The morning George W. Bush was announced as the winner of the 2000 election, the first words out of my mouth were "We're going to have hard times ahead of us." In addition, I said we were going to have a war and that it would not be pretty. After eight years, I can honestly say we were put on the path towards hard times and we are now in wars that have not been ideal, not that any war is, but that things were done half-assed. Somewhere in between his first term and his reelection, I was someone who said a civil war was coming. Along the same lines, I was also hinting at the saying those below the Mason Dixon line know all too well.
"The South will rise again."
Only in the last few years have we seen a glimpse of this trend on the national stage with any regularity. Now we are seeing a large movement with principles coming from the old ways of the South. I'm speaking, of course, of the current Republican Party, but the Tea Party movement has benefited from these sentiments more than any other faction of the Conservative base.
A few of these signs rest in plain sight. The voting pattern in the 2008 election which put Barack Obama in office clearly had a slant towards McCain in southern states. The overwhelming caucasian demographic of the Republican party is another trend hiding in plain sight.
Let me toss out a few more.
The Tea Party movement specifically refers to their organized approach as a revolution. In recent history, there have never been more threatening words towards our own government by a group of people this large. They feel that as a party and as a people, they are at war.
Along the same lines, members of this particular flavor of the Conservative base feel as though it is their duty to take "their" country back. Let's set aside the fact that the 2008 election was democratic in nature and Obama ended up in the White House as a result of this democratic system. Let's set aside the fact that Americans are Americans, whether they sit Left, Right, or Center. Let's even set aside the possibility that many want to "take their country back" from a black man (who isn't completely black, but a mixed-race individual). There exists the same sort of southern "us against them" mentality which was around at the time of the Civil War. This North vs South thing is evident in the language chosen by the Tea Party movement.
These people are clinging to old ways. Whether it's a religious thing pertaining to gay marriage or a cultural thing related to race, people in the Tea Party movement are clamoring to return to the 50's. Suggesting that the notion is ridiculous by way of a question is simply asking the wrong question. I'll give you the answer. Yes, they do want the 50's. Why? "Simpler times." To a small town local yokel, that kind of life resonates.
As discussed by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, a speaker at the Tea Party convention suggested having to pass a civil literacy test in order to be able to vote. Instead of granting the rights of all citizens in this great country to vote, a test of this nature has been used specifically to prohibit any black person from having a voice in any election. The test wasn't designed so that the uninformed were not allowed to vote, a notion admittedly present in the minds of many Liberals after W was elected when dumb shits were clearly to blame. While I understand the sentiment, that is not the nation of ideals we were founded on. The literacy test was designed as a form of selection, allowing certain people (white) to vote and others (black) denied. The suggestion to use a literacy test in any form is simply wrong.
The Secessionist movement, or perhaps simply the sentiment, is rooted in the same mentality of southern pride. Even the notion of "Big Government" is related to this idea that the South has this unspoken sovereign power to withstand the northern influence.
Even gun ownership has its own flavor of southern spice. There is a very apparent preparedness of gun toting rednecks to take up arms in some grand stand against the government. The only way you'd know about this sentiment is if you spend any time living in the South or take some time out of your day reading posts online by rednecks who own guns. They are under the impression that since Liberals are for gun control, it would be a quick battle since they, as rednecks, have all the guns. I'd hate to be the bearer of bad news, but gun owners come from many different backgrounds. I can shoot. Rachel Maddow can shoot. If you come shooting, rest assured, there will be people ready to shoot back.
Whether it's elite vs middle of the country, white vs minority (a statistic that will change soon given the growing hispanic population), redneck vs city folk, or Liberal vs Conservative, all show signs of the South rising again.
Anyone who lives outside of the South who enjoys their way of life should be afraid of this movement. Anyone supporting the Tea Party movement should make themselves aware of the language they choose to use among its followers. Such a violent sentiment will rip our nation apart and leave both our economy and infrastructure in ruins. While the Right has a very paranoid element to it, I admit that this post has a paranoid quality to it as well. I'm sad to say that the language on the Right is more pronounced than what you might think and the reality of a revolution in a violent form is a distinct possibility.