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August 21, 2017 · OPINION

Dismantle the largest monument to racism

By Cameron Jones

It didn’t start in Charlottesville, but it has accelerated after the events there.

I’m speaking about the removal of monuments to Confederate figures, other symbols of the Confederacy and political figures representative of racism in America. This purging of American history is being perpetrated by Democrats and, ironically, the monuments they are so quickly tearing down are monuments to Democrat heroes of yore, men like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis. These men were leaders of the Confederacy, and the Confederacy was 100 percent Democrat.

Democrats supported slavery, and in the years leading up to the Civil War, a faction of Democrats left and formed the Republican Party. The new Republicans held their first nominating convention in June 1856, and in May the violence began in earnest. Just prior to the convention, two Democratic senators from South Carolina, Preston Brooks and Lawrence Keitt, brutally attacked and nearly killed Charles Sumner, a Republican from Massachusetts on the floor of the Senate with a cane following a passionate anti-slavery speech by Sumner, with which they disagreed. One might say these two were the first fascists of the Democratic Party, but they certainly have not been the last.

Democrats seceded from the union and fought to maintain slavery, ultimately losing in the bloodiest conflict the United States has ever known. Yet even after their defeat, they clung to the principals of white supremacy and found new ways to prevent freed slaves from obtaining their civil rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. Segregation, Jim Crow laws and even lynching were tactics employed to insure the black man would never be equal. The Ku Klux Klan and later white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups were spawned from within the Democratic Party. In the 1960s, Democrats fought against the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

These are facts of history, the history no longer taught in our schools, but the undeniably true history of our nation nonetheless. Even so, the Democratic Party of today acts like they had nothing to do with any of this. Even the Germans do not deny their history of the Nazi Party and the holocaust. I have visited the concentration camp at Dachau, and it is a stark reminder of that past, but it has not been purged from the German memory.

These white supremacists have now been labeled by the Democratic media as “Alt-Right,” but that is nothing more than an attempt to smear President Trump. They do not share a single principal with conservatives or the Republican Party, and all the rhetoric to the contrary is just that.

In recent years, we have seen a new violent arm of the Democratic Party come on the scene, the so called Anti-Fascists or ANTIFA. These lawless masked anarchists that confronted the white supremacist nationalists in Charlottesville have a history: Berkley, the 2017 inauguration violence and numerous gatherings of world leaders such as the G8 and G20 summits, just to name a few.

They’re not hard to figure out. Go on Twitter and Facebook or find their websites. They’re quite frank about their goals to overthrow government, their hate for the U.S. and capitalism, and their Communist beliefs. They are the fascists who violently stop the speech of anyone they disagree with, particularly conservatives, and they live to violently confront “The Nazis.”

So is it any wonder that when these two groups came together in Charlottesville, violence was the outcome? Without intervention, it was predictable and inevitable, and none was provided because the Democratic government officials at the scene were not interested in preventing it.

This is why the Democratic Party, like the monuments it erected and now are so vehemently opposed to, must be dismantled. There is no larger monument to racism and violence in our history than the Democratic Party, and it must not be allowed to continue destroying our nation.
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Virtus · September 17, 2017 at 5:42 am
Why you should care about Charlottesville, Richmond recent events. Monuments are just the tip of the iceberg.
Deplorable · September 14, 2017 at 11:56 pm
Ponder this. I think the largest "MONUMENT" to racism is the blacks in America. It was the racist whites in the south that brought them here. What does that monument stand for is debatable in today's political environment. If you visit Black Lives Matter sites they all seem to have different agendas. The one thing in common is their hatred of the white race. What they need is one leader, and one voice without all the foul language used on a regular basis. Go ahead and tear this monument down too and maybe AMERICA will be a better place to live.
Virtus · September 2, 2017 at 4:39 am
The "loud minority" (as in the "resist" movement) do not want peace.

Interesting to note that Fauquier Now is not covering the "March to Confront White Supremacy" (organized by 2 New Yorker agitators) that is planned to make a stop at 6437 Old Meetze Road in Warrenton later today on their way to the White House.

BJ · August 30, 2017 at 3:35 pm
Time is the only commodity we ALL are in short supply of, why do people want to spend it in hate and anger. Why do they do this? What drives them? Where do they think this will lead them? When will people understand they are strengthened by the discord between us, neighbor to neighbor? How can we as a community prevent this from happening in our area? Let's take away that power by working together, not mud slinging and name calling. Neither political party has clean hands, that's why I vote for who I think will be the best leader for our country, not a party. This last time around both party candidates were missing the "right ingredient" to make a successful President. When candidates spend millions and millions of dollars to get an office there is something very wrong with our system. If you stop the anger right here on this comment page, it's a beginning at least.
citizen observer · August 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm
Here's a little info on the other hate group that everyone is applauding and the news ignoring.

"Antifa, originally known in its native Germany as Antifaschistische Aktion, was founded as the militant wing of the German Communist Party. In the 1930s, it was known to be every bit as violent as its Nazi opponents. After World War Two, Antifa groups re-formed in Germany to collaborate with Soviet communists on subduing the country and rooting out its past to create a new socialist utopia. They were active in Communist-controlled East Germany until that country’s Stalinist leadership got fed up, broke the groups up, and sent many of their leaders to gulags.
When not the subject of national news attention, Antifa groups are even more wantonly violent. In 2012, as many as 18 Antifas from Bloomington, Indiana, the University of Indiana’s college town, busted into a family restaurant in Tinley Park, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago, because they heard a meeting of a tiny organization called the Illinois European Heritage Association. Unprovoked, the men smashed up the restaurant and attacked diners and employees, including those with absolutely no connection to the European Heritage Association lunch with clubs, crowbars, and batons. Only five of the assailants were ever caught and charged. Not one snitched on his fellow Antifas, and all served several years in prison. They are still regarded as heroes in the Antifa community, known as the Tinley Park Five.
Rusty Wheel · August 28, 2017 at 12:03 pm
guess he got to a libtard when he got 2u because you've been calling him and others names for a long time, huh, citizen observer, you Little Klannsman

Jim Griffin · August 28, 2017 at 10:28 am
I didn't vote for Hillary, but now I wish I had.
citizen observer · August 28, 2017 at 9:15 am
Thanks JG, they say you know you got to a libtard when they sink to calling you names.

How come you forget the dozens of scandals that occurred during the Obama administration? One can only imagine if the current administration is caught running guns to drug cartels. Or uses taxpayer monies to bail out the Wall Street crooks that caused the last financial crisis instead of locking them up and helping those affected like Sweden did. Obama's goal was to weaken the US and he did. I regretfully believed he was another FDR and voted for him.

And this is all my fault because I didn't vote for Hillary? Haha!
BJ · August 27, 2017 at 9:34 pm
Harper's Bazaar
Virgie Townsend

"White supremacists have called, so I must respond. As a descendant of slaveholders and Confederate soldiers, I want to tell the truth about the evil that my ancestors and the Confederacy perpetrated, the repercussions their crimes have today, and how I and other white people still benefit from discrimination against people of color." "White supremacists and Confederate apologists want other white people to join them in their half-baked fantasies of the antebellum South - plantations with white columns, dirt roads framed with Spanish moss, hoop skirts and mint juleps. But to love the Confederacy is to side with murderers, rapists, child abusers and thieves. White supremacy chokes off innovation and seeks to consolidate power within the hands of people who were too lazy and greedy to work their own land, care for their own children or pay employees for their work."
"Rallying around a statue of Robert E. Lee is the perfect encapsulation of white supremacy’s history - desperate white people going into battle because they’re scared of losing the power and comforts they’ve taken by exploiting people of color. Their invocation of “blood and soil” should be a reminder of the Africans, African Americans and indigenous Americans whose blood was spilled on American soil."

Jim Griffin · August 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm
Republicans control every level of our federal government. Republicans employ this nation's top law enforcement officers and had advance notice of Charlottesville. Republicans own this nation and its troubles. Complaining about Democrats and Obama is like talking about the World Series year before last. Does anybody even remember who played?

Own it. It's on you. Republican leaders are pointing fingers in the correct direction: We've cut off our head, our body is dying -- even Republicans begging to print more money -- and all you want to talk about is ... well, anything, anything at all other than the mess you've made. Grow up. For eight years Obama dug us out of Bush's hole -- the economy in collapse, banks and investment houses failing aplenty -- and now you want nothing more than to go back to those years during which our economy recovered and our standing in the world was renewed. Even deported more immigrants than Trump can muster and all we hear is "antifa, antifa, antifa" and "Obummer" Little citizen observer, you are a cry baby. Grow up and own the trouble you and yours have created.

The clear point you seem to have missed: Great Republicans know where the problem lies. They are making themselves clear and all you can muster is a sycophantic defense of the worst President in the history of this great nation.

If we did as you said and sentenced the "NWO takeover demons to prison," Trump would pardon them. No one is more ensnared in the NWO -- as you put it -- than is globalist Trump. whose golden showers brought November flowers.
citizen observer · August 27, 2017 at 1:04 pm
The Republican Party has been in shambles for many years. McCain and Romney being trounced by a guy that had to hide all his records was the start. Then Trump proved it by switching once again from a Democrat to a Republican and beat 16 of them for the RNC nomination. The right wingers hate him because he isn't a tea partier.

The Democratic party has become so corrupt but no one wants to admit it. Voter fraud in the 2008 Indiana Democratic primary gave Obama the forefront over Hillary. Since she kept quiet they promised her 2016, and thus denied so many other good candidates to compete against her. Any of them would have defeated Trump. Instead of admitting and fixing their problems they tell everyone to take it to the streets and violently protest anything he does. Not how things should be handled in the USA.

If Charlottesville has become a defining moment; then the Clintonite Governor and mayor failing to perform due diligence to prevent the violence fit right into their and Tim Kaine's agenda.

Time for a new political party to develop in this country. Congress is the real problem but doubt any of those corrupt morons are going to do anything useful.

It has been said that no one will ever be able to overtake the US, it will fall from within. Sadly that is going to be the case if people don't wake up soon, start compromising again, and put the NWO takeover demons in prison.
Jim Griffin · August 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm
Every words a Republican's, these from Mitt Romney, once Republican standard-bearer for President, a Mormon and clearly conservative:

Mitt Romney on Friday issued a lengthy, scathing rebuke of President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend, saying he had caused "the vast heart of America to mourn."

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Romney said that Trump's words blaming "many sides" for the violence "caused racists to rejoice" and "minorities to weep."

"His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric."

"The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize," Romney said.

Trump sparked an uproar Tuesday when he said there were "very fine people" on both sides of a white supremacist rally in Virginia.

Republicans widely denounced the remarks, while David Duke, a former leader of the KKK, and white supremacist Richard Spencer were quick to praise them.

"Once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association," Romney wrote.

"In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means. Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence?"

"Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America's ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished," he added. "And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11?"
Romney said the controversy over Charlottesville is a "defining moment" for Trump.

"But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children. They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country."
Jim Griffin · August 27, 2017 at 9:33 am
Every word a Republican's, these words from Gary Cohn, chosen by Trump to serve as his top economic advisor:

"This administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities," Cohn told the Financial Times.

Cohn said he felt compelled "to voice my distress over the events of the last two weeks."

Cohn, who is Jewish, was reportedly "disgusted" and "appalled" with Trump's response to white nationalists' role in the violence in Charlottesville. The president blamed "both sides" for the violence, which left one counterprotester dead.

"Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK," Cohn told the FT.
Jim Griffin · August 27, 2017 at 9:29 am
Every word a Republican's, this excerpt from the conclusion of John Danforth, this past week, Missouri's ex-AG and three terms a Republican senator:

"To my fellow Republicans: We cannot allow Donald Trump to redefine the Republican Party. That is what he is doing, as long as we give the impression by our silence that his words are our words and his actions are our actions. We cannot allow that impression to go unchallenged."

"As has been true since our beginning, we Republicans are the party of Lincoln, the party of the Union. We believe in our founding principle. We are proud of our illustrious history. We believe that we are an essential part of present-day American politics. Our country needs a responsibly conservative party. But our party has been corrupted by this hateful man, and it is now in peril."

"In honor of our past and in belief in our future, for the sake of our party and our nation, we Republicans must disassociate ourselves from Trump by expressing our opposition to his divisive tactics and by
clearly and strongly insisting that he does not represent what it means to be a Republican."
Virtus · August 27, 2017 at 6:23 am
Greg Lane,

For your consideration, an article not Southen Poverty Law Center. Note that the FBI no longer uses them as a hate group resource.
citizen observer · August 26, 2017 at 7:07 pm
Silii- you need to do some research. Obama divided this country by race, religion, class, and political party for a reason. People need to wake up before it's too late and all our freedoms evaporate.

University of Toledo criminologist Dr. Richard R. Johnson examined the latest crime data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports and Centers for Disease Control and found that an average of 4,472 black men were killed by other black men annually between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2012. That's over 16,000 blacks killed by blacks in 4 years. Can you name one? Probably not, as the media only focuses when a white police officer is involved. That's racism at its very root and has nothing to do with Trump.

BJ and JG- it is going to take a Convention of States to adopt amendment 28 I think it is. It reforms Congress as to term limits, no exemptions from laws passed, and campaign financing restrictions. I doubt Congress is going to do anything to shut the door on their own corrupt gold mines.
Silii · August 26, 2017 at 3:20 pm
The largest monument representing racism in the United States is Donald Trump. He needs to go - bigoted, racist, cruel. Until he and his hate speech are gone, his childish showing off while spewing hate and racism at his "rallies," there is no hope to fight the infection of racism in the United States.
MinaWall · August 26, 2017 at 9:09 am
Vitriol, misinformation, cherry picking out-of-date historical facts with no other aim than the wholesale bashing of a national political party: what does this have to do with local news? I don't read fauquiernow to brush up on alt-right propaganda.
GregLane · August 26, 2017 at 8:51 am
Just so everyone is aware, another version of this article was originally published on the website American Thinker:

This is a website that has been featured in the SPLC's Hatewatch before, for example here:

So congrats, FauquierNow for reproducing hate propaganda for the community. Well done.
Jim Griffin · August 24, 2017 at 6:05 pm
BJ: No disagreement with you at all. I simply wrote about how the Supreme Court stands in the way of implementing your good judgment, with which I concur, and about how I don't think that will change during our lifetimes. But God speed to your proposals and thinking, which I think superior to the Supreme Court's thoughts on the issue.
BJ · August 24, 2017 at 6:01 pm
Jim, If we can't stop people from donating to campaigns then at least we need to put a cap on those donations.
Jim Griffin · August 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm
I've never been reluctant to support law enforcement, but my response here is more challenge than reluctant forced recognition. Either do it or its fake news. Focus on the issues at hand, run the government and prosecute the criminals, and where that includes antifa I have no problem with locking them up. Never have expressed a problem with that.

Meanwhile, there's a dead young woman and dozens maimed. A government adrift and almost out of money. Health care. Russians. The Navy. POTUS wishes Republican senators dead. And so on.

Traverse, the transference is yours and you wear a hood like a Klansman. End that. Stand like a man behind your comments or admit you are a child who is dirtying his pants. I've offered to buy you a drink and talk like adults, but you reject it with your snowflake fake fear. You admit your friends call you "bat-shit crazy" so believe you me it's me who is reluctant to meet, but, hey, it's the neighborly thing to offer.

The left did not call a march through Charlottesville. Nazis and fascists did. You want to deflect and transfer to the crowd, the victim, the left, whomever, whatever as long you don't need to own up to the terror and idiocy you've wrought.

So got for it! Jeff Sessions and the FBI prosecute Antifa or it's fake, fake, fake distractions. I expect to see investigations, arrests, subpoenas, prosecutions, allegations of criminal collusion and long sentences. Add Soros to the list if it leads there. It's 2017 and nothing happens without video, pictures and recordings.

"Stop shifting the blame for other’s hateful acts, onto your political opposition. It’s a despicable and vindictive act that I’m sure you know is wrong." Your words, Traverse. Must've been staring the mirror when you wrote them.
Traverse · August 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I’m glad I was finally able to force you into recognizing that Antifa shares responsibility for the hate-fiasco in Charlottesville… it’s about time. Albeit too late to really be legitimate… It’s obvious that you did so reluctantly. But I believe in redemption. Better late than never I suppose.

But you still continue to use “transference” as I explained earlier… trying to shift the blame from the Charlottesville hate groups to others. Let’s work on that next. Stop shifting the blame for other’s hateful acts, onto your political opposition. It’s a despicable and vindictive act that I’m sure you know is wrong.

I agree with sshrader below… wise words can from both sides of the political spectrum. I hope you can grasp that concept Jim.

Regarding this closing comment from sshrader: "The point here is remove hatred from the field."… I couldn’t agree more! But after all the vile accusations towards the right from the left, the left will have to take the first step here. I’ll forgive them for their hate filled screams of racism towards me, my family, my friends, and the President, if they’ll state loudly and publicly that they were wrong. Until then, I’ll give back exactly what I’ve received. I’m no longer going to be civil to those that will not return the courtesy. I’ve stayed silent on this for four decades trying to conduct civil conversations with the left, but they just wouldn’t have any of it. You’re a racist,a homophobe, a misogynist they claim... and you hate the poor, the old, and babies, they scream... you want dirty air, dirty water, and to pave the wilderness… and on, and on and on. Now they’re trying to shift blame on me for Charlottesville (Jim Griffin’s a perfect example).

The left made this bed, and until they decide to cease their vile slander of others, we all have to lie in it.

Own it, Jim.

P.S. I don’t trust Jim. He seems a bit too focused on my identity. I wouldn’t feel safe with him knowing who I am, so I’ll continue to post anonymously for my safely and the safely of my family.
Jim Griffin · August 24, 2017 at 10:12 am

A pass? I say arrest them! Arrest, charge and prosecute them -- yes, Antifa, too -- for breaking the law. If the locals or state aren't to your liking, charge them with federal crimes, take them into custody and prosecute them, after which they can rot and protest in Federal prison. Nothing happens today without plenty of evidence. Not a word from me to the contrary. If anyone from any POV is breaking the law, act accordingly. No passes here.

Meanwhile, there was murder and maiming. Video of that, which included Nazis and fascists with torches, spraying lighter fluid, shouting about Jews. Like Romney, I say stay focused on it. It crosses the ultimate line and you want to distract from the issues that have Bannon -- is he a Trump hating liberal, too? -- declaring the Trump presidency over.

It is rich you cite the KKK wearing hoods to conceal their identity! Welcome to Traverse-land! Take off the hood, Traverse. You conceal your identity in public just like the Klan, and for the same reason. The shame. The stain.

Antifa, but antifa, antifa! Arrest them, no pass here. Like I read somewhere else this morning, while you blame the victim of murder and point the finger at the crowd, POTUS has depleted the $385b in the bank when he took office, wants to print more, health care is worse than ever, the military is challenged when we need them most and Russian interference in the elections is a shoe waiting to drop from a team of aggressive conservative prosecutors. It's a Republican government. Own it, Traverse.
sshrader · August 24, 2017 at 9:48 am
"Given the enormous challenges we face, the political arena is a place where we ought to be having reasoned discourse about what’s best for our country; doing so depends upon the ability to think in the presence of intense emotion, a very difficult thing to do. Intense emotion is the enemy of thought, whether it’s a sentimental glow that blinds us to harsh reality, or hatred that makes us unable to see the other side of an issue...
Whatever your political alignment, try to imagine a typical member of the opposing party. I don’t mean the politicians but rather Joe or Jane Voter. You probably hold an image of such a person already, and it likely tends to stereotype. What is your fictional Joe Voter like? Is Jane Voter a caricature? How do you feel about him or her? Have you ever actually known somebody just like that in a more-than-casual way?
Next try to humanize Joe or Jane. For the most part, we tend to associate with people who share our viewpoint, but no doubt you’ve come into contact with members of the “other side” who don’t fit your stereotype. They feel pain, struggle to make ends meet, and experience loss just the way you do. The point here is remove hatred from the field. Now for the real challenge: think about their political positions without automatically rejecting them. Any areas of agreement? Any merit to their arguments, once you strip away the overcharged emotional rhetoric? If you can’t respect their point of view, at least try not to view it with contempt and hostility."

Yes, the author leans lib. but the message is a good one for all. "The point here is remove hatred from the field."

Traverse · August 24, 2017 at 9:07 am
The feeling is mutual Jim... you disgust me as well... truly.

Yes Jim… I completely disagree with you that it was only the one side’s fault. Because unlike you, I actually seek the truth in this matter… not another chance to bash the right… like you do by ignoring Antifa’s part in the whole disgusting Charlottesville affair. It takes two to tango Jim, and you predictably quote the Trump hater Mitt Romney… but only because for this one small issue, Mitt agrees with you in his hate for the President. Your hate blinded both of your abilities to see reality. There are two guilty sides here... plus the sick driver. I (and President Trump) give no one a pass... like you do Jim.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

The Democrats created the KKK (white supremacists) in an attempt to keep blacks in their place after the civil war. They wore white hoods to shield their identity. Over the last century, rest of the country has since shamed the KKK into irrelevance where they belong.

With the absence of their former military wing (KKK), the Democrats have now created Antifa, a new violent fascist organization, designed to thwart all efforts to oppose the historically racist Democrat party, and their relentless march towards socialism. This time they wear black hoods to conceal their identity instead of the white ones. The rest of the country is trying to shame this new group of violent leftists into irrelevance where they belong, just like we did with the KKK.

Jim Griffin (and others here at FN), consistently give Antifa a pass because they fight for the same cause... socialism.

How ironic these two groups, both created by the Democrats, are responsible for the Charlottesville race riots... and much of the hateful violence seen around the country over the last few years. It's sickening and despicable that the left uses all this violence of their own creation, to try and transfer their responsibility to the President and his supporters.

As I commented earlier (quote from D'Souza), and I think it bears mentioning again, because its spot on for what we're experiencing now with socialists like Jim:

“Sigmund Freud called it “transference,” “When the guilty party takes his own crimes and sins, tries to project them onto someone else."
Jim Griffin · August 24, 2017 at 7:07 am
I have no support for lawlessness, but I stand like all good people unabashedly against fascism in all its forms. Mitt Romney -- Republican candidate for president and unquestionably conservative -- declared the Nazis and fascists marching in Charlottesville 100% at fault, a sentiment that matches mine.

Do you Traverse disagree? Is that the conclusion we are to draw?

Or shall we simply put fake words in your mouth as you did mine? At least we'd be doing it with our real names instead of hiding like the snowflake you are.

Like I wrote, I am fine with keeping the monuments. Not my issue. Are you challenged, Traverse? Do you have cognitive difficulties? Trouble reading and remembering?

I give them no pass and no comment other than follow the law, but I will note we sent half a million soldiers to give their lives putting fascism down, probably the biggest "antifa" ever and I support fighting fascism with everything we've got.

Here's where I focus my attention: Like Mitt Romney, I focus on the idiots that killed and maimed in Charlottesville. Apparently you stand with them, Traverse. Clearly so. Oh, and it's "with malice aforethought" and the only thing worse is maintaining that malice even after they killed, which is your MO. You disgust me.
Traverse · August 24, 2017 at 5:42 am
Once again Jim Griffin knowingly and with malice of forethought gives the fascist and anti-American hate group Antifa a pass for thier participation in the violent Charlottesville riots. Jim clearly supports Antifa.
Jim Griffin · August 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm
Firefly: I am fine with the monuments and statues. I truly do not care either way -- it is up to each generation to choose and maintain its public art. Was not even on my radar until ... Fascists put it at the top of their agenda and used it as pretext to march with torches, screaming about Jews and spraying light fluid.

I like where I live. I have no action plan for change save for watching our son grow into the world and make it his own along with his friends. We pass it along.

The only issue I have is renaming Comfort Inn Drive in front of the Baymont Hotel. It simply no longer fits -- the street sign is odd -- but I fear it has its defenders. I'd prefer to name it after some local hero.

No crusades, though. Nothing itching to change. Simply an aversion to Nazis, fascists who kill and maim under a permit to peacefully assemble. And while I expect everyone to behave, that is less likely when sprayed with lighter fluid, especially by fascists with torches, and I am always 100% against Nazis. Like Mitt Romney, I think it's all their fault and I don't see that as a liberal POV.
Firefly · August 23, 2017 at 4:02 pm
How ironic that MissB says “Times change and people change. The democrat and republican parties of today are not the same as they were in the 1800s.” So if times and people change, and things aren’t the same today as they were in the 1800s, then why is the left so unable to apply that same thinking when it comes to Civil War soldiers (and statues of them) as well as the entire history of slavery in this country? The memory of our past, tragic as parts of it are, can’t be completely erased, nor should it be. We have changed, and we view history from today’s perspective, just as our descendants will view us from their perspective in the future. We attempt to understand how people of earlier centuries acted based on the beliefs, customs and culture of those periods—but preserving, understanding and learning from the past is not tantamount to approving of everything they did. It’s this lack of perspective and objectivity that is so disturbing, the hysterical attempt on the part of the left and many in the media to distort and co-op the past for blatantly political purposes. The threatened allegation of “racism” is being used as a cudgel to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with the politically correct agenda, with implied threats of violence used as a backup. The game plan appears to be (1) remove all public symbols and references to past racial injustice; (2) rewrite history accordingly, to support current political agendas; (3) get rid of Trump; (4) get rid of the Constitution and Declaration, completely irrelevant and detrimental since they were written by evil white slaveholders; (5) move into a socialist utopia.

If America’s (especially the South’s) past is suddenly so horribly tainted that we can no longer tolerate any reminders of it, then I invite the self-righteous left to mount a campaign to strip Fauquier County of all public reminders of our slave-holding past. They can start with the statue of John Marshall that sits in front of the Circuit Court, as Marshall owned a number of slaves and never freed them. Ditto for Francis Fauquier, another slaveholder, and John Mosby who, though he didn’t own slaves, fought for the Confederacy. All statues and memorials to these men, among others, must be taken down immediately. Tourism brochures extolling them must be rewritten. The county must be renamed for someone other than Fauquier, likewise the town of Marshall. Streets must be renamed. All businesses which use these names must be shamed into compliance. The large memorial to Confederate soldiers in our local cemetery must be removed. The city of Manassas has decided to cancel its upcoming Civil War Weekend, and our county is doing likewise, cancelling Fauquier Heritage Day. Hopefully there will be no more Civil War events, reenactments or depictions ever again. This is just a short list to get our local crusaders started; I’m sure they’ll think of many more evils to address as they gear up for action. Failure to act will brand them as racists.
Jim Griffin · August 23, 2017 at 12:42 pm
I find myself in agreement with the last four posts here, but I must remark upon the futility of the effort and the need to focus our efforts elsewhere.

Why? US Supreme Court says money is speech, worse still that corporations share these rights with people. Highly unlikely to change during our lifetimes. POTUS/Congress cannot vote to change these rules without violating the Constitution, which we would need to amend to permit change in this area.

I'm not for re-writing the US Constitution. I adore its free speech, free association provisions (and much more). A constitutional convention would prove more contentious than a Charlottesville rally.
MissB · August 23, 2017 at 9:40 am
BJ is absolutely correct. We need to stop the huge sums of money spent on campaigns by PACs and special interest groups. We cannot continue to allow the selling of our voices to the highest bidder. The elected person should be representing their constituents; not a party, not a special interest, not the highest bidder but all their constituents.
BJ · August 23, 2017 at 7:46 am
Allowing people to donate to a campaign fund needs to be stopped completely. The Politicians are answering to the donors not the People. IMHO they are being bribed. The amount of money being spent on campaigns also need to be curtailed, it has risen to insane levels. Both parties are out of touch with the average American. Living in million dollar homes, flying to events in government planes, and wearing $1000 suits is not what the rest of us have or do.
Rover 530 · August 22, 2017 at 6:47 pm
This is all BS. The Democratic Party, 'warts' and all, is not going away. It is not the party it was in the past and neither is the Republican Party. The national and Virginia Democratic parties need a major overhaul of their leaderships. The DNC is non-functional as it is constituted and the Democratic Party of Virginia is so welded to special interest groups which include every minority imaginable and the labor unions (which have little clout in a right-to-work state like Virginia); all equally sitting at the same table to the exclusion of many. The majority of the state party that provided the most volunteers, money and strategic and tactical expertise has been marginalized and alienated. They're not leaving the party but now remain inert and silent.

The Democratic Party is not dead and does not need to be dismantled. It does need to jettison it's current leadership and install people who have a real vision for the Commonwealth and the Nation.
Freedom warrior · August 22, 2017 at 5:23 pm
This all contains a certain level of sadness, to see Americans tearing apart other Americans. The divisive nature of politics is the truest, and longest lasting legacy of BOTH parties. It really puts into focus what matters in life - for me, that I am a Christian before I am an American. The teachings of Christ are filled with tolerance, and it is good to be reminded of this from time to time. And so I am reminded of that now. May you all have similar moments of clarity before you hit that comment button. Just remember, we are all neighbors sotospeak.
Freedom warrior · August 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm
Serious questions for Mr. Jones. I am curious to follow through on the logic here. So let's say the Democratatic Party is what becomes of the people that were once members and/or supporters?? Are they to be barred from voting in election contests? Would they be welcome in the Republican Party? What if people wanted to publicly shame these people for their anti-American inclinations? Is that okay?

And how is the party to be dismantled?
Traverse · August 22, 2017 at 4:38 pm
A few recent quotes from Dinesh D’Souza (A very brave man who would not be silenced, and jailed for his political views by the Obama administration, who I greatly admire):

“The racism in the Democratic Party today has taken on a new form. It’s still there, and we know its there. We actually saw hints of it during the presidential campaign when private conversations among Democrats showed that they talked very differently in private about minorities than they talk in public,” he said. “The public racism is gone. Democrats today don’t go on the Senate floor and start using the ‘N’ word in the way that they used to in the ’20s and ’30s. But we see a similarity today in the way that the Democrats use minorities, particularly African-Americans.”

“Look at all of these neighborhoods, Oakland, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago – these places are as miserably off now as they were in 1968. Trillions of dollars of money have been spent and yet somehow the places never seem to get better,” he said. “But the Democrats don’t mind it that way. Why? Because they have one-party rule in those places. And they are able to get what they want out of the minority groups, which is votes.”

“I knew that there were some chilling similarities between things that were going on in the Democratic Party in the United States and the Nazi Party in Germany. A case in point is that the Democrats for example had the Ku Klux Klan, an organization with three to five million members. The Nazi Party had the Nazi Brownshirts, also three-five million members,” he said. “Both were kind of para-military organizations. Both practiced racial terrorism – the Klan focusing on blacks but also other minorities, the Nazi Brownshirts focusing on Jews.”

“But what I didn’t know is that the Nazis, and Hitler particularly, got some of his most vicious and genocidal ideas from the American Democrats”

“Sigmund Freud called it “transference,” “When the guilty party takes his own crimes and sins, tries to project them onto someone else.”

Today’s article by Cameron Jones is spot on… the Democrat party is the largest monument to racism, and should be dismantled.
MissB · August 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm
Dude, calling democrats racist is soooo 2 Centuries ago. Times change and people change. The democrat and republican parties of today are not the same as they were in the 1800s.

No one can deny that there are extremists on both sides. And those extremists in many cases don't really fit in any mainstream party.

How about we stop with the generalized labels and address issues?

sshrader · August 22, 2017 at 1:10 pm
yes, oddball can be read as insulting, although I generally consider myself to be an oddball so I see it as low on the list of truly offensive terms. really i see oddball as just away from the norm.

This is what I said "he switched to the Republicans. MOST of them didn't want him but he was able to get the disenfranchised non-voters behind him. those are the old world Democrats that you speak of, the last of the old party that no longer had a place or someone to lead them, because their ways of thinking had gone out of favor with both parties."
I tried to be careful in wording to not imply that Trump was elected solely by the outliers. The point I was making was that the original author's premise of the Democrat party's racist past is not consistent with the current Democrat party, those old views are now partiless outliers. Try not to connect this with yourself, none of this was meant to offend.
Traverse · August 22, 2017 at 12:54 pm
sschader: I re-read your comments and they clearly imply that Trump was only elected because of outliers, who “have no place” and who’s “way of thinking” is not in favor. You could not be more inaccurate. Hundreds of millions of kind and decent Americans voted for a kind and decent man… but you would never grant us that truth would you?

I also found this little jewel… “It’s the president and his little group of oddballs”. I guess you must be referring to me. I, along with many other decent Americans, proudly worked on Trump’s campaign, and take offense at your implied insults. So it would appear my “low blows” as you called them, were actually justified, and were not low blows after all.

You go on to say the “white supremacists” vocally support Trump. Yes I agree… rather loudly too... and always with CNN’s cameras conveniently rolling to catch it. If they really did support Trump, do you think they would bark so loudly… so publically? Republicans share nothing with these vermin, and denounce them at every chance. Now why would these “supremacists” knowingly do so much damage to a cause they claim to support? Who is really benefiting from their sick display of hatred? The Democrat party… that’s who! Follow the logic and you come to some interesting conclusions.

The Democrat party is historically racist, and continues their association with racist hate groups today.
Jim Griffin · August 22, 2017 at 11:45 am
You lie: I did not ask you to shut up. I asked you to stand behind your words or shut up. As for suppressing speech, who's arguing for "dismantling" the other side?

That's not my conclusion. It's this web site's conclusion:

"For credibility, sign your real name; stand behind your comments. Readers will give less credence to anonymous posts."

Exactly my point, but you'll paint it however you want. It's your nature.

Clarifications for you:

1. I am not a Democrat. I did not vote in the last primary because I could not in good conscience take a ballot from either party.

2. The word "dismantle" speaks for itself in its reliance on force, not choice. If you're relying on choice, bad news for you: the Democratic lead in Virginia grows. Statewide election after election, Republican ranks dwindle. All of which explains the piece: Absent dismantling the Democrats, Republicans have little chance. What does it say when one team tries to prevent the other team from taking the field?
sshrader · August 22, 2017 at 11:43 am
Traverse-to be clear, and I'm sorry if I offended you, I do not believe that all of Trump's supporters are white supremacist. I did say that the white supremacists vocally supported trump. I know many Republicans who voted for Trump just because he was the Republican name on the ticket. He got an extra boost from the outliers
I was going to comment to some of your other remarks but I just can't even do that. those were low blows for no real reason. As I said earlier, I don't understand why anyone would take this so personally and get so emotional. politics should not Define us or divide us
Traverse · August 22, 2017 at 11:18 am
Correction... Mr. Jones... not Mr. Cameron.
Traverse · August 22, 2017 at 11:15 am
Jim’s on the ropes… he should cover up. The rope-a-dope he’s trying isn’t working. I think Jim just needs to “shut up”… as he put it to me earlier.

The falsehoods shamelessly typed below by sshrader aren’t working either. He/she continues the leftist attempts at painting Trump and his millions of supporters as “supremacists”, which is completely false, and everyone knows this. But slander and lying has become synonymous with liberalism, so no surprise there.

In my opinion, it’s the likes of sshrader and Jim Griffin that are the actual racists and supremacists… because they continue to associate with, and cover for the party of hate… the party of division and identity politics… the Democrat party, and all the racist organizations associated with their liberal/socialist political agenda (see my earlier post).

Liberals, Socialists, and Democrats (but I repeat myself) just can’t be trusted to tell the truth. Want a perfect example? Trump has a rally today… let’s just see how the liberal media (but I repeat myself) portrays it on their “news” shows. You actually don’t even have to wait, they’re already misrepresenting, slandering, falsifying, and generally just promoting hate for Trump and anyone who dares to stand with him… just like Jim and sshrader.

All this just adds additional evidence (but not really needed) to Mr. Cameron’s well researched article about the Democrat party being the party that owns racism and hate.

I agree with Mr. Cameron that the Democrat party is the biggest monument in history to racism, and should be dismantled. But not forced by the government a Jim suggested (socialists just love using force… it permeates their thinking), but rather by millions of good Americans coming to the realization about just what the Democrat party really represents, and leaving the party of hate of their own free will.
Jim Griffin · August 22, 2017 at 9:48 am
This stuff is rich! Howlingly funny, some of the summer's most humorous entertainment. Hey, Alec Baldwin is on vacation so we need to rely upon substitute imposters. In that vein, we are fortunate to have Traverse and friends.

(Who names themselves after a mediocre car, especially when they do so to avoid vandalism of their own? If he owns a Traverse, it would be double-rich. We must wonder if the vandals explained themselves with a note reasoning their attack on his vehicle. Police report or it's fake news!)

How can you make this stuff up? One guy calls me a "brownshirt" for so-called suppression of speech when the guy whose view he is supporting is calling for a government shutdown of a whole political party!

It's all childish reasoning: "No, you are one!" A last reminder of summer playground fun. Sigh. Wish the tomatoes and corn were better this summer!

P.S. I found Jeffersonian American interesting. And useful! More speech!
sshrader · August 22, 2017 at 9:30 am
Cameron Jones we've all seen the parties shift throughout the years, less dramatic shifts then what happened when we get into the Wayback machine that you speak of but both parties are always changing, evolving and adapting. And both parties have had to deal with Trump. He tried to be a Democrat, they wouldn't have him so he switched to the Republicans. most of them didn't want him but he was able to get the disenfranchised non-voters behind him. those are the old world Democrats that you speak of, the last of the old party that no longer had a place or someone to lead them, because their ways of thinking had gone out of favor with both parties. even now many Republicans are keeping their distance, unhappy with the positions that Trump is taking. the Discord is not Democrat versus Republican it's the president and his little group of oddballs versus almost everyone else. The supremacists do not share views with Republicans but they made it clear that they were voting for and support Trump so they must share views with him or at least see something in him that they think works for them, they certainly weren't voting for any of the Democrats. And to state the obvious, an anarchist group would not be associated with either side.
Jeffersonian American · August 22, 2017 at 9:20 am
I wish to close this remembrance with a few brief parting thoughts.


It has been written by historian Wayne Whipple over 85 years ago, that if George Washington was the father our country, then Robert E. Lee was most certainly the redeemer of our country. As George Washington, by force of the personal love of all the people, was able to join the States together in a mutual bond called the Constitution of the United States, so Robert E. Lee through the pure and lofty loyalty of his life, brought back into one, the eleven states that had seceded against his will. Lee himself wrote eloquently in the last days of his life, “My experience of men has neither disposed me to think worse of them nor indisposed me to serve them; in spite of failures which I lament, of errors which I now see and acknowledge, or of the present aspect of affairs, do I despair of the future. The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”

Dr. Freeman noted this was the counsel of a man who not only was capable of accurate observation and precise reason, but who also was absolute master of his own soul. The Confederates came to consider it as much the course of patriotism to emulate General Lee in peace as it had been to follow him in war. More than any other American, General Lee kept the tragedy of the war from being a continuing national calamity.

Former student Judge D. Gardiner Tyler recollected 50 years after Lee’s passing, “The hero whose name is a blessing to speak had become an eternal memory.” Indeed the life of Lee personified the very message found in Micah: “He hath showed thee, O Man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

As a Past President within the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution, a Life Member Virginia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, and a U.S. Navy Veteran, I am deeply honored to have shared with all my heartfelt admiration and love for this great Virginian and great American.

Robert Edward Lee was one of our greatest Americans for his many high and noble qualities. His enduring influence upon the lives of many generations of Americans has been as deep and inspiring as any ever known. We as a nation should continue to profit from his example by keeping his spirit and memory alive in our minds and in our society. His is a legacy that current generations of Americans would be well-served to learn, to honor and remember, and to keep dear in our hearts.

I wish to close with a verse written long ago that seems most appropriate for the legacy of Robert Edward Lee:

“Ah the world has its praise for the men who prevail,

For the victors who triumph by wrong and by might;

But the heart has its love for the vanquished who fail, yet battle for right.

And their names, they will shine when the conquerors pale
Like stars in the night.”

Thank you for your time and attention. (END)
Jeffersonian American · August 22, 2017 at 8:55 am
In the months following the War Between the States, many substantial riches were offered to Lee for use of his name or for his product endorsements and for his memoirs; and General Lee turned down all of them to assume the Presidency of the tiny Washington College, an institution in 1865 that was over 100 years old and all but destroyed by the Federal army during General Hunter’s burning of the Shenandoah Valley. Yet as soon Lee was convinced his disenfranchised, prisoner-at-large status would not be an encumbrance, he gladly accepted the position for this stated reason: “I have a self-imposed task which I must accomplish. I have led the men of the South in battle, I have seen many of them die on the field; I shall devote my remaining energies to training young men to do their duty in life.”

On October 2, 1865, Lee was inducted into the Presidency of Washington College and immediately directed his energies into rebuilding and transforming the burned-out ruins of this historically significant college. What Lee accomplished in the remaining five years of his life, few educators or university presidents today could dream of accomplishing across the span of their entire careers.

On Founder’s Day in 1921, Dr. Henry Louis Smith, President of Washington and Lee University, paid tribute to his predecessor in part with these words: “With tireless devotion, he threw himself into the work of education and administration. With an educational originality many years in advance of his time, he added to the old-fashioned classical curriculum of Washington College, schools of engineering, journalism, commerce, and law; gathered students, teachers, buildings, and endowments on Washington’s foundation; fixed for all time the institution’s ideals of character and chivalry; and then, worn out by his ceaseless and indefatigable labors, fell at his post and bequeathed to it his ever-widening influence, his sacred dust and his incomparable name.”

Professor Edward S. Joynes, half a century later, recalled his days serving under Lee as a faculty member and the General’s remarkable way of molding the character of impressionable young men:

In dealing with the young men General Lee had a truly marvelous success. The students fairly worshipped him, and deeply dreaded his displeasure; yet so kind, affable, and gentle was he toward them that all loved to approach him. Still, an official summons to his office struck terror even into the most hardened.

A young fellow, whose general record was none too good, was summoned to answer for absence. He stated his excuse, and then, hesitatingly, he added another and another. “Stop, Mr. --------,” said General Lee, “one good reason should be sufficient to satisfy an honest mind,” with emphasis on the word “honest,” that spoke volumes.

Another excellent student, now a distinguished lawyer in Tennessee, was once beguiled into an un-excused absence. The dreaded summons came. With his heart in his boots he entered General Lee’s office. The General met him smiling: “Mr. M., I am glad to see you are better.” “But General, I have not been sick.” “Then I am glad to see you have better news from home.” “But, General, I have had no bad news.” “Ah,” said the General, “I took it for granted that nothing less than sickness or distressing news from home could have kept you from your duty.” Mr. M. told me, in relating the incident, that he then felt as if he wished the earth would open and swallow him.

Former student Richard W. Rogers of Zebulon, Georgia recollected:

Inquiries are often made of me about General Lee as a disciplinarian. Never was there a body of young men under finer control, and yet there was never any evidence of control. General Lee’s slightest wish was law for the student body. We all honored and respected him, and obeyed, yet no word was ever said of discipline. At the end of each month, a list of names was published on the bulletin board with the request to call at General Lee’s office. These were the boys who were not making good, either in class standing or in deportment. Each one was interviewed privately, no one on the outside ever knowing what passed. It was the rarest thing that a student needed a second interview. I once asked a student what General Lee said to him in his interview. He declared that he did not remember, but said that he talked to him like a father. He said: “I was so frightened when I first went in that I forgot to say ‘Good morning.’" (CONTINUED)
Jeffersonian American · August 22, 2017 at 8:42 am
I wish to add there have been many tributes over the years paid by our nation to honor Lee. Among the most notable honors dates from 1959, with the naming of one of the nation’s newest, state-of-the-art Polaris Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines, the USS ROBERT E. LEE (SSBN 601). This proud boat and her brave crews were in service from 1960 until 1973, serving with distinction as the protector of our nation against all aggressors, having performed more nuclear deterrent patrol missions across the globe during that Cold War period than any other U.S. nuclear submarine in our extensive Fleet.

And higher still, were the honors given to Lee during Project Apollo in the early 1970’s, when the last two ambitious manned lunar landings were made by Americans with both missions dedicated purely to scientific advance. In keeping with old tradition, naming rights as explorers were given to these Apollo astronauts for the prominent lunar geologic features found in their stunningly beautiful landing sites; for their mission planning purposes, traverse maps, and visual reference points on the lunar surface. For these previously unseen vistas and silent ramparts, Apollo 16 Commander John Young named “Stone Mountain” to honor Lee in the Cayley Plains formation, in the rugged Descartes Highlands region they visited in April, 1972. For the last lunar exploration mission to the breathtaking Taurus-Littrow Valley in December, 1972, on the right edge of the Sea of Serenity, Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt named the prominent, 285-foot high ridge that spanned the five-mile wide valley, “Lee Scarp.” This was the only lunar mare ridge ever visited by man. It was a fitting tribute for this great American, and it was a spectacular end to the Apollo program.

Finally, to correct a longstanding error in American history, a modest ceremony on the porch at Arlington House was held in August, 1975, where President Gerald R. Ford signed into law a congressional resolution that restored Lee’s citizenship with the words, “General Lee’s character has been an example to succeeding generations, making the restoration of his citizenship an event in which every American can take pride.”


Shortly after the War Between the States, upon hearing a minister bitterly denouncing the North from his pulpit, after the service Lee advised the rector, “Doctor, there is a good old Book which says, ‘Love your enemies.’ Do you think your remarks this evening were quite in the spirit of that teaching?” The pastor was astonished to hear from a man who had suffered so much at the hands of the North speak without resentment. Lee continued, “I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South dearest rights. But I have never cherished bitter or vindictive feelings, and have never seen the day when I did not pray for them.”

The Reverend J. William Jones, who served as a Chaplain in daily contact with Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia and subsequently at Washington College, authoritatively characterized Lee’s devout Christian faith at a Centennial celebration in 1907:

There is a natural tendency to conceal the faults and exalt the virtues of great men. Those whose lives gave no evidence whatever of Christian or even moral character have been written up, by their eulogists, as saints whom the world should warmly admire if not worship. There have been in these later years some very sad examples of this, which might be cited if it were proper to do so. This makes intelligent readers disposed to receive cum grano salis what may be said of the Christian character of any public man.

General Lee was an Episcopalian, and sincerely attached to the church of his choice, but his large heart took in Christians of every name, and not a few will cordially indorse the remarks made by the venerable Dr. W. S. White,—Stonewall Jackson’s old pastor,—who said with deep feeling during the memorial services, “He belonged to one branch of the church, and I to another. Yet in my intercourse with him—an intercourse rendered far more frequent and intimate by the tender sympathy he felt in my ill health—the thought never occurred to me that we belonged to different churches. His love for the truth, and for all that is good and useful, was such as to render his brotherly kindness and charity as boundless as were the wants and sorrows of the race.

If I have ever come in contact with a sincere, devout Christian—one who, seeing himself to be a sinner, trusted alone in the merits of Christ—who humbly tried to walk the path of duty, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” and whose piety was constantly exemplified in his daily life, that man was the world’s great soldier, and model man, Robert Edward Lee. (CONTINUED)
Jeffersonian American · August 22, 2017 at 8:38 am
- From Lord Wolseley, commander of the English armies,

“I have met many of the great men of my time, but Lee alone impressed me with the feeling that I was in the presence of a man who was cast in a grander mold and made of different and finer metal than all other men. He is stamped upon my memory as a being apart and superior to all others in every way, a man with whom none I ever knew and very few of whom I have read are worthy to be classed.”

Brought to testify before Congress against charges of treason, Lee reminded the lawmakers that “my army was fighting for Constitutional Government.” The indictment against General Lee was dropped on legal grounds, but President Johnson paid no attention to his application for citizenship, and so Lee became a man without a country, yet he earnestly urged other men to become citizens of that country. In one of the saddest ironies of our national history, Lee, who by his own personal influence had done more for the country than any other living man in bringing back the Southern states into the Union, was not allowed even to cast his vote which had now become the privilege of the meekest former slave and freeman. Despite this error, many U.S. Presidents and world leaders have singled out Lee for praise and remembrance in subsequent decades:

- From President Theodore Roosevelt,

"[Lee was] without any exception the very greatest of all the great captains that the English-speaking peoples have brought forth."

- From President Franklin D. Roosevelt,

"I am happy to take part in this unveiling of the statue of Lee. All over the United States we recognize him, as a great general. But also, all over the United States, I believe we recognize him as something much more than that. We recognize Robert E. Lee as one of our greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen."

- From Sir Winston Churchill,

"Lee was the noblest American who had ever lived and one of the greatest commanders known to the annals of war."

- From General George C. Marshall who recollected near the end of his life,

“I was greatly influenced by the traditions concerning General Lee and
General Jackson. I went to frequent services in the Washington and Lee Chapel where the effigy of General Lee rested behind the chapel over the vault in which he is buried, and I had plenty of time to reflect. I might say, incidentally, I persuaded General Pershing to go to the V.M.I. after he had finished a visit to West Point when he first came back from France. He was received in the Washington and Lee Chapel with great ceremony and stood in front of the effigy of General Lee and made his remarks.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a lifelong admirer of Lee, kept a portrait of General Lee in the Oval Office all eight years of his presidency. President Eisenhower, himself a serious student of history more likely than any U.S. president since, eloquently explained his Oval Office photograph to a cynical American from Massachusetts with these eloquent words in August, 1960 that are worth repeating to our current generation of American citizens; and to our elected officials in Washington, D.C., in Virginia, and across the nation:

Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War Between the States the issue of Secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.

General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.

Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall. (CONTINUED)
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