Ronald Reagan is looked upon by many conservatives as the greatest president of this century. While some may say this is because he was labeled the "Teflon President," the truth is because of his other label of "The Great Communicator." Reagan was able to look at the positive and uplift the American people while getting his message across in a way that everyone could understand and relate to.
Now, this isnít to say that Reagan wasnít a modern politician. In fact, he was a master of cutting deals. While Ronald Reagan laid the foundation of the greatest economic expansion ever experienced by any nation, and we are still in it today, he made promises to conservative Americans, specifically Southerners, that he never followed through with. Yes, Reagan is the reason the South finally let go of the Democratic Party and went with their conservative views and flocked to the Republican Party.
Todayís Republican Party has betrayed Southerners and there is little there that we can look to in the way of support. We can, however, learn from the Republicanís mistakes in building our political parties that will look out for our interests. One of the key things Reagan said and did that we can borrow from him is his use of the "Eleventh Commandment."
President Reaganís Eleventh Commandment went roughly like this: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." This kept the infighting to a minimum and allowed Republicans to pull together to capture the White House and get many things done in a Congress where they were the minority. Southerners could learn a lot here if anyone is paying attention.
Within the Southern movement there are numerous groups with varying interpretations of what they want to see happen for Dixie. Overall, there is a common theme they agree upon: Stateís Rights and Independence for the South. After that, there are different strategies and ideologies driving the various groups. Some of these groups are attempting to work together and coordinate their efforts such as the Confederate Alliance. Within this alliance are a number of organizations that, while not seeing eye-to-eye on everything, understand putting their personal agendas aside for the greater good of Dixie.
If only this was the case for all the pro-South organizations. The effort to start a political party has splintered into two major factions that appear hell-bent on discrediting each other and are ready to put aside the issue of a free South for the "more important" issue of seeing the other political faction collapse. No good can come of this.
What is truly unfortunate is that ideologically, the Southern National Committee (SNC) and the Alliance of Southern Parties (ASP) are indistinguishable. Ironically, the SNCís "Asheville Declaration" clearly states exactly what both organizations believe in. The irony is that when the Southern Party Exploratory Committee (SPEC) voted on their position about secession and a mission statement for the future party, the vast majority (90%) supported written statements that are now incorporated in the Asheville Declaration, and those who didnít support these positions walked out. Those who walked out now form the leadership of the SNC. So what happened?
Words happened! Harsh, mean, personal comments meant to hurt and discredit individuals that those who spoke them didnít like. The division is over personal feelings, not political ideology. It was about who was going to be in charge and whoís ego needed stroking the most. This infighting has to do with who will have the final say; who is the "head honcho." It has nothing to do with who is right or wrong, who has Dixieís best interest at heart and who doesnít. This is a repeat of what happened during the War for Southern Independence where there was competition between egos among the Southern leadership which helped condemn the South to be a submissive region of the United States.
I suggest that all Southerners who have the Southlandís best interest at heart adopt a modified version of Ronald Reaganís Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Southerner." This wonít be easy for some whose blood boils at the thought of individuals they feel have betrayed them, but it is necessary for The Cause. We must put personal animosity aside for a later day and focus on the common cause of defending our homeland and working to free our people from the oppressive federal government that is quickly doing away with our heritage and our freedoms.
For those who are unable to do this, I believe that their goals are not honorable and are not for the South, but are for their personal aggrandizement. For those who struggle with the idea of setting aside their personal feelings for others, let me give you something to think about. Once the South is free, if you want, you can pass a law in your state that legalizes dueling and you can settle your differences in an old fashioned, traditional Southern way.
September 13, 1999