"Dickinson says you know you’re in real Virginia "when the big issue is hunting. People who are for hunting and the Second Amendment are going to vote Republican to protect against radical socialist communist views. It’s also about faith: I don’t see how any person who believes in Jesus Christ could vote for Obama or any Democrat." " Fisher
"There’s no such anxiety up the road at Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge in Prince William County. The "real Virginia" concept draws nothing but blank stares here. Most students feel no connection either to Southern culture or to the notion that Northern Virginia is an outpost of the District. They think of Prince William as generic suburbia, hardly different from similar settings in New Jersey or North Carolina." Fisher
Walker Percy wrote in "The Thanatos Syndrome" that if there is such a thing as Southern culture, part of it consists in not talking about it. Percy knew very well that the South abides, but his point was well taken. Ron White says that he knows he should be quiet about some things, but "lacks the ability." Amen, brother.
I learned long ago that people see what they want to see. Marc Fisher drove south along I-95 all the way to Fredericksburg, fifty miles from Washington in search of "proof" that Southerners are inbred, mouth breathing, trolls. He found what he was seeking. He could have stayed in the District of Columbia and found equally bizarre, if slightly different folk.
This "controversy" over the blueness or the redness of places in Virginia is silly, but…
Northern Virginia is no different from New Jersey? I have heard that from so many RNC people and country club Republicans that I marvel that they have not caught on to the fact that this fervent wish of theirs has led to defeat after defeat for their hand picked candidates.
Joe McCain thinks Arlington and Alexandria are filled with "communists?" I can’t imagine how Joe imagines that saying things like that benefited his brother’s chances. Alexandria is full of churches. European visitors marvel that there are so many churches, of so many kinds, and they are so heavily attended. What does Joe think they are preaching in all those churches?
Gun control? I had a conversation with a police lieutenant here about this last week. (I am a "life" NRA member.) He said that there is virtually no problem at all here with crimes involving guns and that the police are well aware that most households in town have a few guns. I asked him if there is any problem with people who have "concealed carry" permits for pistols. (I do, as do a lot of other people.) He thought that a strange question. The answer was no.
"Real Virginians" are deeply alienated from new people in the state? Really? Why is it that Mark Warner is originally from Connecticut and is 30 points ahead of Gilmore (a native Virginian) in the US Senate race? In the supposedly "red" parts of the commonwealth Warner is 20 points ahead. Why is it that Tim Kaine, the governor, is from the midwest somewhere? Why is it that Virginia was the first state to elect a Black governor? That was 20 years ago.
The truth is that Virginia is a miniature of the American melting pot. The various aspects of our matrix of culture are continually being modified by new Virginians. That is a good thing. Stagnation in demography and ideas leads only to decline.
Many people hostile to the South have long wanted to believe that there was never a distinctly Southern cultural area in America or if there was, then it was fated to soon disappear. This is still a popular idea. Ask Thaddeus (aka Chris) Matthews. He sees Barack Obama’s coming election as a "Second Battle of Gettysburg." (He said so the other night.) Somehow, places like New Orleans continue to be Southern, but Matthews doesn’t like that either.
Virginia is becoming a richer place, enriched by the gifts of the spirit that the "new people" bring. Those gifts are melding with the many old gifts to make us all wealthier. pl