Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reaching out to the Midwest

A peaceful separation's first hurdle will amount to "overcoming the expected RINO rationale" of "staying the course, weathering the storm." Forget it! That was the past four years!

True, there will  be extended RINO rhetoric intended to debase a new direction. But conservatives must remember one simple fact: "Since George H.W. Bush won election in 1988, for what amounted to Ronald Reagan's third term, there has been no real grass roots initiative to return to what elected the "Gipper" in 1980.

These "Republicans" conservatism begins and ends on Wall Street. They have given us Mitt Romney, Chris Cristie and Reince Pribus. While they may be well intentioned, they will not attract the numbers necessary to make the movement a success.

The key is as simple as recognizing who we are. Every child growing up in the South during the sixties gradually became aware of the War Between the States and it's outcome. Even today, a grassroots organization known as the Southern National Congress makes the argument that that 15 Southern States should go their separate way. The case carries some credence! A Southern Nation that included eighty million residents would be reportedly, the "fourth richest nation in the world."

The question raised, however, is what  has happened in America since Appomattox? We know that the countries population has jumped from 31 million to 310 million. There  have been a number of states added. There are also millions essentially in agreement with these Southern standards(de-emphasizing Washington, more power to the individual states) who don't live in those states. Would they not be welcomed into a movement that attempted to recapture our founding fathers' ideals?

Most definitely! Let's start with the Midwest. Outwardly, Southerners and Midwesterners share numerous commonalities. There are two basic differences. One relates to history.

 Midwesterners did not grow up in "perfect society" framework. In the Midwest, anyone could be at the top or bottom. Unlike the South, there were often levels of society based on ethnicity.

When the North industrialized (years ahead of the South), it welcomed a  tide of European immigrants.  These newcomers often kept together for a two, three, four generations or longer. To a degree, this retarded assimilation.  While these immigrants held a strong desire to "Americanize,"  the existing residents often categorized them based on ethnicity.

The newcomers also proved to be more vulnerable to exploitation by big business. They welcomed collective representation. This translated to unionization and the rise of big labor.

Due to it's depressed status after the War Between the States, the South did not attract immigrants in the same numbers.  The residents took pride in their past, even relishing the pain of a world that had departed. This individual pride, and to an extent, the lingering "perfect society" gene, made them less open to outside organization.

Because the South was more rural and held an economy that was primarily agrarian, people tended to be more scattered, living in remote locales.  By 1900, the average Southerner could trace their family origin in America back 75-100 years. In the North, thanks to a huge influx of Southern and Eastern Europeans in the 1890's, it was likely one-third of that. It might also be noted that with few exceptions, such as Louisiana, most Southern ancestors came into the new world speaking English.

Like the South, the Midwest was most Agrarian. The earliest settlers were English. Soon, German immigrants outnumbered them. Scandinavians joined the Germans in settling the Upper Midwest. They were followed by a waive of Polish, Italian, Hungarian, and Irish newcomers.  A large number of them came through Ellis Isle.

While states like Ohio and Illinois produced arguably the greatest contributors to the Union war effort, there was mass opposition in the Midwest to the war. Opponents were labeled "Copperheads," and came mostly from Ohio and Indiana. Copperheads contended that the Eastern banking and railroad interests had "dragged them into the war."

Following the war and well into the 20th century, many Southerners migrated to the North. Much was funneled through Kentucky. Today large numbers of people living in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan can trace their family trees to south of the Ohio River.

Those families who migrated north brought two things with them.

Their general collective held less class and ethnic distinction. They also harbored an ingrained distrust for the central government in Washington D.C . They learned that there was a kindred spirit held with their "new neighbors." Midwesterners resented "the East" speaking for them. Washington D.C. and Wall Street had became synonymous with "the East."

They also realized that these "new neighbors" held comparable, if not even higher moral and ethical standards. By the 1950's the majority of residents in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa boasted German heritage. They lived beneath their means, were tidy, prudent, practical, ethical and trustworthy. Many were Lutherans and were strongly influenced by the Churches teachings.

The second great distinction between people south and north of the Ohio River relates to "bonding" with Washington, D.C. While, Midwesterners don't agree with a lot that has come out of the nation's capital, it's still the nation's capital. Their perception of Rebel armies "firing at the flag," was considered nothing sort of traitorous! In Southern eyes, the only thing illegal about the Civil War was the North's invasion of the South!

All may come down to a grand reconciliation!

For a peaceful separation to succeed, the South must convince the Midwest that they share a common objective: to reclaim a lost nation. That won't be easy! Deep in their psyche, Midwesterners have the original position that the South cared little for the Union and only wanted to destroy it. It may stem from a German notion that allowed a Hitler to rise and flourish: "My fatherland, right or wrong."

This is specifically the area where Southerners must reach out to their Midwestern brothers and sisters. They must patiently convince them that this isn't a matter of "the South doing it again!" It totally relates to "stopping the advance of Communism in America."

 The "practical side" of Midwesterners. may provide the pivotal opening. The East and West Coast have run up huge debts and now expect the rest of the country to pay for it. Then, there are enormous advantages of the richest states banding together to form "a new and improved United States." And, there is no assurance that the "realignment" might not cross the Canadian border!

Of course, Medicare and Social Security would come up. So would the massive resistance of unions to such a development. Midwesterners are acutely aware of the Obama administration's pandering to the unions! Most will tell you that they are "not married" to either! But, where is your plan? What would be different, other than a lot of "oil, coal and natural gas booty?"

A new Republic would be required to clearly differentiate it's vision from Obama's.  Especially when attempting to convince "sober, methodical and slightly sceptical" Midwesterners!

"Perfect Society" might sound "too theoretical" for these Americans!

Midwesterners like things concrete; things that they can touch and see immediate results. Such as, "A National Right to Work law" that would "restrict public sector collective bargaining right while outlawing involuntary collection of union dues." This is tangible!

"English only voting ballots and drivers license testing" are tangibles. So are voter "I.D. cards and proficiency exams."  Many Midwestern retirees can still remember the stories of their grandparents efforts to learn English. Their conclusion will be, "if they could do it, so can everyone."

Measures intended to curtail identity theft are tangible. To know that offshore workers have access to the social security numbers of Americans is alarming. The Midwest has been ravaged by offshore outsourcing. Any proposed legislation that would outlaw the practice of "offshore outsourcing" will get their attention. Fast! A proposed solution that creates private sector jobs from identity theft prevention will be applauded.

Allowing prayer of all faiths and religions in designated parts of public schools is another winning distinction. Especially when comparing Obama's "Atheist" alternative. This is definitely a "tangible."

A "constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between man and women," is also a tangible.

The final deal maker will come with the expectation that "the country will eventually put itself back together, only better."

California is broke. They are becoming a "Western hemisphere version of Greece." It is a mathematical certainty that they would accept practically any constitutional revisions offered by a new Republic in exchange for a bailout. It is also highly probable that half of the state(like that part south of the 37th parallel) would break away early.

Ditto for Pennsylvania, west of the Susquehanna and New York,  north of the 43rd parallel of latitude and west of the 75 parallel of longitude. And so the procession would go!

It would be greatly accelerated by a change in the national media. Obama would no longer enjoy his propaganda machine also known as, NBC, ABC and CBS. Foreign ownership of Broadcast media is not allowed. People in the new Republic would immediately benefit from "the truth" in broadcast media, courtesy of those networks new owners!

It will start with the South, Plains and Mountains. However, for long term success which would amount to piecing together the states under an amended constitution, the Midwest "buy in" is crucial.

 Maybe the most crucial element is the understanding that this is not a Republican or Tea Party initiative. There have been some great ideas come forth. Because of the vast wealth held by the new Republic, many wonderful advantages will be available to all Americans.

Such as Louisiana's "T.O.P.S" program, which provides free tuition to all high school graduates holding a 3.0 G.P.A. or better. Texas' new $10,000 four-year college cost is a brilliant idea! Tax simplification has been on everyones wish list. So has real health care reform.

The argument: "Wouldn't it be better to share the benefits directly with our people than allow Obama to simply blow it on government, political cronyism and associated corruption?"

A new republic amounts to a new beginning. But we must make certain that we have a visible direction. The Midwest has always been the "backbone" of our nation. They can serve as a counter balance to any potential extremism.



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