As we reported last month, CBS News’ Major Garrett has a new book to push and on his promotional tour said the United States is not only headed toward a civil war but is “85 percent there.” We’ve heard a lot about a “national divorce,” and back in December of 2020, Amy Siskind tweeted out a proposed map that would split the country into the United States of Canada and Jesusland.

Now we have David A. Graham writing in The Atlantic about the United States of Confederate America. You see, the South is more than just a region; it’s a shared identity.

Graham takes us back to the fight over Confederate monuments, writing:

This would surely come as a surprise to the men who professed fidelity to state and region above national identity when they sided with the Confederacy in 1861. But it’s the product of a dynamic in which white, rural Americans around the country have adopted the culture of white, rural southerners. This is only one piece of the region’s heritage, a rich, cosmopolitan, and multiracial mix that has shaped the entire country’s music, food, and culture, though it is also the one that has become the go-to stereotype of the region’s identity.

The journalist Will Wilkinson, who is from Iowa, wrote about this in his Substack newsletter last summer, recalling how during his childhood, driving from Minnesota to Missouri would produce a spectrum of cultural signifiers and regional drawls. No more: “Everywhere it’s the same cloying pop country, the same aggressively oversized Ford F-150s, the same tumbledown Wal-Marts and Dollar Generals, the same eagle-heavy fashion, the same confused, aggrieved air of relentless material decline. Even the accents are more and more the same, trending toward a generalized Larry the Cable Guy twang.”

Cue people in the comments declaring that they live in blue bubbles in the South. Also, a lot of people declaring, “They’re racists. That’s their identity.”

“The South is everywhere now, and so are its worst political pathologies,” concludes Graham, as though we didn’t just either take down or cover with tarps every Confederate statue in the nation … and pull reruns of “The Dukes of Hazzard” off TV because of the hurtful imagery. It’s over and done with.

Now let’s talk about New York City’s “brand” some more.


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