Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ohio, Oregon media consider American Nations-guided secession

As readers of American Nations probably know, I'm not a fan of the idea of breaking up the United States, for reasons I outlined more directly in this book review I did for Washington Monthly a few years back. (In short: why would we expect it to turn out peacefully?)

Still, there's something to be said for some states wanting to reconfigure their own borders in ways that better reflect the centuries-old cultural fissures on the continent. This talk has been growing of late, with a split up of California often at the top of the list.

Consider just the past week. Newspapers in two less-discusssed states with massive cultural fault lines -- Oregon and Ohio -- floated secession ideas rooted in American Nations' map.

The first, from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's digital arm, Cleveland.com, muses about Ohio's (New England-settled) Western Reserve becoming the 51st state. (For some more on their overarching topic -- the differences between Cleveland and Cincy -- check out this piece in Cincinnati Magazine.)

The second, from the other Portland's Willamette Week, considers multiple scenarios for dividing the state and the Pacific Northwest. Sadly, they inform us that the American Nations approach is politically unviable because, as they put it, "who wants to show a passport just to visit Pendleton?" (I had to look that up too: it's a small town in eastern Oregon.)

If you're new to this American Nations stuff and want to learn more, try this piece or, of course, the book itself.

7 comments:

  1. You know that prejudice against southerners is still prejudice. And it seems hypocritical for a leftist who hates the south for its religiosity and its conservatism would probably be the first one condemning criticism against Islam as "Islamophobia." But of course it seems the leftist narrative that all cultures are equal doesn't apply to southerners. You were also inaccurate in your book revolving your description of the deep south.

    Your fear of a "deep southern oligarchy that wants to create a southern baptist theocracy," is nothing more than paranoid Yankee conspiracy theories that you have not backed up by any evidence and seems to come entirely out of questionable books like Michael Lind's Made in Texas, and the hilariously titled American Theocracy. You're basically the Glenn Beck of the left except instead of jumping on a political ideology as he does with progressivism, you attack a whole group of people instead.

    There is no "baptist version of Sharia law," and there is no Southern Baptist church or any Christian demonination, (except maybe Calvinists) which call for a theocracy. Furthermore there is no southerner Deep or otherwise that wakes up in the morning and is like, "wow, you know what would be great, living in a Christian theocracy controlled by an oligarchy of wealthy businessmen."

    Most southerners believe in the things they say they believe in, the bible, a strict constructionist view of the constitution, a view of freedom which sees liberty as freedom from government, and democracy for all men.

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    1. I stand by my account, and refer you to your own last paragraph as evidence. (The "democracy for all men" part is a bit rich, however, given the Deep South's history on this score.)

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  2. Yes, but then that's the problem with your account isn't it. Supposing deep southerners believe the exact same things they believed in the 50's with no alteration. Most deep southerners today would not deny the franchise to those of other races and even the suggestion of such by a politician would be a death sentence to their career and likewise to their reputation. That goes for an average citizen of the deep south as well. Anyone who said anything racist in public or in front of anyone would be immediately socially ostracized. Blacks regularly serve in public office in deep southern states, and my own state had an Indian governor not to long ago that was beloved by most of the states inhabitants.

    As for my last paragraph, yes those are views that you are likely to disagree with on a personal level but I don't see how it amounts to, "southern baptist theocratic oligarchy." Believing the bible doesn't necessarily or even usually coincide with a belief that the government should be a theocracy. Nobody in the south supports any kind of oligarchy either, they're more politically along the lines of, "I love my guns, and my bible, and my constitution, and the government needs to leave me alone." Actually they aren't that different from your Greater Appalachians in that regard.

    I should add that I agree mostly with your theory, I simply have a problem with you painting a whole group of people as a bunch of irredeemable backwards monsters just because they disagree from your social justice warrior political opinions. Its prejudiced as hell.

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    1. The book doesn't argue that all the people living in the Deep South or any other region champion the dominant cultural characteristics of their regional culture. I sympathize with people who've had to live with that region's legacy. The "backwards monsters" of your description would be the region's elite.

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  3. Alright, well if you're insulting the Deep South's elites rather than her people, I apologize if I have insulted you in any way. I am from deep southern South Carolina and I took the portrayal of the Deep South in the book as an insult to me, my neighbors, and my culture. That being said, is there any way that you can prove your claim that there exists some kind of nefarious deep southern oligarchy? When I made the Glenn Beck comparison earlier it was because it reminded me of the late 2000s when Glenn Beck was painting all progressives as communist eugenicists, and attributing the worlds problems to some sort of progressive conspiracy called crime inc. This deep southern oligarchy that wants to turn America into a "Baptist theocracy" and I don't know if you were using hyperbole when you wrote that, seems an equally outrageous claim. Can you prove that there's some sort of nefarious class of deep southern business men and that they are any worse than any other nations elite, and that they are in any way related to the planter aristocracy of years gone by (of whom I understand vanished with the coming of the bowl weevil?)

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    1. With all the regional cultures, the book argues that the founding settlement groups had an outsized influence on the trajectory, values, and institutions of their respective "nation." The planters created an oligarchic system, one that persists in many respects today.

      As to whether the *actual* planter families are still an important component of the Deep South's oligarchic class, that would be a really interesting topic of study. (I suspect they've probably faded, just as the "New England brahmins" have in Yankeedom or the Tidewater gentry families of Virginia.)

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  4. "Wow, you know what would be great, living in a Christian theocracy controlled by an oligarchy of wealthy businessmen." Given current legislation to limit reproductive rights and roll back financial institution controls, as well as buttress bogus claims for Christian "religious freedom," there are evidently a lot of congressmen and governors who do wake up saying that, though perhaps not exclusively in the South.

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