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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS IN THE CULTURE WAR!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


By Mark Vogl

Let's talk strategy on General Lee's birthday!

For the compatriots of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, whether you like it or not, you are viewed by the rest of the nation as a right wing group. Maybe you don’t like that. Maybe you belong to union, or believe in Marxism. Maybe you don’t think politics should be involved, and that you joined only to honor your ancestor.

But your ancestor fought for the most conservative values possible, family, Christianity, State’s Rights, Secession, and the values embraced by and articulated within the Confederate Constitution. You can insult me, you can cry foul, you can falsely claim that the Sons of Confederate Veterans cannot participate in the politics of governance, but when the smoke clears, when all is said and done, there is not one media person, not one college professor who would call the SCV anything but a conservative right wing group. So if those words hurt your feelings, well, maybe you have some thinking to do.

Now recently, some work by former Texas Division Commander Dr. Ray James and his associates Professors at Texas A & M developed a genealogical formula created to help estimate how many living descendants, (male and female) there could be alive today. The number they came up with was 80 million! Because the number was stunningly high, in my articles I always say between 50 – 80 million. Still a fair amount of Americans.

This is our market. This is the market for the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Can you imagine the changes in the South if even one in five of the potential membership actually joined? Can you see schools being named after General Lee, and can you see Confederate naval ensigns at football games, and Dixie being played at a football game? Can you see the South rising in power and prestige? Can you see people moving South scrambling to find a descendant?

So why doesn’t this happen? Why can’t we speak to tens of millions of Americans?

Answer is simple. Look at the SCV, look at your own division. Which level of the SCV out performs every other level?

The camp. That’s right. All the activities that can be done a camp are done. Handfuls of compatriots, with their wives, or girlfriends and kids, do everything from marching in parades, to living history exhibits at schools, to attending SCV meetings. The local camps do community projects, participate in cemetery clean ups, and honor Confederate dead.

The amount of work done by the camps are the only source of real success for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

How come?

Because a group of people within the SCV don’t want us to really succeed. This group of people doesn’t want to do real fund raising. It doesn’t want to do advertising. This group doesn’t want to do market research…the same type research that McDonald’s and Ford, and Disney do! Nope. They don’t want to modernize the Constitutions, delegate real power to the Division Lt. Commanders.

This group, that I call the grannies, is the people who don’t want the SCV to become politically active like the veterans organizations, AARP, the NAACP, or other 501c3 organizations. This is the group that are the can’ts.

The combat effectiveness I speak of in the title, is with respect to the politics of the Culture war. Not violence, but doing those things necessary to influence the politics of governance. At present, the SCV and other heritage groups are combat ineffective. If I am wrong, write an essay outlining the big gains, and the big gains just about to come. Did the VA agree to provide the 14,000 headstones for Oakwood Cemetery in Richmond? Are museums opening new exhibits honoring the South and Lee, and all the heroes of the war? Is there going to be a Confederate series of stamps? The list is endless. I am waiting. Please write and outline all our gains so I can apologize for being uninformed.

The grannies won’t allow free speech and open discussion within the divisions, they won’t allow a complete reorganization to maximize modern communications technologies. They won’t empower the member with real power. Nope, they want to be the clique in control. This isn’t in one state, it’s probably all across the Confederation. Now, there may be brigade and division leaders who are doing everything they can to bring their units up to combat effectiveness in the modern culture war. It’s very possible.

I believe CiC Givens, and others, many other leaders want to do what I am talking about. But they know from experience that what I am talking about are hot button issues. They know that anyone who is outside the MOS&B, and anyone who can think in modern terms of validating the Cause will be chastised by many. And since they want to lead, even if they must take miniscule bites of the real challenges before them…well, that’s all they feel they can do.

I remember when elected as Lt. Commander of the Texas Division, I was told by a former commander to attempt only small things because people don’t like change.

I didn’t follow his advice. And yep, I am ridiculed by many who are the can’ts. Now they do things at the camp level. They keep a full calendar. They work their butts off. But you know what boys…if you work at McDonald’s, and work and work and work, you still wont have any measurable effect on the corporate balance sheet. Big money, big gains come with innovations and change. And in the present environment, with the present Constitutions which hobble real progress, I will be astonished if we break thirty five thousand by the end of the Sesquicentennial.

Gentlemen I am willing to happily accept all the insults, all the abuse, be removed from my position which I worked pretty hard for, if, in the end the membership rises up and says, hey…leaders, why are we failing as bad as the US government? Why are we not getting laws changed? Why are we not raising money? Why are we not doing things, new things to get us noticed during the Sesquicentennial?

To the many camps and members of the Texas Division who elected me…thank you for the honor. I wanted to serve, and though brief, I have done all I could to meet the Charge!


Blogger Val Proto said...

First, not every "increase" is good. I know, that's why I threw out my scale. Although numbers do "tell" (do tell!), the end result is based upon what those "numbers" represent. The South needs more people who, first, UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON AND CARE and secondly, who aren't afraid to speak up for the right (and I don't mean "wing"). It doesn't help to have numbers when most of those voting on issues vote "present." If you look at American history, you learn that it is the few, the committed, the knowledgeable and the passionate who actually win the day, not the lazy, apathetic middle.

There was a song in an old broadway musical and film, "New Moon" entitled "Stout-hearted Men." The lyrics are simple and profound: "Give me some men who are stout-hearted men who will fight for the right they adore. Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men AND I'LL SOON GIVE YOU TEN THOUSAND MORE!" The song ends with a promise of victory "...when stout-hearted men will stick together man to man." That is what is needed today but I sometimes wonder if we can get ten stout-hearted men in the organization much less the same camp.

10:02 AM  

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