In yet another step in their quest to make the world as bad a place as possible, the politically correct bullies are senselessly attempting to get rid of the statue of Robert E. Lee on the Antietam battlefield in Maryland. The House of Representatives recently voted in favor of Resolution 970, which calls for the removal of the magnificent statue.
“It was commissioned with the explicit intent of honoring the Confederacy and glorifies the Confederacy — its leaders, the cause of slavery and open rebellion against the United States,” said Rep. Anthony Brown. “It’s also historically inaccurate. The monument depicts Gen. Lee riding up to the battlefield on horseback while evidence shows that the general actually traveled to a different part of the battlefield in an ambulance due to a broken wrist… Instead of teaching us the dark lessons of our history, this statue sanitizes the actions of men who fought a war to keep black Americans in chains. There is no reason why any of our nation’s public spaces should have monuments celebrating those who betrayed their country.” Brown also called Lee a “brutal slave owner” and called the institution of slavery “savage.”
“I cannot find a single case of any other country on earth where monuments and memorials are put up to honor the generals of enemy forces in a civil war, or any other war,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin. “There’s something freakishly unusual about this practice.” He also called the Confederacy “neither noble nor heroic.”
Let’s go over these arguments:
First of all, the Confederacy was both noble and heroic. The fact that a statue honors and glorifies the Confederacy is a good thing, because the Confederacy deserves to be honored and glorified. This is because the Confederacy was in open rebellion against the United States. Contrary to what Representatives Brown and Raskin argue, rebelling against a government is a good thing, not a bad thing. The Confederacy was fighting to form an independent country, which is exactly what the colonies were doing during the Revolutionary War. If you believe the Confederacy was in the wrong, then in order to be logically consistent, you must also believe that America was in the wrong during the Revolutionary War and the British Empire in the right.
To address Brown’s point about slavery, yes it is true that slavery was part of what the Confederacy was fighting for. It was one of the reasons why the southern states chose to secede from the United States. But the Confederacy’s primary cause was not slavery but secession itself. To treat the Confederacy as synonymous with slavery is to ignore the fact that the Confederates were fighting for their independence, while the Union side was fighting to force other people to remain part of the country against their will. Anyone who truly values liberty and opposes authoritarianism would believe, as I do, that the Confederate cause overall was morally better and more honorable than the Union cause.
As for Brown’s claim that slavery was savage, perhaps that is true, but in my opinion not as savage as the despicable acts of destruction and vandalism that have been perpetrated against statues across the country and world by those with similar ideologies to Representatives Brown and Raskin. Additionally, although Lee was a slave owner, he was not brutal as Brown claims. He inherited a farm with numerous slaves and was relatively kind as slave owners go, freeing the slaves once the debts of the estate were settled.
It also bears mentioning that the argument that Confederate generals were bad because they fought for slavery somewhat contradicts the argument that Confederate generals were bad because they “betrayed their country” and “waged open rebellion against the United States.” Those who make the first argument criticize members of the Confederacy because they (allegedly) trampled on the rights of the underdog by forcing people to endure slavery. Those who make the second argument criticize members of the Confederacy because they were the underdog, fighting back against a federal government that was trampling on them. These arguments are inconsistent: is trampling on the underdog bad, or is it actually good, as is presumed by the second argument? I have noticed numerous instances lately in which people, including Brown and Raskin, make both arguments in the same speech, completely ignoring the fact that they are contradicting themselves.
As for Raskin’s argument that America is the only country to erect monuments to enemy generals, that might be correct. This practice may indeed be unusual. But that has nothing to do with whether it is good or bad. In my opinion, allowing the losing side of a war to be honored is not only good, but to do anything else would be morally reprehensible. As I explained above, the Union side was wrong and the Confederate side right. Therefore, the leaders and soldiers of the Confederacy absolutely deserve to be honored with monuments and memorials. The Confederacy deserved to win the war; in fact the southern states deserved to be allowed to exist as an independent country without the United States even waging war against them. Given that the United States unjustly won a war that it didn’t even have a moral right to wage, the absolute least that the U.S. could do would be to allow the losing side to erect monuments to their leaders and soldiers. To take away the right to commemorate the Confederate dead, as politically correct bullies are doing across the country, is to compound horrific injustice with even more injustice. It is beyond despicable.
Another counterpoint to Raskin’s argument is that in most wars, both countries continue to exist after the war. It makes sense that each country would honor only its own generals, because generals from other countries would be honored in those countries. But in the Civil War, one of the warring nations was completely obliterated as an independent entity. It’s not possible to put statues of Confederate generals in their own country, because the Union’s victory in the Civil War means that what used to be the Confederacy is now part of the United States. According to Raskin’s logic, the generals of the losing side in any war for independence do not deserve to be memorialized at all. This is stomping on the underdog and is, for the reasons explained above, beyond despicable.
As for Brown’s point about historical accuracy, it is true that Lee traveled in an ambulance for most of his time at Antietam, as opposed to riding on horseback. His horse, Traveller, had gotten scared by something and bolted while Lee was holding his bridle, causing Lee to fall and break his arm. I don’t really get the argument that because of that, Lee should not be allowed to have a statue at Antietam. I suppose technically the statue of him on horseback, without any visible injury to his arm, is not perfectly historically accurate. But the fact that Lee was injured during a random accident with his horse doesn’t make him any less of a brilliant general or honorable man. It doesn’t make him any less deserving of a statue, and it is mean-spirited to use this as a reason to get rid of Lee’s monument.
What is particularly reprehensible about Resolution 970 is the fact that the statue being targeted is located on a battlefield. The whole purpose of a battlefield is to commemorate history, specifically the battle that took place there. And if a battle took place, there were necessarily two sides, each fighting bravely for what they believed was right. To argue that only one side in a battle should be honored is bigoted, intolerant, cruel, and mean-spirited. When the politically correct bullies first began to demand the removal of statues, they focused on those monuments located on city streets. Move the statues to more appropriate places such as museums and battlefields, they demanded. But now statues on battlefields are under attack as well, demonstrating that the bullies’ quest to strip away everything beautiful, good, magnificent, and glorious from the world knows no bounds. Every excuse for a human being who voted in favor of this resolution is a bigoted, mindless coward who deserves to burn in Hell for all eternity.