Monday, April 11, 2005

I recently posted a comment on Kos a post on Ed Kilgore's piece about the Civil War. I said

I think this piece speaks to our current situation today quit directly. This strain in our culture is very much alive in our current political debate. And for my money, we're not going to get power back until we acknowledge that people who cling to the romance of their lost cause do so because they are otherwise totally and utterly beaten. Fought a war for an evil cause. Fought bitterly, and won nothing but heartache. It reminds me too of some of the folks in Germany following WWI -- defeated, but not broken, nursing a wound.

We need to support and help our red-state brethern see that we share the same dreams and hopes for the future, and that the past is both glorious and terrible for us both.

I was asked if I meant the Civil War as an analogy or as an actual ongoing issue.

I think the Civil War riffs is no mere analogy but very much alive and at the heart of the division that still afflicts us. It is most emphatically NOT about getting people in the South (and parts of the West) to understand anything. It is about getting us Yankees to understand that the res states operate with a deeply ingrained inferiority complex. Where are the Academy Awards? Does J. Lo. live in Indiana? Where the hell is Harvard?

Red staters are trying to do nothing so much as make themselves feel better about their generally second-class status. To help our nation progress, the best thing we blue-staters can do is to first recognize that sense of inferiority (which fuels all the senseless lashing out -- at femininsts, secularists, judges, etc.) See, if your problems are everybody else's fault, you're probably just trying to protect yourself from the hard reality that the problems are mostly your own damn fault. So piling on, constantly pointing out what maroons and rubes these folks are is terribly
counter-productive. No one is going to join with someone who makes them feel even worse about themselves when they are already struggling.

So to the second thing we need to do. We need to help red staters see the wonderful
strengths they have, and we need to help them address their very real problems.

Finally, we need to convince them that we are on their side, that we want them to succeed, and that we harbor no animosity or condecension toward them whatsoever.

Easy, huh?

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