South of New York with Charley and Me

Source: Washington Post

Southerners (and there are many who still proudly spell that with a capital “S” even if positioned in the middle of a sentence; we don’t simply think we are that because we live farther south of Canada than the masses in New York et al.) remain steadfast when in a fight, sometimes to the point of leading, like the great champ Rocky Marciano did, with their chin. Marciano got away with it because he had an iron jaw and a dynamite right that with one well-connected punch could floor an opponent. Southerners (The South) have no such combination. Even in 1861-65 when we had Lee, Jackson and a cast of courageous soldiers and men, we still had to depend on skill, footwork and misdirection.

Today the South has not simply allied itself with the Republican party but in fact allowed itself to become “red” states (i.e. Republican) believing that someday–lo just some day– it will deliver a knockout punch. But, this is and always has been folly, rooted in the belief that, just as bitterness at the Reconstruction era led to a “Solid South” pledge to the Democratic party, if now, we remain thickly painted red that the next time a Ronald Reagan comes along (Donald Trump? Good grief!) he will really, really, really…really be fair and allow truths about The South and THE war to be promulgated from the seat of a national government that will sincerely, now, see itself as federal. And suddenly as if by religious epiphany the constitution will reveal its enlightened pages to the democratic masses and (imagine the strains of The Battle Hymn of John Brown’s Republic intoning in the background) the GOP will have saved us from ourselves as well as from all progressives. Solid Republican? Again with the chin. God I miss Charley Reese

I don’t question that most Southerners feel there is nowhere to go but to the Republican candidate(s); after all, the former recluse for a solidified South, the Dems, is as corrupt and venal as Al Capone and his vermin. The analogy is only to point out that though supporters knew he was warped and perverted they supported him anyway because he provided soup lines for the poor. Hillary is a criminal, but so what? She struggled from White House poverty to amass a hard-earned fortune–Horatio Alger in an orange pant suit. She’s got to be admired! And she’s smarter than Al. He couldn’t duck federal law (of course he didn’t have email).

On the surface a brash fool may sound intelligent and for a moment or two he may so be (like the blind hog and the acorn) but without some soul of guidance he will fail. The most often offered reason for Trump support is the necessity for the “appointment,” (not a singular directive under Article 2) of Supreme Court slots available soon. Just for the record, over the last 48 years, twelve presidential elections, there have been 16 supreme court judges approved and 12 (that is 75%) have been via Republican presidents. Not one iota of constitutional brilliance has been delivered, though a great deal of twaddle has. The constitution is fewer than 5000 words; about the length of an average political essay; but we, the unwashed voters out in the great “democracy-land” (an alien concept to the constitution) are not well-read enough to understand. Therefore, the presidential election devolves (I probably should say degenerates) into a contest of who will get to select great legal masterminds (constitutional scholars they are classified, though about as apposite as the Katzenjammer Kids) who will tell us that which we are too dumb to understand. And in the process of offering such legal wisdom as “the law of the land” does, more votes are delivered to one party or the other.

Originally Solid South worked well right up through Grover Cleveland. However, once taken for granted the party of solidification turned to those great presidential minds: Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy.  Okay, time to turn the South Solid Republican, so swore the new Republican cheerleaders such as Trent Lott. With Solid South Republicans leading the charge Barry Goldwater went down in flames in 1964. But the South, was assured (more Trent Lott et al yammering) that the future was bright. And, following the LBJ corrupted terms, the Solid South Republicans gave (or got): Richard Nixon—strike one; Goldwater-less Ronald Reagan—strike two; and the Bush family—strike three.

Now these same cheerleaders are demanding via a “Never Trump” campaign to “hold your nose and vote for Hillary.” You got to love these guys. I honestly don’t think they know Jeff Foxworthy is a comedian.

The South can keep itself entertained with the “democratic process” (I can’t say enough how ill-suited this process is to Jefferson, Calhoun et al, but I’m trying to make the point) or attempt what it probably will never be allowed to do; that is seek redress through such movements as the Texas National Movement. This, for those unfamiliar, is the South’s old friend Secession, which usually brings on the standard rejection of “We tried that once and it didn’t work.” My answer is, yes it did work. The result was the South was ravaged and beaten for its beliefs by New England Yankees and immigrant mercenaries. But it seceded because it was right–same as the Brits just did.

But regardless of the outcome, the greatly worshiped legacy sought by all winners nowadays, is that he (probably she) will have won an election most voters hoped both would lose.

Anyway, for now the alternative is Hillary or “The Donald.” Hell, I hope they both do lose. God I miss Charley Reese.

About Paul H. Yarbrough

I was born and reared in Mississippi, lived in both Louisiana and Texas (past 40 years). My wonderful wife of 43 years who recently passed away was from Louisiana. I have spent most of my business career in the oil business. I took up writing as a hobby 7 or 8 years ago and love to write about the South. I have just finished a third novel. I also believe in the South and its true beliefs. More from Paul H. Yarbrough

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