True, preserving history is vital and necessary. But statues of Confederate heroes are not the way to do it. Because they confer honor and glory on the subjects depicted — and, inescapably, those subjects’ larger cause — the statues actually distort history. They obscure the central role of slavery in the nation’s bloodiest war and trumpet a message that the Confederacy was purely noble and worthy of esteem.Slavery was bad, okay? What strikes me most about the current debate is that it is only occurring in Democratic strongholds, (like New Orleans). And, the Democrats were the party of slavery. The Republican party was founded in large part to end slavery. Republicans are still opposed to slavery in every form.
But, with the Democrats in disarray and looking for salvation, the only hope they have is to demonize someone or something to ket their constituency think that they actually care. As Professor Reynolds points out.
Don’t overthink this, because it’s quite simple, really. When Democrats’ national position depended on unwavering support from “the Solid South,” we got lots of pro-Southern propaganda: the Lost Cause, Gone With The Wind, Disneyfied Uncle Remus, etc. As a vital Democrat constituency group, southerners, even practical neo-Confederates, were absolved of all sins as long as they stayed in line.Yep, once the "solid south" started straying from the party line, the Democrats knew that they had to make a dramatic splash to keep their reliably solid voting block. There has to be a villain, and the dead white men on on hoses seem like the proper target of their wrath.
Lets not forget that the Democrats were the party of slavery. Even as late as the LBJ era, the Democrats were trying to figure out how to keep the voting block in line.
Cynical much? Yeah, but probably not cynical enough. This is politics as usual. Someone is getting played, and if you're not sure who the mark is, you are probably the mark.