Truth, justice and the Southern way

Posted on June 18, 1999

Anyone fed up with the government? Ready to turn in your "Made in the U.S.A." clothing? You could have a chance to do just that — if you move south.

Southern Party organizers have registered with the secretaries of state in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Virginia, according to the Associated Press. The party hopes to establish ties in all former Confederate States plus six border states and eventually secede from the Union, a la the Civil War.

From the way the party's Web site (www.southernparty.org) tells the story, it's not for dissenters. The reason the Southern Party was initiated, the Web site reads, is, "The South's social, economic, cultural and political priorities often do not coincide with those of the rest of the United States."

I will never be confused for a political guru (although once I was mistaken for an Indianapolis Colts player), but I'm pretty sure Americans continually have similar priorities. Let's go through the list:

• Social — Be invited to an occasional party and have your own, without having your great-grandmother's favorite vase smashed

• Economic — Have enough money to eat once a week at Applebee's

• Cultural — Be allowed to continue tradition, such as having a party or eating out once a week

• Political — Vote if your neighbors are running for council

The ideas are a bit watered down, but they're nowhere near the brazen ideals the Southern Party is advocating. They do claim they want a secession accomplished without war. They insist the group is not promoting white supremacy. They just want a chance to preserve their heritage.

In doing so, they request a weak central government, strong state governments, religions back in schools and RC Cola and Moon Pies in every shop and restaurant. Not that any of these are terribly bad things, but splitting the United States can't be good.

Would this mean professional sports leagues would also be divided? Would colleges create an agreement determining who would win a "national" championship? There are so many things determined on a national scale that new names would have to be devised for everything. Who has time to do that?

The Web site explains the harsh treatment Southerners receive from the rest of the country. Huh? Maybe they heard about those small militias out West that are secretly plotting to overrun the South and turn every Piggly Wiggly into a Woolworth's.

If Dixieland is your homeland, be sure to visit Flat Rock, N.C., on Aug. 7 for the official launch of the Southern Party. But beware — there is a dress code in effect. You must wear "dress casual" attire at the minimum for the historic event. Check those tags. Make sure the clothes were made south of the Mason-Dixon Line.