Not that I need any more evidence to vote against George Allen (the smart money points to the Virginia senator receiving the GOP nomination in '08, unfortunately), but this latest news certainly seals my disdain.
Seems the coach's son is fond of the Stars and Bars. He had a Confederate flag on his truck at UVA and one his campaign ads for governor in 1993 featured the banner of the Confederacy.
First off, is there anything more obnoxious than a frat boy displaying the Stars and Bars? Only this: when politicians exploit the symbolism to curry favor with the redneck vote.
Granted, not everyone who waves the Stars and Bars is a racist. But racists have appropriated the flag, and by and large most who fly it are sending an unwelcome, backwards message.
That Allen would even flirt with that crowd makes him ill-suited for the Oval Office. While he was exploiting white anger in 1993, Zell Miller -- yes, that Zell Miller, then Georgia's governor -- was campaigning to have the Stars and Bars removed as the state flag: "It is clear the flag was changed in 1956 to identify Georgia with the dark side of the Confederacy -- that desire to deprive some Americans of the equal rights that are the birthright of all Americans."
I say this as a fifth-generation Southerner. I was born here, and I've defended my birthplace many times to out-of-touch liberals who persist in believing that nothing's changed in Dixie since "Gone with the Wind." Fortunately, they're wrong.
That South embarrasses me. I'm not proud of my heritage, I'm proud of how far we've come. We've still got a ways to go -- and sometimes, it seems, political forces appear hellbent on taking us backwards. But my South, to borrow from a local commercial, is Shirley Franklin and Flannery O'Connor. It's Ivan Allen and Ralph McGill and William Faulkner.
Fergit, please. Most of us have moved on, and those who haven't deserve to be shunned. That includes politicians who cynically exploit nativist hankerings. And that includes George Allen.
Besides, do we really need another smug frat boy in the White House?