28 April 2008

The Scots-Irish Are Coming

According to Michael Hirsh of Newsweek, "Southernism is taking over our national dialogue. Maybe it's time for the North to secede from the Union." He introduces his piece with the following paragraph:

"In the summer of 1863, Robert E. Lee led an ill-advised incursion into Pennsylvania. His army was defeated at Gettysburg, and thence afterward Lee beat a fighting retreat until the South lost the Civil War. One hundred and forty-five years later, the South--or what has become the South-Southwest--has won another kind of Civil War. It has transformed the sensibility of the country. It is setting the agenda for our political, social and religious mores--in Pennsylvania and everywhere else."

And Mr. Hirsh is scared. Read the complete article here. The article, though poorly written, warns readers of the influence of the Scots-Irish. Yes, be afraid, be very afraid. And how about this excerpt of hubris to illustrate snobbish elitism and arrogance at its worse:

". . . the Southern frontiersmen never got over their hatred of the East Coast elites and a belief in the morality and nobility of defying them. Their champion was the Indian-fighter Andrew Jackson. The outcome was that a substantial portion of the new nation developed, over many generations, a rather savage, unsophisticated set of mores. Traditionally, it has been balanced by a more diplomatic, communitarian Yankee sensibility from the Northeast and upper Midwest. But that latter sensibility has been losing ground in population numbers--and cultural weight."

Yeah, right. That's why so many of these more "diplomatic, communitarian sensible Yankees" are fleeing the culturally decaying, high-tax, big government areas of the Northeast for the sunny south. It would seem as though they don't like the universe they've created. This man is not only arrogant, he's delusional.

If he really wants a fright, he should read Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb's book, Born Fighting - How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Worth quoting from the book: “The Scots-Irish were the cultural antithesis of those who had founded *New England” and “Their answer, then as now, was to tell the Eastern Establishment to go to hell.”

I believe, however, that most Southerners would prefer that the Eastern Establishment simply repent and go to heaven.

Hat tip to Southern Appeal.

*Full disclosure: I am a direct descendant (on my father's side) of New England stock: a 9th generation great-grandson of the Reverend Roger Williams, the founder of the colony of Rhode Island and of the first Baptist Church in America. So my distaste is not for New Englanders--I'm proud of that part of my ancestry--but I abhor the elitist attitude expressed by Hirsh which looks down upon Scots-Irish Southerners, from whom I am also descended.

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