Newt answers flag question as I would

Our friend Michael Rodgers brings this to my attention:


Have you seen this video with Newt in Charleston?

The reactions of the crowd are revolting.  Why would they cheer so
much?  After all, the people of South Carolina want the flag down.
Our will is being thwarted by our legislature.  That’s where we are
today.  This issue is just one example of far too many issues where
partisan politics and legislative dominance trample over what’s
clearly right.

BTW, the Republican presidential primary in SC is just a few days
after MLK day.  It’s Saturday the 21st, when MLK day is Monday the
16th.  Should be an interesting week.



Well, I have to say first that Newt answered the question about the way I would — although perhaps for different reasons, since he’s running for the GOP nomination here. Of course what we South Carolinians fly on the State House grounds is our business and no one else’s. And if I were a presidential candidate passing through from elsewhere, if asked, I would say, “That’s your problem, not mine.”

If someone from elsewhere could somehow coerce South Carolina into removing the flag, nothing would be accomplished. The only way that anything is accomplished by furling the flag is if South Carolina grows up enough to decide, on its own, through our elected representatives, to take that step.

That step is long, long overdue. Every day that we leave it there is an insult to our ancestors as well as to ourselves and our neighbors today. We’re not hurting anyone in the world but South Carolina by flying it, and it’s incumbent on us to decide we’ve engaged in far more than enough nonsense, and put the thing away. A banner designed to be taken into battle in a war we lost 146 years ago should be under glass in a museum (and we have one for that purpose), or represented with a modest bronze plaque, not flying as though it and what it stands for is alive.

It’s no one else’s concern. Of course, it helps them decide what they think of us. But so far, we’ve been satisfied to let them think what they like. Which is fine, in a way. Because in the end, we need to get rid of the flag because we understand that it’s wrong, that it’s something we need to put behind us. If we did it simply because of what others thought, and still wanted, deep-down, to fly it, nothing would be accomplished. We would not have grown as a people.

Everything I’ve ever written about the flag has been aimed at persuading my fellow South Carolinians who are not yet convinced that we need to go ahead and take it down. It’s about us, the people of this state. Always has been.

3 thoughts on “Newt answers flag question as I would

  1. Brad

    By the way, note that the headline, “Gingrich defends South Carolina’s Confederate Flag,” is inaccurate. That’s not what he’s doing. If he had said anything along those lines, I wouldn’t be agreeing with him.

    Of course, perhaps some of those in the crowd HEARD him as doing that, which could be a cause of the cheering that Michael objects to. But I can’t help it if they have comprehension problems.

  2. Bryan Caskey

    Brad: You’re right about the flag. It’s uniquely a SC issue, and WE as South Carolinians have to want it down for it to mean anything, rather than be coerced by an outsider to take it down.

    It reminds me of a scence from “The Break Up” where Vince Vaughn’s character and Jennifer Anniston’s character are dating/living together.

    After a big dinner, Jennifer is doing the dishes while Vince is on the couch watching baseball. Jennifer is clearly overwhelmed and needs help. She then fusses at Vince saying that she wished he would help her do the dishes.

    Vince replies that he doesn’t want to do the dishes, and the argument escalates. Eventually, Vince concedes and agrees (very reluctantly) to help having been browbeaten. However, Jennifer says that’s not good enough: She wishes that Vince would WANT to do the dishes, and that’s what’s wrong with him – that he doesn’t want to do them. Vince ends the argument by saying that NO ONE wants to do the dishes; that it’s ridiculous to WANT to do them.

    Point is, we as South Carolinians have to WANT to do the dishes before it will mean anything. We can’t be browbeaten into it.

    Sorry for the long post, I’m into the bourbon again.

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