So asks Pat Buchanan at The American Conservative. Is America heading toward a second civil war? What’s changed about Robert E. Lee since 1965 that has triggered such anger and angst against all thing Lee and Confederate? Pat writes:
First in his class at West Point, hero of the Mexican War, Lee was the man to whom President Lincoln turned to lead his army. But when Virginia seceded, Lee would not lift up his sword against his own people, and chose to defend his home state rather than wage war upon her.
On the militant left today, the name Lee evokes raw hatred and howls of “racist and traitor.” A clamor has arisen to have all statues of him and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen pulled down from their pedestals and put in museums or tossed onto trash piles.
What has changed since 1965?
It is not history. There have been no great new discoveries about Lee.
What has changed is America herself. She is not the same country. We have passed through a great social, cultural and moral revolution that has left us irretrievably divided on separate shores.
And the politicians are in panic.
In this Second American Civil War, whose side are you on?
Read more here.
(Note: Buchanan writes that Lee was first in his class at West Point. That’s incorrect as Lee graduated second in his class, behind Charles Mason, who would resign his commission two years into his Army career and go on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa.)