So…how should we look at this?
According to a recent poll from Rasmussen Reports, nearly 90 percent of those surveyed say that favorable public recognition - in the form of statue displays and other, similar memorials - of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should be maintained, even in what has become an acutely volatile climate of historical revisionism.
At first glance, that seems pretty good…until you flip the numbers around, and realize that means nearly 10 percent of Americans think such memorials of Washington and Jefferson should be eradicated.
The poll of likely voters was conducted from August 17 to August 20, and, among other questions, asked, “Should George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson’s names be removed from public places and statues in their honor taken down?”
The results revealed that 88 percent of those surveyed said the monuments should remain, while seven percent said they should go.
Perhaps more troubling is the ratio of answers to another poll question that asked if respondents are “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments?” 50 percent said they are “sad,” but a sizable 37 percent disagreed with the notion they are “sad.”
Overall, though, it does appear that a healthy majority of Americans want history, reflected in any number of ways, to remain in view: The poll also asked, “Is it better to erase the wrongs of the past or try to learn from them?”
94 percent of Americans say it’s important to keep the past in place and learn from it, while just four percent think it’s a good idea to “erase the wrongs of the past.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large