And so, with this last section we come back to my original conjecture, is there a Southern culture model that tries to answer the societal question I posed at the beginning of this story, and how will it react to change? I think there is a model, and this model produces members who are genuinely old-world and so do not understand American exceptionalism; that it is possible for there to be more than one winner. (This idea of for me to win, you must lose, is the essence of Trump, the honorary Southerner, and it will drag the country down to ruin and possible break up as he makes everywhere the Old South.) With a few exceptions, old-southern behavior is like a sphere. The outer layer is one of endless politeness, with racist parents teaching their children the importance of saying yes ma’am and no ma’am. The next layer is one of calculated indifference, where you avoid problems by denying they exist. And finally, there is a molten core of swirling rage and despair, the one Trump has succeeded in mining so well.
To go back to the introduction and my reading in college, there is one more item to consider by William Safire, an author who if alive would be full of smug self-righteousness with the election of Trump. (One critic noted Safire “could be wrong with impunity.”) In one essay he considered the question, Can the United States Survive until 2024? At the time it was considered just another outburst from a far right journalist who most saw as another extension of McCarthy. But like a Trump or a Hitler, there is a cunning there that cannot be ignored.