The most dangerous statement in the world is, “America is the greatest country in the history of the world.” Pride comes before a fall (in this case of empire). America is currently the most powerful country in the world, and the richest. The only way you can judge this to be the greatest country in the history of the world (Rome and Greece - better statues, better food, better philosophers; many modern countries happier, healthier, and with fewer prisoners and less racism) is to forget its history. Yes, founding fathers, great, constitution, terrific (though it’s not sacred and needs revising as was intended). But many dark things too that have to be put in the historical balance and remembered so that hubristic complacency doesn’t lead us to elect a vicious, mentally unwell man who now has access to nuclear weapons.
This is why I’d like to see all the statues stay, but with explanations underneath to remind us of how America’s economy was partially built on the backs of enslaved black people who were treated like animals and killed without consequence. A statue that was once a tribute can become a useful condemnation and reminder of the despicable roots of modern racism. The past exists, the way we look at it changes, that’s the nature of progress. Then I’d like to see some statues put up of Puritans hanging Quakers and “witches” to remind us how dangerous religion can be when given judicial power. Then some statues of cowboys and the cavalry massacring the true, original Americans, the “Indians”, so as to remind us who the real immigrants are.
Most importantly I’d like to see a statue of Joe McCarthy (Ted Cruz could be the model) sitting beside Roy Cohn, and underneath the statue I’d like to see the following words. “This is a statue of the evil, drunken liar, Senator Joe McCarthy, a man who for several years was allowed to hunt people down under false pretenses and wreck their lives. The man next to him is the sociopathic and equally evil (and finally disbarred) lawyer, Roy Cohn. Cohn later became prime mentor and legal adviser to Donald Trump, and over many years schooled him in his key strategy: Always attack and to hell with the truth.”
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.