I have lived in the South my entire life. There is much about Southern culture that I have embraced and cherished over that time, but this fetish, especially when I see it adopted by non-Southerners, is something I really don’t understand.
I presume in Trump’s case it’s likely nothing more than cynical political pandering, but he’s pandering because he thinks it appeals to a lot of folks out there. Why should protecting the name of those who took up arms against this country matter enough to threaten people with 10-year jail terms and veto a defense spending bill?
And before you go all slippery slope and where will it all end on me here, there’s a pretty simple line I draw: if you took up arms against the United States of America, there is no valid reason for your memory to be celebrated by the United States of America. (Same thing for those of you in the “we risk forgetting our history” camp. Nobody’s saying we shouldn’t be taught the lessons of the Civil War, but remembering is not the same thing as honoring the memory of men like Lee.)
We shouldn’t have to wait for protestors to take action against things that display Braxton Bragg‘s, or any other Confederate general’s, name. As a nation, we should have enough of a sense of decency and shame to pull that down without being pushed. It’s not as if we regularly honor the names of enemy soldiers from other wars, so why are we having this particular fight in the first place? I honestly don’t get it.
Have at it in the comments.