Years ago I went to the Co-op in Cottage Grove, Tennessee, to fill up. A grain truck was already at the pump so I pulled up behind it and waited. The driver was sitting in the cab. I kept waiting. He kept sitting. I was getting aggravated.
What I did not do was honk, or gesticulate my displeasure, or give him the finger from my open window. Such rudeness would have been vastly worse than his rudeness, so I did what I believe the vast majority of Southerners would have done. Nothing. I was not in a rage, rather just put out at this rude man before me who just sat there rather than either filling up his tank or pulling ahead so I could fill mine.
Eventually, he finally pulled forward. I did the same and stood by my truck while it filled. I then noticed that the man had parked his rig and was walking across the yard straight at me. When he arrived he apologised for making me wait. His truck wouldn’t start.
He did so because he, as a Southerner, did not want to be thought of as being rude.
I did what I believe the vast majority of Southerners would have done. I told him as good-naturedly as you please, ‘Oh! No problem!’ And I meant it. It was now no problem. Any angst that I felt had vanished because he was in fact not being rude and showed me respect by acknowledging the inconvenience that he had caused.
I have seen enough of the world to greatly value what I believe to be one of our people’s greatest qualities, namely, the regard that we have for and the kindness that we show to each other.
This piece was previously published on Look Away on March 24, 2021.
We Americans have always assumed a few things about other Americans, at least since that great unifying moment after our victory in WWII. We assumed that we all agree that this is the Home of the Brave, Land of the Free, and that In God We Trust. We all believed in The American Dream, the Rule of Law, majority rule, and that we are the greatest nation ever just ’cause.
Thinkers, pundits, and prophets have warned us for just as long that this is in fact not the case and warned us of the great threat of the American Left to our view of America. But when we defeated the Soviet Union back in the late eighties we imagined that any existential threat from the Left had indeed passed. Good times ahead.
But after 2020 the Common Man now understands that maybe 20% of Americans not only envision a different America, but actively loathe the America that he grew up loving and believing in. And that maybe another 30% are Carnivorous Sheep, indifferent and willing to give up anything, including a legitimate democracy, in exchange for Bread and/or Circuses.
Living with this new Radical Left is akin to living in an ancestral home with a brother gone insane who is determined to drive you from the house or, failing that, to burn it to the ground. He’s your brother and you thought he loved you, but every time you turn around you see smoke coming from beneath a door. You rush to put out the fires but he is getting bolder and smarter. There is smoke damage throughout, and there are few rooms remaining where the charring has not climbed the walls or embraced the furniture.
And now you hear him in the basement. Laughing and talking to himself. Banging around. And what’s that smell. Dammit! Is that diesel?
If you wont permit him to remodel as he sees fit, he’ll be glad to rebuild from scratch.
The Radical American Left can hardly lose. What we on the Right have to decide is whether or not we are going to do what must be done to save our home.
This was previously published at MCAtkins.com on March 1, 2021.
Mark Atkins has six wee bairns who are all seventh-generation Henry County, Tennessee, and all from the same doe. It is the people of Henry County that he most wants to reach but writes to Southerners generally. He is without credentials but rather dares to speak by the same authority as the little boy who cried 'The king has no clothes!' His core belief and starting point is that like everything, we humans have a nature, it is not so hard to understand, and to pretend that it is other than it is, is to jump off a cliff. Which is what we Americans have in fact done.