Jim Webb gets it right as he breaks ranks with the fashion of the moment

Jim Webb, Reagan’s former secretary of the Navy, former Virginia senator, and oft-mentioned Democrat candidate, gets it right regarding the great battle flag issue.

You see, other than his political history, Jim is a historian.  I read his book Born Fighting, a book that gives the history of prominent Scots Irish people in our nation’s history – Ronald Reagan, Andrew Jackson among others.  He respects history, and he and I exchanged e-mails after I congratulated him on his work.

Here are some of Mr. Webb’s comments.  It is a brave moment for Mr. Webb, and also a refreshing one.  He is a person standing up for what he believes is correct even though he is out of step with the fashion of the moment.  He also happens to be exactly on point.

From the Daily Caller:

“(we must) respect(s) the complicated history of the Civil War,”

“The Confederate Battle Flag has wrongly been used for racist and other purposes in recent decades. It should not be used in any way as a political symbol that divides us.”

“We should also remember that honorable Americans fought on both sides in the Civil War, including slave holders in the Union Army from states such as Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, and that many non-slave holders fought for the South. It was in recognition of the character of soldiers on both sides that the federal government authorized the construction of the Confederate Memorial 100 years ago, on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.”

Mr. Webb, being a former secretary of the Navy, might have mentioned that Robert E. Lee had a nuclear submarine named after him in 1956, but now they call for his statues to be razed.  Which raises the question, “What changed?”

I suggest that perceptions have been altered.  First, in the not too distant past, the rebel battle flag was hijacked by peculiar groups as their symbol of defiance.  Secondly, the history of the War Between the States has been so poorly taught that truth has been bent, the facts of the complicated era omitted.

Yes, Mr. Webb is brutally honest and out of step with the fashion of the moment.  Not like a Mitch McConnell, who now calls for the Jefferson Davis statue to be removed from the Kentucky State house.  Mr. Webb is more an honest historian than a panderer to the emotions of the moment.  He is an unusual politician, if not a remarkably unique Democrat.  Refreshing.