Conservatives Stand with America’s Monuments – History Matters

July 2, 2020
Washington, DC

Conservatives applaud President Donald Trump for issuing his June 26 “Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence.” The President’s unequivocal statement denounces recent nationwide assaults on revered American monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, statues of former Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Jackson, and even military veterans and Christian leaders who worked to abolish slavery.

As stated in the Executive Order, “Many of the rioters, arsonists, and left-wing extremists who have carried out and supported these acts have explicitly identified themselves with ideologies – such as Marxism – that call for the destruction of the United States system of government.”

The document adds, “Individuals and organizations have the right to peacefully advocate for either the removal or the construction of any monument. But no individual or group has the right to damage, deface, or remove any monument by use of force.”

Citing several statutes, the Executive Order resolves to prosecute to the fullest extent permitted under federal law “any person or entity that destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates a monument, memorial, or statue within the United States.” It also notes that some state and local governments “appear to have surrendered to mob rule, imperiling community safety, allowing for the wholesale violation of our laws, and privileging the violent impulses of the mob over the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

The Order directs the Attorney General to provide assistance to “State and local law enforcement authorities in connection with their investigations or prosecutions for the desecration of monuments, memorials, and statues, regardless of whether such structures are situated on Federal property.”

Accordingly, A.G. Barr has ordered the formation of a task force to take on the “antigovernment extremists” that have disrupted peaceful protests and sowed chaos and destruction.

Author Jarrett Stepman has quoted Abraham Lincoln, speaking as a young man in 1838, about the dangers of “mob law.” If rightful authorities allow a general state of lawlessness and “mobocractic spirit” to continue unrestrained, said Lincoln, the strongest bulwark of any Government . . . may effectually be broken down and destroyed.”

Presaging the present day, the future President Lincoln added, [W]henever the vicious portion of the population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision-stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, this Government cannot last.”

The truth about American history, even with all its flaws, inspires patriotism. The responsibility to teach our history with honesty and respect, unfortunately, has been taken over by false historians who portray America as an evil society that must be destroyed.

This issue is not about monuments alone; it is about history, culture, and values that this generation must teach to our children and future generations. In two words: America Matters. Conservatives support principled, legal actions to restore peace, security, and freedom under the law, and oppose violence that widens social division and destroys history on our watch.

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