When the federal court demands people behave a certain way, it is a court-ordered federal occupation. And the Voting Rights Act between 1965 and 2013 should be considered a federal occupation of the South, a closing footnote to Reconstruction. It was needed because in real life there was no Reconstruction. Instead, after the Civil War, the South was left to rot and die, old-school like, as punishment for the sin of secession, while President Grant tried to figure out what to do with the blacks he had liberated. Like annexing Santo Domingo: “I took it that the colored people would go there in great numbers,” he wrote, “so as to have independent states governed by their own race.”
But there was no Reconstruction like that of the Marshall Plan in Europe after WWII or like that which goes on oddly parallel today as we invade and destroy countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, simultaneously rebuilding them with American contractors friendly to Dick Cheney.
Had there been an actual Reconstruction — a rebuilding of the South destroyed by Northern armies in the long sweep between Atlanta and Savannah — and integral rehabilitation of freed slaves and impoverished whites, it might have been different.
But in the 150 years since Gettysburg, the South has rehabilitated itself all by itself. And today America has reached the moment of return.
Shelby County v. Holder brings a sea change and, potentially, a day of reckoning.
And this is where Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) enters history. More than 35 central states today speak with one voice on abortion, guns, federal interference, ObamaCare and much else. And like the Old South, they speak again in opposition to New York and New Jersey.
But this time, the economy rises in the Heartland where these people live and recedes in the Northeast. And these 30-some states today have greater kinship with Perry than they do with Anthony Weiner or Hillary Clinton.