I'm not a reactionary neo-Confederate freaking fringe nut or feel any fondness whatsoever for the old Confederate South or for any of its relics and symbols. With the exception of Robert E. Lee who I respect (see below) I care nothing about its other leaders who I haven't studied and know little about. What I am, however, is a historical purist and opposed to destroying or removing any and all historical statues and monuments from public spaces. I don't care what the monument is or who it may offend, or who rallies around them for whatever cause good or bad; I want them all to stay where they are and that goes for Confederate monuments that are currently under attack by left-wing fanatics as part of a cultural, social and economic revolution to transform America into the United Socialist States - a centralized, totalitarian society with a command and control economy that is many times worse and more oppressive than was the Confederacy. In fact, I would rather be a black slave in the Confederate South then live in a one party socialist state like the Russians had under Lenin and Stalin, and the Germans under Hitler. But that's a subject for another day.
Indeed, apart from the overarching socialist agenda of the radical left there are moral, historical and national reasons grounded in common sense to oppose their war of purgation against Confederate monuments; reasons, it appears, that are intuitively understood by the vast majority of Americans as the interesting PBS poll cited above clearly shows.
For when I or any normal American (with no more than a basic education in American history) sees a statue of Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson or Robert E. Lee what quickly comes to mind is the Civil War, the reasons why it was fought and its great, noble, historic outcome, and lessons for posterity. These venerable, old, beautiful works of stone and metal evoke in normal Americans patriotic pride: positive, uplifting, ennobling thoughts, feelings and memories of this epic conflict - the most horrific war we ever fought; we recall that Union soldiers (young men outraged at southern treachery) sacrificed life and limb by the hundreds and thousands fighting bravely and victoriously against Davis, Jackson and Lee for a moral principle; we recall that good, justice and the Judeo-Christian tradition (the inspiration for the Abolition Movement) triumphed over slavery, treason, division and the perversion of religion; we recall that we were healed, united and made whole again, one nation under a good, just and merciful God, on course to become (by His will) the greatest nation in human history - a force for justice, peace and liberty like no other, that defeated enemies far worse than the Confederacy.
Indeed, when normal Americans see Confederate statues or even flags not only do they see the defeat of slavery and man's inhumanity to man, they also see a powerful warning to other potential traitors and enemies within: NEVER ATTEMPT SECESSION AGAIN. Indeed, Confederate monuments signify completely and compellingly that future treasonous Davises, Jacksons and Lees, who'd want some part of America to secede (like some Democrats today want California) will not be tolerated in the least; and whatever be the cost in lives and treasure they will meet with defeat and total disaster like the Rebel South.
This is what I, one of 62% of Americans (Republicans, Democrats and Independents), feel about Confederate statues, monuments and flags; and why we oppose destroying them or moving them from public squares because few, very few (a mere 27%) are deeply offended and driven into moral insanity by them.
Indeed, when a sick, abnormal, racially obsessed leftist (who hates America and its industrial-capitalist system to begin with) sees the same lifeless Confederate relics we normal citizens see they (losing their minds) feel repulsion, rage and annihilating hate as if their existence were a Nazi-like crime; and that the Confederacy and heritage of slavery are still alive staining our country, national honor and poisoning our minds.
When Liberalism is in trouble it's time to tear down statues.
Indeed, just as these loons believe in a living, breathing Constitution (a lifeless piece of paper), and a Lady Liberty that weeps for illegal immigrants (another senseless statue), so do they imbue the images of Davis, Jackson and Lee with a terrible life as if it were the 1860s and they were Union soldiers fighting Johnny Reb to the death. It's a morality play they replay over and over again in their heads to make them feel they're on a lofty moral plane and mission of redemption to save America from racism; to bring to an end the unfinished Civil War and Jim Crow once and for all; for as long as Confederate statues are in public places, and buildings, bridges and highways bear the names of rebel leaders, the evil Confederacy, for them, still lives oppressing blacks and robbing them of inner peace and dignity. For them in a sense the Emancipation Proclamation and Appomattox haven't happened yet. Indeed, until the Confederacy is erased, wiped out, and buried it's as if Lee hasn't surrendered to Grant but is still fighting to save the Confederacy from "Union tyranny." That's how crazy these leftists are.
Indeed, these anti-monument loons react anachronistically to these relics with the anger, moral outrage and intolerance of the Radical Republicans of yore: this was a large and influential pitiless faction within the post-war Republican Party that rejected Lincoln's clemency (God's mercy) for the South as too soft, weak and lenient - not doing the work of justice and retribution. Unmoved by the South's economic and social devastation caused by the war the Radicals wanted to worsen it and passed legislation (that was vetoed) requiring the confiscation of former-Confederate property and lands as reparations for former slaves. If these extremists weren't stopped they would have created terrible bitterness, humiliation and resentment in the South making reconciliation and peace impossible. Indeed, just as a second world war followed the first because of France's and England's humiliation of Germany at Versailles, so if the Radical Republicans had their way in punishing the South it could have caused a second Civil War more destructive than the first - as all trust would have been lost.
Indeed, this is how radical, implacable and unforgiving these anti-monument wingnuts are; if they're not stopped in their tracks they'll carry their mindless jihad against our racist and slave past all the way back to the 18th century targeting statues of Washington, Jefferson and Patrick Henry. For them the sin of slavery is ineradicable that no degree of cleansing, penance and remorse can appease. Even reparations wouldn't work as trillions spent on welfare prove.
Indeed, assurances from these radical fools that they have no grievance with the slave-owning Founders because unlike the Confederates they weren't traitors, is bullcrap. For the reason for their treason was slavery - to keep the evil system alive for all time to come. In other words, NO SLAVERY NO CONFEDERACY, it's that simple. Indeed, for them Washington, Jefferson and the slave-owning Founders were guilty men - setting the stage for the rebellion of the Confederate States - the equals of Davis, Jackson and Lee in racial injustice and moral depravity. And when this PC crusade against the South is won and Confederate statues and relics are purged from the public sphere, the slave-owning Founders (followed by every slave-owning President) will be next; they'll be subject to the same campaign of demonization and delegitimization - until their monuments are effaced, disgraced and erased. That is a certainty.
But I digress. The grievance of treason is not a good reason for the destruction and removal of Confederate statues. For the crime of treason to keep slavery in place shortened its existence by many decades. For if the Southern States had trusted Lincoln when he promised not to interfere with slavery if they stayed in the Union the system would have endured for many generations - surviving, possibly, into the early 20th century.
In short, as Jefferson said, "God brings good out of the evil men do;" and from the evil of Confederate treason sprung the greater good of advancing the cause of justice and liberty - of shortening by 40 years the inevitable demise of slavery. And the statues of Davis, Jackson, Lee and other Confederate chiefs are symbolic of this treason that worked out for the best as if by the Hand of Almighty Providence.
In the final analysis, Confederate statues, relics and flags, symbols of oppression and treason crushed and defeated, are as much monuments to God and His plan for this nation as they are to Lincoln and the Union and the sacrifices they made to end an evil institution - and make America a More Perfect Democratic Union.
ROBERT E. LEE IS ALL RIGHT WITH ME
This is the magnificent Robert E. Lee memorial that President Roosevelt in June 1936 traveled 1300 miles to dedicate, saying:
|72 - Remarks at the Unveiling of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Statue, Dallas, Texas.|
June 12, 1936
"I am very happy to take part in this unveiling of the statue of General Robert E. Lee.
All over the United States we recognize him as a great leader of men, as a great general. But, also, all over the United States I believe that we recognize him as something much more important than that. We recognize Robert E. Lee as one of our greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen."
In other words, as far as FDR was concerned, Robert E. Lee was his equal as a Christian, gentleman and human being. That is to say, he was an exemplary American.
And one of FDR's greatest generals, who was leading the war against the Nazis in World War II, a man who became President, held Lee in the same high esteem. His name was Dwight Eisenhower who as President had a picture of Lee (one of four great Americans) in the Oval Office. The following is a letter from an outraged citizen criticizing Ike for the picture and demanding and explanation why he esteems Lee so highly (see):
August 1, 1960
Mr. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dear Mr. President:
At the Republication Convention I heard you mention that you have the pictures of four (4) great Americans in your office, and that included in these is a picture of Robert E. Lee.
I do not understand how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated, and why the President of the United States of America should do so is certainly beyond me.
The most outstanding thing that Robert E. Lee did, was to devote his best efforts to the destruction of the United States Government, and I am sure that you do not say that a person who tries to destroy our Government is worthy of being held as one of our heroes.
Will you please tell me just why you hold him in such high esteem?
Leon W. Scott
Of the tens and thousands of letters Ike must have received from citizens that went unread this one in particular found its way to his desk. And he felt that defending himself and Robert E. Lee was of such importance that he took the time out to respond writing this:
August 9, 1960
Dear Dr. Scott:
Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War between the States the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.
General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.
From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.
Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Now because of Ike's high regard for Lee as a military leader and human being would anyone dare accuse him of racism, white supremacism, neo-Confederatism or insensitivity to blacks? Only a fool would do that. For this is the same Dwight Eisenhower that championed and signed into law two civil rights bills in 1957 and again in 1960 protecting the voting and civil rights of blacks. These were the first two pieces of civil rights legislation aimed at black Americans since 1875 five years after Lee died (see and see).
MY DEFENSE OF ROBERT E. LEE
Now I like President Eisenhower and FDR honor and esteem Robert E. Lee above all else for surrendering to Grant and ending the war and Confederacy at Appomattox - when he could have escaped into the Appaliacian Mountains where he was greatly loved rebuilt his army and continued the war for perhaps another year. With good reason Grant let Lee keep his sword; for his unnecessary surrender saved tens and thousands of lives.
Morover, Lee renounced the Confederacy and the institution of slavery as unGodly, unjust and evil. And after the war he worked tirelessly to reintegrate the South into the Union; this makes his statues and monuments symbols of anti-Confederatism and reconcilation. Indeed, if Lee were alive today he'd denounce in the strongest terms neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis and the KKK. Indeed, how can a man who died an anti-Confederate working to unify the nation be a symbol of divisive, treasonous, Confederate scum? It's prejudice, slander, revisionism and unreasoning hate to say that Lee's statues represent the very evils he renounced and put behind him when he surrendered at Appomattox.
FDR and Ike were absolutely right: Lee is to be honored and esteemed as a very good, great, exemplary soldier, leader, American and human being.