Use A Democratic Approach On The General Stewart Issue

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Re: “Should We Tear Down the Statues of the Confederate Generals?”

 The positions of Ms. Cooper and Mr. McCallie bring to my mind the sad predicament of an Abraham Lincoln statue that was defaced by arsonists in Chicago in August of this year. Why would someone want to deface a statue of Abraham Lincoln? After all, he freed the slaves and ended the Southern Rebellion. I believe it may have something to do with Lincoln’s desire to have a quick reconciliation of rebellious states and citizens (including Confederate officers, although Lincoln’s sudden death leaves that issue murky). In short, Lincoln shirked a prime opportunity to mete out justice for massive disenfranchisement that had been occurring for more than a century.

Today, Ms. Cooper and Mr. McCallie argue that because the statues of A.P. Stewart and other Confederate officers were placed without due democratic process, our only choice is to ignominiously move them out of the way, under the cover of cloak and darkness (Ms. Cooper and Mr. McCallie don’t detail the logistics involved in moving the statues, so I assume this is how it would actually occur). Well, that is better than burning them, but I would hardly call that egalitarian.

A democratic approach would be to ask people to conduct their own research, and then put the issue of their location up for a vote, including the option to leave “as is.” Otherwise, we are subscribing to a “two wrongs make a right” philosophy.

Overall, I am happy that the Union won the Civil War, for our divided country may not have been able to fend off the challenge presented by Communism - although at times it seems to have been a pyrrhic victory.

Paul Triplett
Knoxville


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