The war on statues may never end

Lincoln and Douglas at Freeport, Illinois

By John Ruberry

While we’re not–yet–at the French Revolution level of destroying then recreating society, the Angry Left is focused on defacing and toppling statues of men deemed racist. Or by having sympathetic politicians remove them, such as what happened last week with Jefferson Davis’ statue at the Kentucky state capitol. So far women in bronze and marble, to my knowledge, have been spared, but one of Illinois’ representatives at National Statuary Hall at the US Capitol just might be inflicted with induced restless legs syndrome. I’ll get to her later.

Monuments of Confederate generals and of course Jefferson Davis have been the hit the hardest by the vandals. But the rage is now world wide. Winston Churchill’s statue at Parliament Square in London had “was a racist” spray painted on its pedestal. There’s an Abraham Lincoln statue there too, Black Lives Matter activists defaced that one. Up in Scotland, a statue of medieval monarch Robert the Bruce, whose views on black people are unknown, had “BLM” and “was a racist king” spray painted on it.

Because I’m from Illinois, I’d like to zoom in on my state. Let’s return to Lincoln. While Honest Abe was always anti-slavery, his views on black people prior to the Civil War would be classified as racist today. Lincoln’s stance on slavery in the 1860 election was to confine it to states where it already existed. By 1863 he was an abolitionist, at least in areas held by Confederate forces. Two years later the Great Emancipator enthusiastically backed the 13th Amendment that finally ended slavery in America. Oh, Lincoln saved the union too. That’s why he is considered the United States’ greatest president by most historians.

Lincoln gained national prominence in 1858 during his campaign for the US Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. Other than his connection to Lincoln, Douglas, “the Little Giant,” is largely forgotten now. His Kansas-Nebraska Act, which eliminated the Missouri Compromise in determining which states would be slave or free, ignited Bleeding Kansas, a brutal warmup to the Civil War. But Douglas was a political dynamo in the 1850s and he was the nominee for president for the northern Democrats in 1860.

Douglas and Lincoln agreed to a series of seven debates throughout Illinois during the 1858 campaign, the famous, or make that formerly famous, Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Late in the 20th century bronze statues of both men were placed at each of those sites.

Hmmm.

Douglas’ views on slavery were purposely murky, he believed in “popular sovereignty,” that is the voters, who comprised only of white males in the 19th century, should decide where slavery should exist. The Little Giant owned a plantation in Mississippi with slaves. Well, not exactly, but it was in his wife’s name.

How long will it be before those Douglas statues in Illinois will be vandalized? When will the call for their removal begin? And those seven plazas with Lincoln and Douglas will look unbalanced with just one man. Will Lincoln, who at one time of course was a racist, albeit most whites were bigots in the 1800s, get yanked too from those spots too?

Nancy Pelosi is calling for the removal of eleven statues honoring Confederates at Statuary Hall. Each state gets two statues, some of these honorees are well-known, Andrew Jackson represents Tennessee, George Washington is one of Virginia’s statues. Both men of course owned slaves. Some of the honorees are virtually unknown. Frances Willard, the longtime president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a group that assisted in establishing Prohibition in America, represents Illinois in the hall. Like Douglas, she was a big deal in her day. But Willard held racist views and she feuded with African American civil rights leader Ida B. Wells.

When you remove the Confederates, the slave holders, and the racists, how many statues will be left in Statuary Hall?

How many statues in front of libraries, village squares, or county courthouses will be removed?

Where does is it all end?

And if all of the statues are gone, then what?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

John Adams and Cops Shows Cancelling The Future to be Woke Today

Public business my son, must always be done by somebody.— it will be done by somebody or other— If wise men decline it others will not: if honest men refuse it, others will not. A young man should well weigh his plans. Integrity should be preserved in all events, as essential to his happiness, thro every stage of his existence. His first maxim then, should be to place his honor out of the reach of all men

John Adams to his son Thomas Sept 2 1789

Because of it’s nature Television has an over-sized ability to influence culture to the good or to ill. It is no coincidence that many of the cultural changes that have had negative connotations for society have been pushed by the celebrity culture for the sake of their own justification over the years for example: Sex in the City

I do wonder what my life would have looked like if “Sex and the City” had never come across my consciousness. Perhaps I’d be married with children now? Who knows, but I can say for sure that, as clever and aesthetically pleasing as the show was — and, as much as I agree with its value of female friendships — it showed too much consumerism and fear of intimacy disguised as empowerment.

It’s like candy: In the moment it feels good to eat it, but afterward, you feel sick. Whom you’re dating, what you’re wearing, or how good you look at that premiere — none of that s–t matters unless you genuinely love yourself. Solid relationships are what really matter.

Truth be told, I wish I had never heard of “SATC.” I’m sure there are worse role models but, for me, it did permanent and measurable damage to my psyche that I’m still cleaning up.

Sure, I could have been a dating columnist for the rest of my life but, honestly, I gave really bad dating advice — and so did Carrie Bradshaw.

Many women fell for this fantasy and are regretting it now. It’s worth noting that Sarah Jessica Parker got married in 1997 at age 32 and has been married to Matthew Broadrick ever since. She knew it was just a show.

However there were and are plenty of shows that can influence for the good. How many people became engineers because they wanted to Scotty from Star Trek or got into science because they wanted to be the Professor from Gilligan’s Island?

Cop shows are like this. I suspect there are plenty of people who became cops because they wanted shows about police as a kid and decided they wanted to be the honest cop the person of integrity and honor , who serves and protects others from the dangers of the world. Even shows like Barney Miller, which highlighted the monotony of the job, featured good people doing good things.

Now I ask you. If you decide to teach that the police are evil and to be rejected and you remove that image of the honest cop from the culture what will replace it? And more importantly WHO will replace it when it comes time to seek people to actually do one of the most thankless jobs of society.

Let me remind you again of John Adams’ quote that started this piece

Public business my son, must always be done by somebody.— it will be done by somebody or other— If wise men decline it others will not: if honest men refuse it, others will not.

This is being demonstrated in Seattle today. If the Police don’t do the policing others will who just might not be wise or honest or worried about serving and protecting.

The Demonetization of Police by the media/left for their political purposes is going to have great damage to our society in the short term. But the removal of the image of the honest cop and policeman who protects and serves from our cultural stream will do even more damage, not now but 20 years from now, because when you don’t inspire people to be honest men and women with integrity, with no other agenda than to make their living serving the public to be cops, then those looking to exploit such a job for it’s perks while hanging back from it’s responsibilities will be the ones who fill those positions and you and your children and grandchildren who follow won’t like the result.