O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The answer came to me while watching “O Brother, Where Art Thou” for the zillionth time.  At the end of the movie Everett (George Clooney) and his crew are saved from a lynching by a torrential flooding of the valley by a dam project.  Surveying the wreckage from a floating desk he intones, “It’s the New South.  Ignorance and superstition are being swept away by industry and progress.”

The question is not an obvious one, nor is the connection.  I’ve been wondering for a long time how our politics became so twisted between the strange labels “conservative” and “progressive”.  The last Depression became a forge for a new progressive vision that everyone has been more or less responding to since.  The connection comes in an understanding of Earth Day and the conservation movement that swept the left.

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