Well, it’s back everyone, as if it ever went away entirely. Across the nation, the cultural left, Liberal Progressives, along with the Marxists (Corporate supported) Black Lives Matter (BLM), are busy erasing American history right before our eyes. According to the catechism of the cultural left, America, and its founders, possessed just too many flaws to be worthy of anything. Ergo, any likeness of their existence is considered anathema.
Similar to Mao’s cultural revolution in China, the Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist Shrines, Po Pot’s killing fields in Cambodia, the destruction of Ancient Middle Eastern monuments by Radical Islamists, along with the countless other Prelapsarian utopians seeking to cancel their histories, the Founding Fathers, Washington, Jefferson, and others historical figures have been condemned for the unpardonable sin of not being perfect. It is now the year “0” for many misguided, if not dangerously ignorant ideologues. They have infected many Americans, both liberal and conservative, military leaders, suburban virtue-signaling Democrat soccer moms, grade, and secondary schools, and, of course, our institutions of higher learning. Since the late 1960 and accelerating during the 1970s and 1980s, university humanities and social sciences departments have effectively evangelized a reductionist, if not a “piss and vinegar view of United States history. Under the rubrics of Post-Modernism, Deconstructionist, Post Colonial thought, and outright Marxist-Socialist dogma, the left is successfully demoralizing our Republic and Western Democracies in general.
Many Progressive Democrats, along with cultural leftists are behaving like children who during their adolescence discover, that their parents aren’t perfect. So, in their adolescent, reality is optional mind-set, they reject traditions and cultural-guardrails, in favor of crafting a utopian society with a cleansed history. They are throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Argumentum ad Ignorantium
I should have paid more attention to Father Walsh’s 11th Grade Theology. He often used the above phrase when trying to impart something vital to us knuckleheads. However, by some miracle, if not by the Grace-of-God, I do remember his admonition of not letting your ignorance on a subject or idea make you fall prey to some sophist, if not totally fabricated and misleading information. Arguments or polemics based upon and receiving acceptance via the ignorance of the audience, are omnipresent within today’s polity. The current movement to remove statues of historical figures and symbols is fed, bolstered, and feverishly mitigated by the remarkable ignorance of the leftist protestors engaged in these cleansing efforts. Leaders of BLM, politicians like Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and unfortunately many Republican lawmakers either through omission or outright hate for America, are spreading distortion, based upon the ignorance and the gullibility of individuals, seeking to cancel or erase history.
It began in earnest back in the 1980s, with initial echoes to remove the Confederate Flag. Today, the spineless political class on both sides of the aisle are buckling to this request. Concurrently, during this same period, as a faculty member at a college out in the state of Washington, the faculty, administrators, and many students were already pushing the “Happy Holiday” nonsense instead of wishing one another Merry Christmas. This was apparently done, so we wouldn’t offend Jewish and other religious beliefs. However, very few non-Christians at the time ever thought much about being offended by the Christmas greeting, but rather took it as a secular holiday. Heck, it was an extra day off for many. Quite frankly, most of my Jewish and Moslem friends and relatives were just too busy living their lives to harbor hurt feelings.
Flash forward to today’s protests. Besides statues dedicated to the left’s perennial evil white guys, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. Lincoln, Grant, and many Abolitionists (individuals who fought against slavery) have been added to the list and summarily attacked, because of their alleged racism. The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, Mount Rushmore along with most of our nation’s cultural symbols and history will be treated just like the Confederate Flag if this historical empty-headedness is not contained.
Even in the UK, young and old useful idiots are now attacking historical icons like Winston Churchill because he was an unrepentant imperialist; read this as racist. Employing this same standard of exclusion by the Progressive Left, we should all seek the removal of any statues or memorials to the Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi served in the South African Army which during the Kaffir Wars put down Zulu uprisings. But we don’t condemn Gandhi because of these actions. The good that Gandhi achieved during his life, far outweighed any shortcomings he might have had.
History has always been about the good, the bad, and the struggle for the great “in-between.” It depicts good people doing questionable deems, bad individuals doing good, as well as people never doing much of anything to uplift the human condition. But even these individuals, we can learn from and not repeat the horrendous deeds that they perpetrated.
People like Churchill, who helped save the world from Nazism, or Thomas Jefferson, despite having slaves, laid the foundation for the freedoms, that we all enjoy today. President Lincoln had his faults, but his Emancipation Proclamation, as well as successfully prosecuting of a little thing called the American Civil War, should hardly be erased because of his humanity. To paraphrase the late Theologian, Paul Tillich, we all have warts or original sin.
We can even learn from Confederate Generals like Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson, despite them being on the wrongs side of a deadly conflict. They are an essential part of our collective history, good and bad.
From a personal standpoint, despite the perfidy of the cause they fought for, Lee and Jackson were brilliant military tacticians. Thus, the current move of renaming military bases around the country, because they are named after Confederate military leaders, is a mistake. It is just another surrender or kowtowing to the radical left. Too many people within the Pentagon’s bureaucracy have succumbed to the cultural toxic of PC and cancel culture.
Unfortunately, groups like BLM, Progressive Democrats, and many of those involved in the current protests for racial justice don’t confront the real evil that effects the civility, safety, and progress of the very people they supposedly care about. The cultural left for the most part never confronts the vexing problems, that face the black underclass.[i] BLM says they care about black people. However, they are silent about the daily killings of blacks murdering other blacks in places like Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Detroit. They do little or nothing about improving the SAT and other education scores of black students, which remain abysmal. They won’t address these evils, because they are not politically expedient, nor do they possess enough victim currency. If the truth be told, this would threaten the subsidies BLM and other leftist groups receive from powerful teachers’ unions, the Democrat political class, accompanied by the guilt offerings from Hollywood and Corporate elites like Brad Pitt and Bill Gates. The BLM and Liberal Progressives have no answers and ignore the epidemic of too many young black men not taking responsibility for the children that they father. If black lives truly mattered, why is there silence from BLM about abortion clinics conveniently placed in black neighborhoods? In short, many of the social pathologies, we see within the black underclass, have their origins in the breakdown of black families in Post-Civil Right America.
Black Lives Matter and their political compadres will continue to push the “mythology” of police brutality. It is a staple of their socio-political canon.[ii] They can portray themselves as astute and hip social warriors, confronting the spectrum of racism, instead of the well-funded, cacophonous, do-nothings that they are.
History is not always about nor appreciated based solely upon who was right or wrong. History is simply what happened. So, we study and appreciate the totality of people from our past, not necessarily to worship them, but to try to place and understand them in the “context” of the time. What I find remarkable about our Father Founders was, despite living in a period where slavery was ubiquitous and practice with impunity all over the world. They crafted a document (the United States Constitution) which led to freedoms that we all enjoy; yet, regrettably, some wish to destroy. Hey, these white guys named Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, got a lot of things right.
At the same time, the ignorance of our modern-day eyes, must be calibrated to view all of history as valuable and something to preserve and learn from.