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THE GRASSROOTS' BIGGEST WEAKNESS | 2000-01-15

NBC television gave a surprisingly positive report on the January 8 march for the Confederate flag in Columbia. It showed the thousands marching, the Confederate uniforms, the thousands of Confederate flags being carried. But at the end, they said, "The business community in South Carolina is afraid of this image of the state."

"This image" was the Confederate flag. "This image" was Southerners parading their own heritage. I cannot think of a better testimony to what this struggle is really all about. The business community wants an end to everything that smacks of the Confederacy or of genuine Southern history.

So we know where the money interests in South Carolina stand. If there was any doubt, Bob Jones' blatant betrayal of the traditionalist position made it very clear indeed. He went where the money went.

That is where the money is going, but is that where the future of politics is going? That depends on us. So far, interstate leftist boycotts have never failed to force a state into line. Money has enormous power, and money is ranged against us. But money can't go it alone.

There is no grassroots support at all for the campaign AGAINST the Confederate flag. There is certainly no evidence that blacks rank that flag as one of the main concerns they have in political life. It is, as I indicated on October 30, 1999, in "What the Flag Boycott Really Means," strictly a product of white business and its wholly-owned black "leadership."

The battle against the flag is all money. The battle for it is all grassroots.

I doubt that any real people were shocked by seeing thousands of South Carolinians marching behind Confederate flags and wearing Confederate uniforms. People expect Southerners to be Southern. NBC's dire warning is purely a product of money people talking to each other.

But a mass march is not everything. The question that I asked last time still remains: what are all our people going to do after they go home? Are they going to shed their uniforms and become good little obedient conservative servants of the business establishment? Is their bottom-line loyalty to the Republican Party, which dances to the tune the South Carolina business establishment plays?

While we are all being good little Republicans and good little followers of other conservative "leaders," who is going to WATCH our "leaders?" When we are suddenly informed one day that a "deal" has been worked out in the state legislature, how are we going to find out who sold us out? Are we still going to care?

Let me warn you once again: if you do not have a MEMORY, you are going to be betrayed again and again. And most conservatives have no memory at all, as I have demonstrated over and over in these columns. Leftists never forgive a betrayal until those who betrayed them do something to make up for it. Rightists just go back to being loyal.

For example, no liberal would ever forgive a betrayal like that of Bob Jones against us until he APOLOGIZED for it. Now, can anyone imagine any conservative leader ever apologizing to us for any betrayal? Of course not. They never apologize because we forget the betrayal. No one has anything to LOSE by refusing to apologize to us, because we never demand it.

The money men have won in all their interstate boycotts. Then our leaders apologize for not selling us out quickly enough. Liberals won't stand for anything less than a groveling right, and we never object when our leaders do the groveling.

I have done a lot of marching in my time. I have been in many marches larger than the one in Columbia, and I have seen some of those movements fail.

Movements that defy money fail because money has a built-in memory. Watching the NAACP leader interviewed by NBC, the same thought occurred to me that I have each time I see one of these professional leftist activists: "If it weren't for his 'movement,' where could this guy get a job?" Unlike the thousands of people who spend their time and work and money to get to a march, this guy has nothing in the world to do but push the cause his masters pay him to push.

He'd damn well better. Otherwise he'd have to find real work.

Long after the few months it takes for conservatives to go back to whatever is in the papers, those paid "leaders" on the left will have nothing to do for their pay but stay on their masters' issues. That is what defeats grassroots movements.

It is the failure of MEMORY that destroys the grassroots movements. The one overwhelming danger is that we will go back to the old groove and let our enemies come up with a fait accompli, a "compromise," a sellout that nobody is exactly responsible for.