I don’t know what the terms “far right” or “fascism” means these days.
These terms are thrown around in the corporate media and seem to apply to any American who is a social conservative, especially those who are economic populists, who do not embrace their values of liberalism, antiracism, modernism, cosmopolitanism and political correctness/wokeness. In the 19th century, the only thing on this list that existed in America was liberalism and back then it was a very different kind of liberalism. Cultural liberalism emerged toward the end of the Victorian era in the 1910s. Liberalism had previously been about political rights and economics, not cultural liberation.
In my view, I am a traditionalist, not a modernist, which is to say, I define my sense of identity like most White Southerners have throughout American history. My sense of identity is based on race, ethnicity, culture, family, religion, place and political ideology. I have a personal sense of identity and a collective sense of identity. I feel closer to some people than others based on our shared history and cultural affinities. My sense of identity isn’t based on an aesthetic lifestyle preference, a deep sense of alienation from my own ethnic group, novelty seeking and expressive and egalitarian values.
I can trace the roots of my values and political ideology from Jeffersonianism through Jacksonian Democracy through the Confederacy to the Populist era to the New Deal to the Wallace Democrats to Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot through Trumpism and down to the present day. There has always been a populist current running through American history and especially here in the South.
This is “fascism” and “far right extremism” though to libs who are ignorant of American history. It is not the reassertion of what used to be normal in this country prior to the Second World War and the Boomer generation. It used to be normal for White people to be assertive and to take pride in their identity and heritage. It used to be normal for religion and morality to be distinct from identity and politics. We also used to have an economy that was more regulated in the public interest than it is today.
Jacksonian Democracy used to be strongest here in the “Old Southwest.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that populism and lib owning has such deep roots here. The honor culture of the Old South was strong here. President Andrew Jackson once killed a man in a duel for insulting his wife. The fire eater Sen. William Lowndes Yancey also once killed a man in a duel. Preston Brooks famously caned Sen. Charles Sumner. Mark Twain attributed the demise of the Union and the Civil War to the honor culture of the Old South.
Thomas Jefferson described sectional differences in culture this way in a letter in 1785:
“In the north they are:
- jealous of their own liberties, and just to those of others
- superstitious and hypocritical in their religion
In the south they are:
- zealous for their own liberties, but trampling on those of others
- without attachment or pretensions to any religion but that of the heart
These are still some of our better characteristics.
WHY ARE PEOPLE SO MAD ABOUT THIS?
If you know anything about American history, it isn’t surprising that the growth of political correctness and wokeness among established progressive elites in the Eastern states and in wealthy suburbs across the country has set off such a volcanic reaction that is concentrated in the rural South.
The Democratic Party in 2021 is descended from the Federalist Party, the Whig Party and the Republican Party of Lincoln and Nelson Rockefeller. It is an Eastern Party that is dominated by wealthy coastal elites and White upper middle class professionals who believe in political correctness, modernism and cosmopolitanism and who hate populism and loathe the White working class. The familiar configuration of Big Business, utopian social reformers and professionals has reemerged. You can see on display in our own times all the familiar negative characteristics of their ancestors whether it is witch hunting hysteria, elitism and censorship (the Alien and Sedition Acts), religious enthusiasm and fanatical crusades to perfect the world by stamping out various evils (tobacco, alcohol, slavery, now the concept of two genders, patriarchy and whiteness, etc.), incessant middle class preening and scolding and sheer panic that other people are able to think for themselves, express their opinions online and vote without their guidance.
Note: Watch that clip of Stephen Colbert wagging his finger, scolding and calling all Trump supporters mouth breathers and racists because of the Atlanta shooting.