Former President Donald Trump issued a statement slamming the removal of the General Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond.
Lee’s statue, which depicted the civil war figure on a horse atop a large marble base, was removed from its location in Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday, where it had stood since 1890.
Trump, who has consistently maintained that removing statues of controversial figures would result in a slippery slope of who gets to determine what stays and what goes, blasted the move.
“Just watched as a massive crane took down the magnificent and very famous statue” of Robert E. Lee, he said.
“Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the Radical Left, and we can’t let that happen!” Trump added.
Trump bemoaned the deconstruction of “a beautiful piece of bronze sculpture,” which had towered over Richmond, VA since 1890.
He blamed “Radical Left” for the statue’s removal, claiming activists want to cover up American history, “both good and bad.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 9, 2021
RELATED: Statue Of Confederate General Robert E. Lee Removed From US Capitol
Trump Slams Radical Left For Removal Of General Lee Statue
Trump’s statement veers off on a tangent as he praises Robert E. Lee for his military competence, says the North would have won the Civil War “in one day” had Lee not sided with Virginia, and suggests he would have had far greater success in Afghanistan if he were alive today.
“If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago,” he said.
“What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!”
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But the crux of Trump’s argument is the cultural problem created by removing statues of controversial figures.
President Trump half-joked four years ago that the radical left would never stop and that statues of President George Washington would be coming down if we continue to go down this path.
Trump was right, they’re not going to stop at Robert E. Lee. They’re coming for it all.
“Are we going to take down statues to George Washington?”
“You’re changing history, you’re changing culture.”pic.twitter.com/n0PtlMPL5Z
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) September 8, 2021
“George Washington was a slave owner… Are we gonna take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?” Trump asked at the time.
In Portland, they did just that. Far-left protesters pulled down a statue of George Washington.
In far-left Madison, Wisconsin, students at the University of Wisconsin have demanded the removal of a statue of Abraham Lincoln.
RELATED: Trump Authorizes Law Enforcement To Arrest And Prosecute Anyone Attempting To Destroy Statues On Federal Property
Biden And Robert Byrd
While many conservatives support or at least tolerate the removal of Confederate statues, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had a different take.
The Supreme Allied Commander who defeated the Nazis praised Robert E. Lee and explained why he held him in such high regard.
Eisenhower described the Civil War as a “War between the states” and said “the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years.”
“General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation,” he wrote in a letter in 1960. “He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America.”
Trump, in a lengthy statement, decries the removal of Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue, calling it “magnificent.”
“If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan… What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!” pic.twitter.com/cRoLoUp5br
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) September 8, 2021
Old school Democrats like President Joe Biden also took a reconciliation approach to the south. His home state of Delaware, after all, was a slave state that fought for the Union.
A video surfaced in 2019 of the President praising the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Joe Biden called the United Daughters Of The Confederacy “an organization made up of many fine people who continue to display the Confederate flag.” pic.twitter.com/uWRNUCU4sO
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) December 8, 2019
In the clip, time-stamped on July 23rd, 1993, Biden states that the group is “an organization made up of many fine people who continue to display the Confederate flag.”
NPR is reporting that officials in Virginia are also replacing items from a time capsule that was stored in the base of Robert E. Lee’s monument.
The replacements are interesting, to say the least.
Virginia officials are replacing objects from a time capsule that was stored inside the base of the Robert E. Lee statue.
Among the new items:
✅ Kente cloth worn at the 400th commemoration of 1619
✅ an LGBTQ pride pin
✅ an expired vial of COVID vaccinehttps://t.co/aJh61tq5Rm
— NPR (@NPR) September 8, 2021
Some of the items according to the report “include a photo of a Black ballerina … (a) Kente cloth worn at the 400th commemoration of 1619, a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sticker, ‘Stop Asian Hate’ fliers, an LGBTQ pride pin, and an expired vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.”
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