tim so luridly described in the closingrnscene is in fact too commonplace to bernvery shocking.rnTo Hollywood the South is no longerrnthe irredeemable backwater of MississippirnBurning, but a place like South Africa,rnwhich is successfully overturning its oldrnorder and shedding its evil heritage. Butrnthe New South is admirable only insofarrnas it has ceased to be Southern. JakernBrigantz is a Southerner only by an accidentrnof geography; he could just as wellrnlive in New York, Chicago, or L.A. Therneffeminate Horace Benbow may outlivernthe violent, rebellious Bayard Sartoris,rnbut only by turning away forever from hisrncustoms and heritage.rnMichael Washburn is the assistant editorrnof Chronicles.rnREGIONALISMrnThe GoodrnKennedysrnby Michael HillrnThe Kennedys are an American institution.rnNo, not the Massachusettsrnrabble, but the Louisiana Kennedys,rnJames Ronald (of Mandeville) and WalterrnDonald (of Simsboro), self-describedrn”Scotch-Irish crackers” and authors ofrnThe South Was Right! and Why Not Freedom!rnAmerica’s Revolt Against Big Government,rnboth available from PelicanrnPublishing in Gretna, Louisiana (phonernnumber: 1-800-843-1724).rnBorn in 1948 in the piney-woodsrnof Copiah County, Mississippi, thernKennedy twins grew up in a relativelyrnpoor, but stable. Christian family. Asrnyoung children, they were taken to therngrave of their great-grandfather, JohnrnWesley Kennedy, and learned of his trialsrnas a Confederate soldier serving inrnCompany F of the 38th Mississippi VolunteerrnInfantry. This blood connectionrnto the past was strengthened by an unreconstructedrngrade school teacher whornwould put down her books and tell themrnstories about The War for Southern Independencernpassed on by her own greatgrandmother.rnAs teenagers in the 1960’s, thernKennedys came to regard the defense ofrnthe South from its detractors as a “spiritualrnduty.” When the civil rights activistsrnstepped up their attacks on Southernrntraditions, especially states’ rights,rnJames and Walter volunteered to servernMississippi gubernatorial candidate RossrnBarnett and the “unpledged electors”rnmovement. Both cast their first vote in arnnational election for Democratic presidentialrncandidate George Wallace inrn1968. But, as Walter explains, “We hadrnno party commitment. Instead, we wererncommitted to a philosophy of limitedrngovernment. We considered ourselvesrnJeffersonian republicans, and had nornsympathy for the ‘false republicanism’ ofrnAbraham Lincoln and his party successors.rnAs Lyndon Johnson and the civilrnrights movement continued to dismantlernthe Constitution, the Kennedys contemplatedrna book project to defend thernfounding principles of the Old AmericanrnRepublic. Understanding that the ideasrnbehind the founding were essentiallyrnSouthern and that their Confederate ancestorsrnhad fought to preserve the legacyrnof Washington, Jefferson, and Madison,rnthey began researching The South WasrnRight! James remembers: “We both hadrnjobs and neither one of us consideredrnourselves writers. This was a labor of passion.”rnFor the next two decades, theyrnread and studied Southern history, literature,rnand political thought. Along thernway, both men became convinced that arnstate has the right to secede if its interestsrnare best served by that course, an issuernthey believe was not settled at Appomattox.rnThe tyranny of busing and quotasrnand the sacrifice of our men to imperialrnpolitics during the Vietnam War openedrnthe Kennedys’ eyes to the fact that thernUnited States government was an out-ofcontrolrncriminal enterprise that could bernstopped only by a reassertion of the principlesrnof states’ rights, nullification, andrneven secession.rnThe South Was Right! (the second editionrnespecially) has had a tremendousrnimpact on its 40,000 or so buyers. Dr.rnMilburn Calhoun, head of Pelican Publishers,rnhas tirelessly promoted the book,rnand the Kennedys themselves have spentrncountless hours at book-signings and onrnradio talk shows across the country. Walterrnnotes that about “90 percent ofrncallers agree with our positions.” He tellsrnof a youthful naysayer who called into arnNewport News, Virginia, station to announcernthat secession was unconstitutionalrnbecause his college professors toldrnhim so. At that point, Mr. Kennedy wageredrn$1,000 that the unlettered youngrnUnionist could not find the constitutionalrnprovision forbidding secession. Afterrnfrantically thumbing through the foundingrndocument, the gentleman hung uprnthe phone in despair—a typical reaction.rnAs James says of those who cannot or willrnnot face the truth about the rectitude ofrnthe Southern cause: “A hit dog hollers.”rnThe success of the Kennedys’ firstrnbook has contributed significantly to arnrenewed interest in the South’s culturalrnand political heritage. According tornJames, the most frequently asked questionrnfrom their readers is, “Now that wernknow the lies and distortions spreadrnabout our Southern heritage, how canrnwe organize to come to its defense?” Byrnmid-1994, the Kennedys could give anrnanswer. They both were instrumental inrnforming the Southern L,eague, a rapidlyrngrowing organization dedicated to advancingrnthe cultural, social, economic,rnand political well-being and independencernof traditional Southerners. Reflectingrnon the ongoing campaign of culturalrngenocide against the South andrnAmerica’s descent into Third World barbarism,rnWalter remarks: “If the Unionrncan’t be saved, then we must and willrnsave ourselves.”rnIf thousands of Southerners are nowrncomfortable in defending their heritagernand culture, much of the credit must gornto James and Walter Kennedy. But theyrnare tireless and will not stop here. Theirrnsecond book. Why Not Freedom! America’srnRevolt Against Big Government, publishedrnin late 1995, attempts to reach arnmuch wider audience. Its message isrnthat the South’s state sovereignty solutionrnto the tyranny of “consolidated government”rnis usable by the people of allrnthe states. Like growing numbers ofrnSoutherners and other Americans, thernKennedys are aware that the problem isrnnot only “liberal Democrats,” but arnDemocrat-Republican ruling class—thernClinton-Dole axis—that is determinedrnto destroy regional communities and replacernthem with a lifeless national (evenrnglobal) uniformity based on mass “culture”rnand mass consumption.rnThat the Louisiana Kennedys fit comfortablyrninto the Southern paleoconservativerncamp results from their ties tornthose they claim as intellectual heroes:rnJefferson, Calhoun, Randolph ofrnRoanoke, William Rawle, R.L. Dabney,rnAndrew N. Lytic, Donald Davidson,rn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn