Southerners Used To Be Progressives


I sometimes feel like no one else in American politics has done their research.

The progressives have been fighting with a generation of Baby Boomer conservatives for so long that they have forgotten that Southerners used to like them:

“Half a century of Southern political isolation ended with the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson on March 4, 1913. Whether Democratic or Republican, government for years “had been steadily conservative, Eastern, urban, industrial.” Whatever hopes and aspirations the agrarians and petty middle classes, Southern and Western, held had been classified as heresies: free trade, populism, Bryanism, and the conspiracy to debase the coinage with silver. Only the rise of a nationwide progressive movement finally had broken the spell of the bloody shirt and the full dinner pail, split the Republican Party, and permitted the Democrats to win in 1912. It was the victory of a minority party – Arizona was the only state outside the South in which Wilson polled a majority – but that served only to accentuate the position of the South as the main support of the winner.

Even the setting of the inauguration evoked a Southern mood. It was “one of the most perfect March days Washington had ever known.” A gentle breeze blew across the Capitol as the former Rebel, Chief Justice Edward Douglass White of Louisiana, administered the oath. Southerners crowded into Washington for the triumph, “brought along their full lung development and let it loose every few minutes.” Three hundred thousand marchers took four hours to pass down Pennsylvania Avenue; the represented the victorious Democracy from coast to coast, but reporters noted that a vociferous “Rebel Yell” broke out whenever a Southern figure rode by or a band blared Dixie! “Thousands of voices sang the words of it in unison.” If any Southern observer caught the portent of top-hatted and gray-gloved Negroes among the Tammany braves, that detail seems not to have been recorded.

The Democratic hosts acclaimed the first native Southerner elected president since Abraham Lincoln. Wilson had lived in the North since maturity, but the background of birth in Virginia and early years in Georgia and the Carolinas had left its imprint on his speech, character, and personality. He said once that “the only place in the country, the only place in the world where nothing has to be explained to me is the South.” Staunton, Virginia, his birthplace, called him back for a sentimental celebration before the inauguration; citizens of Columbia, South Carolina, bought his boyhood home and invited him to use it as a summer residence.

His election was a kind of vindication for the South. The South, “beaten, bleeding, prostrate” half a century before, one reporter reflected, had “come back to rule the Union.” In Washington, he said, “you feel it in the air … you listen to evidence of it in the mellow accent with which the South makes our English a musical tongue; you hear strange names of men to whom leadership and importance are attributed, and if you ask, you almost invariably learn that they are from the South.” Five of the ten cabinent members were men born below the Potomac, and William Jennings Bryan, the Secretary of State, was an idol of the Southern masses. William Gibbs McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury and James C. McReynolds, Attorney General, were hyphenated New Yorkers, born and raised in Georgia and Tennessee. David F. Houston, former Texan, North-Carolina-born, took leave from Washington University to become Secretary of Agriculture. The Secretary of the Navy was Josephus Daniels, publisher of the Raleigh News and Observer and a Bryanite progressive …

The sudden accession of the South to national leadership provoked a variety or reactions and conjectures. For Southern Democrats, who had wandered so long in the political wilderness, it meant that they were, in the often repeated words of Benjamin H. Hill, back in the house of their fathers. For many Northerners, it raised a fearsome vision of the South once again “in the saddle.” But some anticipated the culmination of a great national reconciliation. “The first and most important meaning, perhaps is that the period of reconstruction has ended,” said one writer. “The return of the Democrats to power breaks down sectionalism,” said another. …”

Please read.

Get off Twitter and stop being mad at your fellow citizens all the time over political correctness. Familiarize yourself with history. Dismount your moral high horse.

Maybe you could win in the South?

The spoiler to this story is that Jews fucked up the Democratic Party in the 20th century after the Second World War by alienating White Southerners. Political correctness has driven millions of White populists into the Republican Party. Instead of fighting with them over Confederate monuments, you could work with them to advance a common policy agenda but you are too dumb to realize it.

Note: The excerpt above comes from pages 1-3 of George Brown Tindall’s The Emergence of the New South, 1913-1945. You should really brush up on Southern history.

Could Southern identitarian-progressives and Southern identitarian-populists … TALK? How can we work together to get rid of True Conservatism here in 2020?

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. You forget that the modern era of Globalism, AKA international interventionism, stared with Woodrow Wilson. You probably know that he fell ill and was almost comatose, a fact that the powers that be kept from the people, which allowed his adviser, the the father of Globalism,(Col. Mandell House) to take control of his presidency and form “The Inquiry” which today is known as the Council of Foreign Relations. Wilson might have been born in the South but it is to him we owe the Shermanization of American foreign policy whereby we have to get involved in every conflict all over the world because the enemy can no longer be just a political rival but must spiritually evil to even challenge the United States and must be wiped off the face of the Earth like Gen. Sherman did in Georgia.

    • That was a really weird period in American history. Most of the ruling class were self proclaimed “white supremacists” but they were also internationalists, globalists and philo-semites. There is a direct line between Wilson and the modern SJW movement. Progressive era Anglo elites had a vision of messianic liberalism. They believed the Anglo race had a duty to spread liberalism around the world by force. They hated anything traditional or nationalistic.

      They essentially saw Anglos as superior precisely because they were so liberal and anti-tradition.
      Germans, Russians, Celts, “Latins” and other non-Anglos were seen as inferior becuase they were more traditional and less liberal. It was a very small step for them to decide that white racial consciousness was bad because it was getting in the way of spreading liberalism to the dark races. Being anti-racist made one a better missionary. In the years immediately after Wilson was elected, the Anglo upper class embraced multi-racialism.

  2. Two points:

    – The vaunted “changes” in the South ought not to be thought, especially in hindsight, good changes, unless Hunter’s new placement on arbitrary star-charts has also realigned his views of the wholesomeness of antebellum Dixie. What point is it to gain the world if we lose our souls? I – for one – am an unreconstructed Southerner and want that old-world Christendom, or nothing. Southern squirming and wiggling for the tit-of-the-state was the outward sign of decay caused by the Civil War and was, at best, a desperate attempt of the war-ravaged to salvage daily meals; that form of “populism” ought not be accepted as a principle. We’re not principled “democrats” after all, even if some of our ancestors were members of the Democrat party.

    – Second, historical facts are, in a way, like the infamous “Gestalt Beast” – they can appear however the observer (or, in this case: the historian), wants them to appear. And how will a thoroughly-reconstructed, modernist academic, educated at radical left-wing state universities, understand the history of the south? A far better source for understanding this tumultuous period, in my opinion, is William Percy’s “Lanterns on the Levee” – a work that represents unreconstructed commentary on the emergence of the New South.

    I recommend it, not to discard Hunter’s citation above, but perhaps to supplement it and give it proper perspective.

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