Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
Stand Up Against Renaming Military Bases
Today I pass on an essay by my South Carolina friend, historian Gene Kizer, of the Charleston Athenaeum Press. Gene offers up a detailed (and footnoted) article in defense of the current names of the various Army bases that bear the monikers of Confederate generals (including Forts Bragg, Hood, Gordon, Lee, etc.). I have edited it just bit for length, but its message is clear to all Southerners and upright citizens interested in preserving our great heritage and history of military valour. Indeed, as Gene writes, these bases are integral not only to our military history, but they in many ways define it, just as they in many ways define us as a people.
Gene urges each and every one of you to contact your US senators, most especially your Republican senators. And let them know that you oppose the change—sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts—that would remove those historical Confederate names within three years. If you are a member of the VFW, the American Legion, AmVets, or Vietnam Vets, so much the better—identify yourself as such when you contact your senator. If you are a member of a heritage association—the UDC, SCV, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, etc.—let them also know that and that the thousands of voters in your organization are carefully following what happens with this legislation.
Yesterday I contacted the offices of North Carolina Senator Tom Tillis, a member of the Armed Services Committee; while I could not speak with a “live” person in the Washington DC office (I left a message), I was able to speak to a real person in the Raleigh office to express my opposition to name changing…and I mentioned that as a longtime member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans I believed that I was indeed speaking for the 3,000 members in North Carolina, plus wives and children, and additionally, members of the UDC. The assistant took down my information.
But thousands more need to do exactly the same thing: bombard both the state AND national offices with our supplication, and the implication that senators like Tillis in North Carolina and others, just cannot take heritage and military voters for granted: we are watching, and we know that this November’s election will be close. Every vote will, hopefully, count, and our votes can make the difference between victory and defeat.
For North Carolina, here is the telephone contact information for Senator Tillis:
Washington: (202) 224-6342 (be sure to call this number, plus the local ones)
Raleigh: (919) 856-4630
Charlotte: (704) 509-9087
Greenville: (252) 329-0371
Hendersonville: (828) 693-8750
High Point: (336) 885-0685
An email option is also available if you wish to use that method:
I urge you to contact Tillis…and other senators; be respectful but firm. We can still win this is if our elected representatives get some backbone… and know that they face ignominious defeat if they continue to play political games and run to the tall grass.
Republicans, There Is No Downside
to Defending Southern History
by Gene Kizer, Jr.   July 30, 2020
The Republican Party has committed a major unforced error by backing Elizabeth Warren's amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which changes the names of United States Army bases in the South named for Confederate officers.
That mistake could cost Republicans the election, which promises to be close.
Republicans may now lose the electoral votes of some or all of the following states because changing Confederate named bases in the South right before the election, which is just 95 days away as of July 30, will put a horribly bad taste in the mouths of millions of Republican voters, and Democrats are sure to make that taste as close to raw sewage as they can get with constant hate and agitation on the issue:
1) Texas, where two bases are located: Fort Hood near Killeen, and Camp Maxey, near Paris.
2) Virginia, a purple state with four bases: Fort A. P. Hill, near Bowling Green; Fort Lee, in Prince George County; Camp Pendleton, in Virginia Beach; and Fort Pickett, near Blackstone.
3) North Carolina, a purple state where Fort Bragg is located, near Fayetteville.
4) Georgia, where two forts are located: Fort Benning, near Columbus; and Fort Gordon, near Grovetown.
5) Louisiana, where two bases are located: Camp Beauregard, near Pineville; and Fort Polk, near Leesville.
6) Alabama, where Fort Rucker is located, in Dale County.
President Trump does not want the base names changed, and there may still be a way.
Trump tweeted July 24th that he had spoken to Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, "who has informed me that he WILL NOT be changing the names of our great Military Bases and Forts, places from which we won two World Wars (and more!)."1
Still, stupid Senate Republicans have put themselves in a bad position. Inhofe shepherded the NDAA through the Senate with Elizabeth Warren's name change required within three years. A committee of negotiators from the House and Senate has to reconcile the House and Senate versions. The House calls for the base names to change in one year.
Because the name change is in the bill the Senate passed, they can't just disregard it but Inhofe says "We're going to see to it that provision doesn't survive the bill. I'm not going to say how at this point."2
This is all hands on deck for Southerners who are FED UP with the Democrat Party/news media war on Southern history [and also Republican pussyfooting!].
Call and write every senator in the United States Senate and every House member too. Get your camps and chapters organized and pump out some letters and calls.
Use the documented historical information in this article and on my blog as well as on the Abbeville Institute website at, and historian Phil Leigh's website at
Tell them those bases are in some cases 100 years old. As President Trump said, we won two World Wars out of those bases. Even people like Gen. Jack Keane, a New Yorker who has no affinity for Confederates, does not want the base names changed.
I am sure there is broad support among the electorate for leaving the base names as they are. Millions of our veterans have gone through those bases at one time or another. If we could get a victory on this, it could be a turning point in this Democrat propaganda war against Southern history.[….]
Trump stated that the Confederate battle flag is a proud symbol of the South: "When people had their Confederate flags they're not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the South."3
He has blasted NASCAR for putting the wishes of one selfish driver, Bubba Wallace, who is black, over the wishes of thousands of NASCAR fans for whom the flag is an important tradition. [….]
There is no downside to defending truthful Southern history. Republicans think Southern history is what their Democrat colleagues portray to them and what they hear in the fake news media, which is overwhelmingly Democrat and politicized.
It is not history Republicans are hearing. It is political propaganda.
The Democrat interpretation of the past is political propaganda designed to promote unjustified hate against the South so they can keep blacks on the Democrat Party plantation, though thanks to organizations like BLEXIT,4 which is the opposite of Black Lives Matter, there is pushback by blacks against Democrats. [….]

Eugene D. Genovese,5 one of America's greatest historians before his death in 2012, explains how Democrats with their 100% politicized history, and the news media, give a fraudulent interpretation of Southern history. He wrote this is 1994:

Rarely, these days, even on Southern campuses, is it possible to acknowledge the achievements of the white people of the South. The history of the Old South is now often taught at leading universities, when it is taught at all, as a prolonged guilt-trip, not to say a prologue to the history of Nazi Germany. . . . To speak positively about any part of this Southern tradition is to invite charges of being a racist and an apologist for slavery and segregation. We are witnessing a cultural and political atrocity.6
Dr. Genovese goes on to say that this cultural and political atrocity is being forced on us by "the media and an academic elite.”7
There is no truth to the portrayal of Southern history today that Democrats are pushing. It is 100% political propaganda. Democrats are also pushing The New York Times' 1619 Project despite major historians like James M. McPherson labeling it, basically, fake history. It has the American Revolution being fought by white supremacist colonists so they could keep slavery, though the 1619 Project does not offer a single iota of proof of that . . . because there is none. Not a single statement by a single person, no letter, no document, not a shred of evidence supports the false premise of the 1619 Project, that the American Revolution was fought so white supremacist colonists could keep their slaves. [….]
We live in a twisted world when The New York Times, the most biased newspaper in America, full of fake news, is now the arbiter of American history. [….]
For Republicans and fair minded Democrats, there is no downside to defending Southern history. No Confederate memorial of any type, anywhere, should be removed, ever. Any that have been removed or destroyed should be replaced forthwith.
Here's your cover enabling you to defend Southern history, and it is impenetrable. Take a lesson from Ike. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1st Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in World War II, later president of the United States for eight years, had a picture of Gen. Robert E. Lee on his wall in the White House his entire time there. Like President John F. Kennedy, Eisenhower had great respect for Gen. Lee and his cause, and he appreciated Lee's efforts to bind up the nation's wounds after our bloodiest war.
On August 1, 1960, a New York dentist, Dr. Leon W. Scott, wrote an angry letter to President Eisenhower excoriating him for having that picture of Lee in his White House office. Scott wrote: "I do not understand how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated, and why the President of the United States of America should do so is certainly beyond me. / The most outstanding thing that Robert E. Lee did, was to devote his best efforts to the destruction of the United States Government, and I am sure that you do not say that a person who tries to destroy our Government is worthy of being held as one of our heroes."8
President Eisenhower wrote back on the 9th:
Dear Dr. Scott:
Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War between the States the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.
General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.
From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee's caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation's wounds once the bitter struggle was over, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.
Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.
Dwight D. Eisenhower9
Republican senators in states that aren't in the South like Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who might be tempted to vote for base name changes, better think…. Without the South, where Republican red state strength is located, other Republicans are dead because they will be a powerless minority party.
All the judges President Trump has been appointing, and the sure Supreme Court picks that will occur over the next four years would now go to the Democrats.
Our country is not in a good mood. We have had to endure months of COVID-19 as well as three straight months of non-stop violent riots plus the constant hate and false charge of racism in the media against people who are not racist in the least.
There is a feeling that the country is coming apart. Over 200 monuments have been destroyed, vandalized or removed since May with most being to Confederate dead here in the South, the ancestors of today's Republican voters.
The military valor of the South is unsurpassed in the history of the world, and that's why Confederate named bases need to stay Confederate. That is what President Trump knows. The death statistics in the War Between the States are now between 650,000 and 850,000. These are the widely accepted statistics of historian J. David Hacker of Binghamton University.10  Drew Gilpin Faust in her excellent book, This Republic of Suffering, Death and the American Civil War, uses the earlier statistics of 620,000 total deaths compiled by William F. Fox, and she writes that those deaths were "approximately equal to the total American fatalities in the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War combined."11
If you use Hacker's statistics, you'd have to add Vietnam, both Gulf Wars, Afghanistan and the war on terror; in other words, deaths in the War Between the States were higher than all other American wars combined with plenty of room to spare. Faust says the rate of death "in comparison with the size of the American population, was six times that of World War II. A similar rate, about 2 percent, in the United States today would mean six million fatalities."12   Confederate soldiers "died at a rate three times that of their Yankee counterparts; one in five white Southern men of military age did not survive the Civil War."13   Faust quotes James McPherson who writes that "the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and that of all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II."14
To personalize some of those statistics, Confederate Col. George E. Purvis was quoted in Confederate Veteran magazine, March, 1897, from an article he had written about Union Gen. Henry Van Ness Boynton and the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
Gen. Boynton, with great respect for the courage of the Confederates he faced, wanted to make it a sacred memorial, not just to Union valor, but American valor. Col. Purvis writes that Gen. Boynton and a friend had visited the Chickamauga battlefield on a quiet Sunday morning in the summer of 1888 and heard singing in a church nearby. The general's thoughts went from those sweet sounds to the hellish and "fearful horrors of that other Sunday, when the very demons of hell seemed abroad, armed and equipped for the annihilation of mankind" almost a quarter of a century earlier:15
They saw again the charging squadrons, like great waves of the sea, dashed and broken in pieces against lines and positions that would not yield to their assaults. They saw again Baird's, Johnson's, Palmer's, and Reynolds's immovable lines around the Kelley farm, and Wood on the spurs of Snodgrass Hill; Brannan, Grosvenor, Steedman, and Granger on the now famous Horseshoe; once more was brought back to their minds' eye, "the unequaled fighting of that thin and contracted line of heroes and the magnificent Confederate assaults," which swept in again and again ceaselessly as that stormy service of all the gods of battle was prolonged through those other Sunday hours.
Their eyes traveled over the ground again where Forrest's and Walker's men had dashed into the smoke of the Union musketry and the very flame of the Federal batteries, and saw their ranks melt as snowflakes dissolve and disappear in the heat of conflagration.
They stood on Baird's line, where Helms's Brigade went to pieces, but not until three men out of four - mark that, ye coming heroes! - not until three men out of every four were either wounded or dead, eclipsing the historic charge at Balaklava and the bloody losses in the great battles of modern times.
They saw Longstreet's men sweep over the difficult and almost inaccessible slopes of the Horseshoe, "dash wildly, and break there, like angry waves, and recede, only to sweep on again and again with almost the regularity of ocean surges, ever marking a higher tide."
They looked down again on those slopes, slippery with blood and strewn thick as leaves with all the horrible wreck of battle, over which and in spite of repeated failures these assaulting Confederate columns still formed and reformed, charging again and again with undaunted and undying courage.
We need to win this battle over Confederate named bases in the South. We need a full court press, all hands on deck, everybody call and write everybody in the United States House of Representatives and especially every senator in the Senate and tell them you do not want Confederate named bases to change, that those bases are significant in American history exactly as they are, and they are named for generals but represent the common soldier of the South who was often hungry and barefoot but fought with a ferocity and willingness to die like the bravest in world history.
The soil of the South is soaked with the blood of these patriots, and Republican voters in the South are their progeny. They are Americans. We were the Confederate States of America. They were as gallant and honorable as the Union soldiers they faced on the battlefield, most of whom had great admiration for their Southern counterparts.[….]
Let's make this the turning point in the war on Southern history, whereupon we start regaining the ground lost in the past 60 years.
Our country will be a much better place for it.

1 "President Trump, GOP ally vow Confederate base names won't change", July 24, 2020,, accessed 7-29-20.
2 Ibid.
3 "Trump says Confederate flag proud symbol of U.S. South" by Doina Chiacu, Reuters,, accessed 7-29-20.
4 Here's the founders' statement on the BLEXIT website: "Founders Candace Owens and Brandon Tatum came together because of their shared desire to build a better future for America. Candace and Brandon seek to educate minorities across America about the history of our great country by highlighting the principles of the Constitution of the United States and the importance of self-reliance. The two believe it is time to take criminal justice reform seriously to stop the over-incarceration of minorities, to build strong families in the minority communities, and to value the life and the sanctity of every individual.", accessed 7-29-20.
5 Genovese was a brilliant historian as the following paragraph illustrates. It is the opening paragraph of an essay in The Journal of Southern History, Volume LXXX, No. 2, May, 2014 entitled "Eugene Genovese's Old South: A Review Essay" by J. William Harris: "The death of Eugene D. Genovese in September 2012 brought to a close a remarkable career. In the decades following his first published essay on Southern history, Genovese produced an outstanding body of scholarship, based on a rare combination of deep research in primary sources; a mastery of the historical literature, not only in Southern history but also in many complementary fields; a sophisticated command of methodological issues; and often sparkling prose. And Genovese's reputation reached far beyond specialists in Southern history, and even beyond the academy. In 2005 a reviewer in one magazine for a general readership called Genovese the 'Country's greatest living historian' and his Roll, Jordan, Roll 'the most lasting work of American historical scholarship since the Second World War.'"
6 Eugene D. Genovese, The Southern Tradition, The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994), Preface, xi-xii.
7 Ibid.
8 Dwight D. Eisenhower in Defense of Robert E. Lee, August 10, 2014, Mathew W. Lively,, accessed 5-3-20.
9 Dwight D. Eisenhower letter, August 9, 1960, to Leon W. Scott, in "Dwight D. Eisenhower in Defense of Robert E. Lee," August 10, 2014, Mathew W. Lively,, accessed 5-3-20.
10 See Rachel Coker, "Historian revises estimate of Civil War dead," published September 21, 2011, Binghamton University Research News - Insights and Innovations from Binghamton University,, accessed July 7, 2014. Hacker's range is 650,000 to 850,000. He uses 750,000.
11 Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering, Death and the American Civil War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), xi.
12 Ibid.
13 Ibid.
14 Faust, This Republic of Suffering, xii.

15 "American Valor at Chickamauga", Confederate Veteran, Vol. V, No. 3, March, 1897.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

July 25, 2020 
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
Two Remarkable Articles by Paul Gottfried on the South and Confederate Heritage
Back a little over thirteen years ago (2007) as chairman of North Carolina’s annual Confederate Flag Day observances, I invited my good friend Dr. Paul Gottfried to travel to the Tar Heel State to be the keynote speaker for our event at the historic 1840 State Capitol. His remarkable address was later reprinted in several journals, including the old and lamented Southern Partisan magazine.
This morning in surveying the hundreds of files I’ve collected over the years I noticed Paul’s address, and I re-read it. And I noticed how remarkably prescient and still-current it remains. In 2007 he observed events occurring and trends that were quickly developing, and in dramatic fashion he both saluted the dwindling number of Southerners who were actually defending their culture while also warning them about what was happening and about to happen.
Since Dr. Gottfried’s Cassandra-like advertence to that audience of 150 brave souls in the State Capitol’s House of Representatives chamber that crisp March Saturday, things have gotten incredibly far worse…to the point that there is now a real question as to whether anything, not just symbols and monuments, but anything in our Southern heritage will survive the present revolution and the utter and craven cowardice of the political (and cultural) elites who are supposedly on “our side.” Almost without exception those leaders have deserted the battlefield, even given way to the Enemies of our culture.
These days lines from William Butler Yeats’ eschatologically-tinged poem written a century ago, “The Second Coming,” return to me constantly, emblematic of our current age:
        Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
        Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
        The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
        The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
        The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity.
Ironically, I know of no stronger defender of our Southern heritage and traditions, and our rights historically, than my friend Paul Gottfried. Of Jewish Hungarian descent, educated at Yale (PhD), professor at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, author of around twenty superb books mostly on political theory, a polyglot whose work is actually better known and appreciated in Europe—he has continued the, at times, lonely task of defending the older Conservatism (which welcomed Southerners) that once enjoyed respectability and currency, but now has been overwhelmed and practically exiled by the pseudo-conservative, warmed-over globalist Neoconservatives, descendants of Marxist Leon Trotsky, who despise our Southern traditions and heritage.
They much prefer embracing all the “civil rights” conquests of the far Left and zealously pushing American involvement in wars—almost anywhere—across the globe to establish what they call “liberal democracy.” Which of course, means the imposition of same sex marriage, transgenderism, destruction of older traditions and religious belief if these stand in the way of their plans: thus, for example, the late John McCain’s frenzied attack on Russia’s Vladimir Putin because Putin supports traditional marriage and because Russia has outlawed homosexual propaganda in Russian schools. Such positions are a no-no, unacceptable to our Neoconservative elites in the Republican Party or on Fox News. Older traditions which stand in the way of Neconservative internationalism and egalitarianism must be attacked and displaced, and anyone defending them maligned and defamed. 
Just recently the American embassy in Moscow ostentatiously flew the gay liberation flag to celebrate gay rights (Russia had just passed overwhelmingly constitutional amendments completely outlawing same sex marriage). President Putin’s comment (July 3) was to mock the silly American gesture: "Let them celebrate,” he responded to the stunt. “They've shown a certain something about the people who work there," he added with a wry smile. But the embassy’s action also illustrates something about current American culture and society, and the Neocon dominance even within the Trump administration, and it may help to explain why the Neoconservative virus which dominates the Conservative Movement and the GOP also despises the traditional South and its heritage. 
I pass on two items by Professor Gottfried, one very recent, and the second, the 2007 speech, which is still current and spot on, even more so in today’s revolutionary, anti-Southern and anti-Confederate atmosphere. Prophetic bookends and hard but necessary truth, if we would only listen and act.
The 2007 speech remains a remarkable clarion call.

Reenacting the Civil War Is a Losing Strategy

By Paul Gottfried   July 15, 2020
I had to double-check recently that the Civil War actually did end in 1865. I wondered whether this was still the case after hearing Republican spokesmen and Conservative Inc. celebrities demonizing Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and other 19th century Southern leaders. American history seems to grow more hateful to our establishment conservatives as the years flow by.
Anti-Confederate rants are now common on Fox News and in mainstream Republican publications. These conservatives seem to approve, at least implicitly, of the toppling of Confederate statues, and they seem shocked and hurt when the left doesn’t give them credit for this stance. Fox News commentator Brit Hume in an interview with Bret Baier expressed shock that President Trump’s July 3 Mt. Rushmore speech caused Democrats to accuse him of being pro-Confederate. Trump, notes Hume, kept out of his speech any defense of anything even remotely Confederate, while glorifying Lincoln, Grant, and especially Martin Luther King, Jr. The president even managed to suppress any outrage over the toppling and dishonoring of Confederate memorial monuments.
Since GOP propagandists Dinesh D’Souza and Mark Levin have been attacking the Democrats repeatedly as the party of Southern traitors, I have begun to wonder whom these tirades are supposed to persuade. This is aside from the question of whether the South had an at least defensible right to secede, given the circumstances in which it joined the Union. Or, whether the 11 Southern states, which collected an army of a million men, were necessarily engaging in traitorous rebellion by deciding to form a new nation (they weren’t traitors).
Today’s conservative movement may be beyond pondering such historical questions. On July 12, the New York Post published a two-page exposé by Michael Goodwin on The New York Times’ late 19th-century founder Adolph Ochs. A German-Jewish newspaper magnate from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ochs came from a pro-Confederate family that had fought in the War for Southern Independence, as Robert N. Rosen wrote in The Jewish Confederates. Ochs’s beloved mother belonged to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Times’ owner went out of his way to fly Confederate Battle Flags. A few years ago, the Post’s editorial board expressed pleasure when a tile with a Confederate flag that the Times’ founder had embedded in the New York subway system was removed. According to the PostOchs had been buried with a Confederate banner.
This fixation with ritualistically denouncing the Confederacy is rather bewildering. The Civil War, which appears still to be traumatizing the GOP, has been over for some time. Moreover, the winning side was wise to eventually accord equal honor to the defeated South. This was a highly intelligent strategy to restore peace, as was the decision to pay the pensions of Confederate as well as Union veterans; as was allowing the conciliatory Virginian aristocrat who commanded the Southern armies, Robert E. Lee, to become one of America’s most honored heroes. Lee was until recently venerated by Americans of all political stripes. The Republican president of my youth, Dwight Eisenhower, came close to worshipping him.
This grace in victory is exactly what made Americans of the past different from the Spaniards, who have never stopped fighting their civil war, waged between the two irreconcilably hostile sides of their country, since it began in 1936. Today, some Americans have decided to descend into the same muck of irreconcilable hostility. This conflict might escalate more thoroughly if Southern whites cared a bit more about being slimed. Remarkably, most of them do not. But Southern white indifference or Southern Republican servility in the face of being collectively insulted still does not make this bizarre obsession look any more sensible.
Whom are establishment conservatives trying to impress by trashing the Southern side in the Civil War? Pace Levin and D’Souza, the present Democratic Party has nothing in common, other than its name, with the party of Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, and Franklin Pierce. As Fox News host Tucker Carlson has pointed out between his own broadsides against the Southern “traitors,” Democrats today may indeed be unfit to govern—but not because the politicians who called themselves Democrats owned slaves in 1860. English Tories in the 1820s opposed the enfranchisement of Catholics. Still, it is hard to figure out what that position has to do with the party of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. American Democrats up until a few years ago opposed gay marriage, but are now fanatically supportive of LGBT rights. European parties of the right have switched to become working-class parties, while European parties of the left attract woke corporate executives and radical lifestyle activists. Political landscapes do change and have done so dramatically since 1860.
All this gnashing of teeth over the events of the 1860s would make some sense if it were likely to bring about an electoral windfall. But it’s hard to see whom the anti-Southern conservatives and GOP operatives hope to win over by engaging in such hysterics. Do they really think more blacks will vote for them if they stridently demand the removal of the statues of Confederate “traitors,” which has become a hallmark position of the editor of National Review? The blacks who will likely vote Republican are concerned with the burning of their businesses and homes, acts of violence that the Democrats either incited or excused. The GOP has no hope of recruiting those of the left who are seething with rage, or pretending to seethe, over Confederate monuments.

By Professor Paul Gottfried
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C.  – March 3, 2007
Those Southern secessionists whose national flag we are now celebrating have become identified not only with a lost cause but with a now publicly condemned one. Confederate flags have been removed from government and educational buildings throughout the South, while Confederate dignitaries whose names and statues once adorned monuments and boulevards are no longer deemed as fit for public mention.
The ostensible reason for this obliteration or dishonoring of Southern history, save for those civil rights victories that came in the second half of the twentieth century, has been the announced rejection of a racist society, a development we are persistently urged to welcome. During the past two generations or so, the South, we have been taught, was a viciously insensitive region, and the Southern cause in 1861 was nothing so much as the attempt to perpetuate the degradation of blacks through a system based on racial slavery. We told now that we should therefore rejoice at the reconstructing of Southern society and culture in a way that excludes, and indeed extirpates from our minds, except as an incentive to further white atonement, the pre-civil rights past, also known as “the burden of Southern history.” This last, frequently encountered phrase is from the title of a famous study of the South by C. Vann Woodward, who in his time was a liberal-minded Southern historian.
Arguments can be raised to refute or modify the received account of Southern history now taught in our public schools and spread by leftist and neoconservative journalists. One can point to the fact that a crushing federal tariff falling disproportionately on Southern states contributed to the sectional hostilities that led to the Southern bid for independence. One can also bring up the willingness of Southern leaders to free blacks and even to put them in grey uniforms, as the price of the freedom that Southerners were seeking from Northern control. And even if one deplores slavery, this commendable attitude, which was also shared by some Confederate leaders, does not justify the federal invasion of the South, with all of its attendant killing and depredation. That invasion took place, moreover, in violation of a right to secede, with which several states, including Virginia, had entered the Union.
A comparison is drawn nowadays between two supposedly equivalent evils, the Old South and Nazi Germany. This comparison has entered the oratory of the NAACP and the Black Caucus; it has also has appeared with increasing frequency in social histories that have come from the American historical profession since the Second World War. A bizarre variation on this comparison, and one frequently heard from the American political Left, is between the Holocaust and Southern slavery. First brought up by the historian Stanley Elkins (when I was still an undergraduate), this seemingly unstoppable obscenity is resurrected whenever black politicians demand reparations. Not surprisingly, those who claim that the Holocaust was unique and that comparing it to any other mass murders, particularly those committed by the Communists, is an impermissible outrage have never to my knowledge protested the likening of American slavery or segregation to the ghastliness of Auschwitz.
The benign acceptance of this comparison by would-be Holocaust-custodians has more to do with leftist political alliances than it does with any genuine reaction to Nazi atrocities. At the very least, reason would require us to acknowledge that Southern slave-owners were vitally concerned about preserving their human chattel, even if they sometimes failed to show them due Christian charity and concern. Unlike the Nazis, these slave-owners were not out to exterminate a race of people; nor did Southern theologians and political leaders deny the humanity of those who served them, a point that historians Eugene Genovese and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese have demonstrated at some length.
But all of this has been by way of introduction to the gist of my remarks. What interests me as a sympathetic outsider looking at your culturally rich region, goes back to an agonized utterance made by someone at the end of William Faulkner’s magnificent literary achievement, The Sound and the Fury. The character, Quentin, who has journeyed from Mississippi to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study at Harvard, and who will eventually take his life, tries to convince himself that “No, I don’t hate the South.” This question is no longer a source of tortured embarrassment, but part of a multicultural catechism that requires an immediate affirmative answer. That is to say, every sound-thinking (bien-pensant) respondent is supposed to hate the “real” South, as opposed to warm-weather resorts that cater to retirees and in contrast to places commemorating Jimmy Carter and Martin Luther King. The South, as the location of the Lost Cause and of Confederate war monuments, is one that we are taught to put out of our minds. It is something that a sensitive society should endeavor to get beyond—and to suppress. 
Looking at this anti-Southernness, in whose filter displaying a Confederate battle flag, particularly in the South, has been turned into a hate crime, one may wish to consider the oddness of such an attitude. Why should those associated with a defeated cause, and one whose combatants were long admired as heroic even by the victorious side, become moral pariahs for their descendants? Is there anything startlingly new about our knowledge of Southern history since the early 1950s, when my public school teachers in Connecticut spoke with respect about Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, which would account for the present condemnation of the same figures? A few years ago, following my viewing of “Gods and Generals,” a movie that deals with the personality and military career of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, I was struck by the widespread attacks on the movie director, Ron Maxwell. Apparently this celebrated director had failed to use his art to expose “Southern racism.”
In fact there was nothing in the movie that suggests any sympathy for human bondage. In one memorable scene, for example, Jackson’s black manservant raises a question in the presence of his master, about whether it is proper to hold a fellow-Christian as a slave. The devout Presbyterian Jackson, who ponders this question, has no answer for his manservant, with whom he has just been praying. How any of this constitutes a defense of slavery is for me incomprehensible, but it does confirm my impression that there is something peculiarly twisted about the current repugnance for the Old South-- and indeed for any South except for the one reconstructed by federal bureaucrats in the last fifty years. On visits to Montgomery, Alabama, I have noticed two local histories, which, like straight lines, never intercept, but nonetheless confront each other on public plaques. One is associated with the birthplace of the Confederacy; and the other with the political activities of Martin Luther King and the distinctly leftist Southern Poverty Law Center. The headquarters of the SPLC, this watchdog of Political Correctness, stands obliquely down the street below the state capitol.
It may have been a pipe dream that the two historical narratives, divided by culture as well as race, could be either bridged or allowed to function simultaneously. What has happened is entirely different. One of the two competing narratives, the one about the South as a bigoted backwater until the triumph of revolutionary forces aided by the federal government changed it, has not only triumphed but has been used to drive out its rival narrative. It might have been a happier outcome if Southern whites and Southern blacks could have agreed on a single narrative that would not demean either race. The second best outcome would have been if both had retained their accounts of the Southern past, as separate non-intersecting ones that nonetheless remained equally appropriate for different groups. The worst outcome, however, is the one that we now have. It is one in which the descendants of the defeated are taught to vilify or treat dismissively their ancestors, so that they can demonstrate their broadmindedness and remorse about past racism.  As a result of this inflicted attitude one is no longer allowed to speak about the South as an historical region without focusing on its real or alleged sins.
But this has not always been the official situation. Certainly this was not the case, even in the North, from the years after Reconstruction up until the second half of the twentieth century, when even veterans of the Union army praised their former foes. It was also not always the case even afterwards, as Shelby Foote’s treatment of the losing side in his work on the Civil War, a classic that has gone through multiple printings, would indicate. The venting of hate and contempt on the South, as found in such predictably unfriendly authors as Eric Foner and James McPherson, is a relatively recent phenomenon. It underscores the fact that the Old South has been defeated twice—and the second time at the level of historical memory even more disastrously than in a shooting war that it lost in the 1860s.
The American white South has fallen victim to the “politics of guilt,” a dreary subject, albeit one on which I have written widely. The Yankee victors of the 1860s, who overwhelmed the Southerners by virtue of their numbers and superior industrial power, did considerable wartime damage. They also subsequently occupied the land of those whom they had vanquished militarily, but then did something that was equally important. They went home, and permitted their devastated opponents to rebuild without an occupying army. What I mean to say is that the first occupation was morally and psychologically less destructive than the ever deepening humiliation that is going on now.
            The first victors were mostly Yankee Protestants, who in some ways were similar to those they had invaded and occupied. Once the passions of fratricidal war had cooled, these Yankees were able to view their former enemies as kindred spirits. Although they were establishing a bourgeois commercial regime, one that differed from the prevalent Southern way of life, the winning side had also recruited farmers and those whose culture did not diverge significantly from that of those who had fought on the Southern side. In a certain sense Socrates’ observation about Greeks once applied to Americans as well. While they could fight brutally with each other, they were still brothers, and so some form of “reconciliation” was eventually possible for the former enemies. And both North and South came up with a narrative about their past differences which bestowed honor to the heroes on both sides. This was possible with the Yankee Unionists, who wished to draw Southerners back into their community, even after a terrible war had been fought to keep the Southerners in a Union that they had tried to leave.
But the second civil war seeks the utter humiliation of those who are seen as opponents of a society that is still being imposed. The Southern traditionalists from this perspective are particularly obnoxious inasmuch as they are a full two-steps behind the project in question. Those who insist on these changes are no longer Victorian capitalists or Methodist and Congregationalist villagers from the North. They are post-bourgeois social engineers and despisers of Western civilization, a stage of development that these revolutionaries identify with discrimination and exclusion.
In Southern traditionalists they see those who are still celebrating a pre-bourgeois, agrarian, and communally structured world. That world appealed to hierarchy, place, and family, and its members displayed no special interest in reaching out to alien cultures. Such ideals and attitudes and the landed, manorial society out of which they came point back to a nineteenth-century conservative configuration. For our post-bourgeois leftist intelligentsia, this point of reference and model of behavior cannot be allowed to persist. It clashes with feminism and the current civil rights movement, and hinders the acceptance of a multicultural ambience.
The fact that people like your selves are still around and still honoring the national flag of nineteenth-century landed warriors from the American South might have the effect, or so it is thought, of making others equally insensitive. Even worse, those who engage in these celebratory rites do not express the now fashionable “guilt” about members of their race and tribe. Those being remembered had owned slaves, and they would have denied women, whom in any case they treated as inherently different from men, equal access to jobs. Needless to say, non-Westerners are not required to dwell on similar improprieties among their ancestors or contemporaries, and so they may celebrate their collective pasts without disclaimers or reservations. The hairshirt to be worn only fits Western bodies, and in particular impenitent Southern ones.

It is against this background that one might try to understand the loathing that the political, journalistic, and educational establishment reserves for the unreconstructed white inhabitants of the South. You seem to bother that establishment to a degree that Louis Farrakhan and those unmistakable anti-white racists, who are often found in our elite universities, could never hope to equal. You exemplify what the late Sam Francis called the “chief victimizers” in our victimologically revamped society, an experimental society that fits well with our increasingly rootless country. But your enemies are also the enemies of historic Western civilization, or of the West that existed in centuries past. You may take pride in those whom you honor as your linear ancestors but equally in the anger of those who would begrudge you the right to honor them. What your critics find inexcusable is that you are celebrating your people’s past, which was a profoundly conservative one based on family and community, and those who created and defended it. For your conspicuous indiscretions, I salute you; and I trust that generations to come will take note of your willingness to defy the spirit of what is both a cowardly and tyrannical age.                    

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
NANCY PELOSI and the Stormtroopers
It showed up in the news, almost unannounced, on Friday (July 17), just one small snippet which, no surprises, didn’t show up as a headline on NBC, CNN, or MSNBC. I suppose it shouldn’t have shocked me, indeed, the accusation made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was not the worst or the most insane thing she’s ever said (she has a long and illustrious history of lunatic statements). But this time, in this current climate of extreme social and political unrest—revolution in the streets with a large majority of our political leaders either tacitly supporting it or remaining silent—it just struck me. And all last night I thought about its meaning.
Regarding the order by Attorney General William Barr (at the behest of President Trump) to send in Federal agents to protect endangered Federal buildings in Portland, Oregon, and eventually other major cities, Pelosi blasted those agents she called “squads” Friday as “stormtroopers ... kidnapping protesters.” In other words, Pelosi, the third ranking functionary in the national government is comparing legitimate Federal agents doing their legal and constitutionally-mandated duty to protect Federal property as nothing more than vicious Nazi Brown Shirts.
I know, this is supposed to be hyperbole…but is it really? Isn’t this the real narrative now the American Left has taken upon itself? For nearly four years we’ve heard that (1) Donald Trump’s election was invalid and null and void, (2) that he is a dupe and an agent of Vladimir Putin, (3) that he was unfit mentally for office, and (4) that he “wants to destroy our democracy” [sic!]. Hilary Clinton declares that he won’t leave office peacefully after the election in November, assuming the vote goes against him; and dozens of other Democrats and Never Trumpers are repeating that mantra to prepare for their own program of election fraud and voter manipulation, in a rather thinly-disguised exercise in projection.  And to accomplish this, anyone who in any way dissents or questions this strategy must be demonized, and the reductio ad Hitlerum mode of attack, which has worked in the past, is now deployed full bore. You oppose me and what I do in the streets (or in Congress)? You must be a Nazi! A Brown Shirt! Probably a white male, maybe a five-day a week tradesman, who goes to church, has a nuclear family, believes in the old fashioned concept of sin and hard work…in other words a bigoted racist, a white supremacist who stands in the way of Progress and the new socialist Utopia that would make Orwell’s 1984 seem like a virtual paradise…and Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag seem like summer camp.
In fact, you accuse your enemies of the very same skullduggery you are doing. Thus, the violent rioters and revolutionaries in the streets, and their handlers in high political office—those enablers who make the revolution palatable to viewers of CNN or NBC—are the very ones who have lost whatever belief they ever had in the American republican system, assuming that these post-Marxist militants ever had any real faith in that system, a highly dubious proposition. They are the true Brown Shirts, the new Red Guard, and they are protected and encouraged by our leaders, including far too many timorous Republicans.
But a majority of Americans who only catch a few minutes of the evening news at night, or who go to a “mainstream” church, or work at a business or corporation now converted to “wokeness,” will never see what is happening, they will not see the riots and looting in major cities, they will not hear of the violence and the real goals and objectives of the Black Lives Matter revolutionaries. Rather, they will be like a close relative of mine who is convinced after a constant diet of network television and social justice sermons at church, that we inhabit a thoroughly racist society, wracked by historic “white supremacy,” a society in which literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of poor unarmed black men, without civil rights, have been ruthlessly assaulted and murdered by those horrible fascist police.
That’s her view, and no amount of factual information or data can convince her otherwise. She and her husband are convinced that Donald Trump is a Russian agent (despite what has happened, the revelations of the past three years), that he is a fascist dictator wannabe who won’t permit a fair election. They believe that the thousands of rioting revolutionaries in the streets are, to quote CNN and dozens of leftist mayors and congressmen, “mostly peaceful demonstrators” who are targeted by—yes—Trump’s Brown Shirts.
Ten years ago I would have considered the present upheaval something that our November presidential elections would quieten down, that getting a job and reaching maturity might cure. How is it possible, I keep asking, that millions of Americans have now bought into this new “Big Lie,” that they have literally fallen into the hog wallow of leftist madness, apparently swallowed it hook, line and sinker?
In 1972, as the Vietnam protests began to wane, by an overwhelming majority the American citizenry voted for law, stability and order. But since then—nearly fifty years now—the Marxist apparatchiks in our schools and universities have been feverishly busy, educating at least two generations of fanatical and indoctrinated social justice warriors…our children. Far too many of our Republican and conservative legislators, for fear of being called “anti-education” or “not concerned about our children,” have thrown millions of dollars into sink hole universities. There in those festering nests of vipers, Marxist professors with half-million dollar salaries who live in gated mansions frantically inculcate generation after generation of newly-minted revolutionaries, youthful totalitarians, badly educated (except in Twitter, Instagram and “social justice” frenzy), but ready to emerge out into the streets and take down symbols of our collective history, and go online and into the corporate boardrooms to get you fired or banned if you murmur the slightest demurrer.
Back in 1971, preparing an MA in history at the University of Virginia, I knew some of these future professors and teachers. Back then it was them praising Cuban terrorist Che Guevara and Afrocentric Frantz Fanon (and his attack on “European colonialism”). What they spouted then has been transformed now and has taken hold in almost all of our college and universities, and has seeped deeply into our public schools. And trusting parents, confiding their children into the hands of educators and eventually to “the best college education money can buy,” are like parents who turn their children over to pedophiles.
I have a friend whose daughter teaches history (AKA “social studies”) in a public school down the road from me in a nearby rural county; she is the only openly conservative faculty member there, and she has to follow the “woke,” state-mandated curriculum in her classes or lose her job. She copes the best she can, but in this climate that’s not saying a lot. Each year she watches the newly-infected senior class go off to the college hothouses and eventually out into the streets, filled with an unquenched  and unquenchable fervor…the advance formations of revolutionaries intent on destroying and totally remaking what’s left of this nation.

Those Federal agents in Portland are “Stormtroopers”? No, Nancy, you and your wealthy plutocrats who attempt to use the present unrest and violence politically are guilty before God and your fellow men of crimes of worst sort, against the republic and its constitution, against the students and future generations, and against common decency and the truth that never changes. 

  June 10, 2024   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   North Carolina’s Mark Robinson and the Uncontrolled Rage of the Left ...