Originally posted October 22, 2019.
At The American Conservative, Casey Chalk defends the South from the, unfortunately, frequent, unoriginal, and incorrect attacks against the region. He writes (abridged):
In polite company among the technocratic elite, it’s acceptable to ridicule the South, Southern culture, and Southern politics. The Left has skewered Southern states for.” Historian and foreign policy commentator Robert Kagan in a July opinion piece for The Washington Post claimed that conservatives suspicious of liberalism are stoking the fires of Southern white nationalism, much as their intellectual forefathers, Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley Jr., allegedly did in the latter half of the 20th century.
Kagan’s is part of a broader attempt to undermine the virtues of the conservative and Southern intellectual tradition. In presidential election years, liberals circulate maps showing that the former Confederacy overwhelmingly votes Republican.
It gave the nation its most uniquely American musical genres: blues, jazz, country, bluegrass, and, of course, rock ‘n’ roll. Its …varied cuisine includes barbecue, fried chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, biscuits and gravy, po’ boys, peach cobbler, and, of course, bourbon. Its landscapes are magnificent, its flora and fauna varied and beautiful.
The South encompasses a remarkable diversity but manifests certain essential cultural traits visible from Virginia to Texas. Southerners bear a deep appreciation for their traditions and history. They embrace a strong sense of hospitality, neighborliness, and charm, often evinced in a slower pace of life focused on relationships and family. And distinct from most other parts of the country, Southerners remain vibrantly and vocally religious. Seven of the top 10, and 12 of the top 20 religious states in the country are in the South.
Southerners have an unparalleled pride in their regional identity.
Casey Chalk is pursuing a graduate degree in theology from Christendom College and is senior writer for Crisis Magazine. He covers religion and other issues for The American Conservative.
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