Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Damn Yankee

Sitting here the other evening while Maria downloaded free country music from the public library website, it occurred to me that I have come home - to the South.

The longer the culture war between the effete snobs on the Left and the normal folks on the Right continues, the more Southern values resonate with me.

I don’t want to go hunting, but I love that it’s something my neighbors do as a matter of routine. Even though Arkansas is considered a Democrat state, most of the people here have conservative values and are more like the Dixiecrats of the 1940s and ‘50s than the socialistic Democrat party of today.

I love that the spark of Confederate rebellion and state’s rights still flickers and may be fanned into flame here someday.

I’m not talking about the right to hold slaves, I’m talking about state’s rights as articulated in the 10th Amendment that simply states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Folks around here still believe in local government and local control and regard the ever-expanding power of the Federal government with apprehension and suspicion. Damn that Interstate Commerce Clause and its increasingly perverse interpretation!

I like living in a neighborhood where everyone owns guns and we’re the only ones who don’t have a pickup truck. Yet.

And I like the values espoused in country music.

I never imagined I could love living in Arkansas, but I’m damned if I don’t.

There are things about Indiana that I miss – the fall colors, the excitement of May and the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, the breaded tenderloin sandwiches and sugarcream pie, and my lifelong friends – but I never want to live through another Indiana winter.

We don’t get many visitors from Indiana here because we’re not close to any Interstates and we’re not on the way to anywhere.

But the cost of living is lower here and northeast Arkansas continues to be a curious little pocket of prosperity. And we know and like more of our neighbors than anywhere we’ve lived before.

After six years of living in Arkansas, I like it enough to say I don’t see myself ever leaving.

There’s a saying in the South that there are two kinds of Yankees. Yankees are Northerners who come and then go back home. Damn Yankees are folks like us who stay. Just call me a Damn Yankee.

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