Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
- When the news came out that a Civil War reenactment scheduled to take place at the Manassas battlefield in Virginia was being cancelled due to fears over possible violence from leftwing groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, I saw a tweet from some guy saying something to the effect that “The Civil War was 152 years ago – why can’t black people just get over it?”
- Now, I’m a conservative and I’m pretty sure I had ancestors who fought for the South in the Civil War, since both sides of my family came into this country in the late 18th/early 19th centuries through North Carolina, but I found that tweet quite offensive, and can only imagine how offensive any descendant of slaves might find it. But we see that argument expressed quite often by those who, for whatever reason, feel the need to continue reenacting Civil War battles, flying the stars and bars out in front of their house, and defending the need to keep statues of Jefferson Davis on some university campus or on the grounds of some other public building.
- I often wonder if these folks ever consider the other side of that same argument, which is this: “The Civil War ended 152 years ago – why can’t confederacy defenders just get over it?” Seriously, think about it: isn’t 152 years long enough to honor the leaders of what was in fact an armed rebellion against the United States of America? Does it really take more than the six or seven generations that have passed through your families since 1865 to get those resentments out of your blood?
- Seriously, take a step back for just a minute and think: Does it really matter to your life if that statue of Jefferson Davis or Robert E. Lee keeps standing out in front of your local courthouse? Have you ever stopped to think about how it must feel to descendants of slaves who surely live in your community to walk by that statue knowing that their tax dollars help pay for its upkeep and public display?
- And please, don’t give me that crap about the Civil War not being about preservation of slavery. If you’re one of the people who uses that line, I want to personally challenge you to take a few hours out of your day to read each state’s articles of confederation. If you do that, you will find that all 11 confederate states listed the preservation of slavery as a reason for their decision, and 9 of the 11 states listed it as the first reason. Save that argument for someone else.
- Then there’s the argument about “we have to preserve our history!”, and with that one, I’m in full agreement. But keeping a statue of Stonewall Jackson out on the courthouse lawn for 120 years doesn’t really teach anyone anything about history, does it? Not without the provision of context.
- Our biggest problem in the current hysteria from the political left over these monument is that we now have two full generations of young people who haven’t been given any real context about any of this in our schools and universities. The teaching of civics and American History was de-emphasized during the ’70s and ’80s, after the radicals of the ’60s came to dominate our education system, in favor of indoctrinating our children with all sorts of leftwing nonsense.
- Unless they took American history or civics as an elective, the only thing anyone under 40 or so has ever been taught about Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson is what they get from the news media, and the only message they get from the news media is that they were eeeeevil, which of course is not true. They were just men, products of their time and place, doing what they believed to be their civic duty. But the public lacks that context – all they have in their minds is that simplistic notion they’ve learned from the media. And so, when they walk past these statues they have an emotional reaction, because they have no understanding whatsoever of who those men really were and the things they did with their lives outside of the few years of the War.
- It seems to me that the biggest problem about this entire controversy is that both sides are reacting out of emotion and ignorance. How can we expect to be a unified nation if so many of our citizens know next-to-nothing about what this nation even is?
- In all of this controversy, there is an opportunity here for President Trump to take initiative to prove he is a different kind of leader. A good approach to helping the nation heal would be for Republicans and Democrats to work together to remove all Civil War-related statues – Union and Confederacy alike – from taxpayer-funded public places in an organized, systematic way, and establish a series of Civil War museums around the country where they could reside. Perhaps establish a bi-partisan commission to then develop a curriculum to be taught in guided tours through these museums that would actually educate attendees and provide context for the people depicted in the statues. Seems to me this could become a centerpiece of the President’s Infrastructure proposal.
- I know that’s a pipe dream, since the Democrats seem to be hell-bent on continuing to divide this country along racial lines, but I keep hoping they might wake up sometime soon and realize this is a huge loser of an issue for them. Every poll taken on this question proves that to be the case.
- Regardless, this would be a constructive approach for President Trump and his Education and Interior Departments to take to the matter. Take the initiative here, Mr. President, and demand the Democrats explain why they refuse to work towards a peaceful solution to such a divisive issue. Provide the public with some context here, both politically and historically.
- Because, if we can’t get over the first Civil War, we are on a collision course with a second.
Just another day in lack of context America.
That is all.