For Southerners, the hatred of so many of their “fellow Americans” comes so steadily and predictably that it is usually best simply to ignore it and let the heathen rage. We are an easy-going, non-ideological, and Christian people, so most of us don't even notice. However, the Washington Times has usefully exposed a particularly egregious example, an article published in a “respected” military journal. The article projects the takeover of the small city of Darlington, South Carolina, by “right-wing extremists” of the “tea party” variety. In such a case the full military force of the United States should be deployed, and “once it is put into play, Americans will expect the military to execute without pause and as professionally as if it were acting overseas.” Indeed, “the Army cannot disappoint the American people” in such a case.
One wonders exactly who “the American people” are. Apparently the American people consists of those who share the liberal fantasies of the authors. The rest of us don’t count. One of the authors is an historian, credited with one bad if fashionable book on the 19th century, who doubtless received a fat consulting fee. The other is an Army officer, who I am reliably informed is from New England, always the fount of murderous hatred against other Americans. He ought to be cashiered but, of course, won’t be.
That such ideas are being circulated among the military brass as future scenarios should alarm every decent American citizen. The authors set the scenario in South Carolina because they know it will be much easier to win support for an invasion in the South than elsewhere. For a large part of the public there will be a knee-jerk approval. Unlike illegal immigrants, we are not really "Americans." But as a practical matter, don’t we South Carolinians have the will and resources to preserve law and order? Let's suppose that the insurrection was not by "right-wing extremists" but by black nationalists. If the insurrection were on the part of black nationalists, you can bet that the Armed Forces would be sent to prevent the state from mistreating the insurrectionists. The rebels would be telling their story to sympathetic audiences on Oprah and the networks, and the armed forces would most likely be employed to put them in power as the state government. It has happened before.
Don’t these people know that, according to the former Constitution, the feds can only invade a state to put down insurrection at the request of the State? Have they never heard of the Posse Comitatus Act? But, of course, constitutions and laws mean nothing to such people, a characteristic they share with their fascist and Marxist cousins. And you can be sure that the Republican “conservatives” will urge on the troops as gleefully as the leftists and the Supreme Court will solemnly approve.
I know the Armed Forces have a lot of planning scenarios, and I suppose we should not take this too seriously. Except as a clue to the minds of our rulers, in which case it should be taken very seriously indeed. I wonder if they have any plan in case the Mexicans take over Los Angeles, or black gangs take over Chicago or Detroit. Those scenarios seem a good deal more likely, but I doubt if our rulers worry much about that.
Clyde N. Wilson is a contributing editor to Chronicles. A retired professor of history at the University of South Carolina, he is the author of numerous books, including Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew and Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. He is the editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun.