Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper commented on President Donald Trump’s desire to leave military bases named after Confederate leaders.
Tapper said, “It has been a rough period for President Trump and military leaders with his former Defense Secretary, retired Marine General James Mattis assailing him for diving the country. A sentiment given an Amen by Trump’s former chief of staff, retired Marine Colonel John Kelly, not to mention criticism from General Colin Powell, Admiral Bill McRaven, General Martin Dempsey, General John Allen, Admiral Mike Mullen.”
He continued, “The president and his supporters have had plenty of nasty things to say about these men who have served our country, of course, no need to report them, you have access to Twitter. There is one group of generals, however, that the president is standing firm with, dead, racist losers. More specifically, the Confederate commanders, after whom ten Army bases are currently named. Days ago, the Pentagon said they want to begin a bipartisan conversation about renaming these ten bases, but the president shut it down — he wants to continue to honor them.”
After detailing the backgrounds of some of the Confederate leaders’ bases are named for, Tapper said, “Four of these forts were named in the 1910s, six were named in the 1940s. These bases were not named after the Civil War and an attempt at national reconciliation, they were named in the 20th century as a way of honoring the racist lost cause that the generals fought. The keyword in that phrase, lost. They lost, and rightfully so, their cause was immoral.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany arguing that the bases should not be renamed asked hypothetically where does it end. That’s a fine question, and I don’t have an answer. Washington and Jefferson had slaves, though their careers were not built on fighting for the right to own slaves. In other words, they’re honored despite the hideous parts of their histories, not because of the hideous parts of their histories. But before we talk about where this all ends, it does not take much moral clarity to understand that a good place to start would be for the United States to stop honoring traitors and terrorists.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN