Posts Tagged ‘george washington’

By John Ruberry

It’s time to revise or perhaps expand on Godwin’s Law. Named for attorney Mike Godwin, which, according to, “Godwin’s law is the proposition that the longer an internet argument goes on, the higher the probability becomes that something or someone will be compared to Adolf Hitler.” 

Here’s the new law, you can call it Godwin’s Law II, Ruberry’s Law, or just a simple observation: The longer any American political discussion continues, it’s very likely that something or someone will be called a white supremacist. 

Yes, that includes some things. When Pete Buttigieg was calling for massive infrastructure spending last year, he mentioned previous road and bridge projects and “the racism that went into those design choices.” To be fair, there is a grain of truth or two to what Buttigieg said. Nearly 100 years ago, master builder and notorious racist, Robert Moses, purposely designed Long Island’s Southern State Parkway, which was built to expand access to Jones Beach State Park, another Moses project, with overpasses that were quite low, so buses, presumably filled with minorities, couldn’t be driven to Jones Beach. 

On the other hand, it has long accepted as local gospel that the 14-lane Dan Ryan Expressway, built like a trench, was geographically placed to separate South Side Chicago’s white and growing black populations. Chicago’s NPR station dismissed that tale as an urban legend ten years ago. Long before the Dan Ryan’s completion in 1962, African Americans had migrated in large numbers to the “white” side of the expressway. 

Let’s move on to an interesting young man, Vince Dao. He’s a conservative who late last year participated in the Asian Americans Debate Model Minority & Asian Hate panel organized by Vice. Dao spoke with a level of common sense, so much so that most of the other participants, including a Bangladeshi American man and a Korean American woman with purple hair, appeared to be suffering coronary attacks as they had never been confronted with a logical discussion in their lives. 

If you only have a few minutes, the core part of this debate begins at the nine-minute mark.

“If America is to hold together, assimilation [is]–not just good or bad–[but] necessary,” Dao stated. “I don’t think it’s going to be possible for America to survive as a stable functioning society if people don’t, to some degree, say, ‘Well here’s what we’re going to commonly agree upon.'”

“But who gets to choose it?” another panelist asked. Dao responded, “The majority culture I suppose.” When pressed on what was that majority culture, Dao elaborated it would those who happen to be in power. “And who’s ‘people with power?’ White people?,” the purple-haired woman bellowed out while rolling her eyes, adding derisively for emphasis, “I’m going to say it… white people!”

Not surprisingly, purple-haired woman brings up “white supremacy,” proving the infallibility of Godwin’s Law II or whatever you think it should be called. Later in the exchange she asks Dao, “Do you ever say ‘all lives matter?'” His response, was, “Of course.” Another woman, sarcastically responding as if Dao was on trial for murder and he admitted in testimony that he committed the deed, answered back, “There it is! All lives matter!”

Yes, some leftists believe if you say, “All lives matter,” it is racist.

The sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm would be proud of Dao’s detractors. 

When Republican Larry Elder, a black man, ran for governor of California two years ago, a Los Angeles Times columnist warned that Elder offered a “white supremacist worldview” and that he was a “very real threat to communities of color.” Last month, the brutal beating death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers–the first five cops charged with his murder are black–was presented by some media wags as an example of white supremacy. Oh, the chief of police in Memphis is an African American woman.

The general theme of the white supremacy trope is that America is rigged–and our nation’s ruling class is in place–forever. 

No, it isn’t.

Let’s talk about William Augustine Washington. He was the last great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Augustine Washington, a slave-owner like his famous son, our first president. 

While generations of the Washington family enjoyed great financial success, William Augustine Washington, who died in Bradley, Illinois in 1994, was a humble tool-and-die maker. That’s something to ponder as Presidents’ Day is next week.

At my age I can say I know, met, and interacted with thousands of people, many of them fascinating individuals. Until recently I worked with a man, a modest yet erudite clerk, who was a descendant of George Washington’s successor as president, John Adams.

When I toiled in the hospitality industry, one of the salespeople I worked alongside had a distinguished ancestor of her own, Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Years earlier she parlayed her lineage, and, ahem, white privilege, to land a highly paid job. Well, not really–on the financial end. She wore a hoop skirt while portraying an ordinary citizen at Colonial Williamsburg. 

As for my white family, the richest member of my extended relations was a great uncle–who fathered one child, a son. The son died broke.

America is not “rigged,” but that is not to say racism doesn’t exist. It certainly does. 

But America’s freedom to succeed comes with a curse, the possibility of failure, even if you are white.

And for some sheep, America is about, and only about, white supremacy. Which is why, because of those sheep, if you wait long enough, every political argument will devolve into that topic. 

Yes, we have a new law of political discussion.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

As I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I came across the following fragment of a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.”  It appeared to me that Jefferson accurately predicted a couple hundred years into the future because his quote almost perfectly sunned up conditions existing here in the United States now.  The only discrepancy in the quote is the fact that the Biden regime is unelected, thanks to the theft of the 2016 presidential election from Trump.

Despotism is one of those words I’ve encountered over and over again and was 99 percent sure I knew what it meant.  I looked it up to be sure.  Here is a definition of despotism from Google.  It corresponds with my understanding of the term.

A country or political system where the ruler holds absolute power.  The exercise of absolute power, especially in a cruel an oppressive way.

I looked up the original source of the quote and found it here, Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia written in 1784.

An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others. 

The Constitution properly distributed government power between three federal branches, with proper checks and balances.  Also government power was distributed between the states and the federal government.

Progressives began transforming the United States from a constitutional republic into a full-fledged despotism over a hundred years ago by concentrating the majority of all government power into an enormously overblown executive branch of the federal government. The United States is now completely a despotism.

In his farewell address George Washington also warned that the concentration of power would lead to despotism.

The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.

Father Marquette monument on Chicago’s Southwest Side

By John Ruberry

As I’ve stated many times before in this space, Chicago’s best days are behind it. Seemingly random and numbing violence is everywhere. Yes, shootings and murders are down from 2020 and 2021, but remain much higher than in 2019, the year its embattled mayor, Lori Lightfoot, was sworn into office. 

However, theft, burglary, and automobile theft are dramatically higher compared to 2021–overall crime is up 36 percent. Since two waves of riots in 2020, major retailers such as Macy’s, the Gap, and the Disney Store have closed their massive stores on Chicago’s premier shopping district, North Michigan Avenue, for now at least, known as the Magnificent Mile. 

Boeing is moving its headquarters out of Chicago, as is investment firm Citadel, which is headed by Ken Griffin, a prominent donor to Illinois Republican candidates. Griffin mentioned Chicago crime as a reason for departing for Miami. 

Chicago’s CTA public transportation system includes its sprawling el train lines. Violent assaults and murders have become common on the el. The criminal descendants of Jesse James aren’t attacking trains from the outside, they are paying, well…maybe paying, customers. I suspect most of the creeps are turnstile jumpers.

Click here for my confrontation with a CTA thug, from my most recent, and perhaps last, ride on a Chicago el train.

In 2020, soon after the violent riot outside a Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park, in the middle of the night Lightfoot had the statue removed for “temporary” storage. She was too much of a coward to do so during daytime, and too much of a financially reckless liberal to care about the expense, as it is likely the workers removing the Columbus statue were being paid doubletime wages. Illinois, the home of Abraham Lincoln and a solid Union state, has no Confederate monuments, but the always-angry left chose an old “favorite,” Christopher Columbus, both a brilliant and flawed man, to vent its rage. 

Two other Columbus statues were also placed into storage around that time. 

Another response by Lightfoot formed the Chicago Monuments Project. One of Chicago’s last remaining honest journalists, John Kass, called it in his Chicago Way podcast, “Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Woke Committee on Problematic Statuary.

Since then, a former city of Chicago attorney claimed in a lawsuit that not only did Lightfoot, who is up for reelection early next year, prevent an agreement with a local Italian-American group to return the Columbus statues for public view, but she had this to say, “My d— is bigger than yours and the Italians, I have the biggest d— in Chicago.”

To be fair, in March, Lightfoot said she “fully expects” the Columbus statues to return to their former locations.

On Friday afternoon, in an old-school “news dump,” Lightfoot’s committee revealed its recommendations. It’s hard to believe, but Chicago’s Lincoln statues were on the committee’s hit list. Honest Abe survived, as did the other US presidents on the committee’s woke naughty list. But a whole bunch of others, including the Columbus statues, a Roman column monument to Italian aviator Italo Balbo, a Mussolini cohort, monuments to French explorers Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette–they were the first recorded Europeans to visit what is now Chicago–and a statue of General Phil Sheridan on horseback at the southern end of Sheridan Road, are recommended for removal. In regards to Marquette and Jolliet, semblances of “white supremacy” is the reason. Some monuments that have been in storage for years will not be returned to public view.

The full report from the “woke committee” can be found here.

Sheridan’s prominent role in the Indian Wars is why he may be toppled from Chicago. Few people know these facts, but Sheridan, one of the North’s ablest generals in the Civil War, had a home in Chicago and “Fightin’ Phil” was present during the Chicago Fire. When the city’s mayor placed Chicago under martial law, Sheridan was in charge. 

Three statues, including ones of George Washington and William McKinley, should have “artistic prioritized interventions,” the committee says. My guess is that signs will be placed next to them, pointing out the honored ones flaws. Who among us is flawless? Liberals can’t imagine the non-enlightened ones thinking for themselves, or using their smartphones to Google “President McKinley.” And yes, slavery is the worst scourge in American history, but how many Americans don’t know Washington owned slaves?

For now, Abraham Lincoln’s statues will be spared these “artistic prioritized interventions,” but the committee warns, “such measures may be employed in the future through ongoing program investments.” Illinois, of course, is known as “the Land of Lincoln.”

Lightfoot’s monument committee is recommending new monuments, mostly “red meat” ones appealing to the left, although I support a statue of Chicago’s gospel legend, Mahalia Jackson. But why not one for Muddy Waters too?

What about a Ronald Reagan statue? The Gipper was the first president to live in Chicago and the only one born in Illinois.

There is no monument recommended for Lightfoot, “Triple Threat” is not only an African-American, but she is Chicago’s second female mayor and its first lesbian one. 

If a Lightfoot statue is ever erected, I’m sure I won’t be the only one focusing on her crotch. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State, designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It is one of Chicago monuments “under review.”

By John Ruberry 

Last week in my DTG post I wrote about the Chicago Monuments Project, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s response to last summer’s riot surrounding the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park south of downtown.

The committee for the project earlier this month identified 41 monuments, mostly statues but also plaques, reliefs, and one painting. Five of the monuments are statues of Abraham Lincoln. Yes, that guy, the one who led the Union during the Civil War, which led to ending slavery in America. Illinois is the Land of Lincoln, that slogan has been emblazoned on every Illinois license plate for decades. His face is on all standard Illinois license plates. On every Illinois driver’s license and state ID card is Lincoln’s countenance–and automobile titles too.

Other monuments “under review” by the project include statues of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Leif Erikson, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, several pieces honoring Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, and works featuring anonymous Native Americans. 

But don’t worry! Really! In a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed published last week–on Washington’s birthday–three of the project’s members assured us:

Various accounts, especially on social media, have inaccurately described this project as an effort to tear it all down. This could not be further from the truth. It is a discussion.

I don’t believe them. The “discussion,” in my opinion, is a first step to, yes, “tear it all down.” Liberals work by way of incrementalism. Many left-wing politicians, probably most, want to ban private ownership of guns. They can’t express that sentiment because of the predictable outrage–and it could mean that they’ll be voted out of office. So they start with the easier targets, such as bans on semi-automatic rifles. If they succeed they’ll move on to other firearms, ending with the banning the type of handgun Mrs. Marathon Pundit purchased this year.

So the Chicago Monuments Project is beginning with “a discussion.” Without pushback that discussion very well may devolve into moving statues in the wee hours, which is what happened to two Christopher Columbus statues, including the one at the center of the riot, into storage. Both of those statues of the Italian Navigator are on the project’s “under review” status. 

It’s not just social media users and conservative news sources that have objected to the Chicago Monuments Project. In a Chicago Tribune op-ed, Lincoln biographers Sidney Blumenthal and Harold Holzer wrote, “The Orwellian idea of removing Lincoln from Chicago would be as vain as an attempt to erase the history of Chicago itself.”

The editoral board of the Chicago Tribune–paid subscription required–favors keeping the Lincoln stautes.

Lori Lightfoot even weighed in, “But let’s be clear, we’re in the Land of Lincoln, and that’s not going to change.”

But I’d like to explain to you that the other monuments are also worth keeping. Benjamin Franklin owned two slaves but he freed them and he later became an abolititionist. Ulysses S. Grant, when he was under tremendous financial hardship, freed the only slave he owned. Grant of course was the commander of all Union armies in the Civil War. George Washington’s slaves were freed after the death of Martha Washington. Yes, Washington is the Father of our Nation.

Other than being white, I can’t astertain why Marquette and Jolliet, or Leif Erikson, are “under review” in Chicago.

The source of the rage against Lincoln likely comes from his approving the hanging of 38 Dakota warriors in 1862. But Abe commuted 264 Dakota War executions. There were atrocities in that conflict committed by both sides. Here’s what a Norwegian immigrant described in a letter at that time, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society:

The Indians have begun attacking the farmers. They have already killed a great many people, and many are mutilated in the cruelest manner. Tomahawks and knives have already claimed many victims. Children, less able to defend themselves, are usually burned alive or hanged in the trees, and destruction moves from house to house.

If the Chicago Monuments Project is about education, then it probably means that Lightfoot sorely needs one. “In time, our team will determine there are no monuments to African Americans in this city,” Lightfoot said last summer while announcing what has become the Chicago Monuments Project. “There are no monuments to women. There are no monuments that reflect the contributions of people in the city of Chicago who contributed to the greatness of this city.”

But in her namesake park on the South Side stands a Gwendolyn Brooks statue. Brooks was the first African-American to serve as Illinois’ Poet Laureate. A couple miles north of that statue is the beautiful Victory Monument, which honors a World War I African American regiment, and a bit north of that one is the Monument to the Great Northern Migration. I believe each of these are on city of Chicago or Chicago Park District property.

Does Chicago need more monuments featuring women and minorities? Absolutely. It can also benefit with a Ronald Reagan statue. The Gipper is the only president who was born in Illinois and the first to live in Chicago, although the apartment where he lived as a child was razed by the University of Chicago in 2013.

Click here to view the monuments in question. To express your comments about the Chicago Monuments Project please click here. Please be courteous. And if you Tweet this blog post–please do!–use the #ChicagoMonuments hashtag.

Make your voice heard. They’ve begun to listen.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.