21 January 2012

Heroes Belong On Pedestals

Update: Since Michael Aubrecht offered a snyopsis of my recent posting, allow me to take a moment to return the favor. His most recent postings seem to be focused on one of two things: a rather strange fascination with the sex lives of the founders and wordy parroting of academia's boring and self-serving, self-aggrandizing emphasis on the sins of past generations of American patriots.

Moreover, Michael evidently doesn't appreciate quoting other sources ("cutting and pasting" in his words) to support one's position. I must assume he believes his knowledge alone is sufficient to settle an argument. His desire to please other academics and get better gigs is causing him to morph into one himself. Allow me to lazily cut and paste another appropriate quote for the likes of Michael:

What most frustrates Americans is that we are a happy, optimistic, can-do people ceaselessly harangued by media solons, delusional academics, post-sovereign Eurocrats, and the Democrats who love them. While we free and feed the world, they can’t tell us enough that we’re racist, imperialist, torturing louts. We know it’s a libel, an endless stream of slander. But we also know it’s an absurd libel. We’re tired of hearing it, but taking it too seriously would give it power it doesn’t deserve. - Andrew McCarty, National Review online (Emphasis mine.)

My original post here was nothing personal against Michael - just what he wrote and the position he took regarding the hero status of Stonewall Jackson. If he's going to blog, he needs to grow some thicker skin. Since you can't comment on posts at his blog, he must expect that others are going to disagree from time to time and offer a counterpoint somewhere else. So how does Michael respond to my rebuttal and admiration for Stonewall Jackson? By suggesting that those who view Jackson and other Confederates soldiers as heroic and possessing admirable traits (as our Governor recently did here) are racist. So typical, so shallow, so vapid, so non-thinking, and so predictable. Since Michael violated rule #4 for commenting here, you will have to visit his blog to read further thoughts by him as he will no longer be commenting here.

End of update.

History blogger Michael Aubrecht recently posted a piece titled, Taking Stonewall Down Off The Pedestal. Actually, heroes belong on pedestals - literally and figuratively. That's why we put them there.

If you talk about a good aspect of a great man or generation, you are expected to immediately follow up with a list of their flaws and mistakes as well. If you don’t, you’re seen as a rube who has swallowed the traditional version of history and isn’t in on the new “secret” information that has been revealed. The self-satisfaction of those who consider themselves in the know and like to give you the “real scoop” is invariably palatable.
~ Brett McKay

The Red Herring argument that these men were flawed (as if we didn't already know that) does not negate the need for heroes - nor the fact that Stonewall Jackson belongs among that select group of men. Happy Birthday General Jackson.

For a more realistic and mature look at Jackson, I would recommend James Robertson's essay: “STONEWALL” JACKSON: CHRISTIAN SOLDIER Of course, Robertson's award winning biography is also a must read for serious students of both Jackson and the WBTS.


Thomas Gann said...

I don't know who said this or what the exact quote is,but it goes something like this."The greatness of a nation can be measured by the heros that they choose to honor."

It says alot about our present generation,that we can't look upon great men and women without magnifing their faults,real or percieved,above their virtues.We have become such an immoral people that we know we cannot measure up to them,so we try to pull them down to our present base level to hide our own infeirioty.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"We have become such an immoral people that we know we cannot measure up to them,so we try to pull them down to our present base level to hide our own infeirioty."

I've made that same observation countless times.

Michael Aubrecht said...

Richard. What exactly is "unrealistic" and "immature" about my post? Please elaborate.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hi Michael. I think its unrealistic and immature for a number of reasons. First, the post is more about you than it is Jackson - how your views evolved and how you then seem to project that experience on others - as if we all are at some point in that journey. I believe the elaboration you seek can best be summed up in the quote from Brett McKay. We've been through all this before Michael.

Michael Aubrecht said...

Richard, the fact that you are defending the act of idolizing individuals who supported a movement that included the ownership of other human beings says a lot more about you than me.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael - there you go again making assumptions. I did no such thing. Your Straw Men cause me no concern. I would suggest two things:

1: Read the quote to which I alread referred.
2: Read Robertson's bio of Jackson to see what he was fighting for.

13thBama said...

Aubrecht's "I" key must be pretty much wore out.

13thBama said...

If Aubrecht so dislikes Jackson maybe he should give back all the money he has made off of Jackson's popularity.

Chaps said...

I have often thought that the reasons the left try to take heroes down are: they can't stand seeing persons live with the honor and courage they lack, and, they want to be the only ones on pedestals. Thank you for upholding your principles even though I will miss Michael; he was often a laugh riot.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Elites - particualrly those in academia - have been conditioned to believe that "they're the ones they've been waiting for."

Narcissist to the core.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I just received this anonymous comment from someone calling themselves "Me":

"Gentlemen.... I bid you farewell and F*** YOU."

I don't know who posted it, but I don't publish potty-mouths. Very brave of you to post such a comment anonymously.

But, please, don't make any guesses as to who posted this. I won't publish that either. Just wanted to make some of you aware of the kinds of comments/emails I get from time to time.

13thBama said...

They are children. It is so amazing how much they act like spoiled little children.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael has sent me a private email and assured me he was not the author of the profane email. He's never done anything like that before, so I have no reason not to believe him.

Peter MacHare said...

It has always seemed to me that the best reason to read history is to open our minds by getting into the heads of different people in different cultures and different times. If you merely use today's attitudes to judge the past, you are not studying history, you are studying the present. And you are not opening your mind, you are keeping it closed tight.