“We never erect monuments to losers” – the left.
That’s what the left is saying to justify their middle of the night removal of Civil War monuments. Is it true?
Ever been to Germany? What from World War II are open in Germany for people to view? If you said concentration camps, congratulations.
Are German concentration camps open as some sick homage commemorating the Nazi regime and the ills they wrought upon this world? Nope. Not all monuments commemorate good or positive things. The other day I was driving along a state highway where a lone cross stood in the median with the name “Sarah” painted in pink against white*. I suspect Sarah was a good person.
Sarah was probably caring. Nice. Personable. She volunteered somewhere. And she got straight A’s in school. She wanted to become a nurse and help people. Helping people Sarah said, was one of her greatest passions.
I also suspect Sarah lied to people. She probably got really super drunk more than once and did things that need not be mentioned. Did she ever cheat on a boyfriend? Fiancé’? Call in sick when she wasn’t? What about that time she was working at the grocery store and laughed with her friends over an off color joke? Did she tell the joke?
Based on the left’s current calculus, Sarah’s cross in the median should come down. In their view, she was hit head on by a drunk driver and killed like the loser she was. Did she have redeeming qualities? Sure. But then she cheated, lied, and may have engaged in racism. So her commemoration must come down. That’s not my calculus. That’s the left’s calculus.
Here’s the thing, While the left claims that the rest of the world doesn’t erect monuments to the losers of wars, I doubt that’s true. I’ve been to well over twenty countries and I certainly recall seeing lots of monuments and I’m pretty sure some were to those on the losing end of a war. Spain hosts one in their capitol. Singapore has one in the Sembawang section of the island.
But who cares what the rest of the world does. After all, the rest of the world is cool with open sewage systems (i.e., you do your doo and it slithers from your place into a culvert out back along with that of everybody else’s doo; Italy still relies on open sewage outside their major cities). We also stand unique as a nation that has always aspired to be better than what we were before, whereas the story of most countries on the third gumdrop from that great big candle called the sun is one of stasis, despotism, and a whole lot of demographically-based strife.
One might say America then is exceptional. Perhaps then as an exceptional nation, generations before ours decided to honor both the winners AND losers of the Civil War understanding that, like Sarah, history isn’t binary.
Therein resides the problem with the current wave of monument removals in the night: it is premised upon a binary view of history. A view that history isn’t complex. A view that ignores an intricate succession of issues that festered so deeply within our national fabric that led in 1860 to literally brother turning on brother in war. The left’s approach is one of sheer ignorance – an approach that’s easily understood in a Tweet or Facebook post but that can’t survive scrutiny deeper than the superficial.
That’s why we are all Sarah. As a nation, will we soon see our name emblazoned on a device positioned in history’s median as an homage to what we were, faults and glories and all the rest?
* For you beltway types that are simply too intellectually challenged to either a) get it or b) travel beyond I-495, it is commonplace across America to commemorate those deceased in car accidents with crosses, starts of David, and so forth, at the crash site.