Keep the Confederate Flag Flying
See also: Take down the Confederate flag
“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.
It’s not that the mob is always wrong, mind you. It’s that, governed not by reason but emotion, its verdicts are hit-or-miss propositions. This is why we eschew mob justice in our legal system and have trials commencing well after a crime’s commission; it’s why we have the saying “Look before you leap” and the counsel, “Before acting, take a deep breath and count to 10.” Even Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who admitted his guilt, will get the benefit of our deliberate legal system. Yet many would have us hang the Confederate flag long before he’s hanged.
Speaking of Roof, are we really going to make snap policy based on a criminal’s actions? Really? This is, in a sense, letting the miscreant and his malevolent crime control us: His act evokes an emotional reaction in us, and then we react based upon it.
This is after so many have already played into his hands. After all, Roof wanted to start a race war.
And the actions of Obama and his minions could lead one to believe they do, too.
Consider: what’s the effect of claiming that the actions of one disturbed and drug-addled kid are the result of systemic “white supremacy” and “racism”? What’s wrought by lying and convincing blacks they’re under assault (when most interracial crime is black-on-white)? Will this soothe the savage breast or inspire revenge acts, as we saw after the Trayvon Martin and Ferguson incidents? How much blood on the Left’s DNA-stained hands is enough?
Saying the Confederate flag should be removed after the Charleston tragedy is like saying guns should be banned in its wake; after all, Roof did use a gun, right? Of course, this is precisely what the Left wants, which is why, as Wesley Pruden just wrote, liberals will let “no tragedy go to waste.” You see, making hasty decisions in an emotionally charged atmosphere is disastrous if you want good policy. But it’s ideal if you want bad policy.
Not that all knee-jerk reactions are created equal. It had been reported that Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, had a copy of Al Gore’s book Earth in the Balance among his possessions, yet no one proposed banning the book or dispensing with environmentalism after his arrest. Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan and other Muslim terrorists yelled “Allahu Akbar” after their crimes, but no one urges us to stigmatize the cry (or the Koran, for that matter) as “hate speech”; in fact, the liberal knee-jerk reaction after such events is to caution us to avoid a backlash against Muslims. Then there was Ferguson -- LIRR shooter Colin Ferguson, that is -- and other blacks motivated by bigotry who have massacred whites; no one, though, takes the leftist media to task for stoking the fires of racial hatred.
In fact, virtually all crime today is the result of the philosophical/moral disorder known as “liberalism.” This isn’t just because of the aforementioned leftist propaganda, but because the Left has completely undermined the moral fabric of Western civilization.
Roof himself, I’d be willing to bet, was raised by liberals. How do I know? It’s simple profiling: traditionalists don’t generally give their kids non-traditional names, such as “Dylann” (was there a two-for-one deal on n’s that day?) or “Storm,” Roof’s middle name. They’re also not going to be a pot-bellied 52-year-old man with multiple tattoos and nipple rings, like Roof’s father. The clincher is that we haven’t heard a peep about the Roof family’s political leanings, even though you can bet the media have investigated. You can also bet that if the Roofs were conservatives, we would have heard about it -- ad nauseam.
Thus, liberals lecturing on crime is like Bill Clinton lecturing on promiscuity. But whatever the lecture, it had better turn into a discussion -- and a long one -- before it’s turned into policy. Because mob politics begets a marred culture. If something really is a good idea, it will probably also be a good idea a year from now.