Howard Dean and the Rural Vote

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Dean made some rather simple-minded remarks about the South that
typify the New England sense of their neighbors down under. Dean
misses the greater import of his observation. The South and the
Confederacy are no longer a region but a state of mind. The great
dichotomy in America is not north or south but rural and urban.
We know that the collectivist elites equate rural with Confederate
— it is an article of (secular) faith for those who know better
than the benighted ruralite. The great Eastwood movie, "Outlaw
Josey Wales
, " was based on an obscure little tome called
to Texas
by Forrest Carter. The author describes the Confederate
Diaspora from the South to all points west and south (as in south
of the border). After Lincoln had succeeded in putting all Americans
on the plantation with the surrender at Appomattox in 1865, many
disgruntled Americans who wanted nothing of this headed either to
the territories or to points in the southern hemisphere such as
Brazil. After
all, the whole idea of the Second American Revolution (1861–1865)
was to throw off the yoke of yet another statist entity that had
started to politicize every human transaction. The debate over motives
and causation is beyond the scope of this essay but the King Lincoln
archives on LRC will provide ample food for thought.

During my travels around the globe, I've seen the Stars and Bars
displayed from Kosovo to Thailand. They aren't flying it to establish
solidarity with hate groups or a return to chattel slavery; they
are waving it because it is a universal symbol of opposition to
government tyranny. The War Between the States (how can you have
a Civil War where only one side wants supremacy over the other in
a martial contest?) resonates throughout the world as a fight over
sovereignty and centralization of government power. Lincoln was
a nasty cross-germination of Alexander Hamilton, Ralph Nader and
Joseph Stalin all rolled into a long, tall drink of a dictator.
The Lincoln revisionism
of the last decade that has broken the hagiographic cult of personality

that has permeated the court histories in America for over a hundred
years seems to be the tip of the iceberg with entire ice fields
filled with the likes of Wilson, FDR and LBJ ahead. Lincoln scholarship
has fueled a hatred of the south and the Confederacy in a way unprecedented
in American historiography. I don't think there is any need to plead
that the South acted in an angelic fashion during its time. After
all, isn't every reader or contributor on LRC at heart a dystopian?
We always expect the worst when it comes to government conduct whether
under Lincoln or Davis because it is the nature of the beast.

The Confederacy was, in some ways, the last gasp of the Jeffersonian
agrarians who were snuffed out permanently in the 1930's by the
emerging Moscow-on-the-Potomac farm programs (recent congressional
appropriations of nearly $20,000,000,000 for agribusiness). Dean
surmises that if he can co-opt ruralites with tax dollars and expanded
entitlements, he can purchase large blocs of voters to be sheared
once he assumes office. He has no idea of the depth and breadth
of distrust of rural and country folks for central government chicanery.
Whether the rural cleansing
taking place in Oregon or the urban expropriation of rural tax dollars
in states like Washington, country folk are under siege from every
quarter and they know it. That's why you see Confederate regalia
on cars, trucks and people from coast to coast. As a Southern expat
in the Inland Northwest, I do my part to keep the heritage and memory
alive. In their hearts and minds, they know Howard
Dean embraces "smart growth"
and wants to move all
the rural residents of America into high density enclaves with mass
transit and zero tolerance for guns and automobiles. Then all the
rich white elites can allow nature to return to its pristine state.
God help us. The bottom line is that whenever you hear a politician
from either wing of the War Party attack the South or the Confederacy,
these are simply code words for the disdain our rulers and potentates
have for folks who live in the country away from the more
congested urban nests of dependent collectivists that consistently
vote for more and not less government
. Message to Howard Dean:
If you want the rural votes, buy the biggest pickup you can afford,
place two rifles in the gun racks, always
carry a handgun
, go to church and be as self-sufficient and
neighborly as possible. Ahem, Howard, get your hand out of your
neighbor's wallet. . . not that kind of neighborly. We don't
do that around here.

18, 2003

Buppert [send him mail],
a retired Army officer, lives on a ranch in the Inland Northwest
with his wife and their three homeschooled children.


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