Tucker: Why mobs are tearing down America’s monuments
On Monday, a mob attempted to knock down a statue of Andrew Jackson. They spray-painted the base, trying to knock the statue down. In large letters, you can see it says “killer” at the bottom. Amazing.
This is happening all over the country as you know and there’s a reason for it. Over the weekend, most recently — doubtless, you’ve heard of this — city officials announced their plan to remove the statue of Teddy Roosevelt from outside New York’s Museum of Natural History. The bronze statue has stood there in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda facing Central Park since before the Second World War. Soon it will be gone.
People who erected that statue 80 years ago would be confused by this, no doubt. They did not consider Teddy Roosevelt a controversial figure. In fact, Roosevelt was the most popular president in American history. He was also the most American president. No other country could have produced Teddy Roosevelt.
Roosevelt’s virtues mirrored the values of America. He was physically brave. He was profoundly literate, highly self-disciplined and amazingly energetic. While still a college student, Roosevelt wrote a two-volume history of the War of 1812 that is still in print today. You can buy it on Amazon.
He was the youngest president in our history. He saved our economy from corporate monopolies. And by doing that, he made the American middle class possible. He created the national parks. He created the Panama Canal, the Food and Drug Administration, and then he kept going.
The list of Teddy Roosevelt’s achievements fills entire shelves of biographies. Those are in addition to the more than 40 books he wrote himself on topics ranging from Oliver Cromwell to cattle ranching to social justice.
Personally, Roosevelt was a famously decent man. In 1901, he invited his friend Booker T. Washington to dinner. No African-American had ever eaten in the White House. Democrats roared with rage at the idea. For the crime of having a meal with a black man, they attacked Teddy Roosevelt and his wife for the rest of their lives. But Roosevelt never bowed. He gave the finger to the mob, and he continued cheerfully on.
Teddy Roosevelt was a hero to millions of Americans. He still is. That’s precisely why they are tearing down his statue. They know that if they can force you to watch as they topple your heroes, they have won. There’s nothing they can’t do next.
They can decide how you raise your children, how you vote, what you’re allowed to believe. Once they’ve humiliated you, they can control you and that’s why across the country, mobs are tearing down America’s monuments.
In the cities of Richmond and St. Paul, Minn., they’ve torn down statues of Christopher Columbus. They did the same thing in Boston. Boston’s mayor now says it’s time to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed the slaves. It’s racist.
In Dallas, they pulled the Texas Ranger statue out of the airport after more than 50 years. In Dearborn, Mich., they toppled the statue of the former mayor. They did the same thing in Philadelphia.
In Nashville, they pulled down a statue of a former U.S. senator. Same in Albany. In Oregon, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were torn down. In San Francisco, the mob demolished statues of Ulysses S. Grant, Junipero Serra, and Francis Scott Key. On the pedestal of the Key monument, they spray-painted, “Kill the colonizers” and “Kill whitey,” just in case you missed the point.
One thing all of these Americans, now canceled, have in common: Not one of them fought for the Confederacy. Pulling down their statues had nothing to do with the Civil War — at least not the first Civil War, the one that took place 150 years ago.
Democrats understand that very well, and they support all of it. In every place where the mob has destroyed public monuments, Democratic leaders have backed them as they did it. But at the same time — and you should know this — so have many Republicans.
Last week a mob in downtown Washington, D.C. decided to tear down a statue of a man called Albert Pike. Pike was famous as a journalist and a poet and later as a prominent Freemason.
For less than a year, from late November of 1861 to mid-July of 1862, Pike served in the Confederate Army. Pike was later arrested for treason against the Confederacy, and he faced execution for that. But in the end, it didn’t save him from the mob. They set fire to Pike’s effigy as it lay on the ground.
At least one prominent conservative tweeted his approval of this. Republicans in Congress said nothing at all, and they could have. Pike’s now destroyed statue is owned by the National Park Service. It’s federal property. Tearing it down was a federal crime, but no one in Washington even considered enforcing that law.
Kevin McCarthy of California, the top Republican in the House, was not in a position to say much of anything. McCarthy has endorsed the removal of statues that the left has designated as racist. Last week, as violent mobs roamed the country destroying public property, Kevin McCarthy refused to acknowledge it on his official Twitter account. On Wednesday, McCarthy did manage to send a very emphatic tweet calling for sanctions against Syria “to hold the Assad regime responsible for its atrocities.”
Elected Republicans, almost all of them, are in no hurry to stop the disorder. They appear to believe what we’re watching is a version of the Rodney King riots from 1992. People saw an upsetting video on the internet, they’re angry, and that’s understandable. But they’ll calm down soon, and we can get back to cutting capital gains taxes and sanctioning Bashar al- Assad. That’s their view of it.
They are wrong. This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious and highly organized political movement. It is not superficial. It is deep and profound. It has vast ambitions. It is insidious; it will grow. Its goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge Western civilization itself.
This is an ideological movement. The ideas that fuel it have incubated for decades on college campuses. We paid for all of it, by the way. The rest of us were so thrilled that our kids got into Duke that we decided to ignore what Duke was actually teaching them and are continuing to send big checks. That was a mistake. It was one of the greatest mistakes we’ve ever made.
We didn’t appreciate the stakes involved at the time and as a result of that, we became easy marks for their lies. Even now, so many of us continue to pretend that this is about police brutalities, about the death of a man called George Floyd in Minneapolis.
We still imagine we can fix it by regulating chokeholds or spending more on de-escalation training. We are too literal. We’re too good-hearted to understand what’s really happening. Our decency is the mob’s main weapon against us. We have no idea who we’re up against.
For most people, the primary joy in life is the act of creation, making something good and useful, whether it’s dinner for your family or a deck off the back of your house or a solid day at work. The most profound act of creation, of course, is having children — new life itself.
Healthy societies celebrate all of this. They understand that the impulse to create is how civilizations are built. But they also recognize that there are forces arrayed against creation and they vigilantly defend themselves against those.
In every society, there are those who seek to destroy. They destroy for the same reason that troubled boys torture dogs or shoot house cats. Inflicting pain makes them feel powerful.
We used to call people like that anti-social forces. They still exist. We just pretend they don’t. Or worse, we excuse their behavior. We coddle them. We fund them. Wall Street sends them money in the hope that they will be destroyed last. The rest of us just look on confused. We don’t really know what’s happening, but the destroyers know. They know exactly what’s going on.
Never in American history have they been more emboldened than they are now. Just this Monday afternoon, around lunchtime, an activist called Shaun King issued the following demand on Twitter: “All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus and his European mother and their white friends should also come down. They are a gross form of white supremacy created as tools of oppression, racist propaganda. They should all come down.”
Before you dismiss that idea as absurd, the rantings of some crank on social media, keep in mind that Shaun King is the most famous Black Lives Matter leader in this country. Black Lives Matter is now more popular than either major political party. So, don’t be surprised when they come for your church. Why wouldn’t they? No one is stopping them.
The forces of destruction have grand ambitions. It’s not just about the Teddy Roosevelt statue. They plan to rule this country. What will happen if they do?
Well, you may imagine that self-defense is bulwark against chaos. In this country, you assume you can always defend yourself and your family. That’s a pillar of our civilization, of all Western civilizations.
One woman assumed that, too. On Wednesday, she was driving through Louisville, Ky. According to local police, the woman found herself surrounded by protesters who were blocking the road. They stood in front of her car with a megaphone. She argued with them to let her pass. One of them produced a gun. The woman tried to flee.
When the woman stopped at a red light a block later, another protester pointed a gun at her. Again, she hit the gas and made it home alive.
On Sunday, National Public Radio published an article about the incident. The headline of that piece: “Vehicle attacks rise as extremists target protesters.” In other words, for trying to escape from being murdered, NPR called this woman an extremist who was “targeting protesters.”
Think about that and you’ll begin to understand why so few citizens have tried to stop the mobs as they pillage our country. Antifa doesn’t own the statues in your city’s parks; it doesn’t own your city. You do. You help pay for it. But what would happen if you tried to defend public property or even if you tried to defend your own property?
You know the answer. You’d be swarmed by federal agents, you’d be Roger Stoned with the help and complicity of CNN and NPR and so many others. You’d be the criminal. There’s no question. You’ve seen this happen before.
To a remarkable degree, federal law enforcement is now driven by political imperatives. Certain kinds of so-called hate crimes top the list of priorities. They’ll draw the FBI faster than you could summon the local police to your house during a home invasion, even when, as is so often the case, they turn out to be hoaxes.
Meanwhile, actual hate crimes — brutal crimes in which Americans are gravely injured — are ignored completely. They take place on our streets with shocking regularity. The media don’t cover them. They often go unpunished entirely.
That’s not speculation. There’s quite a bit of video of it online, some of it very recent. We’re not going to show you the clips. If you’re interested, go to the Twitter feed for the Matt Walsh blog before Twitter pulls it down. You’ll get the point.
But you already know. Laws are not applied equally in America. Some victims are considered more deserving than others, despite the fact we’re all citizens. Justice is not blind. Never in our lives has this been more true than it is right now, and is very likely to get worse. That’s the aim of this movement, of these riots — to overthrow the value, the principle of equality under the law.
After November, that trend could accelerate dramatically. And by the way, we should stop pretending that this is an election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. There is no Joe Biden. The Joe Biden you remember no longer exists.
The babbling husk you see may have the same name and similar features, but behind the mask, there is nothing but a jumbled collection of talking points from the early 70s. “Turn on your record players.” “No malarkey.”
The candidate has no independent thoughts of his own. He has no core beliefs. He is empty. He’s a perfect Trojan horse. For the people who’ve taken over the Democratic Party, he is perfect.
Their plan is to ride him to power. Once there, someone tough and calculating and purposefully — Kamala Harris, probably — will change the country. How? Well, they’ve shown us how.
For three years, they told us that secret Russian agents had taken over the U.S. government. There was never a single piece of evidence to show that that was true in any way. It was a hoax. And yet it worked. They dominated the country with that lie, and that was their dry run.
Can we convince millions of people to believe something that’s completely absurd? Yes, we can. That’s what they learned. That’s the lesson. They’ll do it again.
This time the Russians will be Confederate sympathizers or Nazis or white supremacists or whatever other name they choose to give to their political opponents. It almost doesn’t matter. But once they pick one, they will gin up mass hysteria because that’s what they’re good at. The media will collaborate fully because that’s their job. And we’ll have another witch hunt, once again with the full support of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. And who knows, maybe the military too, because the threat is just that profound.
A few foolish souls will attempt to point out the obvious, what’s true. Of course, there are racists here, as there are everywhere. But overall, this is the least racist country in the history of the world. Millions of Africans want to move here. Many already have. Our last president was black. What are you talking about?
Those people will be silenced. Anyone who defies the narrative will be silenced. By that point, the category of hate speech will have expanded to include anything they don’t want to hear and will be criminalized, a federal offense. You watch. If they can tear down a Lincoln statue because it’s racist, they can ban the First Amendment. You don’t want to live in a place like that.
Who can save us from that? Well, as of right now, only Republicans can save us from that. Not because they are inherently virtuous, not because they want to — they don’t — but because they’re the opposition party to the extent they still have opposition to anything. We have no choice but to ask for their help. The Republican Party is the only power center-left in this country available to people who dissent.
It doesn’t matter who you voted for last time. This is not an endorsement of anyone’s policies. It’s an acknowledgment of who holds power and who doesn’t. And the Republican Party’s the only power center available.
On Friday, Vince Coglianese of “The Daily Caller” interviewed Donald Trump in the White House. Coglianese asked the president why he hasn’t sent federal troops to stop the chaos in cities like Seattle. Here’s what the president answered: “Right now, I think it’s great sitting back and watching this catastrophe.”
We understand the point he was making. These are liberal cities, and they’re destroying themselves. Their policies don’t work. This is what you get when you vote for liberals.
But it’s still the wrong answer. A president is responsible for all Americans, no matter where they live — for the country itself. Imagine if you had a bitter argument with one of your children. The kid runs out of the house and goes completely off the deep end and becomes a heroin addict, living on the street. But you don’t look for him. You don’t try and save him.
Instead, you brag that his drug addiction is proof you were right all along. “Right now, I think it is great sitting back and watching this catastrophe.” You wouldn’t say that. No good parent would say that. No president should say it, either.
We need help, and we need it right now. These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement, and someone needs to save the country from it.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on June 22, 2020.