And then one day, for no particular reason, people were mad at statues.
— Forrest Gump, if he were alive today
In the divisive issue of what to do with Confederate statues around the country, one reason we should take a breath here and not engage in the politics of history is to understand the past. Totalitarian regimes such as the Nazis, Bolsheviks, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, North Korea's Kim family, the Taliban, etc., all tore down statues about any history they did not like and rewrote all narratives to make themselves the heroes.
Yet the dream of the Saul Alinsky-left is to cause turmoil, rewrite history in its favor and divide a country to gain power in the resulting tumult. Every totalitarian movement manufactures an enemy; Hitler made the Jews his (and Germany's) scapegoat. It never ends well.
The small number of 200 "white nationalists" in Charlottesville were able to get the attention of a nation of 330 million people by espousing idiotic views. What are white nationalists? They should just be called Klan Lite.
All this conjured-up hyperventilating about Trump's response to Charlottesville is just more of the condescending indignation of media that want to delegitimize his presidency any way it can. Parsing the phrasing of a response is just a silly word game. No one could rationally believe Trump is a white supremacist any more than he or she could reason that he is a Russian pawn.
The tired article of faith among the media and the left is that anyone who disagrees with them politically is a racist. This is particularly acute for us Southerners. They think we all watch "Gone With the Wind" backwards so that it will have a happy ending.
We are a nation that likes to fight. Sending more troops to Afghanistan and doubling down on a $2 trillion mistake is the latest. War is just another unfunded government program. We are so eager to fight we are about to fight another civil war — over our last Civil War.
Almost all countries on Earth were involved in slavery at some point in their history. America hasn't had slaves for 150 years, unless you count Wal-mart employees and interns at CNN.
The Wall Street Journal reported that whites have to score 310 points higher than blacks on their SATs to get into Harvard. Is that a level playing field? We are constantly being called racist when we want only equality and a fair shake. Maybe Van Jones of CNN was right: The Trump election was a "White-lash."
The slicing and dicing of purportedly wronged voters into buckets of victims, known as identity politics, was accelerated under Barack Obama. That is why we cannot be totally surprised when small groups of disaffected whites start to coalesce around their own "identity" concerns.
Polls tell us that race relations, long on the mend, got worse under Obama, a man uniquely positioned to make them better. To call a nation that twice elected an African-American president "racist" seems at odds with reality.
Then-Vice President Joe Biden's theme was that we need to have uncomfortable talks about race with each other. In my view, that dialogue between whites and blacks is difficult in cities like New York and Los Angeles because neither side speaks Spanish.
Signs of "No Free Speech for Fascists!" appeared at the Charlottesville counterprotests, yet free speech is the best way our society has to identify the idiots who live among us.
When does this path to totalitarianism end? Trump is right: Robert E. Lee now, but will Jefferson and Washington be next? I told my Washington and Lee University grad buddies that, at this rate, they will have to repeat college.
It's easier for opponents to call Trump racist now, rather than resorting to their narrative of the last six months calling him a communist, because that only increases his support among Democrats.
It might again surprise the media, which condescendingly manufactured this faux indignation over Trump's initial response to Charlottesville, that it actually might help Trump. He remains the Road Runner to their Wile E. Coyote.
Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or Twitter @RonaldHart.