To The Editor:
Most of the monuments in question now were set up by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, not a specific political group.
When the Democratic-Republicans split, however, the party that was pro-big government was Republican. The Democratic Party supported “states’ rights.”
Jefferson Davis, Confederate states’ president, was a Democrat.
If your argument about monuments includes, “You put them up,” then the counterargument would be, “Those who put them up should be able to take them down.”
But that doesn’t fit the narrative, and it would bring down the monuments quickly. It’s interesting that there are these rigid ideologies about what a party is, and what a party should be, like they cannot change over time. If that were true, Republicans, the party of “conservative states’ rights.” would still be considered the liberal party that supports big government.
We have an inaccurate view of history, focused through a lens that supports our own views at the time we choose to give an issue our attention. Most of the time, that lens is used to pit us against other people. When monuments come down, people who support “the rebel flag” or “The Civil War” feel attacked.
There certainly is evidence to suggest that part of the reason for the Civil War was states’ rights-based. In fact, that’s what Democrats stood for at the time. There’s also evidence that the Civil War was fought because of slavery, something Republicans were mostly against at the time.
As in all things, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and our polarized viewpoints lead us to argue in black and white terms, instead of coming together to recognize real problems that exist, and trying to find solutions.
We are quick to label people, “White Supremacists” or “Anti-American” when we disagree with them. It’s much harder to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand why they may be acting the way they are.
Most of the time, it’s an understanding problem. We just don’t know how other people live their lives. Two quotes sum up my thoughts on this: “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes” and “Judge not lest ye be judged.”