It’s the statues you put up, not the ones you pull down, that define a great nation.
Eight years ago I wrote a book about Barack Obama—remember him?—and had occasion to wonder what the liberal Mount Rushmore would look like. Whose faces would go up there to honor modern American liberalism’s greatest heroes and their achievements?
I assumed they would be former presidents, which made it easier. Woodrow Wilson, who shaped racism and Progressivism into the public philosophy of the modern Democratic party, had to be up there. Ditto Franklin D. Roosevelt, who launched the New Deal and the modern welfare state, and led the U.S. to the cusp of victory in World War II. Lyndon Baines Johnson presided over two ineffective and very unpopular wars, and though liberals hated the one in Vietnam they couldn’t get enough of the War on Poverty. He also engineered passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. So despite the anti-war Left’s long memory, I assumed his hangdog face would make it onto the new monument.
That left a final slot. Harry Truman was too anti-Communist to be a representative liberal any more. John F. Kennedy, same problem, plus he and Bill Clinton shared adulterous proclivities so egregious as to be disqualifying even before the #MeToo frenzy. Jimmy Carter was a one-termer. That left the first black president and Obamacare’s namesake, back when national health coverage for (almost) everyone was “a big f—ing
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