Cheap Seats 2017
When Libs Cry - 08/23
By Rich Trzupek
If we are to understand why there is so much outrage on the left about a right-wing idiot driving his car into a car of protesters and so little outrage among this self-same group when a left-wing idiot shoots up a Republican softball practice, we must start at the beginning of what is, to them, a national nightmare: the election of Donald Trump.
Some on the left are willing to accept Trump as President, however grudgingly. There are many others among our liberal friends who are so traumatized by Trump occupying the Oval Office that they cannot let go of their often delusional anger.
I would divide the hard-core Trump-haters into two groups. One group believes that America could not have honestly elected this President. Ergo, somebody cheated, stealing from Hillary what was rightfully hers. These are the “Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election” folks.
The other group accepts that Trump was somehow elected, but believes that the reason America elected a “racist” is because so many Americans are themselves racists. This is the crowd that is currently busying itself tearing down statues and agitating to change the names of American military posts if and when either can be tied to prominent members of the Confederate States of America or to the institution of slavery.
The theory, as I understand it, behind the statue toppling and name-changing is that these are metaphorical rallying points for white racists. Purge the Confederacy from history and we’re a step closer to purging racism from society.
While there is no denying that racism still exists in America, it is far less prevalent than the left believes and far, FAR less prevalent that it was when I was growing up on the south side of Chicago in the sixties and seventies. Racism didn’t get Donald Trump elected. Americans fed up with ridiculous standards of political correctness covering a variety of issues, including race relations, got Donald Trump elected.
Tearing down statues of Confederate generals and leaders is not going to accomplish anything except to make those doing the toppling look like fools and further dividing America. Most racists, in my experience, are ignorant. They are not history scholars. They probably know who Robert E. Lee was, maybe even Stonewall Jackson, but names like Longstreet, Stuart, Hood and Bragg mean nothing to them.
Nor do they understand why statues were erected to remember Confederates like Lee and Jackson. It wasn’t to celebrate their role in defending slavery, it was to honor their role in attempting to protect their state (both saw themselves as Virginians first and Americans second, a not-unusual view at the time) and to remember their character.
Lee, for example, was one of the biggest reasons – probably the biggest reason that Confederate soldiers did not turn to guerilla warfare after the war. Lee urged the troops of his defeated army to return to their homes and take their peaceful places as American citizens once again.
Jackson, whose Valley Campaign is still being taught as a masterful example in the art of maneuver, was as devout a Christian who has ever walked the earth. As a young man, he taught a slave to read, an act that was illegal in his native Virginia at the time. Later he and his wife would set up and teach Sunday School classes for black children.
The cause these men fought for was one of the worst causes men have ever fought for, but the men themselves were not evil. They were flawed, as all of us are, and in the context of their times they were no worse, nor no better, than most of their fellow countrymen in their treatment of their darker skinned neighbors, both free and enslaved.
If we are to remove from our history any representation of historical figures associated with mistreatment of blacks in this country, then we would pretty much have to take down the portrait of every President from Washington through FDR. Some were open bigots, like Wilson, and some were paternally racist, like Lincoln, but you have to get to Truman and his integration of the armed forces before you find a President who either didn’t support the institution of slavery, or who distanced himself from the notion that “separate but equal” was the right way of doing things.
It is very, very rare to find a hero who does not have feet of clay, in other words. The left’s determination to focus on the flaws of some and ignore the flaws of others is sad. When that morphs into rewriting history, it’s positively chilling.