The New Confederacy Rears its ‘Head’

The New Confederacy? Gee.

It is tedious and counterproductive to make some silly bray like, “I told you so,” or “try to catch up,” at this point. I have been telling you for, literally, years about the resurgent confederacy, the Neoconfederate roots of the Tea Party, the Libertarian/Rebel connections, the roots of home schooling in the “Lost Cause” etc. etc. etc.

confederate-history-month

So, let me quote a bit from this, and then we’ll talk.

The rise of the New Confederacy
By Colbert I. King,
The Washington Post
Published: October 4

It took on new force with fears of the federal government in Washington interfering with their cherished way of life. It gathered steam with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. And it all came into full flower when shore batteries fired on Fort Sumter. It was the spirit of the Old Confederacy, a state-sponsored rebellion hellbent on protecting its “peace and safety” from the party that took possession of the government on March 4, 1861….

King shifts to  make the parallel:

confederateflagutube

Today there is a New Confederacy, an insurgent political force that has captured the Republican Party and is taking up where the Old Confederacy left off in its efforts to bring down the federal government.

No shelling of a Union fort, no bloody battlefield clashes, no Good Friday assassination of a hated president — none of that nauseating, horrendous stuff. But the behavior is, nonetheless, malicious and appalling.

The New Confederacy, as churlish toward President Obama as the Old Confederacy was to Lincoln, has accomplished what its predecessor could not: It has shut down the federal government, and without even firing a weapon or taking 620,000 lives, as did the Old Confederacy’s instigated Civil War.

Not stopping there, however, the New Confederacy aims to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States, setting off economic calamity at home and abroad — all in the name of “fiscal sanity.”

Its members are as extreme as their ideological forebears. It matters not to them, as it didn’t to the Old Confederacy, whether they ultimately go down in flames. So what? For the moment, they are getting what they want: a federal government in the ditch, restrained from seeking to create a more humane society that extends justice for all….

It continues and I invite you to read the whole thing.

civil war uniforms

The blue and the gray are now the blue and the red.

Because, naturally, Mr. King can’t legitimately carry the notion beyond the merely metaphorical.

I have for several years, and it’s nice to suddenly find out that I’m no longer “nuts” or “out there,” or “absurd,” or even “insane,” for drawing a literal parallel between the newly resurgent “libertarian” states rights’ crowd and the Southern domination by old Dixiecrats of the so-called “Republican” party.

Which is WHY I left the mainstream of journalism to tread this path less traveled.

***

This is my ‘origin’ month: forty years ago this month, I became a writer, without intending to, or even knowing it for a couple of years.

Those things that we most authentically are are those things that we least are able to see, I suppose.

dictionary

I had been destined to be a writer for a long time, going back to my “superstition” — adopted in grade school — that I would never elide over a word I didn’t understand when I was reading, but would ALWAYS stop and look up the word in the dictionary. (I do it to this day.)

I will only say this: I was asked to write a wrong, er, right a rong, ah, write to right a wrong wrong.

typewriter

I actually owned this model at one point.
The ‘on the road’ prototype of a laptop.

Which, you may note, is what I still do.

Let me give you the short version: I am an inveterate “why?” person. I drove parents, teachers and sundry others crazy with my why questions, till they refused to tell me, and I learned to watch and learn. That would be my lifelong habit, so that didn’t change either. I approached university with that approach, and after a season of debate and a year of physics and calculus, I wondered “why”? I took formal logic, which I thought would help with physics and fallacies which I thought would help in debate.

mythologic

By the end of my third year, I understood that I was a writer and was going to be a writer, and futher college indebtedness wouldn’t advance my profession as a writer one WHIT, save that acquiring a degree to “fall back on” guaranteed that I would do just that, at some point and I was going full tilt boogie on a one way trip. No safety nets.

That’s just the sort of person I am and can’t be helped.

self-portrait with glowstick

self-portrait with glowstick

My actual first paying writing job was to write two letters for a Korean maintenance and painting company, sequestered in a faceless office space in the old Brown Derby/Ambassador area of Los Angeles, heading down towards MacArthur Park. They had a giant Thomas Brothers laminated map of Los Angeles, and tracked their jobs on it with stick pins.

la-me-0519-911-call-center

More or less

I kept writing for money and earned my keep with it for several years, holding down p0sitions as book critic with the Herald-Examiner, the Orange County Register and others. Wrote for all the LA magazines, except for the in flight and commercial magazines. New West (later California), Los Angeles, etc. and made a living writing for men’s magazines, which paid one’s rent on time — something which could not be said of the “prestige” magazines.

new west

Just some little backwater publication

I always took my work seriously and behaved professionally, and hit my deadlines 99 and 44/100ths percent of the time.

And I was also a whore. I wrote what I was assigned to write, whether I ‘believed’ in it or not. I had ethical standards and there were a lot of things I wouldn’t do.  And I always accepted jobs in “writing” when I wasn’t working as an editor or writer — pasteup, typesetting, graphic artist, type spec’ing, more typesetting.

varityperses1

The Old AM Varityper 4250 only displayed code remarkably like .html code, only there was no toggle switch. [b] toggled bold on and [b] toggled bold off, and if you didn’t remember to toggle off [b] the entire remainder of the typeset piece would be in BOLD. You did not see this until you’d wasted a roll of very expensive typesetting photopaper to print out the “proof” version.

I watched the world of computer typesetting move from giant cabinets that made a sound like a cat caught in a fan belt at the end of every justified line and LED TIMES SQUARE DISPLAYS to WYSIWYG displays to black and white computers to color computers to flat screen high def 16:9 computers to hand-held gadgets that everyone at every airport in the land has, and constantly plays with while waiting for flights.

I was a book critic for national newspapers over the period from 1978 to 2004, when I went on hiatus and only read the books that I want to read.

Global-Apocalypse-Book

Not a real book

Beginning in the late 1980s it became harder and harder to support ones’ self free-lancing, and I turned to other financial sources but continued to write, because writing is what, in the final analysis, I do. Playing “mother may I?” financed other things — art and music — that I had to make zero concessions or sell out in any way about. I did not have to redraw to a client’s specifications nor a gallery owner’s “well intentioned” critiques, I was free.

My skills as an editor, proofreader, copywriter, typesetter, graphic artist, publisher and small press have earned me a living leaving my craft alone to follow where it would might e led by its art.

41

coming soon … in the can

I wrote the gamut: articles, interviews, short stories, service pieces, how-to’s, captions, filler, audio scripts, screenplays, novels, reviews, essays, op-eds, and even, for a couple of very lucrative years, résumés, curricula vitae, commercial brochures, letters of introduction and other common scribe work of an earlier, less literate age. Heck, one time, I even typeset a Lee Nails® box. (And the final approved proposal for the space station. It was very odd to have spent a frenzied time getting the proposal typeset and then, just a few days later, to see the front page of the Orange County Register blare SPACE STATION APPROVED BY CONGRESS.)

space station with shuttle on top

Fill in the blanks. Twenty years ago I moved to Oregon, and I have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere and it suits me.

I began this blog as a campaign blog, because I wanted to run for office to fully understand how politics actually works, and why our “political conventions” have devolved from the actual governance of a national coalition (which is what the parties have always been)  to a quadrennial game show, where the ‘best and brightest’ people in the party, representing all of the USA and its territories get to travel to a convention city and wave preprinted “spontaneous” signs over their heads like a bunch of trained chimpanzees.

monkees

With apologies to Peter Tork

After the election, I was ready to write about politics, and blogs were an entirely new way of doing that. I could include audio and video, hypertext TO the source itself — so that the reader can judge the veracity of the source — and it’s been a wild ride since 2004.

And I have had the luxury of writing what I want to write, but that has meant curtailing the retail version of my career.

Reporter Typing Story

In 2005, I stumbled on the Russo Marsh and Rogers cash machine bus tour entitled “YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR ME CINDY” and its parallel to the Cindy Sheehan protests in Crawford, Texas. About that illegal war.  (They also founded Move America Forward, an astroturf golem of Move On.org.) They morphed into and anti-Obama tour bus, and you currently know them as the Tea Party Express.

teaparty-debatebanner

I possibly could have covered that working as a journalist. The real blood letting hadn’t happened in the newsrooms quite yet. OK, it had.

Then, in 2006, through a serendipitous seminar and mass mailing, I ran into the Term Limits gang running “takings” and other ballot measures from coast to coast, from Florida to Maine to Washington State to California. I did a 22 part series on it.  PBS did a little write up about it.

reporter-on-deadline

And, except for Arizona, they lost every race when they were exposed in. Including Idaho, which rejected their “takings” measure almost exactly three to one: 74% to 26%. Ouch.

And I tracked the home-schooling here in the Pacific Northwest and the shadowy religious group of Dominionists that Dick Cheney famously traveled to Salt Lake City to address, and their poster boy, Foster Friess.

foster backing santorum jan 2012

I was the first to recognize Friess in Iowa behind Rick Santorum, all the way until he famously told his little aspirin joke on Andrea Mitchell’s show and was sent packing from national media for awhile. (He just showed up on Neal Cavuto’s show on Fox, both in D.C. for the shutdown. Hmmm.)

All of which brings us to the present day.

spaceship8

Welcome to the Future

The point that Mr. King makes is well-taken:

This virulent hostility to the Union led the Old Confederacy to conclude — as expressed by South Carolina — that with Lincoln’s elevation to the presidency, “the slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.”

Federal government as the enemy.

Today there is a New Confederacy, an insurgent political force that has captured the Republican Party and is taking up where the Old Confederacy left off in its efforts to bring down the federal government.

These various groups I have been tracking have all been headed for the same Golgotha, albeit by different routes.

dali-crucifixion

The Federal Government is the enemy. They would like, as Bernie Sanders said in the minutes before the shutdown, to repeal the Square Deal (Teddy), the New Deal (Franklin) and every progressive piece of legislation of the past 100 years. We are back to Gilded Age Plutocracy and Plantation Mentality (the plantations being in the fertile fields of China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam,  Thailand, etcetera.)

simon legree beating uncle tom

Simon Legree negotiates with labor

And they have found the “sweet spot” — that undefined region between state and federal government, where they can overwhelm the machinery of larger and larger states and install Scott Walkers and Nikki Haleys into office, dust off Mark Sanfords and reinject them into Congress, along with Pat Toomeys, Mike Lees and, yes, Ted Cruzes.

Ted_Cruz_by_Gage_Skidmore

Ted Cruz on a Tea Party Express bus tour

We are watching a power struggle to rival the struggles of ancient Rome, and if We, the People don’t stand up, the notion that we can have any effect on the One Percent will be as laughable as the phony dance of “elections” that we’re already on the verge of turning into Kabuki theater.

a kabuki performance, triptych, 1879

A Kabuki performance, triptych, 1879

The point here is that I’ve been able to go out on a limb, to pursue the story in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to commercially, and to TELL you what’s coming down, so that you can prepare or find some way to defend yourself against.

My track record has been very, VERY good, and that’s why I’m not going to recite it here.  I’ve consistently been ahead of the national media, even when it meant being called a “conspiracy theorist” and even “crazy.” Well, that which was nuts is now openly talked about. That which was obscure, fringe reporting is now mainstream.

! ! ayn kampf cover1.1

Only $2.99 to save America!

But I am here to say that events have borne out my reporting and that’s “endorsement” enough for me.

I wrote a book about how the Ayn Rand philosophy has infiltrated our congress and our government and how toxic it could well pr0ve to be, and then Ted Cruz and the Tea Party Caucus went right ahead and proved my warning correct.

atlas_shrugged_part_ii

Rand’s famed juvenile revenge fantasy

If I can get the bells and whistles to work right, I am going to put out a Government shutdown version later this week, and drop the price to 99 cents, because I think you ought to be warned what you’re up against, and maybe a blueprint of explaining what it is that you’re FOR.

Meantime, I have been at this for 40 years, and haven’t strayed too far from my roots.

lincoln at independence hall

@ Independence Hall
photo by author

Yes, the new Civil War has started. Stay tuned.

I’ll do the best I know how to warn you, that you might preserve yourself in the dark times to come.

edenic sunset

Courage.
========================

A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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