You must dig deep into the dusty annals of Southern history to fully comprehend the depth and breadth of the South's "perfect society" theory. So it goes for lost civilizations! But what exactly was "the perfect society" and does it still influence contemporary thinking?
In a nutshell, the "perfect society" was a paradigm. It held that "no matter how rich or poor you were, how educated or non-educated you were, who your parents were, what country that you came from, what your religious preference was, what color your skin happened to be, you were always one rung higher than the slave."
Revisionist historians have attempted to substitute "black" for "slave." Nothing could be further from the truth! Not only were "people of color" slaveholders, many fought for the South during the war between the states!
At the time of the war between the states, there were 31 million living in the United States. Of that number, only nine million lived in the south. Today we are ten times that number. A large portion of that total(if not the majority) does not have mid-19th century roots. Therefore, we are talking about a small fraction of America that could be influenced collectively by this forgotten point of view.
The "perfect society" continues to surface. Most prolifically, we saw it in the Republican debates. When Rick Perry told the hosting Tea Party to "have a heart," he was unconsciously expressing an annoyance that stemmed from his own collective unconscious. Perry is a Southerner. His American roots go much further back than the war between the states.
The issue was "waiving out-of-state tuition for children of illegal aliens." Non-Southerners, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney were citing Perry for being "soft on illegal immigration." In Perry's mind, the mistake had already been made by the federal goverment. He and 177 of 181 Texas legislatures concluded that "making the best out of a federal failure," was the right and only course.
What differentiated Perry and the Texas legislatures from his Republican opponents was their view of the children themselves. These kids were seen as human beings first, and potential resources for the state of Texas. There were no ethnic considerations. There was not even a thought of their parents national origins.
Perry alone did not come to this conclusion. But he was given credit for assuming a leadership role. It may have cost him the Republican nomination. Yet, his and the Texas legislatures' decision was consistent with "perfect society" ideology.
The significance of Perry's position may be unclear when attempting to apply it in 2012. True, there are no slaves in America. At least, not officially! But wait! Let's take a closer look!
Millions of Americans can be classified as "entitlees." In other words, they are dependent totally on the government for their livelihoods. We are not talking about Social Security or disability recipients. We are not referring to anyone who has paid into a system and is now receiving their due! These "entitlees" are those who are essentially "wards of the nation." They don't work. They never have worked. They simply live, often bearing children in the process.
President Lyndon Johnson can be credited for bringing to America, "the great society." This should not be confused with the South's "perfect society." In actuality, it is polar opposite! Johnson's "great society" was a massive welfare state. It encouraged Americans to become wards or dependents of the government. It created nothing short of a modern day slave system!
If the "perfect society" terminology were inacted in modern America, it would stipulate that these "entitlees" would be denied suffrage. In effect, "no matter how rich or poor, your color, creed, or national origin, if you worked or had worked," you would always be one rung higher than the "entitlee."
This is not to say that Governor Perry advocates disenfranchising "entitlees!" He has never hinted at such! But he would agree that any socieity that found a way to eliminate color, religious and ethnic lines would be advantageous and worthy of consideration!
Having mid-19th century American roots is not a prerequisite for embracing the "perfect society" theory.
Florida Senator, Marco Rubio presented a perception of America that is consistent with the South's perfect society. The Senator grew up in Florida which, in spite of the large hoard of transplants, is a Southern state, holding a Southern soul. Like Perry, Rubio has never suggested disenfranchisement for entitlees. But he would agree that eliminating differences based on color, ethnic and religious lines would be a noble objective!
Could non-Southerners comfortably adopt the "perfect society?" Easily and decisively! For those who have roots in America more than a century, it would amount to an acquired point of view. History provides insight as to "why."
There was a huge flood of Europeon immgrants, especially from Southern and Eastern Europe in the 1890's. Because of language differences, the immigrants tended to stick together. Most went to the North. . Those already there resented the newcomers. Primarily because they were willing to work for less. The fact that they spoke the tougue of their origin exacerbated the animosity.
That was then. Today, adopting "perfect society" thinking is comparable to learning a second language. Jeb Bush, did not grow up in a Spanish speaking household. Nevertheless he embraced the language and culture. Today he speaks Spanish better than most Hispanics.
In short, non-Southerners could and would see the genuine wisdom of the "perfect society." They would become some of it's most vocal supporters!
There would be strong opposition. The greatest proponents of Johnson's "great society" are Barack Obama and the majority of Democrats. More "entitlees" translates to more votes! The thought of disenfrachising "entitlees," even if it meant creating an America where color, ethnic and religious lines were inconsequential would be considered a threat.
"E" is for English introduced a fourth grade English proficiency test as a prerequasite for a required voter I.D. card. This also would face serious opposition from the far left. Their position is simple: "Without the "entitlee" vote, their consituency would be greatly diminished. Add those unable to pass a fourth grade English literacy test and their party would face extinction!
Could the South's perfect society theory be sold to America?
The answer is, "yes, to some if not most of America." To all? Obviously not!
There are growing numbers of Americans who resent Obama's catering to those who have "no skin in the game!" In promoting an entitlement society Democrats seek an America that doesn't advocate individual responsibility. The president has gone on record proclaiming that he favors "wealth redistribution." His 2012 presidential campaign can be summed up in two words: "class warfare."
"Class warfare" stands in opposition to the South's great society. Logically, it would be assumed that those opposing the president would embrace it. Not so. To do so requires an absence of collective racial, ethnic, and religious prejudice. As much as the President and his agenda are loathed, it is a stretch for some to truly embrace this nearly forgotten axiom of an almost extinct culture.
To revive it may require a bridge. That bridge would be the "E" amendment as outlined in "E" is for English. Americans fear change. This "perfect society" actually frightens a few not born with it in their collective! A simultaneous move to make English the official languge would bring needed solace.
There is a longing to cling to an America that lived fifty, one-hundred, even two hundred years ago. There is also the realization that the future can only be won by learning from the past. If we can retrieve the best parts of our nations history, we can secure the future.
Should we fail, we will be subjected to a different kind of past. We see sordid glimpses daily as we watch Barack Obama's policies unveiled.
The president's agenda amounts to Communism. Least we forget, this failed system was responsible for 135 million deaths in the previous century. It will take a unified front to defeat Obama and his hoards of (Lenin's words) useful idiots!
We should never forget that freedom is not free and never has been. The enemy that is upon us comes from within. As was the case in Russia, many are slow to recognize it. It preys upon resentment. It's primary allies are ignorance, self pity, laziness and jealousy.
The South's "perfect society" could be the ticket for arresting the approaching madness. At the very least, it would be the ideal catalyst for defining boundaries in the event that the states decide to separate.
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