The politically-correct way to say "redneck"

This article describing the Jacksonian political orientation has disturbed the wildlife in my little watershed of the blogosphere. I admit that it has given me fresh insight into my own personal politics and those of people I know. A source of tension in my own beliefs is now explained in a way that I can act on it. Please go read the article and come back.

First the reservations: I stopped watching professional wrestling at age 13 or so, when WIIC-TV stopped running it on Saturday afternoons, decades before the steroids and the stage lighting. Nor have I named an automobile General Lee. And the comparison between NRA-card-carrying Jacksonians and ACLU-card-carrying Jeffersonians seems to ignore Jefferson's passionate insistence upon an armed populace, and today's growing suspicion among gun-owners of the War on Drugs.

There will be more on this, which will have to wait, but just a thought for now: US military institutions are formally apolitical, and stringently so because of our cherished subordination of the military to the civil power. A formal political movement among the uniformed services would be cause for alarm, and is literally illegal.

But every person has his politics, whether he is aware of them or not, and the job of the military ("war," if you ask a Jacksonian) is the continuation of politics by other means. One hypothetical would have mostly Jacksonian enlisted men serving under mostly Jeffersonian commanders, who take orders from mostly Hamiltonian chiefs of staff following policies written by Wilsonian civilians. That is a too-convenient explanation for our experience in Vietnam.

The stresses of armed conflict (and training for conflict), just like the stresses of study at university, can alter one's politics, if they are not already fully formed. This stress and introspection will forge an orientation or a tradition into an articulable and defensible ideology. Would it be preferable on the one hand for our officer promotion system, for example, to profess to be apolitical, but inadvertently, unconsciously groom disproportionate numbers of, say Wilsonians---or on the other hand, to recognize and understand the diversity, where diversity really would matter? Which would be healthier for the military itself and the country at large?

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