Back in 2000 John McCain ended his run for President with remarks he made in my home state of South Carolina concerning the revered Confederate Battle Flag. (Arizona was a part of the Confederacy.) It ended his chances to gain that office… forever.
Thursday (11-29-2007), with remarks they made during a Republican debate that evening... which was televised, Governor Mitt Romney, and former Senator Fred Thompson, joined McCain as confirmed losers in their attempts to gain the office of President of the United States.
As of this date, IoF will no longer support Fred Thompson’s campaign for the Presidency. I cannot, in good conscious, support a man who holds my heritage in contempt. And I certainly cannot support a fellow Southerner who has no more respect for his own heritage than that displayed by Thompson in his remarks Thursday night.
My family fought, bled, and died beneath that flag! Knowing, as I do, their reasons for offering up their lives in defense of their homes and families I cannot be disrespectful of their sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, made for me! I cannot… and I WILL NOT!
Now, to those of you who may think I, and my fellow Southerners, are over re-acting to something that happened 146 years ago, may I remind you, it was the election of an anti-southern candidate to the office of the Presidency, in 1860, which turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back and forced the South to leave the Union… and brought on this continent the bloodiest conflict in the history of the North American Continent. If you have read this far, then you now know, if you had doubts, the scars are not yet healed from that conflict.
This was a bitter, bitter, decision for those of us here at IoF. But, in the end, it was the only decision I could make. Life is simply too short to compromise one’s core belief(s) and I shall not do it.
To get a better feel for how Romney’s and Thompson’s remarks are playing here in the South see: “Confederate flag supporters upset by Romney, Thompson” at:
The GOP has much to learn, yet, about the South’s distrust of the Republican Party. As a “Dixican” (A southern republican) myself, I live with it every day. As a native son of South Carolina, making my home in North Carolina, I am surrounded by reminders, everywhere, of what the Republican Party did to the South during the so-called Civil War… and even worse… Reconstruction. The South is the only part of the United States to be invaded by a foreign army, conquered, and occupied. We KNOW what that means. We KNOW what that does to a people. My ancestors suffered losses that were never regained. Some lost their lives in battle, others lost their lives as a result of wounds received in battle, and at least one was hanged by Sherman’s troops as they passed through my hometown… burning as they went. ALL of this is a part of who I am. To deny that, and/or, to be disrespectful of that, is to deny myself and be disrespectful of my family.
Every year I walk the paths between the gray tombstones of Confederate soldiers in cemeteries in the Carolinas. If I am fortunate, I am asked to deliver a few remarks in honor of those men Churchill called the finest fighting men to ever tread the face of the earth. Every year I watch grown men weep, as the names of the fallen are called out for remembrance. I see their tears, refracted in my own, as the muskets fire again, and the cannons roar again, and the gun smoke wafts across the immaculate green blanket of sacred Southern soil embracing those brave Sons of the South. Their memory haunts every delicious breath we take from the southern breezes caressing our tear-moistened cheeks. And they live on in our memory, in our names, in our blood.
Yes, the South IS different! Our connection to things unseen, our connections to the past, our connections to the hills of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, and even Germany, are just beyond the veil, seeable… but unreachable. The echoes of long ago memories resound off our hearts as we recount the family histories and the stories of valor and bravery of the “Men in Gray” who’s deeds on the battlefields of this gracious land remain unequaled to this day.
The flag those men fought under was never a flag of hatred, a flag of slavery. It was a soldier’s flag, a battlefield flag, a battlefield emblem, and a guide on. It was never a national flag. It flew in battle over men of the white race, of the black race, over Mexican Confederates, Jewish Confederates, Chinese Confederates, Native American Confederates, and many more. It DESERVES to be respected, and honored, and elevated to lofty heights, by the modern day ancestors of those gallant Southern Knights.
I cannot betray, nor will I deny, my Southern Heritage by supporting a mere candidate for public office who, for whatever reason, cannot come to the defense of his shared Southern Heritage, especially when it is under attack by the forces of ignorance and political correctness.
It is such a small thing to ask… to defend one’s family, to defend one’s heritage. Yet, some cannot find the strength of will, the strength of character, to do the honorable thing, when it is, indeed, unpopular, or unpleasant, to take a stand.
Therefore, I cannot continue to support a candidate, any candidate, who will not honor my heritage as a Southern American. It would be less than honorable, on my part, and I shall not dishonor the memory of my Confederate Ancestors, knowingly, in any way. They have earned all of the respect and honor of which I am capable. As long as God grants me breath, they shall have it.