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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003


Regional patriotism
Donald Sensing points to this Regions of Mind post on the "dissapearing southerner." It discusses a study that determined that the "southerner" identity is on the decline--from 78% to 70% of people living in the south from 1991 to 2001, remaining steady among Republicans, the rich and conservatives--who all tend to be in the same group.

The study itself, however, seems to be flawed, and the results to be self-evident. There appears to be no control group, and they don't appear to have asked a similar question of "northerners" or "northwesterners" or any other group. And it didn't look at the emigration factor--what about people who have moved away from the south, yet still consider themselves Southerners? For all we know, there may be a very large number of that sort of person (I'd wager that there is), and that those who have immigrated to the south have not fully made up their numbers, but have adopted the identity enough for there to actually be more Southerners now than there were 10 years ago, just more spread out. And without looking at other regions, we can't know if this is a uniquely southern phenomenon, or if it is something that has happened all over the country.

Not only that, but the "revelation" that wealthy conservative Republicans think of themselves as southerners more than most is silly. That is the nature of conservatives--as Dot Fleming, Random Southerner #1 interviewed in the article says, "In general, when you're conservative, you don't like change." Obviously. And beyond that, conservatives are more likely to identify with a geographical area than liberals who see the world as one big happy brotherhood. I'd guess there would be similar findings even in the liberal areas of the Northwest and Northeast.

I, for example, am a die-hard conservative and Northwesterner. In fact, I'd say that the two are inseperable for me, and that has less to do with the 'image' of a Northwesterner, and more to do with the nature of being a conservative. Regional patriotism is as conservative a sentiment as national patriotism.
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