Not long ago (although it seems like an eternity) there was a time in our country when every responsible citizen appreciated and understood that defending our opponents’ right to express what they believe and to disagree with us is an important and vital act of defending our own liberty.
Today, a section of our society has forgotten that even those ideas that “offend” us and that we disagree with must be allowed to be expressed in order for all of us to be free.
In the years and decades that followed the end of a war that divided our country, many permanent ceremonial structures were erected that expressed the affections and attitudes of Americans on all sides of the issues that separated them.
Since the end of that war … and to this day … the right to continue to erect these monuments still remains … but the idea that we somehow have acquired a right to remove and erase certain ideas that do not agree with ours – by removing particular monuments and statues that might represent those opposing ideas – is completely counter to our culture and opposes what we stand for as a nation.
Today, too many Americans want to have a distorted form of “freedom” that protects their own particular point of view from other points of view … such as the “freedom” that existed in Peking in 1966, Berlin in 1939 or Moscow in 1960 … when all of these citizens also had the “right” to agree with the “truths” provided by the establishment.
In this way, these people are much more wrong – and are a greater threat to their own liberty – than any cause or point of view that they may oppose.
All existing monuments should remain exactly as they are and people who have ideas, causes, and beliefs that differ from them should absolutely exercise their freedom and rights … not by tearing down monuments they disagree with … but by erecting new monuments that reflect their own truths and values.
That is what Americans do.