Long time readers know that Confederacy bashing is an area where I indulge myself in intemperate beliefs; much like I do when it comes to Daylight Saving Time and class basketball. So, you can imagine my reaction when I read a story out of Texas linked to by Sheila Kennedy.
The treasurer of the Hardin County, Texas GOP – and apparently someone involved in the state textbook screening process – is calling for secession.
“We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity.”
“Texas was once its own country, and many Texans already think in nationalist terms about their state,” Morrison continued. “We need to do everything possible to encourage a long-term shift in thinking on this issue. Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years.”
We had this national discussion once before, Mr. Morrison. Your side committed treason against the U.S. in service of the principle that property rights were superior to human rights and liberty rights. And your side lost because it was wrong and weaker.
I cannot recommend highly enough Tony Horwitz’s book “Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War.” The Lost Cause mythology of the Civil War continues to be harmful to this country. It feeds into the feelings of pride and privilege for guys like Hardin and allows them never to address whether the pride and privilege he enjoys are warranted. The Wikipedia entry on Lost Cause introduces it as:
Many white Southerners were devastated economically, emotionally, and psychologically by the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865. Prior to the war, many Southerners proudly felt that their rich military tradition would allow them to prevail in the conflict. When this did not happen, white Southerners sought consolation in attributing their loss to factors beyond their control, such as treachery.
Two thoughts on this – first, it sounds a lot like the “stabbed in the back” mythology in Germany following World War I. Second, the myth of Southern superiority that preceded the war was dashed against reality when that myth was put to the test. Seems like there is a parallel in the pre-election “unskew the polls” movement and whatnot where the conservative information bubble deprived the Romney campaign and its supporters of crucial information about the actual state of the race.
In any event, guys like Hardin need to be chased out of respectable society as does the idea of Southern (or Texan) exceptionalism.