EDITOR'S NOTE: Of course, this piece does not reference all Southerners, but the identifiable trends in the Southern politics over time.
To many observers, the veneer of contemporary Republicanism makes modern southern politics appear little different than the brand of conservatism that prevails across the mountain states, Southwest, Midwest and even large pockets of the presumably communist Pacific Northwest.
Stripped of the façade of party colors, the game of division, nullification, and obstruction practiced by southern reactionaries today is the same as the fathomlessly fraudulent politics that split the country in 1861 and in significant ways has kept it apart ever since.
The problem is that today's southern-fried Republican Party hasn't simply abdicated its most important leadership positions to Dixie pols, it has adopted its rebel culture of suspicion and hostility toward any Washington D.C. government.
The result is a political process hobbled by a poisonous tradition of southern resistance and vendetta that keeps the country dithering over such ridiculous matters as contraception and gay rights while China colonizes half of Africa, builds the world's greatest high-speed rail network and even manages to do capitalism better than us.
That's because unchecked southern pathos are destroying the American political process with a time-sharpened array of toxic influences:
Chuck Thompson is the author of Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession [Simon & Schuster, $25.00].