Mr. Hoeft did something very brave and principled today: he took on forty years of Republican Party tradition, specifically as it applies to the Southern Strategy. In his post "Sign the petition: After 120 years, it’s time to end Lee-Jackson Day" Mr. Hoeft says the following:
If you have followed Bearing Drift over the years, you will note that I have expressed my dismay and displeasure at the practice of Virginia honoring Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. This year, instead of voicing displeasure, I am asking you to sign a petition to end the observance.Wow. Jim Hoeft just struck a blow at the very core of the Southern Republican Party.
What Mr. Hoeft fails to appreciate is that a very large proportion of the Southerners who joined the Republican Party in the years between 1964 and 1974 did so specifically because they refused to accept the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the outcome of the American Civil War, the 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 15th Amendment, and anything else that tended to suggest that Americans of African ancestry had the same rights as White men and women. It's a nice gesture on Mr. Hoeft's part, and he's a genuinely decent man to make the effort, but you need only look at some of the responses in the comments to his post to see how far out of touch he is with his own party.
Consider the following:
Being an American and a Virginian is standing up for your freedoms and defending the Constitution. An understanding of the events and situations leading up to the Civil War presents very clear evidence that slavery had much less to do with the conflict that the “wonderful” public school system will shove down our throats.And then there's this gem:
When an overpowering federal government refuses to acknowledge your rights, you as an American have the right to remove yourself from the union which you voluntarily entered into. The Civil War in countless ways, represents the beginning of the end for the true American way of life and the mission creep tyranny which began with Abraham Lincoln.
I would give far more importance to the sacrifices of men such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, then I would to the politically correct holiday that is celebrated in honor of Mr. Michael King[sic].
I was not previously aware of this day, but now that I am, i am 100% in favor of it and will make certain to tell everyone I know to support it and not sign this petition.
After Jan. 20th EVERY day will be a holiday, the seas will recede, Earth will begin to heal itself, and rainbows and unicorns will be everywhere.See a pattern here? Keep looking:
If you want to abolish Lee-Jackson Day, you’re a politically correct revisionist. Calling it “Virginia Heritage Day” is like replacing Christmas holiday with “winter break” in schools.
I suppose you’ll say because I support Lee-Jackson Day, I’m a raaaaaaaaaacist.
Ask me if I care.
Are You kidding Me? How can You call yourself a Virginian while attacking a Memorial to Two of the greatest Virginian’s[sic] that ever lived?And then there's this distinctly hostile note that creeps in:
It has nothing to do with race relations, Lee and Jackson both freed their slaves eons before the War of Northern Aggression. It is time that the truth be exposed, Lets[sic] have a Confederate Heritage Month.
Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were two of the greatest men that Virginia ever produced. Your denigration of them is sickening, and so is your petition. What have you ever done that would equal 1% of the sacrifices they unselfishly made? You aren’t fit to shine Lee’s or Jackson’s boots.Definitely head over and read Mr. Hoeft's entire post and the comments to it--they speak volumes about the current state of the Republican Party.
Go help Jim Hoeft, and sign his petition.
If you'd like to read some of my writing on this subject, then try the following:
The Republican Party's most pressing question: Is the GOP a racist party?
Confederates in the Attic
It's Time to Honor Virginia's Unionists