Today’s highly interesting read (08/17/17): Who’s Next, George Washington?

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Taking down statues of Confederate figures is “just like” removing a monument to victims of the 9/11 attacks, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said today. LePage said left-wing protesters who want to remove Confederate statues are ignorant of history and want to erase it. He compared them to “the Taliban in Afghanistan” in their desire to remove monuments.

“How can future generations learn if we’re going to erase history? That’s disgusting,” he said. “They should study their history — they don’t even know the history of this country and they are trying to take monuments down. Listen, whether we like it or not, this is what our history is. To me, it’s just like going to New York City right now and taking down the monument of those who perished in 9/11. It will come to that.”

LePage also said he didn’t find out about the Charlottesville violence until Tuesday because he doesn’t watch TV or read newspapers. The governor said he thinks newspapers are “pencil terrorists.”

President Trump said today, “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it Robert E. Lee. Stonewall Jackson — who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish. Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

That brings us to today’s read by Harry Stein.

As a Northerner and a lefty, I’d grown up thinking of the South as the bad guys. Nonetheless, there was an undeniable grandeur to these stone figures, and I felt it every day driving past them on my way home.

My parents never saw Gone With the Wind—they were outside the theater, picketing. But I, too, felt the pull of that history, in all its messiness and grandeur. It was our history, as Americans.

Maybe that’s all over now. Maybe, as my colleague Kay Hymowitz once observed, for kids today American history runs from the oppression of the Indians to the oppression of blacks to the oppression of women, with nothing ennobling in between.

Read the entire piece here.

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