The South has survived and will continue to survive. History shows us this. The beauty of the land of Dixie, and its history of fighting for independence and self governance makes it the true heart of America that began with our nation’s founding and continues today. However, there is no guarantees of survival. The fight and preservation must continue with strength.
If I may indulge by selfishly, and briefly, describing my personal history and experiences to help explain how I came upon my appreciation for the South. I was born and raised in a rural area deep in Yankee land. More specifically, I am another conservative and traditionalist from the same county in Michigan where the great cultural philosopher Russell Kirk lived. Dr. Clyde Wilson called Kirk a great defender “of the moral imagination” who was “no better example of resourceful defense of unchanging principle, through bad times and worse”. My appreciation and love for the South began with my interest in the War Between the States. Digging up a belt buckle from a Northern cavalry trooper on my grandparents’ land started my journey. I have progressed from an obsessor of Abraham Lincoln and the “Union” to now questioning the constitutionality and morality of much of what he and his administration did to the South.
This journey was mainly through my own development in self education, and essentially nothing to do with public education or what others told me. In studying American history, during my personal progression, I have come to obsess now over the larger than life greats of the South like George Washington, John Randolph of Roanoke, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Josiah W. Bailey, John W. Davis, and many more. Many of these greats are being tainted or maligned by the modern hyper-racial hollow “historians” and intellectuals who mostly dwell on America’s portion in the long international history of slavery. The great Southerners who I listed and many others of their kind all should be respected for their honorable lives and strong defense of conservatism, freedom, and independence.
I have lived a quarter of my life in the South. When in the land of the Yankees I crave and miss its beauties and ways of life. My thoughts go to the gentle rolling mountains and valleys of Appalachia, the full rivers that cut through Tennessee and beyond, the hard plains of western Texas, and the breath taking coast lines from the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and further on to Virginia. The great original music that comes from the South, from “country” to jazz. I also think of the food from grits to the spice of Louisiana, and the barbecue pork in Arkansas, fried catfish and chicken in Alabama, and even the cliched peaches of Georgia. The climate is mostly pleasant, but the heat and mighty storms can give you pause. Mostly, it is the people and their own way of life that is the most alluring. The South’s history is the most colorful and interesting of our nation. It certainly contains many dark chapters. The War Between the States was the largest chapter of the horrors and destruction the South has had to survive in our nation’s history. This is a part of our history that no other region of the nation can truly understand or feel. From the start of our history, the Revolutionary War also brought the evils of war to Dixieland during the nation’s first struggle for independence. Increasingly, in present times, countless administrations and bureaucracies of what Donald Davidson called the “Leviathan” have saturated their cultural and economic destruction upon the South even more so. The tearing down of statues, changing of vocabulary through the twisted modern political correctness of intellectuals and barbarians, and too much more are encroaching on the South’s great cultural history.
Despite all of the intrusions and invasions, the South must remain positive and strong. The South will survive far beyond our lifetime if it continues to keep its original culture and honest history alive. These modern times are challenging that culture and history to be sure. There are a few key reasons that Russell Kirk mentioned, and I personally agree with, in his classic study The Conservative Mind that will, if adhered to, keep the South in perpetuity. He said the South had “impulses” in a “distaste for alteration”, a “determination to preserve…society”, and “a love of local rights.” This is what America and the South was truly founded on. The principal of self government with the most attention and power at the local level and then weaker governance at the levels further out.
From our forefathers who fought the American Revolution and formed our Constitution, to the Texans who won independence from Mexico, to the Southerners who fought a second war for independence against Yankee invasion in the War Between the States, and now to those who fight for limited government and protect the true Southern culture and history from the “Leviathan”. These are the people to salute, understand, and emulate in the continued fight to preserve the South. These are the modest thoughts from an unreconstructed Yankee, anyways.
Brown lives in central Michigan, but has also lived in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 2004-2008 and has studied film production and history and health information. He currently works for a large hospital in northern Michigan. He loves travelling and has been to over half the states in the U.S. including many battlefield parks.