Williamson: The Politics of "The War on Statuary"
Anti-Southern sentiment among Democrats has grown, predictably, with the migration of Southern voters to the Republican party, a very long process that began in the early days of the New Deal and was confirmed only toward the end of the 20th century. (Mississippi had one Republican governor in all the 20th century.) As the country moved politically in a more conservative direction, and as the locus of conservative power moved south, anti-Southern invective became more common among progressives who a generation or two before had been all too happy to do business with a William Fulbright or a Woodrow Wilson. National panics over Confederate revanchism, like New York Times crusades against homelessness, tend to coincide with Republican presidencies. That is not coincidence.
The war on statuary serves two purposes: The first is to humiliate Southerners in retribution for their support of Republican politicians and conservative causes, particularly religious and social causes. The second is to help Democrats win elections without white men. If only whites voted, the last Democratic president would have been Lyndon Johnson. If only white men voted, Mitt Romney would have won 45 states and 501 electoral votes in 2012. Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 showed Democrats that political math behind the Obama coalition — assembling enough groups of aggrieved minorities to create a majority — is no guarantee of victory in the Electoral College, especially when the charismatic young black man is replaced by a degenerate little old lady from Park Ridge. Keeping non-whites in a state of panic and agitation is necessary to Democrats’ political aspirations.