Social Question

Linda_Owl's avatar

Do you think that the "Conservatives" who are now clearly in control of the Republican Party have their roots in the 'old south' attitudes?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7690 points ) June 30th, 2012

With the increasingly militancy of our Law Enforcement agencies & the pervasiveness of religion running rampant across the United States, the attitudes being displayed seem to reflect the value system of the ‘old south’. This link makes a very good case for the current situation’s imitation of the attitudes of the ‘old south’.

http://www.alternet.org/story/156071/conservative_southern_values_revived%3A_how_a_brutal_strain_of_american_aristocrats_have_come_to_rule_america_?page=1

Do you think what this article is saying is true? And if it is true, what can we do about it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

Bill1939's avatar

Before President Lyndon Baines Johnson left office in 1968, he was responsible for major changes in Federal law that attempted to end practices that reduced African Americans to second class citizens, and the Democratic South became the Republican South. By playing upon antiquated fears of a loss of racial purity, and upon the rising religious fervor that accompanies severe economic downturns, the very wealthy are taking this opportunity to secure their control over government.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I don’t really think that the very wealthy are being greedy (and whatever else) because they believe in the values of the “Old South”, I believe that they are simply playing off of the opportunity created by the current economic situation.

dabbler's avatar

I think that ethically they take a page from the value systems of carpet-baggers.

wundayatta's avatar

I think the conservative argument has to do with growing the economy. They say that massive debt and government regulation are stifling our ability to grow the economy. Government regulation includes forcing people to have health care and forcing people to treat blacks and women without discrimination.

To reduce the debt, you have to reduce government spending, which mostly goes to help poor people and the military. They don’t want the military touched because that’s who employs all their children. But giving money to welfare cheats is something that should be stopped, and of course they believe that just about every person on welfare is a cheat.

Now the ideas the article attributes to Yankees and Southern Aristocracy are real ideas, although I don’t know if they break out on geographical lines like that. But there is the communalist “a rising tide raises all boats” idea versus the zero-sum idea that only some people can be rich, and if you give slaves more money, it comes from the master.

Do Tea Party Conservatives believe that they can only become wealthy if other people remain poor? Well, the anti-tax movement is clearly anti-communalist. The idea is that if you can keep more of your money, you are richer. If you are taxed more, you are poorer. No two ways about it. So they do seem to believe in the zero-sum theory. They think that except for military spending (which they benefit from directly), government spending is pretty much a waste. They have no sense of us all being in the same boat together.

So, to that degree, I would agree with the author of this article. I’m not sure I would tag these theories Yankee and Southern Aristocracy. And even if they are geographically tagged, I’m not sure if that adds anything to the debate. In fact, it doesn’t. This is the same two camps we’ve always had, only the Tea Partiers are a bit more radical and about ten times as stupid.

The article mentions Southern Universities, and says they now pass on the collected Southern ideology. I doubt that. First of all, there are an awful lot of Northern trained academics in these institutions, and these institutions tend to be bastions of liberalism in the South. The truth is that if you have a decent education, you’re much more likely to be liberal. I do not include some religious educations in the decent category. You can’t teach science and biblical literalism to the same student and expect them to be a decent scientist. Some of them may do decent science, but the cognitive dissonance must be extraordinary.

Of course, you can teach politics and religion, just not political science. You can teach people to be hacks and technicians, but not to do real science if they aren’t allowed to question.

I think Tea Party attitudes may be similar to Old South attitudes, but that it doesn’t matter whether they come from there or not. This analysis helps us not one whit. The problem is, as it has always been, that conservatives don’t think we are all in this together. This is nothing new and helps our battle for justice and peace and the American Way in no way.

jerv's avatar

I do, and I see there being two solutions; either split the nation in two, or just have the civil war that we are heading for. many on that side honestly believe (and have stated) that there is no compromise, and I will be damned if I am going to live in a nation run by people who complain about Sharia Law yet institute the same thing here, lack basic human emotions like empathy, and cannot figure out third-grade academics like basic math or history.

@wundayatta The irony there is that, if one looks at something us elitist Yankees call “history”, one will note that the economy grows more under Democrats, and tends to eitehr stagnate or falter under Republicans.I guess their dogma is more important than proven results :/

wundayatta's avatar

@jerv I was just reading something in the New Yorker that explains that. It isn’t dogma that is more important, but the group of people that is more important. It is much stronger than science and data in terms of motivating people.

The double irony here, is that these anti-communitarian people are ignoring science in order to group together with others like them. Their group identity is more important that reality—and that, I’m afraid, is probably also true of us. It is very, very difficult not to go along with your group. Psychologically, we make our living by being cohesive with our people, whoever they are.

And of course, we who believe a rising tide raises all boats are going to have a better effect on the economy than those who believe the economy is a zero-sum game. They don’t believe it is possible to grow the economy for everyone. So the battle is over who benefits. We yankees are the only ones who can help everyone, because we believe it is possible.

Oh, and the third irony? The leader of the Republicans at the moment is a Yankee!!!!

gondwanalon's avatar

That is not an article. That is a joke of an essay that uses bizarre stretches of logic to claim that modern republican leadership reflects similar attitudes of old time souther slave masters. It is laughable and likely was generated totally for propaganda purposes. The horrendous treatment that of black slaves endured in the U.S.A. prior to 1865 has NOTHING to do with today’s Republican Party.

jrpowell's avatar

Keep fucking that chicken.

wundayatta's avatar

@johnpowell If it’s all the same to you, I stick with the sheep.

ETpro's avatar

@Bill1939 has got it exactly right, but I am tired of repeating this crowd’s Big Lie that they are conservatives. They are nothing of the kind. They are radical reactionaries—the polar opposite of true conservatism. I’m a conservative, and they label me a leftist liberal.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta If by “group of people” you are willing to exclude a large percentage (women, immigrants, the non-rich, those that do not follow the Judeo-Christian faith….) then I can go with that. However, since natural-born, rich, Judeo-Christian men make up less than 50% of the population, it makes me wonder how they have so much support… unless people are ignorant.

Either that, or they truly have no intention of helping America at all and are only out for themselves; screw the rest of the nation. And if they are wiling to harm our nation for their own benefit like that, they are terrorists/insurgents and should be treated as such. I paid many a tax dollar for a strong military to fight that sort of thing, so lets mobilize them troops against a real threat to the Constitution that our military swore an oath to defend against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

@gondwanalon Considering that both share a habit of dehumanizing others in order to justify mistreatment. I disagree. Maybe they went a little overboard, but there is enough truth to it that it cannot be considered totally unfounded either. If you want to talk “bizarre stretches of logic”, explain how Rick Santorum’s proposal to ban pornography will eradicate homosexuality within months.

Face it, 21st century politics is too bizarre to make up, and logic does not apply.

gorillapaws's avatar

@jerv If we gave the Republicans Texas and told them to start their own country and piss off, this is what I think would happen: They would have a massive debt. The Lorenz curve there would look like a backwards “L”. I suspect they would probably have figured out some way to reinstate slavery in a way that involved “illegal” Mexican immigrant worker prisoners paying for their own “costs.” There would probably be some form of proverbial witch burning because a society like that only functions when it can deflect it’s failures onto a scapegoat group instead of honest analysis of past failures. The state would probably have no natural resources left in 50 years (assuming it survived that long), plus a large amount of poorly designed and regulated plans for managing industrial and nuclear waste. I can see the poor being forced to live in areas where the groundwater was basically toxic. They would probably pollute the gulf of Mexico to the point of being unusable. I could see them invading Mexico for land at some point. I could see a return to the company store truck system for many people. Wal-Mart would probably own 95% of all business. People would know more about guns than about Science. Christianity would be the official national religion, and English the national language. In short, the “country of Texas” would look a hell of a lot like Somalia does today.

jerv's avatar

@gorillapaws And now you know why I vote Democrat.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, but I would change the wording. It’s the ultra conservatives who are in charge of the Republican party. Average conservatives do not hold that many extreme views. And they are not a problem. They are important in a democracy. Debates are the fuel of progress. Moderate conservatives share many values with moderate liberals such as respecting people who disagree with their views. We need to watch out for the extremists. They are a serious threat to our freedom and the future of our countries. People who demonstrate against health insurance for the 30 million uninsured waving placards with extreme messages remind me of the people in the American South who demonstrated against black students wanting to attend white high schools and universities.

Bill1939's avatar

I agree with @mattbrowne‘s statement, “It’s the ultra conservatives who are in charge of the Republican party.” However, “average conservatives” are willing to vote for people who espouse radical views so that their party will displace Democrats. Unfortunately this will also displace moderate Republican conservatives. Where is the logic in this?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Bill1939 – I think there are many unsuspecting average conservatives who are not (fully) aware of the radical views of many of their new leaders. For the November election I think the local supporters of the Democrats should go door to door and talk to these average conservatives. Forget the Christian Right and the Tea Party nutcases. These votes are lost anyway. You can’t convince people who are praying for Obama’s death.

I think Barack Obama will appeal to many moderate conservatives as he did in 2008. A good example is Colin Powell, the former Republican secretary of state who endorsed Obama.

Let’s not forget, Osama Bin Laden was caught under Obama’s watch. Obama is tough when it comes to defending the freedom of Western societies against all forms of totalitarian ideologies. This is important to both freedom-loving liberals and conservatives.

wundayatta's avatar

@jerv The group is the group an individual feels most affinity with. That typically is a group that excludes many others. And yes, conservatives tend not to include gays or women or others who do not buy into this kind of exclusion, although there are conservative women who, for whatever reason, think they belong. It’s a self-identification thing. But once you identify, when the group changes its opinions, you also have to change your opinions in order to remain a member. Usually, this is what happens. It is very rare that people will give up identity with a group in order to stick with their own analysis of a situation. Liberals are as guilty of this as conservatives. The point is that group identity is more important than ideological sense. This is a human trait, and has served us well for milleniums. Now, however, that may no longer be the case.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

No I don’t.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta So…. many extremists have stopped identifying themselves as Americans?

josie's avatar

No more, or less, than “Liberals” who clearly control the Democrats cling to to “Old South” notions of elitist paternalism towards their black and poor constituents. None of those assholes in Washington are innocent.

DrBill's avatar

does this mean you want me to get rid of my slaves?

wundayatta's avatar

@DrBill No. People are still free to be voluntary slaves. From what I understand, your slaves are voluntary. Of course, if you forcibly keep them from freedom, then yes, you’re up shit creek, now.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther