Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Keep the Confederate Flag Flying

“Take it down! That symbol must go!” We hear these cries in the wake of the Charleston church shooting in reference to the Confederate flag, which still flies above the South Carolina Capitol. As you know, one criminal who committed a heinous act had sometimes sported the symbol, so, the thinking… er, feeling… goes, it should be sent to cultural Siberia. But the flag should remain --  especially right now.

This is precisely the opposite of the fashionable view, of course. It holds that especially right now, in this time of pain, sorrow and efforts at reconciliation (by some), it’s an ideal time to dispense with the flag. I say otherwise, but not mainly because the flag is viewed by millions as a symbol of Southern heritage, of state’s rights or of defiance against an increasingly despotic federal government. The real reason is simple. Is removing the flag really a good idea?

If so, it’ll also be a good idea a year from now.

What currently exists is an emotionally charged environment, and, as a rule, that’s the worst possible time to make decisions. A fit of emotion caused the ancient Athenians to condemn philosopher Socrates and force him to drink the hemlock; they regretted the decision almost immediately afterwards and erected a statue in his honor. But that’s the way of the mob — it’s an emotional entity whose feelings change with the wind.

And make no mistake about it, the current drumbeat to hang the flag is the mob’s handiwork. Yes, as in ancient Athens, it’s a glorified mob, lathered in the lipstick of the pig of democracy (we’re a constitutional republic for a reason). And this is why we see the mob mentality, with even Southern Republicans chiming in with hard-core leftists in calling for the Confederate flag’s removal. This includes Lindsey Graham and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley (sorry, but I’m always suspicious of politicians with cutesy first names; I’m waiting for the first president named “Buffy”). In this, these “conservatives” side with Barack Obama, who said that the flag “belongs in a museum.” This is hardly convincing from a man who also apparently believes the American Constitution belongs in a museum.

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