Monday, December 11, 2006

National Loyalty

I had to go to Wal-Mart last night, to get a new flapper ball for a toilet tank. The local Wal-Mart is only about a mile and a half from our house, so it takes less than 5 minutes to get there.

While I was driving last night, I saw a pick-up truck with personalized tags that read: CSA-USA.

This is the subject of today's post.

I am of the opinion that you can't have divided loyalties.

Someone that pines for the days of the Confederacy is decidedly anti-American. You can't profess your love for the United States while professing love for, or loyalty to, a rebellious entity that attempted to fracture that United States and it's duly constituted government by force of arms.

In my opinion, people that express their desire for the south to rise again, and other rebel crap like that, are disloyal. They should never be granted security clearances as they are risks to national security. They should never be allowed to rise past the rank of Major in the armed forces, they should never be allowed command responsibilities in any major police force. They should never be allowed Judgeship's, or be allowed to serve in any elected office, whether it be state, local or federal.

Due to A. Lincoln's untimely murder (at the hands of a secessionist dead-ender) and the ascension of Andrew Johnson (of North Carolina), the secessionist rebels were let off the hook too easily after wars end. I believe that All rebel politicians and officers, including the overrated Robert E. Lee, should have been hanged for treason and sedition, instead of being allowed to return home.

As most of you know, I live in Virginia, a decidedly southern, "red", state (well, Commonwealth really, but I digress. The part of the state that I reside in is commonly referred to as "Northern Virginia".

If you were looking at a map, you would figure that "Northern Virginia" would consist of the the following counties: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon, and Prince William, and the City of Alexandria.

It is eastern Prince William County in which I reside. If you consult a map, find Washington, DC, then find Interstate 95 and follow it south for about 25 miles. That is Prince William County, which is what I like to refer to as the border between the north and south, the Mason-Dixon line notwithstanding.

Here in Prince William, You will find no small number of people that have license plates or stickers on their cars that recall their fondness for the old days, with some fanciful belief that their lives would be better if their ancestors hadn't done such a poor job during the war.

People often think that southerners are more patriotic than other groups of Americans. From where I sit, nothing could be further from the truth.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post should be construed to to indicate that I dislike southerners. That is certainly not the case.


Janet M. Kincaid said...

I just--well, okay, a month and a half ago, but who cares?--finished a road trip that took me through Virginia, both Carolinas, and Georgia. When I crossed into South Carolina, I saw a billboard I wish I'd pulled over and taken a picture of. I can't remember the exact wording, but the gist was "The South Will Rise Again and We Should be Proud, Proud, Proud of Our Southern (read: Confederate) Heritage."

I felt like I'd stepped into the twilight zone. And yet, there are many Southerners who truly, devotedly believe that one day the South will rise up and be victorious over the Northern Yankee oppressor.

Interestingly--and this might surprise you--in some parts of Maryland, you'll find similar sentiments. The guy who did all the electrical in the renovated house I bought is a descendent of Dr. Mudd, the man who harbored John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

Southern pride is a real thing and alive and well. And it scares me, too.

Tasha said...

That secessionist mindset confuses me. I've noticed that those people tend to be the most overtly patriotic--very pro war on terror if you will. But I don't understand how they can think that way while at the same time support a splintering of our country.

All of that hardcore Southern Pride makes me wonder if soon we're going to be making a return to an ugly period in our history with lynch mobs and mini-militias all over the place. Let us pray.

Kelley said...

When I first moved to Virginia from Texas, the first cultural difference I noticed was how so many of the cars sported NASCAR stickers and Confederate flags.

I think all of the Confederacy crap is thinly veiled racism, and it's disgusting. I imagine they're all toothless rednecks with multiple cars rusting on their "front lawns" (or whatever you call that patch of grass in front of the trailer).

Gunfighter said...

"I think all of the Confederacy crap is thinly veiled racism..."

I think you are right.

" imagine they're all toothless rednecks with multiple cars rusting on their "front lawns" (or whatever you call that patch of grass in front of the trailer)."

Not so fast, Kelley. You might be surprised about how many of the people that have these stickers drive regular cars, live in regular houses, are educated, and have white collar jobs.

Mel said...

That's depressing. Not surprising, mind you, just depressing.
I keep hoping that when our generation holds the reins of power in this country, some of that mentality will slide away. And when our children's generation holds the reins, a little more, and so on.
Obviously, stupidity as a disease is epidemic in this country, and one of the most obvious symptoms of stupidity is racism. Er, Confederate sympathies, I mean.
Yeah. Confederate sympathies. That's right.

WordsRock said...

Well gee. I don't have a sticker on my car, but I do have a oversized ceramic replica of a confederate coin hanging on my dining room wall. My grandmother, a New Yorker transplanted to the deep south, crafted it.

I don't display it out of loyalty to the confederate south, but out of familial respect. Yes, my family is southern. It's not fondness for the old days, but a reminder of what our country has been through to get wherever the hell it is we are going.

Janet said...

I imagine that displays of Confederate sympathies in Virginia are annoying. Displays of Confederate sympathies in Michigan, however, are just plain stupid. I was particularly disgusted by an article in the local paper about a high school student in a suburb of Flint who was defending his right to fly a Confederate flag at school because it was "part of his heritage" because he was a fan of country music. I just wanted to drive over there, shake him and shout, "You're a Yankee! Get over it!" Personally, I'm proud to be a Yankee and I am disgusted that a Michigander would want to be anything else.

Gunfighter said...

Welcome, Mel! Stick around if you like. I'll try not to bore you.


Don't get the idea that I meant that having a relic around or a familial thing in the house is a bad thing... I don't think for a minute that you spend your time parading around with some stupid Confederate banner aound your shoulders or anything like that.

Grimm said...

GF, just wanted to say - another great post.

Seems to me there are some issues of ignorance when it comes to the Confederate flag. Nowadays there some that display it because it is the "in" thing to do and it supposedly looks cool.

It could almost be considered like a secret that goes through the grapevine, what is said (or done) in that era gets twisted and molded to fits individuals viewpoints then passed on again.

Neither is right mind you, but I think there are many that are displaying the colors out of sheer ignorance.

Sorry for the long post.

fivelks said...

You know, it’s Abe’s birthday. He’s 199 today, and has seen much. I think that I owe him my own form of salutation. Especially regarding that greatest and rarely subtle form of American political iconographic pollution, the reb flag.

I'm a white midwestern Union/Yankee of some seven generations of the same, a conservative educator who has become gut-sick of the notion that south-sympathizing is anything more than a spin for the laissez-faire desired toward their racial domination -- this, in the name of sound agri-business. Their ownership and documented malicious treatment of fellow humans ("property" as they preferred to consider their slaves, and as was absurdly supported under Dred Scott) and their self-righteous so-called "right" to conduct their business as founded upon such bullshit subjugation, became undisguised cultural hypocrisy writ large, and one for which they inevitably paid the due price.

And I'm not even a liberal. I’m pretty much a Federalist, with little tolerance for the disingenuous American mantra of “states’ rights.” It generally comes across as a way of saying “me before country; my locals will understand…..and all politics are local, right?”

Hostile toward this foreign quarter of the United States? Hardly. We love traveling the beautiful areas of Virginia and the Carolinas (and have the substantial credit-card receipts to prove it), but whenever we think about such an Eden to which we might retire, we are always sleeve-tugged, by some event or conversation, with the remembrance that entire regions of these folks would likely never have us Yankees for neighbors. They're too busy still licking the wounds. Nor are we asking for liberals, even in the restaurants of Charleston or in the visits to Williamsburg and Yorktown, or on visits to the courthouse and beautiful grounds at Appomattox; we just think there exists out there a slim chance that somehow the South will take a greater identity in a renewal of -- or, better, upon it's greater propensity for -- decency (Lincoln aid it far better when, in reference to blue or gray, he invoked “the angels of our better nature“), rather than in reticence and a pridefulness which pretends to be wounded in the name of many folks (CSA soldiers, and their non-military confederacy sympathizers of both that day and this) to whom thousands of our contemporary late-comers to the South are not even related.

A further point, this time fairly concisely related here, is that no person in this or any other country who is of African descent, and ESPECIALLY those of African-American descent, should ever for one moment tolerate or countenance the presence, or the underlying meaning and context, of that swastika-like parallel of our southern past, the Confederate flag. [I actually saw one of these on the jacket of a black biker in Michigan a few years back; incredible.]

Them weren't good ol' days, Johnny Reb. [Even the ante-bellum U.S. was not a grand old place; it was a stress-laced, highly charged political keg of dynamite, as events would soon enough prove……Buchanan just stuck his head in the sand and waited for the day he could grab his bags and get the sam-hell out of DC.] Check your ancestors' Reconstruction-period diaries if you don't believe me. Check your graveyard registries for any cemetery in Dixie which is more than 150 years old and south and/or southeast of the Mason-Dixon line. Check the dates on the thousands upon thousands of those white alabaster or marble eighteen-inch high, arch-topped gravestones; mark the tragedy of their ages, and the proximity in the graveyards where they lay……not to mention the horrifying proximity of their death-dates, if you look closely enough.

Though I might say that I have what one could call a hobby-historian’s appreciation for Robert E. Lee, I find it the ultimate mensa-stroke of psychological strategy on the part of the Federals of the day to have interred upon his property above Arlington the bodies of our Union fallen (everybody’s Union fallen), to illustrate and articulate, politically, whose true responsibility this slaughter was in the final analysis. It’s my understanding that the general never returned there following the war; this needs further checking. He did not live long thereafter.

As some of our bloggers here have intimated, you can't act like patriots getting puffed up about the traditional blessings bestowed upon you by this this one country when in such duplicitous hearts lie two. You didn't fight that war, and your kin who did were cynically fed (and did quite willingly partake of) the greatest of American an enormous (as often as not the ultimate) price. It didn't work even when you had generally superior cavalry, infantry (and you did, for most of the God....and General Lee -- who was anti-slavery and anti-secession -- knew it, too....and still the goober-munchers in Richmond did little while lying or procrastinating incessantly), officers and the huge advantage of homeland knowledge of the still could not prevail, and by far the greatest reason you could not was because it was a monstrous deceit played upon you by your own. [It's why your hubris remains today; an insecure cover for such a cultural and unfounded arrogance and deathly blunder.] Your people invited and cheered the coming of that war, they initiated that war (April 1861; Fort Sumter/Charleston SC), they promoted that war, and they saw to the extermination of hundreds of thousands of your (and, in terms of both sides, our) fellow Americans in the promotion and expediting of that war.

“And the war came.” Lincoln; Second Inaugural Address; 4 March, 1865

Japanese Admiral Yamamoto would say almost exactly eighty years later what you should have realized then -- and did, all too late -- “We have done nothing but to awaken a sleeping giant.” Your own very gifted southern historian and author Shelby Foote said plainly “I think the north fought that war with one hand tied behind it’s back; the South never had a chance of winning that war.” I think it’s worse than that: I think Jeff Davis and his cronies knew this from the outset. I’m certain Robt. E. Lee did.

Lest we forget: Every casualty was an American.

With such salutation at heart, let us herewith agree that Here, Then, Is To The South: To an enormous territory of generations of the custodians of one of the most beautiful places on earth, and one whose inhabitants, though temporarily (and many fatally) deluded, never WEREN'T a part of one nation, under God.

So get that triangulated star-strapped obscenity removed from the American horizon and from the American dream for all time, and join in becoming, what surely our nation needs now more than ever, Americans of one true call and dream at long last.