Certain cynics on the right—people like Kevin Phillips and our own Samuel Francis—have been predicting an upsurge in conservative militancy, an activism born of despair. If increasing numbers of people become convinced that elections do not, cannot change things in the U.S., the discontented middle and working classes may well turn to more direct action, taking their cue from the tactics of other discontented groups: organize, demonstrate, and exert the sort of moral pressure no politician can resist— money and votes. If we can draw any conclusion from the evidence of country music, some Southerners, and, in fact, the plain folks of the whole country, are waking up to the fact that no one, but no one is going to lift a finger to help them, if they will not help themselves—not their own Jimmie Carter and not the well-meaning Ronald Reagan. If some sort of social revolution does take place in this country, it will not be made by discontented Chicanos, alienated radicals, or country club Republicans. It will come from the dispossessed ordinary Americans of the South, West, and Midwest. The plain Southern folks have more than once in the past demonstrated their ability to make trouble—in two revolutionary wars, for example—and they could be dangerous once more, if they ever decide just what it is the South is going to do again.
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