Honor Bound Not To Vote For Romney
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Commentators of all stripes catch heat from their readers frequently. It goes with the territory.
Months back I declared that I would not vote for Romney ... period. Apparently, it has been more than a little difficult for some to understand why a conservative, especially a conservative who consistently harps on Obama's failings and declares that Obama must be voted out of office to save the country, publicly announces HE will not vote for the conservative candidate most likely to unseat Obama.
Ordinarily, I would not bother to respond to the inquiries, but since so many conservatives find my position so puzzling, I have "evolved", as the President might say, to a point that I have decided maybe I ought to clear the air and explain why I have taken such an immovable, and seemingly contrarian, position.
There's no secret, no mystery. I gave my word that I would not vote for Romney, either in the primary or the Presidential election. That may not mean much anymore, but it means everything to me. I gave my readers my word and I intend to stand by it. Why? Because it is the honorable thing to do.
I learned how to be a contrarian from my father. If he felt he was right he would take his position, even if it was against the majority, even if it went against the popular position at the time -- and he would not be moved come hell or high water. He rarely ever volunteered his opinion, but if you asked, you got his honest opinion -- and he did not sugar-coat it. If you didn't like it -- tough. He drilled into me: "Tell the truth, son. ALWAYS tell the truth, even if it hurts, even if it is going to cost you, tell the truth. It is the honorable thing to do."
Oftimes, honor is seen as intransigence in the modern age. OK. I accept that. Call me stubborn, or whatever, but I have no choice but to stick by my personal declaration made previously concerning voting for Mr. Romney. I cannot, and I won't.
It does present a problem for me, however.
Sometime back, I watched and listened intently to Mr. Romney's speech to the National Rifle Association. It was an excellent "conservative" speech. I heard absolutely nothing in Mr. Romney's remarks that I disagreed with. Nothing.
That was good ... VERY good.
On the other hand, though, I have a problem with Mr; Romney's stand on the southern icon -- the Confederate Battle Flag and , by extension, the people of the south.
Mr. Romney has publicly denounced the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag. That is a matter of record. And no matter how hard I try, I cannot get past that.
Look. I am the very proud descendent of several confederate soldiers. At least two of my confederate ancestors gave their lives in that god-awful struggle for Southern Independence ... and contrary to revisionist history, that is exactly what that war was about -- southern independence. It was NOT a "civil" war.
The army of the Confederate States of America never attempted to overthrow, or "take over" the government of the United States. Soldiers of the Confederacy were not insurrectionists. They WERE soldiers of an entirely different country with a government of its own.
The Confederate soldier was NOT a traitor to the US. One can only be a traitor if one betrays THEIR country. The United States was NOT THEIR COUNTRY.
Over the four brief years of the life of the Confederate States of America, the nation had three different -- and distinct -- national flags. The Confederate Battle Flag was never a "national flag" of The Confederacy.
The Confederate Battle Flag was just what the name implies -- a battle field emblem. The CBF (The Confederate Battle Flag) was created at the behest of Confederate officers as the result of Confederate soldiers firing on their compatriots in the smoke and confusion of battle because the First National Flag of the Confederacy was so close, in appearance, to the flag of the US.
The famous blue "X" on the CBF was chosen because it represents the crucifixion cross of the first disciple of Christ -- Saint Andrew. The thirteen stars on the flag represent the thirteen states of the Confederacy. The red field compliments the blue "X" and can be clearly seen, at a distance, on the battlefield.
There is nothing sinister or dishonorable about that emblem. Nothing. Mr. Romney, and all the other detractors of that flag, do not understand that you cannot separate that flag from the people of the southern states. Even the distance of time (151 years) and a campaign of disinformation begun in 1865 has broken the link between the people of the Old Confederacy and their beloved heritage, which that piece of cherished cloth represents.
Having said the above, there can be no denying that the CBF has been used by some groups and some individuals for nefarious purposes. THAT is a disgrace. But it does not shame that flag.
Southrons (the people of the South) cherish that flag because it is the flag beneath which brave members of their families fought an died for the idea that (SURPRIZE!) the founders of the United States had it RIGHT when they penned the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. When the United States left the original intent of the Constitution, the southern states left the United States.
If you have never done so, we invite you to "Google" the Constitution of the Confederate States of America and read it. I guarantee, you will be shocked at how close it is to the Constitution of the United States.
I am a long-time member of a southern heritage organization. Our primary duty is to see that the memory of the Confederate soldier is kept alive and the true history of the War Between The States is preserved and passed down to generations yet unborn.
All native southern people celebrate the fact that the blood of those incredibly brave men still flows in our veins. Their story is our heritage. Unique among all Americans many southerners feel that we "Confederate Americans" should be a protected minority in America. Our heritage is THAT close to our hearts. It is an indelible part of everything we do, of everything we are, or hope to be.
Yes, we DO take it personally when the Confederate Battle Flag is abused or insulted. That's because it IS personal. To insult that flag is to insult our families, our heritage, our culture, our unique place in the history of the peoples of the North American continent.
When Mitt Romney said: "That flag shouldn't be flown ... that's not a flag I recognize." back on January 18th, 2008, he uttered the worst insult to southerners imaginable. I cannot overlook that.
Now. I sincerely believe that America cannot survive another four years of Obama as President. America, as a constitutional republic, is fighting for it's very life.
America needs to defeat Mr. Obama in November. But this must not be overlooked: If Romney wins, the support in the southern states for him -- and his agenda -- will be very thin simply because the southern people will never fully trust him. There is already concern among South Carolina Republicans that Nikki Haley, the current republican governor, will be a one-term governor because she supported Romney in the South Carolina Primary. (Gingrich won.)
I cannot walk into a voting booth and cast a ballot for Romney. I'd be breaking faith not only with you, my readers, but with myself. I cannot do that. It would be dishonorable.
No matter a man's station in life, in truth, he owns very little -- his name, his reputation and above all -- his honor.
It has always been difficult to preserve one's honor. It is supposed to be. The extent to which one tries is a test of one's character.
Honor is little understood today and even less appreciated. And it is sorely missed.
J. D. Longstreet