Trump told us this would happen, and now it has: On Monday, the New York City Public Design Commission voted to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from the City Council chambers at New York’s City Hall. The statue is 188 years old. The vote was unanimous.
According to WABC, the statue will likely now become part of a woke recasting of American history with Jefferson in a villain’s role. The Jefferson statue “was expected to go on ‘long term loan’ to the New-York Historical Society by the end of the year, where it would be included in educational exhibits with the proper historical context that likely will include discussion of Jefferson’s slave ownership.”
There was no mention of whether or not these discussions would include any mention of Jefferson’s authorship of the Declaration of Independence or of the anti-slavery statements he included in its first draft, or of the fact that he referred to slavery as a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot.”
Back in August 2017, Trump predicted that this day would come. At the same time that he was speaking about the infamous Charlottesville rally in remarks that would be twisted and willfully misrepresented by Joe Biden and others to claim that Trump was justifying white supremacist violence, Trump spoke about the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue there. “Many of those people,” he said, “were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down.” The New York Times added: “George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the president noted, were also slave owners. ‘I wonder, is it George Washington next week?’ Mr. Trump said. ‘And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?’”
The Times brought in academic historians to scoff at Trump’s warning. Yale history professor John Fabian Witt, said the Times, “called Mr. Trump’s warning of a slippery slope a ‘red herring.’ There have been, after all, no calls to tear down the Washington Monument.”
Right. That didn’t come until September 2020.
The Times also invoked Annette Gordon-Reed, “a professor of history and law at Harvard who is credited with breaking down the wall of resistance among historians to the idea that Jefferson had a sexual relationship with Sally Hemings.” Gordon-Reed “said that the answer to Mr. Trump’s hypothetical question about whether getting rid of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson also meant junking Washington and Jefferson was a simple ‘no.’”
So now the New York City Public Design Commission has proven that John Fabian Witt and Annette Gordon-Reed, and all the others who mocked Trump for suggesting that Washington and Jefferson would be next, were wrong and that Trump was right all along. The war against the statues was never about ending the honoring of Confederates. It was always about destroying the will to national unity that led to those statues being erected in the first place.
The endgame of the statue-removers is to make the average American ashamed of being American. That’s what this has been about from first to last. If the complexities of human experience have to be obliterated in the process, with cartoonish one-dimensional heroes and villains put in their place, so be it. We cannot celebrate Jefferson for all that he did to lay the groundwork for the freest society the world has ever seen. We cannot see him as a remarkable but flawed human being who was exemplary in some ways but not in others.
What’s more, the reason why the Left hates him with such burning intensity is not that he was a slave owner. Leftists love Fidel Castro, who enslaved an entire nation. They love all manner of authoritarians, totalitarians, and mass murderers. They’ve never minded the eggs that have to be broken to make their socialist omelets.
No, the real reason why the Left hates Thomas Jefferson is for all the things for which he should rightly be celebrated: Because he fought against tyranny. Because he helped create a free republic. Because he placed statements in those founding documents that would ultimately lead multitudes of the citizens of the new nation to believe that slavery was wrong and immoral, and give their lives to bring about its abolition. Jefferson is just the sort of man whom the fascist thugs of Antifa, busy smearing ACAB on the sides of building and hurling obscenities at police in pursuit of their vision of socialist utopia, and their moneyed backers would despise and fear. They want a docile American populace, frightened into submission to their authoritarian vision. The example of Thomas Jefferson could inspire Americans instead to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to preserve our hard-won freedoms. Can’t have that. The Jefferson statues must come down.