Following the end of the catastrophic Radical Reconstruction, the North and South came to an informal agreement. Southern states would become part of the USA again, but would be free to celebrate their Confederate heritage. As that big deplorable meanie David Duke put it in My Awakening:
Yet we had no real desire to resurrect [the Confederacy], for we also intensely loved America, as it had become our country, North and South. We believed that although the South had been right, its loss signaled that God meant for the nation to be united. Although we flew the Stars and Bars from our tree houses, we also got lumps in our throats from hearing the national anthem. When we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, we stood straight and tall, fixing our eyes with pride at the small American flag that hung in the corner of every classroom.
Loyal Americans in the North need to understand something that every true Southerner knows: find a bad Southerner, one who will not defend the South, and you will find an American who will not defend America.
Well, those days are over. That informal agreement has been abrogated. Part of this includes dropping Southern heritage into the memory hole. Now that they’re running out of Confederate statues to remove, whose legacy will the politically correct establishment go after next? Anything is on the table, since even the Pledge of Allegiance itself increasingly is under fire.
Two top candidates for being dethroned are George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. That’s right – the leader of the American Revolutionary Army, and later our first President, is starting to be turned into a bad guy. So is the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence and became our third President. Sweet! The controversy is about slavery; both inherited plantations, including the slaves. Washington set his slaves free in the terms of his will. Jefferson probably would’ve freed his slaves and put them on a boat to Africa if he hadn’t been deeply in debt. As President, he did ban the importation of more slaves, as soon as it was possible to do so under the Constitution, and just maybe that counts for something. (I’ll go into further depth on some of these things in an upcoming book.) However, none of that matters, according to today’s politically correct critics.
It’s not going to stop there, of course. After acquiescence on the Confederate statue controversy became the moment where the camel got its nose under the tent, anyone is fair game. Washington Post writer Randy Barnett made the case that Woodrow Wilson should be the next Presidential unperson, in an article called “Expunging Woodrow Wilson from Official Places of Honor“.
What did Randy Barnett say?
The article begins:
As I indicated in my post yesterday on Instapundit, I support Governor Nikki Haley’s initiative to remove the Confederate battle flag from government buildings. Now that we are expunging the legacy of past racism from official places of honor, we should next remove the name Woodrow Wilson from public buildings and bridges. Wilson’s racist legacy — in his official capacity as President — is undisputed.
What follows is a long litany of policies and quotes by this guy who held office a century ago. Back then, they weren’t especially controversial, but now they’re very out of step with Current Year PC sensibilities. However, none of them have great implications and are barely a footnote in history. Is that all the dirt he could dig up?
What’s really wrong with Woodrow Wilson
For the record, I don’t consider Wilson a saint either, but for entirely different reasons.
- He gave us income tax, which the public was told would be a modest tax on the rich to cover emergency expenditures. It certainly didn’t stay that way!
- He allowed the creation of the Federal Reserve, delegating the Congressional function of coining money to a private banking consortium. This was the first step toward getting our economy to run on fairy dust.
- He got the USA involved in WWI, starting America’s century of perpetual war. This was the first time of many that we got suckered into someone else’s fight. If he hadn’t added fresh meat for the grinder, WWI probably would’ve ended sooner with a return to status quo ante bellum, rather than the Treaty of Versailles designed to kick the Germans when they were down. All that led to a long chain of fine messes, of course.
- After he screwed the pooch with WWI, he created the ineffectual League of Nations, which became the precursor to the thoroughly meddlesome and corrupt UN.
Perhaps these things seemed like good ideas at the time, but they set in motion our century-long train ride to hell. By any objective standard, all that is a wee bit worse than things like segregating some government offices and watching Birth of a Nation. Although Wilson really blew it in many ways, not even his epic failures are sufficient reason to remove his name from buildings and bridges, which Randy Barnett recommends doing for far less cause.
What’s the lesson here?
If the reputation of historical figures stands or falls on their compliance with contemporary PC standards, then hardly any of them are noteworthy. Now that the camel has its nose under the tent, the door is open for criteria to become more persnickety, which already is happening. Since the legacy of America’s first globalist President is starting to come under fire, this demonstrates that NOBODY is standing on firm ground.
What President hasn’t ever said something politically incorrect or uttered anything too uncouth for Current Year sensibilities? The only one that comes to mind is Carter (though talking about his hemorrhoids does cross the “TMI” threshold). The way things are going, it’s entirely possible that Obama will get on someone’s shit list for not supporting gay marriage back when he was trying to get elected, even if he flip-flopped later on the subject. Stranger things have happened; after all, this is Clown World.