The most disgusting dishonesty involved in the campaign to tear down statues isn’t the IMPLICIT lie involved in judging the past by present standards, it’s the EXPLICIT lie that the vandals promote about why the monuments were valued in the first place. After the movement retroactively poisons the reputation of a subject, convincing the public that a man’s crimes outweigh his achievements (usually using half truths), it then invariably goes on the retcon the REASON why he was celebrated, “he was celebrated FOR his crimes”
Once the Overton window accepts the proposition to remove CONFEDERATE statues, progressives advance the notion that the objects were INTENDED to celebrate slavery, the contraposition is then use to defend statues of Washington & Jefferson, preventing the push from going too far. Everyone who knows anything about history (or even America outside the cities) knows that this premise is a lie, and therefore the defense of Jefferson & Washington under this standard is fraudulent. Once we roll from Lee to Columbus, the progression is inevitable. This is because this operation, this game, is not about understanding the past, but about a political narrative in the present. It’s about suckering as many middle American rubes into defending and idolizing what has already (secretly) been declared a “hate symbol” by elites.
Once the progressive elites triumph, they can then tell the story that they NEED to tell people to maintain power. Namely, that middle Americans are horrible racists that have only recently been convinced to give up their hatefulness (e.g. appreciation of Lee / Washington) Ultimately, I am not sure how to defeat this game. But I think an increasing number of people see how it works. I can say that I feel less inclined to defend any historical figures not directly tied to my faith or ethnicity. The cost otherwise is too great.