Arguments, as Malcolm Muggeridge astutely observed, are never about what they’re about. As when “You’re never on time anymore” turns out really to mean, “When are you going to quit sitting around and get a real job?” And so on.
The national argument over Confederate symbols and monuments—assuming you want to call it an argument in preference to verbal assault and bluster—has next-to-nothing to do with the Confederate Battle Flag as dreaded agent of hatred and racial antagonism. It has next-to-everything to do with inexhaustible resentment on the political and cultural left over a conservative, especially a Southern conservative, refusal to bow and scrape before the left’s current deities.
The left is conspicuously intent on popular—or, when popular fails, executive—ratification of a complex scheme for concentrating power in the media, academic, and political worlds. Such power is to be employed in redistributing income and raising up new, multicultural elites in place of the old and very white ones who are respectful of tradition, religion, personal initiative, hard work, and freedom.
That wasn’t the way it looked in June, of course, when America, under the coaxing of the media, was coming vociferously unglued over the massacre in a Charleston church. It seemed at that moment something akin to mass hysteria. ...