In the US Scots-Irish are Americans of Ulster-Scots descent. Some of you might find it interesting reading for insight into the Ulster-Scotts roots of conservatism, populism and religious fundamentalism in the US. Link: Americaâs Scotch-Irish And The Rove Rationale Exerpt: Finally, the bellicose folks from the violent Scottish-English border region - and especially their descendents who had settled Ulster - came to the Appalachian backcountry from 1718 to 1775. Their descendents spread west across the upper South. The prototype: the ferocious Andy Jackson. They're typically called "Scots-Irish," although Fischer doesn't like the term because it makes them sound as if they spoke Celtic languages, when they actually spoke English and were culturally quite different from Scottish Highlanders or Irish Catholics. ... The two Southern groups have been the most belligerent. And the Scots-Irish in a class by themselves in their taste for raising hell - both at home and abroad. Patriotism and physical courage are both central to the backcountry tradition, as reflected in the very high rates of military enlistment among the Scots-Irish. (Stock car racing, which was originally dominated by fearless ex-moonshine runners like Junior Johnson, is the backcountry's signature sport.) Perhaps because of this culture of courage, the backcountry Scots-Irish are the ethnic group that Americans most look toward for Presidential leadership, especially in times of foreign threat. Link: Secret GOP Weapon: The Scots-Irish vote. Excerpt: Why are the 30 million Scots-Irish, who may well be America's strongest cultural force, so invisible to America's intellectual elites? It is commonplace for commentators to lump together those who are descended from British roots into the WASP culture typified by New England Brahmins, or the Irish, who are overwhelmingly Catholic. But it is political nonsense to consider the Scots-Irish as part of either. The Scots-Irish are derived from a mass migration from Northern Ireland in the 1700s, when the Calvinist "Ulster Scots" decided they'd had enough of fighting Anglican England's battles against Irish Catholics. One group settled initially in New Hampshire, spilling over into modern-day Vermont and Maine. The overwhelming majority--95%--migrated to the Appalachians in a series of frontier communities that stretched from Pennsylvania to northern Alabama and Georgia. They eventually became the dominant culture of the South and much of the Midwest. True American-style democracy had its origins in this culture. Its values emanated from the Scottish Kirk, which had thrown out the top-down hierarchy of the Catholic Church and replaced it with governing councils made up of ordinary citizens. This mix of fundamentalist religion and social populism grew from a people who for 16 centuries had been tested through constant rebellions against centralized authority. The Scots who headed into the feuds of 17th-century Ulster, and then into the backlands of the American frontier, hardened further into a radicalism that proclaimed that no man had a duty to obey a government if its edicts violated his moral conscience. Matched with this rebelliousness was a network of extended family "clans," still evident among the Scots-Irish, built on an egalitarianism that measured a person by their own code of honor, courage, loyalty and audacious leadership. Noted Scottish professor T.C. Smout said it best when he observed that these relationships were "compounded both of egalitarian and patriarchal features, full of respect for birth while being free from humility." They demanded strong leaders, but would never tolerate one who considered himself above his fellows. Andrew Jackson, the first president of Scots-Irish descent, forever changed the style of American politics, creating a movement that even today is characterized as Jacksonian democracy. Link: George Bush owes it to the other America Excerpt: When roused, usually by a wholly correct moral indignation, Scots-Irish America believes it is the agency for Divine retribution. Donât snigger: you are here because of this gut reaction. Back in 1940, the United States was split down the middle - nothing new there - over the war in Europe. The large German immigrant communities of the industrial Mid-West (think Ohio) were fervently isolationist. They had just re-elected Franklin Roosevelt on a platform of non-intervention. The Americans in favour of dealing with the fascists were the Scots-Irish, who had a long tradition of military service, especially during the Civil War (on both sides). Otherwise, the capital of the EU would be called Germania. OF COURSE, there are downsides to the Scots-Irish psyche in America. Historically, it has been prone to racism. It was socially conservative long before the rise of Christian fundamentalism (and I worry about a Bush administration packing the Supreme Court with reactionaries for the next generation). Mind you, I suspect that if we put gay marriage to the vote in Scotland, it would be rejected. And I think it is too easy to put the Bush victory down to an evangelical plot: the Catholic German strongholds of the Democratic Party in the industrial Mid-West are stridently anti-abortion. Here is the saving grace of the Scots-Irish version of American nationalism: it would really rather finish the job quickly in Iraq, and go home and listen to Roy Acuff or Hank Williams. It does not like being drawn into the role of imperialist policeman. But anti-Americans should beware of getting what they wish for - living without the Americans may prove worse than living with them.