I have often thought about a lengthy essay I read in the Boston Globe in 1997, the week after Labor Day on a Cape Cod beach (which is how I remember when). I think about it a lot when I am searching out my genealogy. I thought about it yesterday when I read jbeach's diary on How to Treat Conservative Delusion [http://www.dailykos.com/...]
That Globe essay suggested that these Scots-Irish emigrants were about the worst-of-the-worst they could send to America, specifically to the South, and how their attitudes to government and authority would find expression even today, guns, the revenuer, municipal zoning. It intrigued me at the time, being a political scientist of sorts. Later I began my search for my roots.
With some knowledge that my maternal grandmother was from Kansas, that "the family had moved generation by generation across several states ahead of civilizaton", and with some help from my mother's cousins, I discovered their story. They were Scots-Irish. Beginning in Virginia in the 1700's, the whole family of three generations left Fauquier County together in 1801 for South Carolina. One of the second generation, my 4th great grandfather, then moved to TN with his family. His son, my 3rdGGF, had been born in VA in 1789 and married about 1809 in KY and then moved to Indiana. My 2nd GGF was born there and moved to IL, where his daughter married a man, whose father was born in KY in 1820 and had married in 1843 in Greene County MO. They were also Scots-Irish. In any event this young couple left IL by wagon for KS, and later moved on by wagon in 1901 with their whole family to what is now Western Canada.
One of that family married a Canadian-born man, my mother's father. He too was Scots-Irish. His grandfather and his whole family came to Canada in the worst year of the Irish potato famine. This line comes from the most reknowned and feared of the Scottish border families, one that had left Scotland for Ireland, some generations before.
Now you are probably asking what this has to do with the price of eggs, much less conservatives' delusions. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. Patience.
Learn a lot about these peoples, before they left the lawless, warring Scottish borders for Ireland, how badly they fared in Ireland, why they left for the US, and where and how they have lived there since.
These two links require careful reading to discern the elements which may shape the attitudes of certain conservatives today, and what those attitudes may be.
I believe there are linkages and would like to hear what others think. If you are interested in this as a genealogy matter, or if you think there is a link between forbears' attitudes and life experiences and some of their descendants and some relationship to the question posed by JBeach in his cited diary, I'd like to hear.
If someone wants to go down to the Archives of the Boston Globe to find the essay from 1997, I think it was in the colored week-end supplement to the paper.