Love-Hate Mail 

There goes the party
I read with interest regarding the recent decline of successful prospects facing the democrats in Tennessee for the upcoming 2010 elections ("Democrats in Disarray," Oct. 22). I chuckled at the various reasons given by party loyalist and leadership, for it is symbolic of not only Tennessee Democratic leadership but Democratic leadership throughout the nation as to the true reason the South has gone pretty much conservative (Republican) over the last 40 years and most especially the last 10!

You see, I consider myself the prime example as to why the Democrats can expect to be on the losing end for the next couple of generations and most likely the rest of time in the Old South! The party failed to acknowledge "conservative ideals" in the national platform....No Southern Democrat dare stand up against the national platform, so with the ushering in of the Humphreys, McGoverns, Mondales, Dukakises, Gores, Kerrys and Obamas, the Democratic Party has staked its future on the fact that liberalism is the ideology of its future!

I speak with first-hand knowledge having grown up Democrat most of my life. I have never lived outside of Tennessee, served on a corporate board, made more than a modest middle-class salary at best, [been a] member of two unions, military member, public school educated, and most of all considered myself a "yellow dog Democrat!" However, I was Democrat out of tradition like most Southerners who value "Tradition!" I not only considered myself Democrat, but was forced into party activism coming from one of Tennessee's longest politically Democratic lineaged families! My ancestors dating back to 1818 (all elected public servants) were known for partisan Democratic leadership activism, and I myself became an elected national delegate for Bill Clinton's presidential bids as well as Tennessee's Young Democrat of the Year for 1992 & 1993. What changed?

Well, I can tell you it wasn't me. I still hold the same values and ideals I always have as a youngster. More educated, yes, and many more years older, which allows me the wisdom that a political activist can no longer hold to tradition....People like Richard Selby and Zell Miller were doomed to be outcast, but they reflect many Southern Democrats caught between a rock and a hard place with Obama's recent approach to forced political ideology.

So I laugh when I hear Chip Forrester's excuses of the "whys" for the recent loss of Ty Cobb! Does he not think as many "conservatives" work the same hours as "working people" he presumes are Democrats? You see the Chip Forresters of the world (dating back to the late 1980s and early 1990s) failed to listen to the Southern Democrats like me. We don't earn the money to write big checks for party donations, so why bother listening to us?

Overall, the landscape has changed, but we "Southern Democrats" never have idealistically—and that's why we conservatives can see a fresh day in Tennessee government just over the horizon!

Brett Lashlee
Camden, Tenn.

'Rebel,' hell
After reading about three paragraphs of this review anyone who knew Alice [Randall's] incomparable deceased first husband would know immediately that Abel Jones, Jr. is him—anyone except perhaps the sycophantic Scene reviewer and all of the fawning book reviewers on Alice's self-aggrandizing website ("Up from Liberalism," Oct. 8). Son of a civil rights lawyer; neoconservative; foreign services officer in the Philippines; collapsed and died (very sadly) in a dinner theater. Him, all him.

All of which is shocking that she made this the setting for her latest book, Rebel Yell. Why take the facts of a deceased man's life, twist them into fantasy, and then trifle with them unless she harbors some sort of deep seated (and better kept private) animus? Or is she so unoriginal that this is all she could think of?

Alice describes herself as being a risk taker and courageous and all those other words—just words that self-observant writers wish for themselves. I suppose she's right. Courage on paper need reach no higher than libel and scorn. In real life, courage is tethered to sacrifice, a face-down of danger, and great achievement. In a book, courage is, well, kind of whatever you say it is.

Bravo.

I will read the book (I just bought a used copy from someone who decided pretty quickly that this is not one for the permanent library) if only to discover just how like the Scene reviewer she did not know her husband, and to remind myself why he was right to pick a "second, less combative wife."

Funny. I remember when The Wind Done Gone came out. How appreciative and respectful "Abel" was of Alice's work. How he hoped that it would mean a better, more blessed life for their beloved daughter. How he silenced me and others for our criticism of it. How now he is remembered.

Andrew D. Martin
Nashville

Correction
In the Best of Nashville issue Oct. 15, we misstated the name of Nashville director Brent Stewart's film The Colonel's Bride. The Scene regrets the error.

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