Sunday, November 25, 2012

Secession petitions and Confederate symbols

One question that hasn't been discussed is how people might perceive Confederate symbols, statues, flags, etc. with these secession petitions.  Jon Stewart makes reference to them in his comical take on the secession petitions. One can't but notice that the petitions achieving 25,000 signatures and thus promised a reply are from former Confederate states. The following is  a link to Stewart's commentary.

The tolerance of glorifying the Confederacy has been based on the idea that the Confederacy and secession were safely dead. That was the basis of the politics overthrowing Reconstruction, Southern leaders constantly emphasizing that secession was not an option and how patriotic they were. This is the basis of their later politics, especially with the Spanish American war.

With the Confederacy safely dead, the Lost Cause is romantic to some as long as it stays "Lost." People watch Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in "Gone With the Wind."

If the Lost Cause isn't so lost, such as with 800,000 plus signatures on secession petitions at,  then it isn't so romantic. I can't help but think that a lot of people will look at the Confederacy, and its remembrances and symbols with some distaste. They will think secession is very unlikely, but they will not be comfortable with glorifying secession or remembering it. They know that the unlikely can unexpectedly, surprisingly become likely.

Enthusiasm for the Confederacy and secession will no longer be thought as an amusing eccentricity or fantasy, it will be at some level be seen with a little bit of apprehension. People continuing to indulge Lost Cause enthusiasts themselves will not be appreciated.

I plan to make reference to these petitions in our 2013 letter to Obama asking him not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate monument.

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