[with bygones to those living in Red states everywhere ...]
When I was a little city mouse, my country cousin came to stay; she was not quite right, with developmental issues and rickets caused by early nutrition problems. Adopted by elderly and religious parents that were totally unprepared to raise a flirtatious teen in the 60s, they sent her on to the progressive side of the family.
Newly arrived from Texarkana, she was promptly dubbed “Tex.” She was older than me, socially inappropriate, embarrassing to a fault and always too loud. Now I’m going to say something really mean: I was THRILLED when she finally left. It took well over a year, one in which every day was painful to my fledgling adolescent sensitivities. She was part of me and mine, I developed an enormous amount of patience to deal with her but — at a critical time in my ‘becoming’ — she was a hindrance I simply couldn’t overcome.
I feel the same way now about the South.
Those of you who have read me over the years know I have no love for the Federalists. These are the states rights people, anxious to protect their little corner of privilege and power. We’ve seen a lot of that recently. In fact, with the rise of the church folk back in the 90s, the states have been flexing their muscles in a way reminiscent of the mid-19th century.
My state, for instance, is trying to pass a law to declare any federal gun laws put into place void, should they occur — this is called “nullification” and it isn’t constitutional. States don’t care, they do it anyway; they have since way back … and way WAY back, a good many of them did so as “the ultimate act of treason.”
When the North finally won that war, Lincoln was prepared to be even-handed with the South. All that was put to bed by one disgruntled Southerner, John Wilkes Booth. Abe’s replacement, Andrew Johnson, was unable to establish a moderate plan for rehabbing a conquered enemy, rolled over by Radical Republicans who insisted on a pound of flesh for their wartime troubles. This led to a period known as the Reconstruction, for which the South has still not forgiven the Fates that betrayed them nor the rest of the nation for its participation.
They’re taking their vengeance now, re-dividing the country along the Mason/Dixon line as well as those invisible barriers established by the culture wars. They’ve fought our black president to a standstill, and they’re not through.
The first read that follows is what I tell myself when I’m exhausted, annoyed, and impatient:
- Hell, let ‘em go, we can’t convince them. Give ‘em Texas … and Georgia and Florida and South Carolina, where they’ll back their lying, philandering ex-governor — creepy Mark Sanford, oozing Christian platitudes and dragging his mistress behind him — the moment big anonymous money goes after moderate Dem. Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, branding her a liberal abortionist with a police record. If they can’t rise above the muck, let them wallow in it.
The next tells you about nullification; who’s trying, who’s fighting it. Then, read about the new NRA President and the “War of Northern Aggression.” Great Balls of Fire!
Whoever said “the South shall rise again” got it right — and the WHOLE WORLD is paying a very heavy price for their latest attempt.
None of this solves the problem of our schism, of course — nothing here is particularly productive. Think of it as a whine of frustration, out into the night!
Memo to the South: Go Ahead, Secede Already!
Lee Siegel, the Daily Beast
Apr 30, 2013
Let’s face it—on nearly every important issue, from gun control to immigration to gay marriage, red states are holding America back. Lee Siegel on why the South should get the hell out of the union.
Let’s not be fooled by all the bipartisan rhetoric that has been streaming out of the GOP since Romney’s self-destruction. Hundreds of thousands of petitioners in a handful of red states still want to secede? Well, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
A solid block of Southern states continues to refuse to expand Medicaid, thus squashing one of the linchpins of the president’s health-care reform. The South will likely be the last and most stubborn battleground in the fight for gay marriage. Gun control? The more the two sides seem to get cozier with each other, the faster gun-control legislation gets watered down—and more and more red states are passing laws making it legal to carry a concealed weapon. As for immigration, the red states seem to be relaxing their anti-immigrant fervor, but nothing approaching new legislation is even on the horizon.
The sad truth is that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” can only be achieved at this point if the nation is split in half. Far from being fanciful or fanatical, the proponents of secession have a stronger grasp of political reality than just about anyone else. In fact, there are serious reasons why the North itself should take the lead in a secessionist movement.