Politics / We The People

Stop Apologizing for Our History

Today’s ill-informed critics of Churchill would be speaking German if he had not led the fight against Hitler.

churchill-statue-historyThis week, former astronaut Scott Kelly got himself into hot water with the political Left. How? In an attempt to lament the Republican celebration over the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Kelly tweeted, “One of the greatest leaders of modern times, Winston Churchill said, ‘in victory, magnanimity.’ I guess those days are over.”

This tweet was a problem. Not because it was too conciliatory toward Republicans. Because it quoted Winston Churchill.

Indeed, Kelly soon apologized to his left-leaning fan base, tweeting:

Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies. I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support. My point was we need to come together as one nation. We are all Americans. That should transcend partisan politics.

But, of course, we cannot come together as one nation so long as we engage in the foolish exercise of savaging our civilizational history. Good-faith conversations about American history recognize the multifaceted moral nature of human existence: the fact that George Washington was a slaveholder does not render his status as father of the country moot; the fact that Abraham Lincoln spent most of his career advocating for colonization of black Americans in Africa rather than their full integration into American life does not obliterate Lincoln’s role as the Great Emancipator. Human beings are products of their time — and they are capable of holding viewpoints that resonate down through the ages and the prejudices of their own age. Undoubtedly, a century from now, few will look kindly at even the most broadminded Americans’ views on a variety of issues.

But the process of civilizational development requires us to separate the wheat from the chaff — and to celebrate the wheat.

Take Churchill. Churchill was a bulldog of a human being, stubborn and irascible; he heaped racial scorn on a variety of groups ranging from Indians to Sudanese to Asian tribes. But his racial comments have been taken out of context to slander his achievements during his career. For example, Churchill’s critics have accused him of sanctioning the use of poison gases against Asian tribes (they completely neglect to mention that he was talking about tear gas, not deadly poison gas, in order to keep casualties down); they accuse him of exacerbating the Bengal famine (they refuse to acknowledge his government’s plentiful attempts to alleviate that famine). It’s easier to mischaracterize Churchill’s actions by pointing to his bigoted comments than to analyze his actions in spite of those comments.

But where many on the left are concerned, an ounce of sin washes away a lifetime of heroism. Churchill said mean things about people; this is apparently more important than the fact that he successfully led Great Britain through the most dangerous time in her history, stewarding that tiny island nation not only through Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, but fighting on alone against the ever-increasing tsunami of Hitlerian power.

The war on the history of the West isn’t merely a difference of opinion, to be glossed over with a few words about bipartisanship. America is divided right now between two groups: those who believe that America and the West are fundamentally good and worth fighting for, despite their myriad historic shortcomings; and those who believe that America and the West are fundamentally evil and racist, steeped in structural power imbalances. A house divided against itself cannot stand; those who care for their homes cannot declare unity with arsonists.

There can be no politically unifying moments with history-twisting harpies — harpies who would be speaking German without Churchill. Anyone who insists on wiping away the legacy of good in the West in favor of cynically blustering about the unique nastiness of the West cannot be included in a call for national harmony.

Reprinted with permission from National Review - by Ben Shapiro

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Ed. W.
3 years ago

These naieve young people should watch the STARZZ television show ‘Man in the high castle’ or the
Netflix show ‘SS GB’.

4 years ago

What’s the problem? We live in the “West”.. having such bedrock and devastating criticisms is so defeatist as to be almost political suicide. I don’t entertain “them” as much as I used to and certainly don’t mistake profanity and skulduggery for politics.

4 years ago

Am I the only one to comment that Winston Churchill was always on the receiving end? And to “beg” for magnanimity wouldn’t he be the first to profit?

4 years ago

In a true democracy, you cannot erase history. It is there for all time. Socialistic and communist governments resort to air brushing unpopular leaders from photos, burning books and tearing down statues. History happens. As General Eisenhower stated while touring the concentration camps at the end of World War II, he wanted to document with photos the horrors of the camps because he knew later some would swear it never happened. Whether you agree with the results or not, we cannot and should not attempt to erase the past. The past is the foundation of the present and future.

4 years ago

As one of the youngest countries in the world, the USA is the first such country in history that has gone to war at the request of other countries in cries of help to avoid the evils of Communism, Nazism, and Socialism. The evils and fears were loss of freedom and ultimately death. World history will show that any country using aggression to defeat enemy countries was to acquire more land and influence (takeover). All the so-called great empires. The USA was the 1st country in history, upon defeating their enemies, did not take over the defeated, but invested our taxpayer $$$ to rebuild these countries (Germany, Japan, Italy, Korea, Viet Nam, etc.) The USA was founded by great Judeo-Christian thinkers with the knowledge and foresight that the days we are experiencing now could be resolved by the original writings of the constitution and bill of rights. GOD bless the USA.

jan nevins
4 years ago
Reply to  Mickey

EXCELLENT point, Mickey!

4 years ago

The problem is very many public schools are not teaching the true history of this country and the liberals and socialists are the reason but it is no accident parents need to get involved in the schools and what the children are really being taught or we will lose this Great Nation the first step was take prayer and the Bible out of the schools the second step is teach false history next teach the little ones about sex next teach them any kind of sex is ok and so on are you people getting the picture there is a real devil and he hates this country!!!!!!

Sam Campano
4 years ago

“America is divided right now between two groups: those who believe that America and the West are fundamentally good and worth fighting for, despite their myriad historic shortcomings; and those who believe that America and the West are fundamentally evil and racist, steeped in structural power imbalances.”

Kinda right but mostly wrong. Yes their is an America that believes that America is a place of good people who have done bad things. Even the heroes on the left have had their “bad” sides; Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, Margaret Sanger, John McCain ( Don’t laugh. He worked on their behalf.), are just a few. Point is one must follow the money. The “America is good” group AND the America is evil” group did not get into such a tizzy until the transfer of wealth from those that do productive work that adds wealth to a nation and paid the bulk of the taxes to those that do work that depends on the generosity of donors, the government, skimming off the top, and various non productive schemes became to much for the “America is good” group. The silent majority that had been taken for granted by the last four presidents (who fronted the biggest criminal enterprise in history) made it very clear that the “free ride” was over. And the left has not taken it very well. They seriously underestimated the Trump movement. The “America is good” crowd’s only flaw is that they were too conciliatory and passive the last forty plus years. They should have pulled the trigger a long time ago. But good people are always too forgiving . And as we now see the left have always been spoiled, angry, entitled crybabies and just plain evil bullies. They are being forced to give up all that sugar and they are having major withdrawals. Trump knows this and that’s why he was elected. A man who knows how to play the big money game AND respects the wishes of the people that gave him the job was a calculated and brilliant move by the Trump crowd. Watch the November elections, The democrats will lose even more control. The obvious “out of control” segment of the democratic party on the street and the insane politicians that are being given the democratic platform with a message that basically says we have to force the people with money to give it to people that don’t have any BY ANY MEANS is literally scaring the s— out of even some die hard democrats. They say nothing happens in politics by accident. But if this is Schumer, Pelosi, et al’s way of holding on to power and mobilizing the base, then they’re done. Game over for them.

4 years ago
Reply to  Sam Campano

And don’t forget McCain cast the vote that meant Obamacare was not repealed. A blot on

4 years ago

Can we just tell the left to shut up!!! We’re not listening to them. They don’t know nutin’. ( 2 negs for emphasis!)

Tony Catania
4 years ago

The only people who need to apologize are liberals who are traders and communists they are a disgrace

4 years ago

Bullying is alive and well in America. As with all bullies, you must fight back. You cannot appease a bully. However, they are cowards at the core. Hence, the mob mentality.

Barbara S.
4 years ago

I would have had respect for Kelly had he not apologized but rather explained we are all human and have good and bad in us all….so disappointing for a so called educated man….but then his wife is a democrat, and if he is also, therein lies the rub….sadly all public figures have to think first before making a statement as Kayne West found out….the difference is, Kanye West did not apologize for his beliefs….

4 years ago

It is hard to come together as a nation when you, Mr. Kelly, are part of the problem not the solution!

4 years ago

As an Indpendent, conservative voter, the most obvious conclusion is that the left does not want to unify, period.
If the statement is not in their favor or catering to their thought processes, they are offended.
Who cares…
The Left offends me.

4 years ago
Reply to  Maddy

Double this sentiment and I am with you.

Patricia L
4 years ago

He should NEVER have apologized. There was no need!

Thomas H
4 years ago

When you’re in hot water from the left, you know that you’re doing the right thing!

4 years ago
Reply to  Thomas H

Bravo, Thomas!!

jan nevins
4 years ago
Reply to  Thomas H

LOVE that, Thomas H. I’ll use it …

Stephen Nickau
4 years ago

Astronaut or not, another spineless attempt at appeasement.

Arnold Kanarek
4 years ago

If you say something that gets the Left angry it means you opened your mouth.

4 years ago

So true

Wayne Peterkin
4 years ago

Well done, Ben. What I would add is that the left has more than their fair share of evil. The hypocrisy we see on the left is simple astounding, yet they are often not held accountable for that hypocrisy. For those interested in American history, I recommend “The 5000 Year Leap” as an amazing work on the founding of our nation.

Thomas H
4 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Peterkin

Until people on the right wake up and take back the media, the left will continue to do ever-worsening things to us since their MSM has them covered.

4 years ago

People are just too damned thin skinned! Hey whiners, pull up your big boy/girl pants and get on with your life. Remember, life is short and if you spend it whining and crying someday you’re going to regret it!

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