, John Taylor of Caroline, Spencer Roane, or Abel Upshur. We have Barack Obama and Elena Kagan. Big drop off.
We are a ship lost at sea with no compass. Our anchor broke off years ago. We are adrift, in need of rescue, and no one person, however charismatic, bombastic, or corrupt can do that.
Our political tradition might as well have been crafted in 1975. Anything before that meets only scorn from modern "historians."
In the beginning, there was international women's year (January 1, 1975).
But our anchor can still be dredged up. It might be stuck in years of mud, rusty and covered with barnacles, but it's chain is heavy and its material strong and sound.
It is the Southern tradition, the bedrock of the American political system.
We need your help to bring it up. Only education can save the South and the Southern tradition from years of sediment.
A donation to our cause, no matter how small, can help us explore what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition and move that tradition into the 21st century.
Find our anchor, for you, for your children, for your grandchildren.
FBI agents across the country are continuing to actively pursue a broad
political corruption investigation of the Clinton Foundation, a probe
that is consuming the resources in the FBI’s Little Rock, Ark., field
office where every agent assigned to public corruption matters now is
working on the case, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative
Group has learned.
“If I don’t win, this will be the greatest waste of time, money and energy in my lifetime,” says Donald Trump.
Herewith, a dissent. Whatever happens Tuesday, Trump has made history and has forever changed American politics.
Though a novice in politics, he captured the Party of Lincoln with
the largest turnout of primary voters ever, and he has inflicted wounds
on the nation’s ruling class from which it may not soon recover.
Bush I and II, Mitt Romney, the neocons and the GOP commentariat all
denounced Trump as morally and temperamentally unfit. Yet, seven of
eight Republicans are voting for Trump, and he drew the largest and most
enthusiastic crowds of any GOP nominee.