If we look back at August 2017 we can see President Trump mocking that statue destroyers of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee would move on to statues of former presidents and founding fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Major media outlets accused President Trump of such inappropriate and ridiculous comments. They said his comparisons are dumb and “doesn’t even make any sense.” Well, we’re there…
“So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it, Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” President Trump asked August 15, 2017.
Three years later, it is exactly as Trump had predicted. Mobs have moved from toppling Confederate statues to defacing and damaging memorials to Admiral David Farragut, abolitionist Matthias Baldwin, War Gen. Philip Schuyler, Commanding Generals, and many more. A statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt is even facing removal in New York City.
Back in 2017, comedian John Oliver even mocked the President for suggesting statues of Washington and Jefferson would be next. The New York Times had run an article calling Trump’s query a “red herring.” Historians answered Trump’s hypothetical question about whether or not people would junk Washington and Jefferson next and gave that a simple no. People said that comparing Lee to Washington was factually wrong.
“Washington and Jefferson are two of the country’s most notable founders, as well as the first and third presidents,” Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth had written. He said mobs would never come for the latter statues. The Washington Post even wrote the same pieces smugly headlined, “Historians: No, Mr. President, Washington and Jefferson are not the same as Confederate generals.”
The left-winged media platforms couldn’t imagine a world where mobs might tear down statues of slaveholding Founding Fathers, much less organized protesters. People called Trump’s comments “absurd” and “unacceptable for the President of the United States.” Oh, how the tables have turned.
During President Trump’s press conference in August 2017, a reporter pushed back concern that statues of the first president might not be safe. The reporter claimed that George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same. Trump said that George Washington was a slave owner then asked the reporter if he liked Thomas Jefferson. The reporter said he loved him. “Okay, good. Are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. Now, are we going to take down his statue?” Trump responded.
The media cried that Washington and Jefferson should not be in any way equated with those who seceded from the union. That there is a difference between a monument to the founder of our nation and a monument to a key figure in an effort to break apart a nation.
As time went on and the media mocked and derided him, President Trump was right. It’ll be interesting to see if any of these media outlets acknowledge that they were wrong. Probably not.