From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:
Look Who’s Reticent About Removing Confederate Statues in Virginia!
Pop quiz, Virginians: Find the distinctions between the positions of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam on the issue of Confederate statues:
“Our history is our history,” Gillespie said. “And I believe that we need to educate about it, and that we need to teach about it. And so my view is that the statues should remain, and we should place them in historical context so that people can learn.”
Northam reiterated that he wants to see local governments maintain control of the decisions over statues, but he added that if “these statues give individuals, white supremacists like that, an excuse to do what they did, then we need to have a discussion about the statues.”
“Personally, I would think that the statues would be better placed in museums with certainly historical context,” Northam added.
To clarify, Gillespie wants localities to make the decision, but prefers them to be kept in place with a greater historical context, while Northam wants localities to make the decision, but prefers them to be moved to a museum with greater historical context. It says a great deal that Northam isn’t willing to jump on the bandwagon of the “tear down the statues” movement; most national media coverage of the issue would leave the impression that this is a majority of enlightened modernists battling a small minority of radical, racially-incendiary troglodytes.
In Suffolk’s most recent survey, the pollster asked Virginians, “Do you think Confederate statues should be removed from public spaces?” and about 32 percent supported removal, and 57 percent opposed them.
Fox News asked Virginians recently, “When you see the Confederate flag, do you have a positive reaction, a negative reaction, or don’t you have a reaction one way or the other?” Only 13 percent said they have a positive reaction, 33 percent said negative, and 51 percent said they had neither. Once again a media echo chamber leaves progressives with the perception that their perspective is much more common than it actually is.
I liked this line from Gillespie:
Gillespie specifically pointed to the marchers who gathered in Charlottesville last month for what was dubbed the “Unite the Right” rally, arguing they shouldn’t be tied to any partisan viewpoints, despite what the rally was called.
“These Neo Nazis, these white supremacists, these KKK members with their shields and their torches — If ‘1’ were the most liberal on the spectrum and ‘10′ were the most conservative, these people are a yellow,” Gillespie said. “They’re not on the same continuum.”
Another good line of the night, one that probably should be a focus in Northern Virginia:
Responding to the assertion that his plan would only benefit the wealthy, Gillespie said it would help everyone. He also noted that the state’s highest income bracket for tax purposes applies to all those who make more than $17,000 per year.
“My opponent thinks you’re rich,” Gillespie said. “And that’s just flat wrong.”
You’ll probably hear Virginia Democrats arguing, “almost all of the benefits of Gillespie’s tax cut will go to those in the highest bracket!” They hope no one notices that the highest tax bracket includes everyone with a taxable income of $17,001 or more.