Southern Boys Trying To Pull South Into 21st (Or At Least The 20th) Century


God takes a moment out of his busy schedule to remind everyone in Southern Kentucky that Hell is really, really hot.

After reading Hillbilly Elegy with its Horatio Alger slant on problem solving (just work hard and it will all work out), I started reading more books dealing with Southern, and mostly Appalachian, people to better understand my heritage. As stories posted on this site indicate, my family tree runs mostly through Appalachian America. I normally read books like Albion’s Seed and have preordered What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte since I follow her blog and respect her opinion.

So when I stumbled upon The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin’ Dixie Outta the Dark by Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan, Corey Ryan Forrester, I wasn’t sure I would like it.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Funny, With A Message

Although I’ve never heard the trio, they do comedy and are successful at it. But fairly deep into the book, I knew they were bona fide southern when one of them mentioned chocolate gravy. The (mostly) Appalachian treat was a staple in my childhood home — it is a sweet chocolate sauce with the consistency of gravy that is poured over biscuits for breakfast.

As the trio would say — it hits.

They set the tone early in the book proudly stating their love of their heritage while at the same time expressing extreme dissatisfaction — and at times hate — for the archaic thinking that has hindered Southern progress. They touch all the subjects one would expect — from religion to WIC payments. The strength of the book is it does, albeit with humor and at time ‘rough’ language, give an outsider a glimpse of the southern mindset.

Rewriting The Constitution

An early section of the book deals with the Bill of Rights, which they flip on its head, calling it the Bill of Wrongs. One amendment deals with the anti-government sentiment which runs deep and strong through the South. This sentiment was so strong during last fall’s election that I finally exited Facebook because in the virtual world, just like real life, most of my Friends were family or community members and I grew very tired of the mindset.

But in the book, I found a common spirit with the trio, who had this to say about the hypocrisy of the anti-government movement.

“If you’re gonna be antigovernment, be consistent. The police are the government. Stop pretending like government overreach is a problem everywhere but in the criminal-justice world. Also, Black Lives Matter.”

For students of American history, especially those wanting to understand how we ended up with the Orange Menace, it’s a book that provides insight from an insider — and as a bonus the reader can enjoy some dry, Southern wit.

Rated 4 out of 5. My only complaint with the book is it’s a bit shallow, but I think that’s the intent of the authors. Despite only hitting the surface on some issues, they still make their point: It’s time to grow up South and be part of a diverse society.

Favorite Anti-Trump Comment Of The Week

Colonel Morris Davis, born in North Carolina, is a retired Air Force Officer and Lawyer — and a huge Trump critic on Twitter. Since he is a critic, thin-skinned 45* blocked him. This has not stopped Davis from going after Trump with a vengeance. This week, when 45* engaged in a distraction tactic by arbitrarily Tweeting that transgenders were banned from the military, Davis called him out saying,

“I served for 25 years and never served with a Trump…pathetic for 5-Deferment @realDonaldTrump to ban anyone with patriotism he lacked.”

And commenting on Trump’s campaign stop at the Boys Scouts a day earlier, Davis said,

Aren’t vanity, narcissism, cruelty, vulgarity, bullying and self-aggrandizement @boyscouts core values? @realDonaldTrump.

Spoken like a true patriot.

Categories: American History, Appalachia, Books I have read, Understanding Trump Counties | Tags:

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4 thoughts on “Southern Boys Trying To Pull South Into 21st (Or At Least The 20th) Century

  1. Everything the Orange Menace has done this week has me so aggravated. That Scouts speech was surreal. I really wonder if he’s on something sometimes, the way he rambles half-coherently and never seems to consider where he is or what he’s supposed to be talking about, just spouts narcissistic nonsense. Not to mention the transgender ban, which I think was distraction as you say. And feeds into his pathological need for constant onslaughts of attention.

    I didn’t know Trae Crowder had a book, his videos that I’ve seen are completely hilarious and impressively meaningful at the same time. Great review!

    • This week has definitely been one of the most bizarre — besides what we’ve already mentioned there was the ACA repeal vote with Trump Tweeting like he was a cheerleader and, of course, the New Yorker interview with ‘Mooch.’ The White House team truly reminds me of the ‘big time wrestling’ shows my family members watched in my youth. The fakeness of both situations is ridiculous, but with politics, it is negatively impacting people’s lives and the country’s integrity.

      What is also really hard for me to accept is — we are only about 7 months into this mess — and his fan base (which he exploits) is still cheering him on.

      Trump’s fans willingness to accept his chaos and vileness says a lot about how our politics have been turned into a spectator sport instead of an informed populace exercising their civic duty.

      I keep telling myself ‘this too shall pass.’

      P.S. Just before I sat down to write this reply, the vehicle in front of me at the local McDonald’s had bumper stickers that said ‘End the Fed’ and (Save the Constitution). I’d bet my weekly paycheck the driver has never read the constitution nor could they explain what the Fed is/does…

  2. Oh I’d bet with you on that but we’d be on the same side…you know as soon as Infowars is mentioned that you’re in for something mind-blowingly inaccurate and bonkers insane! And the Mooch…what a sycophantic slimeball he is. I always find myself wishing the people in this administration will get the boot but when they do, whatever they’re replaced with is even more terrifying!

    It’s also hard for me to accept that his base still supports him, but I think part of the reasoning is what you mentioned – they’re completely uninformed about so much of what’s going on or how things should be conducted and why. They just know they feel angry for many reasons, so it’s easy to accept whatever nastiness he spits out because it plays to their aggression, sets him apart from other authority, and for whatever reason, totally inexplicably, they still think he’s on their side when he’s on no one’s side but his own.

    Do you remember some of the clips of him appearing on those old wrestling shows? I think it was the WWE. He loves that fake reality BS and always has. You’re exactly right, his admin is plain spectator sport, mean-spirited competitiveness and total farce. I can’t believe it’s only been 7 months. Where is this even going to end up after 4 years?

    • Yes I watched that video, his fakeness honestly amazing me especially since it is embraced by his base. You are so right when you say his base is angry for so many reasons…. as I drive through my county and see all the variations on the Trump MAGA signs, I do wonder how it will all end because America will not tolerate four years of this insanity… at least I hope not. And I actually feel a small level of sadness for many in my county because Trump’s policies will most likely be the final push that forces them into a level of poverty they will never escape.

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