Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The Great Diversion

Nazi, Civil War, soldiers, dead soldiers, Charlottesville, antifa

Though the breakdown of civil debate seems new, the subjects are old. We are actually talking about Nazis, again. Nazi death counts. And the Confederacy. The former defeated by my father’s generation, the latter defeated several generations earlier.


Because talking about the future would require actual thought. It’s easier to fight over the past, over symbols of the past.

That is why there was a Charlottesville debacle. It is about a statue, a monument to dead soldiers featuring the Confederacy’s General Robert E. Lee. And what it means. The “Unite the Right” rally was set in Charlottesville because of the city council’s decision to remove it.

It is interesting, though, that the event did not unite “the Right.” Conservative and even many alleged “alt-right” groups refused to participate.

But “the Left” seems more united than before. If you focus on past racism and the persistence of Nazi and Confederate symbology, it’s pretty easy to agree. I agree.

And yet, I take a step back, and remember that those monuments do not have the univocal racist meaning attributed to them. They were intended to heal wounds.*

Now they open up old ones.

And yet this is all a diversion. We are facing a major set of crises that could lead to war, depression, chaos, and (possibly) worse. But we are not now handling them because we are fighting over symbols of the past.

This may be a very human thing to do.

But it is not smart.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* At least 350,000 young American men died wearing Confederate uniforms in the Civil War, and half a million Union soldiers are believed to have died directly from their war wounds. Today’s population is ten times greater, so adjusted for today it would be eight million deaths. That is a lot of searing wounds.

PDF for printing


By: CS Admin


  1. John F Brennan says:

    Of the future potentials you list, I do not know what can be worse than those listed. That said, the reason for recording history is to be study and be able to learn from it,  and not to relive its errors but rather to apply its lessons to the present and future.  To live in the past allows the installed leaders to control the present and future. That has caused the optimal result in the past but is the prescription to repeating it. 

  2. Karen H says:

    One sentence… aptly put, Paul.

    “Because talking about the future would require actual thought. It’s easier to fight over the past, over symbols of the past.”

    I abhor this violence & the fracturing of this country. I suspect (& I am not a conspiracy theorist) that much of this is paid for & instigated by one George Soros & his minions.

  3. Doug H says:

    Paul – I live here and you are simply incorrect. The Confederate-celebratory statues were erected in Charlottesville not to “heal wounds.” They were not intended to honor some lost heritage. They were put up in the early twentieth century as symbols to reinforce white supremacy in the Jim Crow era.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top