Monday, December 1, 2014

Southern Order

You've read here before how I have bemoaned Dixification, the preferred socio-economic model of Southern conservatives, and how it is spreading to the rest of the country. I've written about the centuries-long tradition of a deeply anti-democratic model of hierarchy and privilege, of low wages, benefits, taxes and regulations; replete with voter restriction, fierce hostility to unions, and the ongoing animosity to any social change that upsets long-standing social hierarchies.

Again, the argument is that conservative politicians support policies that do not make economic sense, but that is not the intent. Liberal policy wonks scratch their heads trying to figure out why Republicans are so determined to avoid sensible and proven policies. But they misunderstand the nature and intent of the deeply reactionary politicians that now dominate that party, many state governments, and come January, even more of the federal government.

It is gratifying, in a grim sort of way, to see there is a growing awareness of what Dixification is and how it is redefining national politics as never before.

To cite just one example, Doug Muder's recent post reminds us that the current invective from teabaggers is Southern at its core:
It’s not a Tea Party.
The Boston Tea Party protest was aimed at a Parliament where the colonists had no representation, and at an appointed governor who did not have to answer to the people he ruled. Today’s Tea Party faces a completely different problem: how a shrinking conservative minority can keep change at bay in spite of the democratic processes defined in the Constitution. That’s why they need guns. That’s why they need to keep the wrong people from voting in their full numbers. 
These right-wing extremists have misappropriated the Boston patriots and the Philadelphia founders because their true ancestors — Jefferson Davis and the Confederates — are in poor repute.

But the veneer of Bostonian rebellion easily scrapes off; the tea bags and tricorn hats are just props. The symbol Tea Partiers actually revere is the Confederate battle flag. Let a group of right-wingers ramble for any length of time, and you will soon hear that slavery wasn’t really so bad, that Andrew Johnson was right, that Lincoln shouldn’t have fought the war, that states have the rights of nullification and secession, that the war wasn’t really about slavery anyway, and a lot of other Confederate mythology that (until recently) had left me asking, “Why are we talking about this?”

By contrast, the concerns of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and its revolutionary Sons of Liberty are never so close to the surface. So no. It’s not a Tea Party. It’s a Confederate Party.
Let's be clear on this: the most powerful members of Congress are overwhelmingly from the old Confederate south. They are deeply overrepresented in Washington, all the more so when voting population is considered. They are not here to work together, or fix things, to improve government, to promote democracy, nor to put the economy back on track. They are here to reestablish the old order, destroy what they hate, and maintain privilege and power for the few.

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