The news from the election is not looking good, but there is at least one positive development arising from Tuesday’s vote. Or to be more specific, six positive developments. In Virginia, six counties held votes on whether or not to remove Confederate monuments. In all of these counties, residents voted not to remove the statues.
The margins of victory are as follows:
- Charles City County – 55% to 45%
- Halifax County – 60% to 30%
- Franklin County – 70% to 30%
- Lunenburg County – 71% to 29%
- Warren County – 76% to 24%
- Tazwell County – 87% to 13%
According to the Virginia Mercury, the votes are not binding, but county leaders have said that they will respect the will of the voters. Full results can be found here.
The reason why these votes took place to begin with is that earlier this year, the Virginia state legislature passed a law enabling county and local governments to remove Confederate statues. Prior to that, removing the monuments was not even an option. While I’m relieved that these six monuments – which are all located outside of courthouses – will be staying in place for the foreseeable future, I do not think that voters should have the power to get rid of them. It’s awesome and restores my faith in humanity that sizeable majorities voted to preserve these beautiful pieces of history. But it’s possible that some day in the future, if popular opinion changes, these statues could eventually be removed. That should not be a possibility. Something as important as preserving works of public art and treating rebel soldiers with the respect that they deserve should not be subject to majority rule. The voting results in these six counties are heartening indeed, but all statues across the world deserve a guarantee of protection no matter what the majority opinion happens to be.