A Southerner Responds
It did not dawn on me until I walked out to my mailbox Monday, June 20
and there was no mail. Whats up? I thought. Its Monday, and I always get mail on Monday, since it piles up on Sunday when there is no delivery. What had happened, I wondered.
Then, I witnessed one of those special delivery postal agents who work on holidays, and I flagged her down. And come to find out that Monday was Juneteenth, a new Federal holiday (actually it was Sunday, but the Feds, as is their wont, postponed the observance until June 20th). So, there was no regular mail delivery.
That explained it; I had forgotten the latest government concession in the name of equity and liberal democracy, and advancing the ideals of America as exemplified somehow in the Declaration of Independence.
As a national Federal holiday Juneteenth, this latest paean to political correctness and abject apology for our past sins as a nation, was enacted by the US senate unanimously on June 17, 2021, and by a vote in the House of Representative of 415 to 14. Literally no one stood forth to explain what actually was occurring: politically craven expediency and servile acquiescence to ideology.
That set me to thinking, and I recalled the debate years ago over the creation of Martin Luther King Day, enacted back in 1983, with overwhelming Democratic AND Republican support in the US Senate (among the Democrats, by 41 to 4; among the GOP, by 37 to 18). Despite the efforts of Senator Jesse Helms and the initial opposition of President Reagan (who caved under pressure), King Day was steamrolled into law. And since then it has arguably become more important in these United States than Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and most other observed holidays.
We should have probably known then that the Republicans, the so-called conservative party, which had presented itself as the replacement for the old conservative Southern Democrats, were not, as my Uncle Clete used to say, worth tits on a boar hog. The Southern strategy, as strategized by Kevin Phillips and executed by Richard Nixon and his minions (with not a little assistance from the Democrats at the time who went crazy Left in 1972 and nominated George McGovern), paid good dividends. Between 1968 and 1988 the Republican Party
the political party which had been rightfully an anathema to millions of Southerners after the War Between the States
managed to convince us that the home- grown, traditional conservatism of older Democrats, leaders like Harry Byrd, Richard Russell, and Sam Ervin, was now incarnate, alive and well in the GOP.
And, at least for the moment, we thought we had witnessed that as reality. Reagan was in the White House, re-elected overwhelmingly; and in the US senate there was that former Democrat, elected in 1972 as North Carolinas first Republican senator in seventy years, conservative Jesse Helms. Millions of disaffected conservative Democrats would vote for him. And there were others, as well: the indomitable Strom Thurmond in South Carolina was now a Republican, and John Eastthe scholarly professorwas North Carolinas other US senator.
The presence of Reagan, Helms, and their like reassured us that we were doing the right thing, and, in a certain sense, continuing the heritage and beliefs that had for so long guided us when we were all Southern Democrats.
But we were, in fact, deceived. And the MLK Day debate and fiasco, and Republican presidential and legislative politics, both on the national level as well as the state level, since then should have dispelled our initial enthusiasm. For it was but a long history of broken promises and continued deception. We should have known better as the national GOP nominated such disastrous candidates on the presidential level as John McCain, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush. Yes, when they came South they talked a good game and explained that they could be trusted, but we should have known better.
We should have known better when President Reagan signed off on the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform Bill of 1986 which legalized most undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the country prior to January 1, 1982. It was touted as the final solution to our illegal immigration question.
Rather, it did little but open the door wide to more reform and an influx of millions more illegals.
We should have known better when so-called conservative Republicans, boasting of their steadfast opposition to same sex marriage, all of a sudden ceased to mention the topic after the Supreme Courts 5 to 4 Obergefell v Hodges decision (June 2015). Never mind that in states where the question had been on the ballot, twenty-nine of them had approved by popular vote bans on same sex marriage (by 2008). But after that decision, the GOP and Fox News essentially renounced their earlier steadfast opposition, while embracing as many same sex personalities and prominent figures as they could find. Look at us, Fox seemed to be saying to their competitors further to the Left, we have Guy Benson, Tammy Bruce, Rick Grenell, and Douglas Murray, all of them happily consorting with their partners.
We should have known better as the newestand logicalmanifestation of the sexual revolution raised its head: transgenderism and the gender- fluid destruction of traditional natural biology. With alacrity Fox and the GOP jumped on board, after all they always had to protect their Left flank from criticism and prove just how progressive they were. Thus, Fox invited transgendered Caitlyn Jenner to come on board as a contributor (making her first appearance on the Hannity program, March 31, 2o22). And then in June 2022 they lauded a family that had their infant girlso young she was unable to actually communicate with her parentsundergo sex transitioning to a boy.
We should have known better when then Republican governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley ordered that the Confederate flag which hitherto had flown on the South Carolina capitol grounds be removed. It should never have been there, she offered. And Haleys reaction illustrated the GOPs retreat not just on flags of the Confederacy that were once celebrated nationally as symbols of valor and devotion, but increasingly on monuments commemorating not just Confederates but other Americans who could in any way be tainted with the historic sins of racism. The GOP temporized, and such opposition as there was has mostly been from the grassroots.
We should have also known better when (in 2020) the US Senate voted 86- 14with a large majority of Republican senators joining in the mad scrambleto remove the names of American military institutions named for Confederate leaders. Our arguments to the contrary, our petitions, the pollingall were to no avail. We mustnt be seen as racists, we were answered.
Gun control and red flag laws? Fourteen Republican senators, including John Cornyn (TX), Thom Tillis (NC), Lindsey Graham (SC), Bill Cassidy (LA), Roy Blount (MO), and Richard Burr (NC)all Southernersjoined Democrats in insuring that greater government control over gun ownership and the gutting of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution would proceed.
And these solons are just the tip of the iceberg. For an agenda of dissimulation and deception pervades and infects the GOP all the way down to the state and local level in many cases.
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