This Australian found himself in the great university town of Tuscaloosa in late September. He learned quickly the most useful phrase, sometimes a catch cry, sometimes the most imperative directive of them all: Roll Tide! It was after all a Friday evening of a home game weekend when I first arrived. I liked Bama; the university, the state and the people.
And so my ears pricked with interest when learning of Crimson Tide’s big win over Notre Dame on January 7. In doing so, I happened to stumble across a fascinating site- Real Southern Men (http://real-southern.com), that made this acutely philosophical observation regarding the game outcome:
“Football matters here, because it is symbolic of the fight we all fight. Winning matters here, because it is symbolic of the victories we all seek. Trophies matter here, because they are symbolic of the respect we deserve but so rarely receive.”
Call it regional defiance, call it an ornery spirit: it matters little. The point is the Southern way of life represents real America. The South is the heartbeat of American exceptionalism. Whether wishful thinking or strategic, the left advance the idea that Southern influence is gasping for breath; that it is all but a spent force. The same messages are disseminated with respect to Southern values; they, we are told, are no longer an embodiment of the changed demographic of today’s United States.
There exists, as Bill O’Reilly matter-of-factly stated, no longer a traditional America. But this hardly means that Southern virtues such as manners, morality, bravery, liberty, individual responsibility, honor and pride are no longer relevant, worthy or representative of America. They are part of the idea that is America, and history shows this to be the most attractive idea ever. I might be hideously optimistic but I believe it will not be long before the untraditional America becomes adopts the traditional.
The political cycle may not be with the South or us Southern sympathizers, but the heart of America is still there.
Now, I’ve been all over the South (http://www.nickadamsinamerica.com/activity.html). I love being instructed on the finer points of Southern-ness. Heck, I love everything Southern: the drawl, the belles, God and guns, the code of masculinity, suspicion of government authority, hostility to unions, militarization, country music, political conservatism, football and NASCAR. Unless you’re a bourgeois toady, who wouldn’t?
And I’m proud that Republican-red in the South is largely just that, and not the disgraceful shade of pink it more than likely is in the rest of America.
America, follow your heart. May there be again a Southern Tide! Roll South!