A further exchange with my friend:
Phil, I’ll credit you with being able to make those distinctions. But I think a realistic look at the landscape shows a movement that makes none of these distinctions and wants only all statues of torn down to be replaced by Che, Mao, Lenin, etc.
By all means. Move the statues. But you’re only moving the battle lines closer to the statues of Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, and probably one day Roosevelt as well.
We have to understand that what undergirds this movement is not sensitivity but hatred of America, particularly of white America.
I have no love for Nazis, the KKK, or any of that. But I think we’re being useful idiots for the Left if we don’t realize they *they* make no distinction between a statue of Robert E. Lee and that of George Washington.
And, really, this is a problem that will not easily be solved…or likely ever be solved. I believe the election of Trump will permanently damage the Republican Party in ways just as harmful as Establishment Republicans did.
I have no love for Robert E. Lee. He may have been a great general but he fought on the wrong side, even after being offered command of the Union troops by Lincoln. I see little or no honor in fighting for the Confederacy.
That said, statues are an interpretive art. Whatever might have motivated the erection of some of these monuments, they do represent real people in a real and important history of this nation. The nasty, bigoted Left are not the only ones who get to interpret what these statues mean, nor even the ones who erected them long ago.
We should be very very careful before we bow to the forces that are doing their best to blot out our nation’s history. And they have been doing so for some time. Many universities now offer no courses on Western Civilization. We need to understand the statues in this context. Ideally, the president would be making just such an argument. Unfortunately the man appears incapable of a complex thought.