On Monuments, America Must Never Surrender to Confederates, Old or New (conclusion)

part four of four

ECW is pleased to welcome guest author Frank J. Scaturro. Frank is president of the Grant Monument Association and the author of President Grant Reconsidered and The Supreme Court’s Retreat from Reconstruction. He is currently writing a book about New York City’s largely forgotten sites from the founding era. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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This essay draws context from the Civil War and Reconstruction often overlooked in the national controversy over monuments. Part three identified the nihilistic ideology and false history behind the broad attack on monuments, and how the 1619 Project works against recognition of the milestones of equality that connect the founding to the Civil War and Reconstruction and, in turn, to the civil rights movement.

The New Confederates and the Civic Rot that Enables Them

It does not seem to occur to the many opinion leaders and public officials who either share the nihilism of the vandals or refuse to stand up to them that the assault on America’s monuments is an assault on America itself. It is a statement that we stand on no one’s shoulders; that we disregard past sacrifice; that there is no shared struggle that truly crosses the ancient lines of race, ethnicity, and religion this country has done so much to overcome. Not even the greatest sacrifice of life in the nation’s history, which Lincoln declared in his Second Inaugural Address was blood “drawn with the sword” paying for blood “drawn with the lash”—the month before Lincoln himself was murdered by an assassin enraged by his commitment to racial justice.

If you want to destroy a civilization, destroy its culture. If you want to erase its values, rewrite its history. If you knock down its pillars, expect the edifice to collapse. Notice that one of the most visible signs of the collapse of the U.S.S.R. was the taking down of statues of Lenin, just as the fall of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad’s Firdos Square symbolically marked the end of his regime. The fallen Confederate monuments are to a regime that was rightfully defeated and never should have existed. If, heaven forbid, the American experiment were to come to an end, the toppling of whose monuments would most symbolize that if not those on the list of non-Confederate monuments being targeted? There is a reason that the nation’s most revered monuments are given a special level of security during terrorist attack watches. They are targets for terrorists who want to strike at America’s soul.

Today, of course, so many monuments are under attack not by foreign invasion, but by a new generation of confederates from within the country who consider America itself innately oppressive and therefore worthy of being taken down. In some cases, they have even emulated the Confederacy with demands for autonomous zones. Fifty years from now, it may well be that this moment will be remembered not as the beginning of the end of America but as a passing phase that many of the perpetrators will outgrow, regret, or find roundly repudiated—not unlike the sprees of destruction by radicals during the 1960s or by anarchists before that.

At a minimum, this moment can be considered a stress test of America’s civic health—and it is one that our country is failing. Miserably. During America’s bicentennial in 1976, Queen Elizabeth II, speaking as a descendant of George III, suggested that even Great Britain should celebrate July 4 “in sincere gratitude to the Founding Fathers” for “that great act in the cause of liberty performed in Independence Hall two hundred years ago.” Fewer and fewer American educators and opinion leaders are capable of the level of appreciation for this country possessed by the British monarch.

We are reaping the civic rot of a cultural elite that views America as a malignant force even as many of them draw taxpayer-funded succor from its success. We are paying the price for the failure of an educational system that replaces careful analysis with indoctrination. Remember: Monument creation and preservation is a hybrid exercise of history and citizenship. Both have been disintegrating because historical ignorance is rampant, and the formation of American citizenship is abandoned by our schools. The correct response to historical ignorance is to teach. The correct response to those who destroy is to prosecute. To sit back and condone both is a dereliction of duty. If this moment turns out to be more than a stress test—a foretelling of America’s demise—make no mistake about its cause: It would be death by suicide.

Perhaps it is only natural that so many public officials would reflect cultural deficiencies themselves, but most if not all of them know better. At every level of government, they take an oath to support the Constitution. At countless official functions, they pledge allegiance to the flag and express their basic loyalty to the country. But here they lack the backbone to live up to those stated commitments. They are not being asked to make a sacrifice even close to that made by the memorialized historical figures now under attack. Even if it is only a stress test, this moment speaks volumes about their unwillingness to defend America against a collapse from within.

One thing is predictable if this tide is not turned: More monuments will be vandalized. Expect the destruction to extend to irreplaceable historic structures, museum artifacts, and gravesites. If that happens, blame the vandals first and foremost, but also blame the public officials who kept looking the other way. They should consider themselves forewarned.

Too many seem to think that an empty mind is an open mind. To be sure, America’s tradition of free speech means that no private citizen can be compelled to express loyalty to the United States, its ideals, or anything else. That freedom is part of the American exceptionalism that the new confederates fail to appreciate. But they do have an obligation to follow the law, and this country has an obligation to foster citizenship rather than undermine it. The most important way to do this is by civic education, but monuments also have a critical role to play. Those who built America are gone, as we all will be some day, but our landscape should not be barren of reminders of who they were and the ideals they advanced.

Those who disagree can just look at the South, with a landscape that for so many generations was barren of monuments to those who advanced Reconstruction yet abundant with monuments to the Confederacy that stood in opposition to its basic ideals. Inextricably tied to the success of Counter Reconstruction and the proliferation of Confederate monuments is the fact that even half a century past the civil rights movement, so many Americans are unaware of Reconstruction. Now that there is a chance to recover the self-respect that was lost in allowing that state of affairs, a broader national self-loathing threatens to eclipse it.

The new confederates who wantonly target America’s heritage have attacked monuments that would never have stood if the Confederacy had won. Sure, they take the opposite position on white supremacy, but what the two have in common—disloyalty to the United States—is its own brand of ideological poison that would achieve some of what the old Confederacy never could. They fail to recognize a basic tenet of citizenship: The Confederacy deserved defeat. The United States does not. Many people who lack this ill intent are assenting to their demands when they should instead be standing against what they are doing.

A Truly Reconstructed America Must Preserve and Keep Building

It should outrage anyone concerned about racial justice that police and (for several months) a hastily installed fence were needed to protect one of the earliest post–Civil War monuments, the Emancipation Memorial featuring Lincoln, from being toppled by a mob. Like its copy in Boston, it could be removed anyway if previously introduced legislation were to become law. Sometimes known as the Freedmen’s Memorial, the statue was dedicated in Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Park in 1876. It depicts Lincoln standing with a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation while a newly freed slave, barely clothed and wearing broken shackles, begins to rise from a half-kneeling position, his head held high. The freed slave’s position and scant clothing were an obvious reference to a widely known English eighteenth-century image that galvanized support for abolition, often accompanied by the inscription, “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” (Benjamin Franklin remarked that “it may have an Effect equal to that of the best written Pamphlet in procuring favour to those oppressed people.”[1]) Moreover, the artist’s design might not have been entirely allegorical: When Lincoln arrived in Richmond shortly before his assassination, he was swarmed by people who had just been freed from slavery, reportedly including one who fell to his knees before Lincoln told him to kneel only to God.[2]

The monument was paid for by former slaves, beginning with Charlotte Scott, who spearheaded fundraising with the first $5 she earned in freedom. It was unveiled by President Grant and dedicated in a keynote address, with much of the government in attendance, by Frederick Douglass. As with New York’s Theodore Roosevelt statue, however, context does not matter for those who deem it unsuitable for a public square. Neither does the sacrifice involved in producing such artwork. The mob that would take it down refuse to see anything but white supremacy. They are so monomaniacal in their outlook that it does not occur to them how happy actual white supremacists would be to see them succeed in removing a Lincoln statue from a park that bears his name. Of course, the argument against the statue is also fueled by the pseudo-history that insists on diminishing Lincoln’s role in emancipation. That rationale also posits that the voices of the freed slaves who actually lived the history and thought otherwise do not matter.

The most powerful of those voices is Douglass himself. His dedication speech commemorating Lincoln included the appeal to “build high his monuments . . . and let them endure forever!” A few days later, he wrote to a newspaper the following about the need for additional monuments:

The mere act of breaking the negro’s chains was the act of Abraham Lincoln, and is beautifully expressed in this monument. But the act by which the negro was made a citizen of the United States and invested with the elective franchise was pre-eminently the act of President U.S. Grant, and this is nowhere seen in the Lincoln monument. The negro here, though rising, is still on his knees and nude. What I want to see before I die is a monument representing the negro, not couchant on his knees like a four-footed animal, but erect on his feet like a man. There is room in Lincoln park for another monument, and I throw out this suggestion to the end that it may be taken up and acted upon.

This expresses a view that is the opposite of nihilism—and, incidentally, a direct repudiation of recent efforts to delegitimize the accomplishments of Lincoln and Grant. It captures the gaping blind spot of the statue topplers: that instead of looking for reasons to tear down, we must add the monuments that are missing.

In this case, Douglass did not get his wish, at least not in the literal sense of a statue of a man. It would be nearly a century after the Emancipation Memorial that a monument to Mary McLeod Bethune appeared in Lincoln Park.

Now let us look forward. Why not add to the park the figure of a man, perhaps Douglass himself? Douglass also implied that he would like to see a monument to Grant reflecting the progress he advanced after Lincoln’s death. That never came to Lincoln Park. Tellingly, there is no public monument to Grant in the former Confederacy outside of battlefields, and there is no statue of Grant in any public square in America that shows him in the civilian dress of a president. That is just one reflection of how Counter Reconstruction sought to ensure that monuments honoring Reconstruction would never be.

The question we should be asking is: What can we do to reverse that? In a truly reconstructed nation, how should we honor those involved in America’s second founding? The question is not limited to the Reconstruction era’s preeminent leaders. Where are the monuments to the approximately 2,000 African-American public officials elected or appointed in the years following the Civil War? Start with South Carolina’s Joseph H. Rainey, the first black member of the U.S. House of Representatives, whose grave should be located and properly marked.[3] Mississippi’s Hiram R. Revels, the first black U.S. senator, does has a grave marker, but no other monument,[4] even though his portrait once hung in the homes of many African-American families.

Richmond, please don’t leave Monument Avenue empty. The city has an abundance of choices to replace the Confederates that were recently removed. In addition to the best-known national names, consider Virginians who fought for the Union and advanced the goals of Reconstruction. Here are two ideas: Gen. George H. Thomas, one of the Union’s best tacticians (and whose statue in D.C. was among those vandalized), and John Mercer Langston, the lawyer, educator, and diplomat who became Virginia’s first black congressman. Perhaps the three Reconstruction Amendments themselves can get monuments. The Fifteenth in particular would be a reminder of the value of the right to vote, as would monuments to those who were killed for exercising it. The U.S. Capitol, for its part, should add a statue or portrait of John A. Bingham, the principal author of the foundational first section of the Fourteenth Amendment.

This constructive aspect of America’s pressing questions surrounding monuments lags well behind the current zeal to remove them. Efforts have been few and largely recent, including a small marker dedicated in 2016 naming all who were killed during the Hamburg Massacre and the designation in 2017 of four historic locations in and near Beaufort County, South Carolina, as the first national monument dedicated to Reconstruction.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of reversing what for so many years was a surrender to the Confederacy in symbolism. It is well past time for America to regain the self-respect lost when the Confederate cause was mythologized and Reconstruction demonized. Of course, there are also monuments that should be built to more recent subjects. Just don’t leave Reconstruction behind. That this effort must take place while there is an even more sweeping attack on America’s self-respect is unfortunate, but we must affirm our respect for America’s best traditions. To do otherwise is to disrespect the opportunities that this country has given to more historically marginalized people than any other. We must never surrender to the new confederates who deny this in order to marginalize America itself.

We were once the future generation for whom monuments were built. When it comes to those who were loyal to this country, we must protect what we have been given and envision the monuments waiting to be built. Next year will mark Grant’s 200th birthday. The nation’s 250th birthday is five years away. Don’t disrespect those milestones by toppling their monuments. Bring them back and then add more. We must get to work. Future generations will be watching.

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[1] Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves 21 (1997).

[2] An actual freed slave, Archer Alexander, may have been the model for the one in the statue according to tradition, the accuracy of which is unclear. Id. at 116-17 (1997); Harold Holzer, Emancipating Lincoln 158 (2012).

[3] Observed in a personal visit to Georgetown, South Carolina, in 2016 and confirmed in 7/1/2020 and 12/12/2020 conversations with Mary Boyd, a researcher at the Georgetown County Museum. Rainey does have a portrait in the Capitol, and for the 150th anniversary of his December 1870 swearing in, a special exhibit and a room named for him.

[4] This does not count at least one historical marker and a dormitory at Alcorn State University named for him.

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27 Responses to On Monuments, America Must Never Surrender to Confederates, Old or New (conclusion)

  1. nygiant1952 says:

    Nice article. Good suggestions.

  2. Donald Smith says:

    Calling the vandals who tore down statues during last year’s rioting “New Confederates” is not only inflammatory and insulting—it’s also silly. The Confederates of 1861 didn’t try to destroy the United States—they tried to leave it and set up their own country. I am glad they failed, but let’s not exaggerate or mischaracterize what they really did.

    And, the states that were the Old Confederacy are nowadays the places where you’re more likely to see American flags publicly displayed, children saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school, military recruiters treated with respect instead of disdain, and people standing for the National Anthem.

    I am sure that many in the North are unhappy with how those of us with Confederate ancestors choose to remember them and their legacy. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

    • Lyle Smith says:

      It’s also silly since the Confederates were all about slavery. These “New Confederates” aren’t about having about race-based chattel slavery. Not even so-called “neo-Confederates” support slavery today.

  3. Unfortunately, this post continues with an over-simplification of memorial history. The author seems to suggest some government will raise the money for “replacement” memorials. Reconstruction heroes or Gen. Thomas are excellent suggestions. But, who will raise the money? The parish (i.e., a county) council in Shreveport considered for a time installing a Reconstruction or civil rights memorial near the Confederate memorial. But, when they saw the price tag, they changed their direction to removing the Confederate memorial. The reality is monuments and memorial are expensive. The money for these memorials was raised .05 and .10 cents at a time in the 1890-1920 time period. Other than as a remembrance, who has the motivation to raise the sums required? The custom carved memorials cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 in 1890. That would amount to some $90,000 at a minimum in today’s money. if you look at replacement cost, then the cost in today’s dollars rises to $300,000 and up. Who would raise that sort of money – other than as a memorial?
    My other concern is the unstated assumption of this post that the Confederate memorials were erected solely to perpetuate the Lost cause myth. The logic seems to be that if white Southerners erected a Confederate memorial in 1890-1920 – when most were built – then they must have been motivated by racism and Jim Crow. Sigh. I represent victims of discrimination in court everyday. If I could prove discrimination simply based on stereotypes, I would win *every* case. The problem with stereotypes as an analyitic tool is that there are competing motives at play, aren’t there? In 1890-1920, many Confederate veterans were dying. By 1890, the South had thousands and thousands of dead soldiers who were never buried. As one newspaper article of the time mentioned, their “bones lay bleached by the sun.” By 1890, how many widows, mothers, sisters and daughters were still troubled by that fact? Enough to contribute .05 and .10 cents at a time. I just wish proving racism was so easy that I could just rely on stereotypes.
    Tom Crane

  4. Nick Sacco says:

    Hi, Frank.

    This is the first essay in your series that I’m reading, so I’ll reserve my comments for the arguments made here. I have nothing but the highest respect for your scholarship on Ulysses S. Grant and your tireless efforts to commemorate and honor his legacy. For those efforts the entire nation should really be in gratitude to you. I approach this comment as a friend and fellow scholar with a different point of view.

    History, as you well know, is constantly being re-written. New evidence comes to light, new historical methods are pioneered, and developments in contemporary society push us to think anew about the past. Revisionism is fundamental to the historical process. I would suggest that the debates we’re seeing about monuments are an extension of that historical process and the spirit of revisionism. I expanded on this idea in an essay a few years ago: https://ncph.org/history-at-work/americas-ever-changing-commemorative-landscape-a-case-study-at-national-statuary-hall/

    In other words, I take exception to the idea that rewriting history is an erasure of a country’s values, as you suggest here. Your own work on Grant’s presidency was a re-writing of history that did not erase the nation’s values, but highlighted the importance of the Reconstruction Era in creating a more perfect Union based on the fundamental ideals of racial equality and equality before the law. Thus the notion that what we’re seeing with Confederate (or even non-Confederate) monument removals is an erasure of the country’s values is a non-starter for me.

    I take equal exception with the notion that those who have been pushing for certain monument removals should be labeled as “confederates” who hate the United States, which is a gross simplification, a bizarre characterization given the general views of monument critics compared to actual Confederates, and an unfair labeling of what we’re all witnessing. The reality is that monuments are inherently political and, as you correctly state, reflect community values. The lessons of the past six years are that not everyone views U.S. history in the same glorified light, and that many public monuments throughout the country’s commemorative landscape represent values that are antithetical to what we should all strive for in the present. Monuments have never been just about history. Am I disappointed that the Grant statue in SF was vandalized and torn down? Yes. Am I also disappointed by efforts in that same city to remove Lincoln’s name from schools in a rather lazy, unscholarly process? You bet. But to conflate these excesses with very serious debates taking place in communities throughout the country about the relationship of community values and public monuments is mistaken. Is it not best to let San Francisco, Springfield, and small town American decide for themselves what they choose to honor in the public square?

    Perhaps most unfortunate is your rather unfair swipe at history and civics teachers, who you claim are working to replace “careful analysis with indoctrination.” You cite a Wall Street op-ed article to make your claim, which comes off more like a partisan talking point rather than a comprehensive study of what history teachers are actually teaching in their classrooms. I mean, most teachers are thrilled just to get their students to do the readings, much less indoctrinating them. Of course we need more history and civics in schools, but this notion that those teachers are systematically failing to do their job is wrong.

    Finally, let’s not be selective about the story of the Emancipation Memorial. It was paid by former slaves, but they had no say in the design of the monument. Frederick Douglass was fairly critical of Lincoln in his keynote speech and forced the crowd the reckon with Lincoln’s actions and words in 1861 and 1862 before celebrating 1865. And historically African Americans have been divided about the meaning and symbolism of that monument. These debates over the monument’s meaning are not new. The brilliance of Douglass’s speech was that he reminded the nation that it wasn’t Lincoln alone who ended slavery. The contingencies of war and the efforts of African Americans, including 180,000 men who fought in USCT regiments, played just as a big a role if not bigger in forcing emancipation to successful victory. For many people, the symbolism of the Emancipation Memorial doesn’t tell that story.

    Does the answer to these difficult questions lie in building more monuments? My answer is no. I would rather see that money go towards schools, museums, and other public history sites that can actually undertake the work of educating people about American history. I would put that money towards historic preservation and paying young people to pursue careers in history. If people are learning the bulk of their historical from monuments, we are in trouble. In reality, monuments play a relatively small role in history education and it should remain that way. The best way to promote civic pride and renewed national purpose moving forward is not to build more iconography that promotes hero worship, but a chance for all people to learn a full, comprehensive version of American history–warts and all–that enables us to account for the mistakes (and successes!) of the past and to then build on that history to establish a more perfect Union moving forward.

    • Donald Smith says:

      Very well said. VERY well said. And you make an important point about monuments reflecting community values. As the communities change, the monuments that represent those communities will undoubtedly change. As long as communities (and their elected leaders) get to decide which monuments to keep and which ones to remove, we’re all OK.

      As the great-grandson of Confederate cavalrymen (and one infantryman), I recognize and accept that many of the communities who’ve removed Confederate statues recently have populations nowadays that are much, much different than those who erected those statues in the first place. My house in Arizona sits on land that, 155 years ago, the Apache controlled.

      The problem comes if/when activists get judges to order the removal of monuments that the majority of the community, and their elected leaders, want to keep. I hope we never reach that point. Because then, we’ll all start canceling each other’s ancestors from the public square—and we’ll end up with a sterile, uninspiring public square.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Fact is, those communities denied the vote to the newly liberated and duly franchised Afro-American, who never did vote in “their” community for the monumentation of those who oppressed them.

        And these same Afro-Americans were denied the vote for 100 years, in those same communities.

      • Nick Sacco says:

        nygiant1952 undoubtedly makes a fair point when reminding us that Confederate monuments without the perspective of African Americans considered – that is why it’s all the more important for local communities today to devise a democratic, inclusive process for re-evaluating their commemorative landscapes that includes EVERYONE’S views.

        Again, I don’t think this is a battle between people who love their country and people who hate their country, nor do I think the issue is rooted in people not appreciating the civil rights gains made throughout our country’s existence. The question revolves around how history is told in a very politicized public square when people have different interpretations of what it means to be an American.

        I will concede that an “activist” judge subverting the local will could be problematic in this situation, but I also think a state legislature banning the removal of any public monument by a local community is equally wrong if we are to adhere to the idea of community control of this process.

        Reasonable people can disagree about this very contentious issue and I’m glad to see a productive discussion in the comments here.

  5. Frank says:

    Excellent, discussion of the monuments. The term confederate can mean “allied, United in a league.” I don’t see a problem with that use in the discussion. Grant in underrated, I am a big fan. He saved the Union, and did much to advance freedom in the southern states.

  6. Bob Ruth says:

    Frank:

    You make numerous excellent points in your four posts.

    That being said, I believe you made one mistake. You didn’t really discuss the majority of Americans who still believe in a mythological history of the United States. These folks still believe in the Lost Cause, the myths that the Founding Fathers were without sin, etc. To me, this fantastical version of American history is far more dangerous than the threat posed by the anti-American radicals you criticize.

    In sum, you greatly exaggerate the threat posed by misinformed anti-American extremists, while writing very little about the far more serious danger of those who deny our history is fraught with flawed leaders. More balance is necessary, I believe.

    • Donald Smith says:

      Bob, if you see a majority of Americans who believe that our Founding Fathers were pure men, with no sin or vices or shortcomings, or that America has always been a perfect place—well, you’re looking at America with a different lens that I’m using. The folks I know and respect know that America has its flaws, but they cherish its founding values—values that, admittedly, we’ve often fallen short of. But, they are still our foundational values.

      • Bob Ruth says:

        Don:

        I agree wholeheartedly with your sentence: “The folks I know and respect know that America has its flaws, but they cherish its founding values.”

        My concern is with the other Americans – the “America, love it or leave it” crowd I’m a gabber by nature, and I talk to a lot of different people, especially on vacation. I am stunned by many of these folks’ superficial knowledge of our nation’s history.

        The extremists who want to tear down statues of non-Confederates like Lincoln, Grant, Jefferson, Columbus, etc. make up a small fraction of our population. (Unfortunately, some of our weak-kneed elected officials have caved in to them.) The same goes for those who believe our nation is some sort of evil entity.

        Yet, Frank’s final post, especially, implies these fringe folks pose a serious threat to our nation. I disagree. The greater threat comes from the Lost Causers and those who believe our Founding Fathers were without sin. Most of these people believe that anyone who has the audacity to criticize any aspect of our nation is unpatriotic.

  7. Douglas Pauly says:

    I certainly agree that those assailing this nation’s history today by way of destroying historical artifacts and via attempts at revisionist history are indeed ‘terrorists’. And I will continue to point out that those terrorists are being facilitated by, even funded and coordinated with, by Democrat Party officials in areas they control and in Washington, DC! Can’t get around THAT undeniable truth!

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Doug, the terrorists who ransacked the Capital, were certainly NOT funded by the Democratic Party, nor did they coordinate their actions with the Democratic Party.

      Recall that this terrorists were egged on by Trump, and then stormed the capital to over-turn the duly elected Government of the United States.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        As is always the case Giant, suddenly the term ‘terrorists’ as well as ‘insurrection’ suddenly come into play for ONE incident while your party has been doing nothing but that for the last 4 years. Please show me where Trump egged them on. Take your time, I’ll wait. We can also discuss how THE most heavily defended site in the country was so easly taken and within a few moments at that. Regardless, none of it changes the truth of myvpost visa visit YOUR party’s actions, both now and through time.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        As is always the case Giant, suddenly the term ‘terrorists’ as well as ‘insurrection’ suddenly come into play for ONE incident while your party has been doing nothing but that for the last 4 years. Please show me where Trump egged them on. Take your time, I’ll wait. We can also discuss how THE most heavily defended site in the country was so easly taken and within a few moments at that. Regardless, none of it changes the truth of myvpost visa visit YOUR party’s actions, both now and through time.

        Hi Doug,

        I second , the comments made by John Sinclair.

        You can have your own opinion, but you can’t have your own set of facts. Facts are, there is no Democratic Party link to any group which advocates the over-turning go the Government. Nor did any Democratic organization storm the Capital to disrupt Democracy.

        Recall that during the past 4 years, our citizens, Afro-Americans have been murdered and denied due process on account of white supremacists. Thats just another form of lynching.

        As far as Trump is concerned, Let’s agree that he said this…”“Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer. And we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. And we’re going to have to fight much harder. …

        “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
        The president’s speech was riddled with violent imagery and calls to fight harder than before.

        “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do, and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to.”
        Different rules? Where does it say the Vice President can reject the Electoral College vote.

        Let’s agree that Trump said this…“We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about. And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal. …

        “You will have an illegitimate president. That is what you will have, and we can’t let that happen. These are the facts that you won’t hear from the fake news media. It’s all part of the suppression effort. They don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to talk about it. …
        “We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

        “fight like hell,” Trump told the rioters that they act and change things, not merely raise their voices in protest.

        Insurrection against the duly elected US Government, is treason.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        You can ‘second’ comments all you want, they don;t change the facts of the issue(s) YOU brought up. All I heard and read and saw throughout 2020 was YOUR party lecturing us all that “This is what democracy looks like” while your side was trying to do things like lock police officers in their precincts and then try to burn them alive. But to keep addressing your latest deflection to the actual discussion, there certainly have been Democrat paid thugs (as virtually ALL of those who partake in KLANtifa and BLM gatherings are) apprehended within the capitol building on the day of the riot. Seeing hoe they are Democrats, of course the usual media suspects will keep as much of that under wraps as they can, but none the less, those pesky facts are what they are.

        Also what’s flat-out hilarious in all the mayhem were you Democrats whining and sniveling for the police to defend you, the very police you all have demonized via your calls to defund them. Witness your OWN words here: “Recall that during the past 4 years, our citizens, Afro-Americans have been murdered and denied due process on account of white supremacists. That’s just another form of lynching.” Your party, and you yourself, are on record as tainting any and all police as ‘white supremacists’ regardless of what the actual skin color of the officers might be. If anyone is ever truly being a ‘white supremacist’, they are merely picking up where your Democrats have always been. They literally wrote the book on that here in the USA. AS far as TODAY’S police, certainly there are SOME instances of SOME police violating procedures or flat-out handling a situation wrong. But they are far and few between, certainly not the ‘norm’ you and yours always lie about. Yo Giant, where were those ‘social workers’ that your party wants to replace all police with when the capitol was assailed?

        Hmmm?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Hi Doug,

        Well , we certainly know what the Republican Party democracy looks like, don’t we……an assault on the Capital with the murder of a policeman. The Republicans tell us that if you don’t like the result of the election, storm the Capital and intimidate the Congress, when the Congress is doing what the Constitution instructs.

        And BLM and the Democrats certainly did not agitate the crowd, to storm the Capital and try and disrupt our Democracy. We all know who did the agitating, and tweeting.
        Recall, any social workers would relieve the police of duties which police aren’t really trained to perform.

        Pesky thing those pesky facts.

        Hmmm?

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Yeah Giant, we get one admittedly inexcusable incident involving elements from BOTH sides again (as happened at Charlottesville) and we get the usual selective outrage from you and yours while ignoring the years-long mayhem and violence your beloved Democrats have been engaging in well before Donald Trump ever became a candidate. BLM might not have been at the capitol in numbers no doubt because they are massed in other locations like Portland continuing their crap there. As always Giant, your hypocrisy is only exceeded by your double standards! LOL..

      • nygiant1952 says:

        If you recall, Charlottesville was a confrontation between the White Supremacists and Nazis against the freedom loving peoples of the US.

        Now, look at the assault on our Capital…all White Supremacists.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Hi Giant. Because I have a life I wasn’t able to respond to this earlier. But back to Charlottesville. That was most definitely a replay of the Eastern Front of WWII. Communists vs. Nazis. Nothing but. I personally have no sue for Nazis, but if you want to label communists as “the freedom loving people of the USA” I can’t prevent that. As I’m fond of pointing out, revisionist history is indeed all the rage these days from certain folks.

        Right?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        HI Doug,

        By your mentioning Charlottesville, that’s just a diversion from what happened at the Capital, when insurrectionists tried to take over our Democracy. No comparison with Charlottesville.

        Charlottesville is in NO WAY compared to the Eastern Front. You can have your own opinion, but NOT your own set of facts.

        Be aware, that most historians believe that it was the Soviet Union that did most of the fighting, and most of the dying, in defeating Nazi Germany. By the same reasoning, it was the presence of the US Army in Western Europe, that defeated Imperial Germany, in World War 1.

        Right? Right!

        As far as revisionist history, be aware of those who think the South left the Union because of States Rights, or the economy.

        Right? Right!

  8. John B. Sinclair says:

    Douglas Pauly:

    Perhaps you have forgotten Charlottesville among others? Perhaps you have forgotten Trump telling the rioters he “loved” them and they were “very special”? Perhaps you have forgotten Trump was in charge of the Federal Government when the rioters stormed the Capitol? Perhaps you believe the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, etc. are peaceful actors?

    • Douglas Pauly says:

      I’ll call out YOUR selective outrage as well here John. President Trump rightfully pointed out that there were peaceful protesters representing both sides in Charlottesville. The reality of Charlottesville is that it was a replay in large part of the Eastern Front of WWII. The Nazis went head-to-head with the communists. The smartest thing that could have been done was provide weapons to both sides so they could exterminate each other, but I digress here. As happens quite often, protests have elements that get violent. That is certainly the excuse we heard all of last year from the Democrats paid Rent-A-Mobs like KLANtifa and BLM. And there is usually some amount of truth in that. But as we always see, when Democrats are in office they are never blamed for things like riots, but whenever ANY Republican is there, he automatically gets blamed for everything. And the usual lemmings just echo that, because there is no work involved. It’s the easy thing to do.

      Take care John. Good talk..

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Sorry, but to compare Charlottesville with the Eastern Front of WW 2 just isn’t right. I don’t have the time to go into all of WW 2, but it was the 2 great Democracies of the World, ALLIED with the Communist Soviet Union, that defeated bNazi Germany in WW 2.

        So, at Charlottesville, you have the Nazis being confronted by the freedom loving peoples of the US.Recall that Afro-Americans served in the Armed Forces in WW 2.

  9. What a shame that an excellent civil war site has turned into a political hack scene . What started out so grand has fell by the way side. Sort of like the history channel and ice road truckers!!!! .
    In the beginning I went to the symposium to meet old and new friends (chris,keven .matt ) now i”d be fear full of a fist fight with some there. (frank b0b r ny giant )
    A far cry from civil war history, learning and respectful friendships . Guess its time to move on to a different site .
    I f this makes you left wing libs happy so be it . For destruction . disruption and hate is what you do best .
    SADLY
    GOOD BYE .

    • nygiant1952 says:

      These articles that appear here, show us that the Civil War is still with us, after 150 years. And this Forum is a great place to discuss ideas back and forth. The Civil War belongs to all of us.

      Fist fight? Most of us would rather , enjoy our time at the bar.

      Don’t leave. The only way we all grow in our understanding of the Civil War, is through a mutual exchange of ideas, and facts.

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