One of the conventions of right-wing cultural analysis is that white conservative areas are more patriotic than coastal or urban areas. Mitt Romney begins his foreign policy speech today at the Citadel by paying homage to that conceit:
It's a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.
The notion of South Carolina as an unusually patriotic place seems a bit odd, given that the state threatened to secede from the country in 1832, and then was the first state to actually secede in 1860.
I am sure the people of South Carolina are happy here in the United States and love their country. Still, my view is that, when ranking states by patriotism, the state that most frequently threatens to or actually carries out secession gets put at the back of the line.
Maybe Romney's idea is that South Carolina's threats to leave simply reflect an unusually high passion, like an angry boyfriend who blows up at his girlfriend because he's so crazy about her. Yeah, that must be it.
Text of Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel [Washington Wire/WSJ]