Destroy statues, depose Trump, then what? by David C. Stolinsky, MD

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

The brilliant Thomas Sowell describes what he calls Stage One thinking. This type of thinking is common in small children and so-called progressives. When these people want something, they throw a tantrum and make a huge mess until they get it. But they give no thought to what damage will result from their tantrum. And they give no thought to what will follow if they get Dos XX posterwhat they want. That is, they seem totally unaware that there will be a Stage Two.

This type of behavior is annoying but tolerable in small children, whose minds have not yet matured to the point that they can foresee the results of their actions. But this behavior is even more annoying, and even less acceptable, in supposed adults. More to the point, this behavior can be dangerous, not only for the childish adults, but also for all the rest of us.

Destroy statues

First it was statues of Confederate generals like Robert E. Lee. The stated motive was to remove objects of veneration that represented supporters of slavery. What the real motive was I leave for you to discern. Now monuments to Columbus are being trashed, busts of Lincoln are being defaced, and the Lincoln Memorial is being spray-painted with obscenities. What does this tell us?

But if removing statues of Confederate generals is so important, why is it not equally important to erect statues of Union generals? If statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are so offensive that they have to be removed, why are not statues of Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Phil Sheridan, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, and Robert Gould Shaw so praiseworthy that they have to be erected? If defaming the Confederacy is essential, why is not praising the Union equally important? If denigrating the supporters of slavery is crucial, why is not elevating the supporters of freedom equally vital?

Or is the real purpose to tear down without building? Is the real purpose to remove sources of national pride without providing alternate sources? Is the real purpose not justice but anarchy?

But if anarchy follows, what then? People, especially independence-loving Americans, may tolerate anarchy for a short time. But then they will demand that order be restored ‒ by whoever promises to restore it. And that is likely to usher in a regime precisely opposite to what anarchists or progressives might prefer. But of course, to foresee that would require Stage Two thinking, of which these childish adults are incapable.

Bring down a President

Suppose the anti-Trump Democrats and the never-Trump Republicans get their wish. Suppose Trump resigns in disgust, expressing his contempt for the lying media and the disloyal Republicans. Suppose Trump is impeached and removed from office. Or God forbid, suppose he is assassinated. What then?

Vice President Pence would become President. Yes, Pence is more laid back, more reserved, more outwardly dignified than Trump. But so what? As far as we know, his policies would be identical to Trump’s. And in view of his better relations with Congress, his policies might have a better chance of being enacted. Would this make the never-Trumpers any less angry? Why should it?

And if Trump is brought down by whatever means, how would his supporters react? The peaceful majority would grumble and go about their business, harboring bitter resentment that they would express at the next election. But what about the less-than-peaceful minority, the very people whom the anti-Trumpers claim to fear?

If, as the anti-Trumpers proclaim, these people are dangerous, how much more dangerous would they become if they perceived that their President had been removed by undemocratic, devious means? But again, to foresee that would require Stage Two thinking, of which these childish adults are incapable.

Destructive tantrums and unreasonable demands are to be expected in poorly disciplined young children. But they are unacceptable and downright dangerous in utterly undisciplined childish adults.

I have a message for the history erasers, the statue removers, the monument defacers, the flag desecrators, and the National Anthem kneelers: If you enjoy destroying things but not building them, get a job with a demolition contractor, but keep your hands off my country.

Author’s Note: My apologies to Jonathan Goldsmith, who portrayed “the most interesting man in the world” in Dos Equis beer commercials from 2008 to 2016. I have no idea of his political views, but his photo [above] was irresistible.

Written by David C. Stolinsky, MD

Dr. Stolinsky is a retired medical oncologist, scholar, and co-author of Firearms: A Handbook for Health Professionals, published by The Claremont Institute. For other articles written by Dr. Stolinsky, check out our search feature on this website.

This article was originally published on, on August 24, 2017.

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