- The Washington Times - Monday, July 6, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Fourth of July weekend reminded us how young this country really is, and why our birthday is worth celebrating. With all the chaos in the world, and the embarrassment of the current failed batch of American politicians, this nation remains the best country in the world.

Yet, since the horrific shooting in South Carolina by one lunatic, we have also been reminded about how the American South continues to suffer ridicule and mockery in the 150 years since its defeat in the Civil War.

In the aftermath of that shooting, Southern states have begun debating and acting on removal of the Confederate flag from state grounds. While it had nothing to do with the atrocity, many of us understand the desire to move the Confederate flag from official places of honor.

But we’re also seeing a bizarre general hysteria to banish down the memory hole symbols reflecting an entire segment of our history. We’re even hearing calls that we strip highways and roads of the names of Confederate military figures.

And then there is the toy car problem. Warner Bros. announced it has halted production of General Lee toy cars from the 1980s television series “Dukes of Hazzard.” The problem? The car has a Confederate flag image on its roof.

The latest absurdity is the television network TV Land, which airs series like “Gilligan’s Island,” “Friends,” “Gunsmoke” and “Golden Girls” and until last week, “Dukes of Hazzard.” “Though TV Land has declined to comment on its reasons for the change, many assume the choice stems from a controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, which is prominently painted on the roof of the Duke brothers’ famous Dodge Charger, the General Lee,” reports People magazine.

Columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer notes, “The Confederate flags would ultimately have come down. That is a good thing. They are now coming down in a rush. The haste may turn out to be problematic. We will probably overshoot, as we are wont to do, in the stampede to eliminate every relic of the Confederacy. Not every statue has to be smashed, not every memory banished.”

This “stampede” comes in the midst of a new poll by WalletHub, released just before the Fourth of July weekend, rating which states of our great union are the most patriotic. The study uses eight key metrics, including civic and military engagement and voting habits, to determine the patriotism of the states.

Considering the attacks on Southern symbolism by their supposed betters on the coasts and in the northern metropolises, the results might surprise some of you (but not all).

The most patriotic state in the union today? Virginia, whose city Richmond served as the capital of the Confederate States of America during most of the Civil War. The three states with the most military service and engagement? Alaska, South Carolina and Virginia.

This brings us to the bottom of the list. WalletHub ranks the liberal and rather sanctimonious northern states of New York and New Jersey as the least patriotic states in the union.

In the midst of the frenzy to erase the history of the south, which is part of the history of all of us, Congress has announced it is reviewing the statues in its rotunda that honor Confederate war officers. Southern states, as you might imagine, have statues reflecting their history, including those of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.

But if we’re going to start removing statues of people who had a racist past, where are the calls to remove every sign of the now-deceased Grand Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan and former Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Robert Byrd, who has his own statue in Congress? His name also appears on endless numbers of offices and buildings. Shall we erase him from our history?

Liberals have made it clear they don’t want to let any “good crisis” go to waste, so let’s not be coy about the nature of what’s happening. The extended frenzy over wanting to erase Southern history from the public square has little to do with racism and much to do with sending a message that American history in general is evil, and must be done away with.

After all, if the Constitution is something that inhibits your plans to “fundamentally” remake this nation, you will work to condemn the actual history of the country itself. If the left can manage to brainwash the American people into believing that our history is evil (after all, President Obama has declared racism is in our DNA) and must be banished, it’s not a far step to argue the Constitution itself is a document that must be done away with.

The United States is far from perfect, but the Founders knew, with all their imperfections, that they were creating a nation that would allow us to become better people. This requires knowing and understanding our past, and recognizing how far we’ve come.

The answer is not to erase our past, but to recognize it as just that — the past — the good and the bad, while embracing the present, and knowing there’s a future worth fighting for specifically because who we are as Americans.

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.

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