September 7, 2017

Dissecting a progressive podcast with only partial facts

A friend of mine, who happens to be an ardent socialist, recently shared on Facebook a link to a progressive podcast (here, if you can stomach the self-important arrogance of it).  The focus of the podcast was the possible moving of a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest from downtown Memphis to a cemetery.  This of course comes as part of the effort to scrub the history of the Confederacy from the history of the United States.  The podcast is of course critical of Forrest, but also of those who erected the statue. It's also notable for everything the podcast fails to mention.

Listening to the podcast it would be easy for an impressionable young mind to think of the evil intoned in the podcast about the man.  Absent the full slate of facts, it would be easy to jump to some conclusions that in the bigger societal picture, are not beneficial, or at least myopic.  I'm sure that's exactly what progressives with their flourishing poetic rhetoric hope will happen.

Except let's take a look at the rest of the facts.  After all, being suspicious of what you are being told is considered a virtue on the left is it not?

Of course the podcast points out that Forrest was a general in the Confederate army.  He was also a slave owner and a grand wizard and founder of the KKK.  These points are not forgotten in the podcast either.  Clearly Forrest was not a shining paragon of human virtue, even given the morale of the times in which he lived, which do not correlate to those of today.   

But it's also worth mentioning that he was a leader of the Democratic Party, as this historical election poster (from the Library of Congress) clearly indicates.

So this vile human happened to be a member of the Democratic party. Hmm.  Did not hear that in the podcast.  

However, the podcast also argued, fairly enough, that the erection of a monument or the writing on a plaque say as much or more about those who erected it than the subject of the monument themselves.  So the podcaster spends time admonishing then people of Memphis in 1905 who had this statue erected in this particular park.  The argument was that this was not a man who should have been honored, well after the Civil War was lost by the Confederacy and slavery had been abolished and discredited.  It's hard to argue with that.

Except in 1904, Tennessee voted Democratic in the presidential election.  So it's very likely those responsible for the memorial were urban Democrats as well.  Hmm.  Did not hear that in the podcast either.

Of course liberals will tell you that party affiliation and positions magically changed somewhere along the way as well and so those they are admonishing were Democrats but would somehow identify as Republicans today.  Given that liberals only tell half the story, as this particular podcast clear shows, why would you believe that without a hefty dose of skepticism and your own investigation of the facts?  That would just be allowing yourself to be manipulated.

Finally the podcaster made the specific point that Forrest's deathbed remorse over the choices he made should not be taken into consideration. He hoped that Forrest suffered as a result of his deathbed conversion.  That's not a very charitable attitude, something everyone would hope they would be afforded given a late in life epiphany. Nope.  Not for this evil man.  That says more about the podcaster than the podcast says about the subject of the podcast, Nathan Bedford Forrest*.

*NOTE:  I know it's derivative of Saul Alinsky to turn the argument of the podcaster on themselves for not living up to their own standards, but turnabout is fair play.

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