The Year They Drove Old Dixie Down

This is how the national media see Virginia:

“A new battleground looms in a state where picnickers still flock to venerated fields of Confederate glory.” (Los Angeles Times lede, 2/12/08)

This is what local experts know about Virginia:

“In 2006, Virginia seceded from the Confederacy.” (Chuck Todd, Wall Street Journal, 8/17/07)

The L. A. Times implies that Virginians still define themselves by General Lee; Chuck suggests that most Virginians probably care more about General Electric. Do you think Ted Leonsis picknicks at Bull Run?

I’m one of the Virginians who does love the Civil War history — I’ve toured Stratford Hall and I visited the Confederate White House last weekend. But I bet the my most of my neighbors have no idea that our row of townhouses in Arlington is built on a former Union fort.


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