This one came in over the LSU weekly news wire.
For those who don’t follow much in Louisiana, we just elected Bobby Jindal, our youngest-ever governor (younger than me, even—egads!), a conservative Rebublican, SAOVA endorsed, Baton Rouge native and son of Indian immigrants, among a long list of other interesting and commonly-cited labels.
This story, commenting on Jindal’s win and its portents for our state, is by Rod Dreher (the Crunchy Con) and includes mention of LSU football, and this bit about Wendell Berry.
Weirdly familiar for a national piece, all of it.
“…As it happened, the night Mr. Jindal won I was having dinner in Henry County, Ky., with the farmer and agrarian poet Wendell Berry and a group of his conservative admirers. Earlier in the day, we’d heard Mr. Berry talk about how we Americans educate our children today for outgoing, not homecoming, and what a shame that is. We’d been talking about what kind of country we’d have if folks decided to stay home and learn to love their little place.
“That night, my father woke me up phoning from St. Francisville, La.. ‘Jindal won tonight!’ he said, tickled to death. So did the Tigers, but I don’t think he even mentioned football. “I haven’t lived in Louisiana in a long time, but this election makes me proud and hopeful–two emotions unfamiliar to exiled Bayou Staters. And the promise of Mr. Jindal’s leadership makes me wonder, for the first time since I packed up the U-Haul and drove off, if maybe I–and now, my children–have a future in Louisiana.”
Dreher seems almost regretful for having left his home state, a mixed emotion he finds common among Louisiana ex-pats. I can understand it, although in my case Louisiana was the chosen destination, and the only home my children know.
If Dreher is an admirer of Wendell Berry, champion of much-abused and “backward” Kentucky, perhaps he should come home too.