The South’s Losing Strategy of Perpetual Retreat
I was a small child during the heyday of the television program The Dukes of Hazzard. Somewhere in my mother’s photograph collection there is one of me proudly sitting on my General Lee “big wheel” riding toy, which was emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag just like the real one.
It’s funny. Although leftists today would insist differently, I never once recall riding it around my driveway with the intent of terrorizing anyone. I also never remember watching the Duke boys and coming away with the feeling that they were promulgators of “hate” and “narrow-mindedness” or anything other than the “good ole boys” narrator Waylon Jennings declared them to be in the popular theme song.
But the 1980s were a different time in the South. White guilt had been planted, but had not firmly taken root nor blossomed into what has produced the terrified puddle of goo characteristic of the average Southern man today. In the four decades since, that man has been on an exponentially accelerated pace of retreat and withdrawal that has been nicely accommodating to the forces of Cultural Marxism.
John Schneider, apparently, is not your average Southern man. Schneider played the role of Bo Duke in the long-running series. He is currently promoting an independent film he wrote and directed entitled Christmas Cars, wherein he plays a fictitious rendition of himself, a down-on-his-luck former television celebrity who earns money selling die-cast replicas of the General Lee Dodge Charger. The demand for the cars is threatened by a true-to-life boycott called for by those who view the Confederate flag as the “universal sign of intolerance and racism.”
Schneider has recently appeared on Fox News and other outlets staunchly defending the movie and the flag. “People have told me now for the last four years or five years or so, what I must think because of the car I drove on the television show,” Schneider said. “Well, who the hell are you to tell me what that car meant then or to me now?... But people are also led around by social media. We have a line in the movie where my barber – Floyd, the Barber – says, ‘People don’t think what they think anymore, they think what they’re told to think.’”
My, how true. Independent thinking is becoming a scare commodity these days. People whisper controversial truths to each other, then straighten up and recite the proverbial narrative deemed suitable by the “respectable” mainstream culture that holds sway. And the left no longer just controls the narrative, it controls thought itself. Just as Schneider and the character Floyd the Barber analyzed, it seems as though people have given up so much in this failed strategy of appeasement that they have even given up the right to determine how they feel about something.
For traditional Southerners today (and especially for those haggard souls who have somehow managed to remain unreconstructed through it all), the flag that so many of our ancestors fought and died under defending a foreign invasion is not something to be tossed aside. The game of false compromise and perpetual retreat has won us nothing. It has conserved nothing. What it has been is a strategy for guaranteed losing and an abandonment of our God-given history and heritage.
The Confederate flag used to be conspicuous throughout Dixie at a wide variety of happenings. It was particularly prominent at Nascar races, sporting events, music concerts, rest areas, tourist spots, and on eighteen-wheelers and pickup trucks. It was a unique symbol of the South, an area of America with its own culture and that was once its own country.
At the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, there is a case containing the Confederate flag cigarette lighter belonging to the beloved Patsy Cline that was found among the personal effects recovered from the plane crash that took her life in 1963. Tsk, tsk. Although Patsy had a sterling reputation among those who actually knew her, the hall will probably have to remove such an offensive display, once the left tells them how Patsy really felt.
For a long time that flag flew over the capitol dome of my native State of Alabama. In the early nineties calls began coming from the usual suspects to bring it down. What I remember hearing so much from those seeking “compromise” was that this wasn’t about trying to destroy anyone’s heritage or wipe away history. It was just that flag. Put away that flag, we were told, which so many find offensive, and it will show good faith. So many of us tried to warn our brethren. We knew that this was not the end, but the beginning. It would never end. And it hasn’t.
The South is known as the Bible Belt of America. Therein lies the last strong vestige of Christianity and Western culture that remains, which is why it has borne the brunt of the left’s blistering and concerted attacks. But Southern culture is fading fast because her people no longer have the stomach to fight the good fight. Occasionally, someone like John Schneider will come along and provide inspiration, but his like is too few and too far between. And will he be able to stand up to the onslaught that comes with publicly supporting one of the enemy’s primary targets?
Look away, Dixieland…