We left Boston two days after Xmas to visit friends in S.Carolina and family in Atlanta. We then drove from Atlanta through the South to reach our destination in the Phoenix area where we will reside for the next 4 months. I hope to have some interesting posts coming your way as soon as I get reconnected with the rest of the world after spending the greater part of my time driving across the South.
One of my memories from driving through S.Carolina was a billboard with a huge confederate flag and a simple message: "Never Forget". The Civil War has not been forgotten in the South. Much of the anti-government sentiment in the Tea Party reflects resentment toward the role of the federal government as a cultural change agent. There has also been a marriage between the military culture and religious fundamentalism that is not obvious outside of the South and rural America. I was reminded of my old Boy Scout motto of God and Country that I learned as a child. This is the America that Sarah Palin refers to when she tells her base that Democrats are not real Americans. This sentiment was also evident in a billboard that I saw as I entered Alabama. The billboard had a simple message: "Where is the birth certificate?" These are powerful forces that cannot be taken lightly. They are being organized and exploited by politicians who may not really appreciate the forces that are being unleashed. I am reminded of what happened in Europe in the 1930's. They are anti-intellectual and anti-democratic forces.