Presented at the 2007 League of the South National Conference, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 5 October 2007 AD
Experience shows us that life is hard. It is hard for each individual in his day-to-day affairs. It is doubly difficult when men must act together to accomplish a corporate goal. Inevitably, problems will surface that threaten to rip apart an organization committed to any sort of serious accomplishments. How we handled these difficulties—as individual LS members and as an organization--will go a long way in determining whether we will win or lose.
Remember, if you expect things to be difficult, it will always be easier to solve the problems that confront you.
My first question to you, as a League member, is “how badly do you want to succeed?” Winning at anything really important is never easy. There is always competition standing in your way. In our particular case, it is very powerful competition. In the game we play, one side will win and the other will lose. It’s as simple as that. There will be either an independent Southern Republic or an American Empire.
To overcome the odds arrayed against us, it is, I believe, crucial to get our minds right about one fundamental issue: where to place our focus. Should it be on the outcome we desire (our ultimate objective)? Or should it be on the process by which we will be successful? While it is natural for us to envision the ultimate attainment of our objectives—Southern independence and the establishment of a Southern Republic—we must not fall into that temptation and thus overlook the tactics and strategies, the ideas, and the day-to-day practices necessary to take us successfully to the end of that journey.
Have you ever experienced a painful loss or setback? Sure you have. I’d like for you all to close your eyes for a moment and remember just how badly it felt. But more importantly, try to remember how you reacted to it. Did you rededicate yourself to doing the little things correctly? Did you determine that you’d never be outworked again? Did you renew your sense of optimism and commitment to your work? Did you refuse to let up until you overcame the obstacles that led to your setback? If you can honestly answer “yes” to these questions, then you more than likely have not suffered a similar setback or loss again.
If each one of us, as individual League members, will do the little things correctly, refuse to be outworked by any adversary, be optimistic about and committed to our work, and refuse to ever let up, then we will be a long way toward winning our independence.
But there is more we need to do as an organization. First, we must be a team. There must
be no selfishness on our team. We have to check our egos at the door, as it were. We must share a purpose—doing what is necessary to accomplish our goal of Southern independence. We must together be relentless in the pursuit of attaining that goal. That means being resilient in the face of adversity and thus overcoming our own errors and mistakes. We must never let our opponents determine who we are and what we do. We are responsible for setting our own agenda and following it until we reach our objectives. This means being proactive and not reactive. We must know who we are and never let ourselves be defined by our enemies. We must not fall into the trap of getting too excited about our successes or too distraught by our setbacks. Always approach each task for the League as if it were the one that will determine our ultimate success or failure, no matter where we stand as an organization at that particular moment. If we do these things regularly as an organization--and refuse to allow ourselves to get caught up in the “end game”—then we will be able to take the step-by-step journey that leads to where we want to be—a free and independent South.
Our conviction, character, commitment, and attitude will allow us to reach that objective. If we develop and cultivate these traits, then we will have what we need to achieve the results we desire. Conversely, if we neglect them, daydreaming about some distant (or not-so-distant) day of deliverance, then we will fail. Remember, for both an individual and an organization, the plan you have for reaching your goal is much more important than the goal itself. If the former is not sound, the latter will never be reached, no matter how much you long to see it.
The key to making that step-by-step journey to our goal is perseverance, both in the face of adversity and in the glow of success. On the one hand, adversity often causes despair; on the other, success can breed complacency. We must succumb to neither.
You can be a winner only if you decide you want to be a winner. No one else can make that decision for you. And if we have enough individuals in the League who have decided to be winners, we will have a winning organization. And a wise man once said, “There is no substitute for winning.”
But the price of winning at anything worthwhile is high. It requires all the things I’ve outline above and more. In sum, what will it take for The League of the South to win its objectives? 1) Having the courage to keep doing what we must do to succeed in bringing about Southern independence; 2) Having the ability to visualize where we are headed and to implement the process to get there; 3) To react to both adversity and success with a spirit of perseverance and determination and to overcome the fear of failure; 4) To take advantage of every opportunity, both great and small, presented to us; 5) To do everything we do with a sense of Southern grace and class; 6) To commit ourselves to doing the small things correctly so we will be able later to do the big things; and 7) To never be outworked or outsmarted by our opponents again.
Finally, I want you all to take great pride in being members of The League of the South. This is your organization. Take possession of it and make it into an indomitable force for the restoration of our independence and liberty. There are many other organizations that Southerners could join if they are interested in preserving our heritage or honoring the past. By our attitude and action, let us show them that the League is the organization to join if you are committed to the present, to the future, and to a free South. Let us show them that we are winners and will settle for nothing less than achieving our honorable goal of a Southern Republic. Let us not be merely interested in the South; rather, let us be committed to her well being and independence. And ask yourself the following question each day: “How badly do I want to win this battle?” Then, if you’re the type of person I think you are, you’ll act accordingly.
May God bless you all, and may He save the South.