Regular readers know that there are many superb comments here that I don’t re-publish as Comments of the Day. One category of comment that is often neglected is the jeremiad, and dire predictions of the dystopian, Orwellian future that the current all-out assault on American values, traditions and institutions will eventually produce.
I don’t like fearmongering as a tactic; if I ever did, the disgusting resort to it by Democrats as a way to sabotage President Trump would have been sufficient to reverse my approval forever. Nor am I a pessimist regarding this remarkable nation and the strength of its unique culture and the citizens who maintain it.
That does not mean, however, that I think we should ignore the dangers to democracy that are now building in intensity. In this Memorial Day themed Comment of the Day, Steve-O-in NJ raises legitimate concerns. Remember that MSNBC host Chris Hayes once said that he was uncomfortable calling fallen soldiers heroes.
This is the predominant ethos of today’s American Left, an anti-patriotic, anti-exceptionalism, anti-American, anti-nationalist mindset that really has absorbed John Lennon’s infantile vision of utopia—no borders, no nations, nothing to live or die for—as a driving philosophy.
This holiday itself might come under attack.
The origins of Memorial Day aren’t as clear as you might think. The idea of decorating the graves of the fallen with flowers dates back to before the founding of this country, but here it was largely confined to families or, occasionally communities until the time of the Civil War. In 1861 Southern women organized to clean up and decorate the graves of the South’s fallen in Warrenton, VA and Savannah, GA, which leads to the concept that the holiday has Confederate roots. On May 1, 1865, the freedmen of Charleston, SC, led a parade of 10,000 to honor 257 Union soldiers who they had rescued from a mass grave and reburied. The earliest record of Decoration Day in the North was in 1868, proclaimed by General John Logan, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (Union veterans’ organization). Only in 1967 does Federal statute make it the holiday we know today.
The holiday is not a Confederate invention, nor was that first observance, in Charleston, even about the dead of the South.
Why do I throw this out there? In the current climate of statue-toppling and honor-withdrawing, I believe it’s only a matter of time before this holiday comes under attack. The link might sound precarious now, and the idea sounds preposterous now, but maybe only for now. Bad scholarship, factual cherry-picking, the very profitable grievance industry, and the emerging idea that anything that offends even one person has got to go make for a toxic brew. That toxic brew has already slimed many historical figures’ reputations and attacked other holidays. Don’t think it can happen to this one? Don’t be so sure. Get the straight stick now so you can lay it down next to the crooked one that’s coming.
This rabble-rouser is just more of the same – he says he wants to replace the sword with a tree or some other symbol of peace and change the motto to some modern PC thing about true peace and equality. Mmhmm, you’re offended, so you just get to rewrite everything to suit your views. BTW, not too far from the grave of Miles Standish in Duxbury, MA, there’s a monument to his memory in the form of a tower that rises 116 feet into the air, topped by his statue. How long before THAT comes under attack, I wonder?