Formerly Ad Orientem

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Under the patronage of St. Tammany



Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

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Irish Elk - Blogged


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Irish Elk
Thursday, November 06, 2003  

The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those in the shadows of life--the sick, the needy, and the handicapped. Hubert Humphrey

How would most of today's Democrats fare by this standard? What does partial-birth abortion mean to those in the dawn of life, or the Terri Schiavo precedent to those in the shadows?

The radicals who excoriated him in '68 and remain known today as soixante-huitards have taken over Hubert Humphrey's party, lock, stock and barrel, as the Labourites supplanted the old Liberals in Britain. The name may be the same, but the current Democratic Party has more in common with the Socialist International than with the liberal internationalist party of Truman or JFK.

And with regard to the quote above: It is breathtaking to listen to "progressives" of the Jacobin Left speaking on the Schiavo case or on partial-birth abortion to whom Humanity counts for all, but humanity, for little; to whom Rights are paramount, but not persons; and who would readily dismantle the social institutions of generations in the name of the Individual, but who seem to give so little damn about individuals.

A professor who holds a university chair in political science named for one of the last of the old-time big-city Democrats spoke at Northwestern recently as part of a lecture series designed to spark student activism:

Using graphs she showed that children of educated parents tend to participate in politics twice as often as those of less educated parents. Schlozman said people avoid politics for three reasons, all rooted in education: "because they can't, because they won't or because no one asked them to." In addition, she said, the U.S. political structure might be prone to inequality because of relatively weaker unions and political parties. "In the U.S., we don't have any working class or peasant parties," she said.

America did have a workingman's party before the "educated" pushed a presidential primary system that has come to be dominated by extremists and special-interest groups – including, on the Democratic side, a plethora of over-educated college professors who purport to speak for the "peasants" but whose exposure to the lower classes is limited to nannies, custodians, and the picturesque villagers of Spring Break immersion junkets to Guatemala.

Zell Miller of Georgia, conservative Democrat and baseball fan, pictured appropriately enough on his website with a pair of Yellow Dogs, is this page's new hero. A compilation on the Georgia Senator has been posted by E. L. Core. Midwest Conservative Journal's Christopher Johnson astutely comments: If Zell Miller was the Democratic candidate for president in 2004, the Democrats could start planning the inauguration right now.

Missourian Johnson also takes his stand on the Southland:

When most people think of the American South, they think of ignorant, inbred bigots who drive pick-ups, listen to country music, kill blacks for sport and vote for George W. Bush. But the genius of the South is completely unappreciated.

The South produced the Revolutionary War's greatest general, Daniel Morgan. The greatest conservative mind America or just about anybody else has ever produced, John C. Calhoun, was from South Carolina. And every truly American music has its roots in the South, from jazz to blues to country to rock and roll.

I don't remember the exact quote but someone once said something to the effect that the South produces Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Eudora Welty while the North produces people who write about Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Eudora Welty.

Robert Frost commented along similar lines when he urged John F. Kennedy to be more Irish than Harvard.

The Confederate flag again is at the center of controversy. I liked the tack taken a few years back by some black entrepreneurs in South Carolina who began marketing clothing with the Confederate flag in Black Liberation colors. The idea was noted at Reason magazine in a brief article headlined "Civil Wardrobe":

The Confederate flag has many defenders and detractors, but few would merely like it to…evolve. But why not? In different contexts, the Southern Cross might represent racism, regional pride, or an enthusiasm for Lynyrd Skynyrd; there's no sense in branding everyone who waves it a closet Ku Kluxer. Meanwhile, the flag's partisans have made an almost identical mistake, claiming their Confederate relics bond them to a timeless tradition rather than a highly contingent, constantly changing bundle of meanings.

Best, then, to shake off those interpretive shackles and let these symbols evolve more freely. The NuSouth logo may be factitious, gimmicky, even crass, but it hints at more truths about Dixie than any bromides about the Old South or platitudes about the New. Fly it proudly.


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