A monument falls in Durham

The crazed left has an uncontrollable urge not just to vent, but to destroy. The latest manifestation is the destruction in Durham, North Carolina of a monument to Confederate soldiers (“the boys who wore gray”).

I have no problem with removing monuments to Confederate generals and soldiers if that’s what the public wants. The monuments were erected because those in control of the political process at the time considered them worthy of the honor. If those now in control of the political process consider them dishonorable or evil, there’s nothing wrong with removing the monuments.

But there is plenty wrong with a group of activists pulling down monuments. By doing so, they usurp the power to decide who should be honored with a statue.

They also violate the law. The police shouldn’t stand by and watch, as they did in Durham. They should protect town property and break up any mob that can’t resist attacking it.

There are pragmatic reasons for doing so. People — protesters and bystanders — can be injured in the process of toppling statues or by the toppling itself. At some point, moreover, folks who don’t want to monuments taken down will start showing up to protect them. This may lead to more Charlottesvilles.

But the main reason why the police should protect monuments from mobs is that, in a democracy, mobs shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions for the rest of us.

North Carolina has a law, passed in 2015, that prevents removal or relocation of monuments. That law usurps the power of cities and counties to decide who should be honored with a statue. I think it should be repealed. Until it is, the law should be enforced.

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