Brian Beutler, in the New Republic, recently proposed making the anniversary of Lee’s Surrender at Appomatox a national holiday.
Jeff Simmons had exactly the same reaction I had. He looked Beutler up on the Internet to understand the background of the enemy, and found that this zealot of black-versus-white racial politics was mugged and shot a couple years ago in D.C. by representatives of the minority he so passionately champions. Beutler, nonetheless, specifically deplored stop-and-frisk policies and racial profiling.
I decided not to blog in response myself, being too appalled and too inclined to intemperate remarks, but Jeff Simmons did sit down at his keyboard to address the recent propensity of leftists to seek every opportunity to abuse, denigrate, and demonize the Lost Cause. Mr. Simmons, rather aptly and gracefully, chose to compare Mr. Beutler’s wounding in the course of being robbed with General Albert Sydney Johnston’s wounding in the course of the Battle of Shiloh. Alas! General Johnston did not have the same access to a modern hospital and modern medical technology.
So we have Mr. Beutler advocating for nothing less than the eradication of the last vestiges of an entire civilization. A civilization which, had it succeeded in its mighty struggle, in all likelihood would have prevented him from getting shot in the first place, and, perhaps less likely, could have molded him into something of a man.
Of course, this view is lost on the young Mr. Beutler. He disregards, or perhaps it has never occurred to him, that the soldiers of the late Confederacy, men like General Johnston, fought, bled, killed, and died for their descendents, men exactly like him. Even if they were misguided, that deserves a bit more than an effort to cleanse them from history in my book. Mr. Beutler clearly disagrees. He says, â€œWe arenâ€™t being polite to anyone worthy of politeness, or advancing any noble end, by continuing to honor traitors in this way.â€
I donâ€™t doubt what he would have to say on the matter: they fought for no one but themselves, so that they could keep the boot on the necks of their black slaves, that they were the very personification of evil. And so, he has declared his own sort of war on their ghosts. He wages his war from behind a computer on men who cannot defend themselves and whose few supporters are scattered and powerless, with the entire weight of the modern worldâ€”indeed, history itself, to hear him tell itâ€”behind him. Why does he do this?
For the paycheck, in all likelihood. But surely, his pay isnâ€™t significantly supplemented by these types of articles. The idea to destroy all remembrances of the late secessionists isnâ€™t exactly novelâ€”itâ€™s been proceeding apace for decades, after all. It is not solely for the pay. He also doesnâ€™t seem to suspect any resurrection of the Confederacy any time soon. No, it is the symbol which Mr. Beutler wishes to eradicate. The Confederacy is anti-progressivism to the core. It may be a ghost now, but it retains some power in the minds of its enemies if nowhere else. They cannot rest while it still lurks in the background, waiting and watching, a figure in their fevered imaginations like Sauron or Emperor Palpatine. The attacks didnâ€™t cease in 1865; they continue today, and must continue perpetually. Such is Leftism. It is not enough to simply defeat your enemies. You must exterminate them, first from the physical world, then the mental and spiritual.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Tim of Angle.