John Archibald has a thought provoking article at Al.com this afternoon: Are we American? Or just Alabamian?
“The question is simple.
Are we Americans? Or are we Alabamians?
Are we Americans, loyal above all else to the notion of liberty and justice for all? Or are we Alabamians, steadfast in the belief that our way is …
The U.S. Constitution created an America, with all its differences. Alabama’s constitution was born in racism. It outlawed interracial marriage, required segregated schools, and exploited and pointed out our differences.
Are you American? Or just Alabamian?”
I like how he frames the issue here.
“America” is a proposition nation created by rights-bearing individualists who believe that our social order is based on a contract. As liberal republicans, they believe that “liberty” and “equality” are the only things that are good in life, except perhaps in cases where those values are set aside for the sake of advancing Jews or non-Whites.
There’s something in Alabama’s cultural DNA, or the South’s cultural DNA in general, that always rebels against these attempts to push the values of liberal republicanism to ever greater extremes. At the same time, liberal republicanism is also part of Alabama’s cultural inheritance, which is why we are defeated time and again.
Southern Nationalism should be about pinpointing, clarifying, and channeling the authentically Alabamian or Southern aspects of our heritage, which is the vein Judge Roy Moore is tapping into here, while rejecting the alien, corrupted parts which are derived from Americanism that Archibald identifies with.