Most of us are scratching our head, where did the culture powering the Republican Party come from anyway? Nowhere else in the world do we find this combination of religious fundamentals, anti-intellectualism and leave-me-alone-ism.
My comments below are a very condensed version of Senator James Webb’s book “Born Fighting” (The link contains on one review ) . In the 16th and 17th centuries, England in order to pacify their restless Irish colony, confiscated land from the Irish and offered it to protestant settlers mostly from Scotland. Over time these settlers found themselves in a bad situation, The Catholic Irish hated them. The high church English overlords looked down at them as low church Presbyterians.
The important point for this diary, because of their isolation the enlightenment bypassed them. While both Scotland and Ireland had their enlightenment, the Scotch-Irish were physically separated from Scotland, and had no friendly contact with the Irish.
They retained their tribal Celtic kinship and honor based warrior culture with a rugged Calvinist individualism.
When North America opened for immigration, the Scotch-Irish took advantage of a way to escape their unhappy situation. They constituted about 30-40% of all the immigrants to the British colonies in the 18th century. When they arrived the high church establishment looked down on them, so they headed for the hills, the Appalachian frontier. There they settled later to be called hillbillies.
They needed their fighting ways, as they come in conflict with the Indians and became the de-facto frontier guards. Their hatred of Britain led them to become a keystone of our revolution. One Hessian officer said, "Call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American rebellion; it is nothing more or less than a Scotch Irish Presbyterian rebellion.’
Since then they were, and still are, a disproportionate percentage of our armed forces.
Senator Jim Webb puts forth a thesis in his book to suggest that the character traits he ascribes to the Scotch-Irish such as loyalty to kin, extreme mistrust of governmental authority and legal strictures, and a propensity to bear arms and to use them, helped shape the American identity. ( ibid Wikipedia )
It is a time to for us to enjoy schadenfreude, but, barring succession, afterwards we have to live with them. Even if we do not agree with them, we should stop laughing at them.