That is a rhetorical question, because that's what Donald Trump did today during a speech in New York. Trump being Trump, he went off track and in the course of which, completely backtracked on his barely lukewarm "denunciation" of the far-right that he gave yesterday. Instead, he returned to the theme of his first response to the far-right rally and terror attack in Charlottesville, namely blaming "all sides" while making it crystal clear that he was really only blaming one side and the wrong side - the counter-protesters. It was also when he compared two great Americans to one bad one by asking if statues of Washington and Jefferson would be taken down next.
|Great men who created and led a great nation.|
Portraits by Gilbert Stuart and Rembrandt Peale, respectively.
|Traitor McTraitorface, also known as Robert E. Lee.|
Photograph by Julian Vannerson.
Robert Edward Lee and his cohorts of the abortive Confederate States of America, on the other hand, do not enjoy that luxury and never should. They were not heroes, not a one of them deserving any praise of accolades. They were traitors. They took up arms against not just the lawful authority of the United States government, but against their fellow Americans who stood with the Union in her darkest hour. They made the decision that the maintenance of slavery was more important than the nation. They were the ones who resigned their commissions in the Army of the United States only to don the uniform of the rebelling states. And they were the ones who led troops into battle and shed the blood of their fellow countrymen.
And these men deserve monuments erected in their honor? I think not.
It's also well worth mentioning that the Ku Klux Klan was founded by ex-Confederates after the Civil War as a blatant terrorist organization. In addition to its racism, it was also antisemitic, anti-Catholic, and anti-immigration. These are the people Donald Trump calls "nice people".
These are not good people, nice people. These are, combined with the neo-Nazis and other white nationalists, people who would gladly force this country into something the world hasn't seen in over seventy years. These are people who abhor everything this country stands for and should not be endorsed, defended, or otherwise supported by the person who calls himself the President of the United States.