May 1, 2006: Flaggers, Yankees And Other Signs Of Hostility

Okay boys and girls, let’s dip into the ol’ mailbag and see what readers have to say regarding my recent opinions on anything and everything.

My column suggesting that flaggers have no chance of getting a public referendum on the old state flag drew an unusually muted response from a crowd that has been anything but muted in the past. I did hear from a couple of saber-rattlers – one claiming that powerful Speaker of the House Glen Richardson is a “one-termer.” My bookie, Vito, says he will take all the action on that bet he can get.

A number of flaggers, who asked not to be quoted agreed with my assessment of their current situation. Several lamented that there is no one voice to speak for Southern heritage and this hurts efforts to get broad-based support for their cause. Some flaggers intend to support Ray “States Rights” McBerry, an independent advertising contractor, in the Republican primary in hopes of hurting incumbent Governor Sonny Perdue’s chances in the general election against either Democratic candidate, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor or Secretary of State Cathy Cox. The respondents admit that neither Democrat will support a flag referendum, but this is the only way they can think to get back at Perdue who they feel reneged on a pledge to hold a public referendum after they had supported him in his first campaign. They also hope to piggy-back on any general discontent other special interest groups may have with the governor. If this is their political strategy, flaggers are in for a long cold spell.

My recent column on Yankees coming to Georgia and dumping off on us and our Revolutionary War history drew a strong response from Southerners across the state who are weary of the know-it-alls. Interesting, even a number of transplants said they, too, tire of listening to their ungrateful brethren who don’t understand how good they have it here. I also received a few brickbats. One reader who moved from Georgia to Ohio, likes it there (insert joke here) and told me to “kiss her grits.” What do they know about grits in Ohio?

A former Iowan now living in Georgia says Iowans aren’t “Yankees”, but “Midwesterners.” She took strong issue with my contention that Revolutionary War Gen. Lachlan McInstosh, of the Great State of Georgia, left the Ohio territory in 1777 because he was afraid he would end up stationed in Cleveland, or worse, start talking loud and acting like an expert on everything. Not so, she says. McIntosh left Ohio because “he did not have the manpower or resources necessary to complete his expedition against Detroit to destroy British power in that area.” Well, knock me over with a corn stalk. Her comments remind me of the shortest book ever written: “That Keen Yankee/Midwestern Sense of Humor.”

One reader fretted over my “pent up hostility against Northerners” and opined that he thought “counseling would help.” I told him I loved Yankees. As a matter of fact, I am married to one, the infamous Woman Who Shares My Name. That is when I showed her the reader’s note, stomped my foot, waggled my finger and said that my perceived hostility is her fault. If she fed me less broccoli, I would not be so hostile. That was a mistake. She shoved the broccoli in my ear.

My column on the latest sightings of our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney got the most response of any column of mine in a long time – some from as far away as The Philippines. The question I got most often from readers was “Why in the world would anybody with a modicum of common sense send this bad joke back to Washington?” Two reasons: One, most of her supporters don’t have a modicum of common sense and, two, she gives people from Ohio another reason to claim we are dumb as a rock.

As always, thanks for writing. I appreciate hearing from you. Now if you will excuse me, I need to close up the ol’ mailbag and see what I can do to get the broccoli out of my ears.