We Americans have trouble with prudence. When we have a good idea, we go bananas until it becomes a bad idea. Taking down the Confederate flag from state houses was a good idea, for the very simple reason that it implies state endorsement of a nation that was founded for the express purpose of maintaining slavery. So good on Nikki Haley.
Then the reactions started. Speaking for the Id of the Party of Crazy, Ann Coulter blew her racist dog whistle and labeled Haley (who was born here, but in dark skin, so we all know what *that* means) an “immigrant”. Happily, most of the GOP didn’t buy that and the flag came down and other GOP folks are bucking the very significant minority of crazies in their party to do the obviously right thing and put the flag in museums where it belongs. A step toward long-overdue cleansing of memory is accomplished.
But then, Leftist crazy kicks in too, as well as corporate cowardice. Suddenly, taking the CSA battle flag off state building and making clear that the legacy of race hatred that was the raison d’etre of the Confederacy is not approved by the state is not enough. Memory must not merely be cleansed. It must be erased. And so, the silliness begins. Civil War games cannot use Confederate flags to denote Army positions. The Gettysburg Memorial Museums can’t have Confederate flag stuff anymore. Pretty soon, history books will read that the Union Army fought the largest battle in the western hemisphere against…. another army at Gettysburg.
And that’s not all. In a frenzy of righteousness, some on the Left are demanding we burn the American flag too since bad things have been done under its banner and slavery was originally allowed under the Constitution.
This is the problem with the Utopian Revolutionary. He hates his fathers and cannot grasp the historical processes by which his ancestors labored to give him his pure and pristine vision of the New Order. He kicks down the ladder of history by which he climbed to the perch whereon he now looks down in contempt on all who came before him.Here’s the deal: Yes, the Constitution made slavery lawful. It also eventually made it unlawful. And that’s the little distinction between it and the Confederacy. It was not written with the primary goal of preserving slavery, but of securing liberty. No. Really:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
In contrast, as Alexander Stephens, the CSA Veep explained
The *purpose* of the CSA and the primary reason for their launch of the war was to preserve slavery, not to secure liberty.
God knoweth I don’t think the USA is perfect. But its founding principles, however imperfectly enacted and lived out, were honorable. It’s silly to talk about destroying the US flag because our ancestors were not saints. They tried hard to do the right thing and failed–like us.
Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.