Is the Party of Lincoln Now the Party of Lee? National Review ^ | August 17, 2017 | Mona Charen

Is the Party of Lincoln Now the Party of Lee?
National Review ^ | August 17, 2017 | Mona Charen

Posted on 8/18/2017, 12:43:32 PM by reaganaut1

Contra Donald Trump, the Hitler Youth wannabes who paraded through Charlottesville last Friday night are not sincere Republicans falsely accused of being Nazis. They are the real thing. It should have been the most basic act of American civic hygiene to condemn and anathematize them. (Some Republicans did.) But since it seems we must state the obvious: The “Unite The Right” organizers, including alt-right leaders Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, advertised their demonstration with Nazi-style imagery, carried torches reminiscent of Nuremberg and Klan rallies, and chanted “Blood and soil” and “The Jews will not replace us.” The next day, they clashed with counter-protesters, and one of them committed a savage act of ISIS-style terrorism, crashing his car into a crowd. He murdered one person and wounded 19 others, five critically.

Yet Trump’s Monday condemnation, if you can call it that, was tardy, stilted, and almost immediately withdrawn by his fiery Tuesday press conference. True to his pattern of peddling “alternative facts,” Trump insisted that “not all of those people were supremacists by any stretch . . . you take a look . . . the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.” I’ve taken a look. How does “the Jews will not replace us” convey benevolence?

I am unsentimental about statues of Robert E. Lee myself. He made war on this country to preserve one of the worst forms of abuse known to man. During the Civil War, when he captured black Union soldiers, he re-enslaved them. When it came time for prisoner exchanges, Lee refused to exchange African American Union soldiers for Confederate prisoners. General Ulysses Grant responded that in that case, there would be no further prisoner exchanges.

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