Toms Ostrom Soap Box


Dictatorships erase history. Leftists are trying to. Civil War monument destruction is understandable because African Americans are justifiably offended by artifacts associated with slavery. Some could be removed to museums and battle fields, or balanced with Black leaders like Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman.

The inhumane slave system was the underlying cause of the war. But President Lincoln initially sent troops into the South to save the Union, not free slaves. Other background causes included sectional (regional) differences, tariffs, congressional power, rural/urban demographic and socioeconomic conflicts, Southern and Northern nationalism, and states’ rights. Supporters and opponents of slavery fought for the Union and Confederacy.

The immediate cause of the war was the firing on federal Fort Sumter (South Carolina) by Confederate rebels. Lincoln responded militarily.

Southerners believed the precedent of independent America’s first government, a state’s rights confederacy that seceded from Britain and the Articles of Confederation validated secession.

Thomas Jefferson thought states had a right to secede. South Carolina threatened secession in the 1830s over tariff issues. New England considered secession during the War of 1812-1815. Contemporary Californians have proposed it. Lincoln did accept the Civil War secession of western Virginia into the Union as West Virginia.

The Emancipation Proclamation (1863) came later in the war for moral reasons, and to keep Britain, already covertly aiding the South, from officially entering the war. Emancipation opponents included high ranking federal officials, Generals Sherman and McClellan, and New York City draft rioters. Secretary of State Seward favored postponement. Some troops threatened desertion and mutiny.

Lincoln’s compelling pre-war solution, “compensated emancipation” for slave holders, failed because Congress wouldn’t compromise. Lincoln postponed his emancipation declaration to keep the Border slave states fighting for the Union.

General Robert E. Lee (CSA) left the Union Army to fight for seceded Virginia. Dr. Edward C. Smith, the African-American co-director of the Civil War Institute at American University in Washington DC, claimed General Lee opposed “slavery and secession.” Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis believed slavery would end naturally, and they belatedly considered training slave troop, and freeing them after victory. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson taught reading classes for slaves.

For today’s Democrats and Leftists to call Republicans racists is ludicrous. A former KKK member was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Franklin Roosevelt. Should the roads and monuments named for former KKK member and West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd be destroyed?

Segregationist politicians like Gore, Fulbright, Ervin, Thurmond, and Wallace opposed the 1960s Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. Republicans passed them.

The 1954 Supreme Court Brown vs Topeka Board of Education decision integrated public schools and was enforced by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower.

Let’s expunge the statues and institutions that commemorate Democratic racist, Princeton University and U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson.

Let’s destroy memories and monuments of slave owner Thomas Jefferson and his Declaration of Independence; the U.S. Constitution written and signed by slave holders; and Revolutionary War general and U.S. president George Washington.

Change the name of the nation’s capital. Destroy the Mount Rushmore faces of Jefferson, Washington, and Lincoln, whose statue was recently vandalized in Chicago. Maybe the Democratic Party founded by slave owner Andrew Jackson should be expunged.

Liberal emeritus Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said the Antifascists of the violent Left “who are tearing down statues are trying to tear down America.” Dennis Prager said, “The Left doesn’t fight real evil, but statues. They didn’t fight Communism, but fought anti-Communism. They don’t fight Islamism. They fight Islamophobia.”

A statue of Columbus was destroyed in Maryland. What next? Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox statues? Someone must surely be offended by such Christian symbols. Unfortunately, some squeamish Catholic schools have removed religious artifacts so non-Christian students won’t feel “offended” or “excluded.”

Western civilization is under assault. Some radical student groups are trying to expunge that subject from the curriculum. American history is not a required course at some colleges and universities.

There is not much hope when nationalism and pride are demonized, and cultures and nations that have given so much to the world are made to feel guilty about it.

Cultural and ethnic pride are OK for some groups. Not for all. The world is upside down.