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Di Leo: A Strawman Made of Bronze



Robert e lee at charlottesville\

By John F. Di Leo - 

Reflections on the anatomy of a setup…

The news of the hour is about Charlottesville and its many copycats. For decades, there have been people agitating to take down monuments to Confederate heroes, and for just as long, there have been people defending them. But only in the summer of 2017 did this issue vault to the top of the headlines, above far worthier issues.

The question of the hour should not be what to do about the statues. The question should be "Why?" Why is this issue arising, when there is so much in the world that is so much more important than century-old bronze statues, sitting in local, state, and national parks… statues so old, in most cases, that you can’t even read their names until you get up close?

Upon analysis, we find that in this story, almost nothing is what it seems.

What To Do?

Let’s begin with the most basic aspect of the issue. Who owns the statues? In virtually every case, there is clear ownership by some government body. A college, a city council, a park district, a county, a state, or a federal department such as the National Park Service. 

In a nation founded on respect for human rights – among which, Property rights rank right alongside Life and Liberty – the answer should be simple. It’s up to the owners.  If the state, or college, or city wants to move a statue or leave it standing, that’s up to them.  Governments redesign and repurpose public parks all the time.

If people are offended by statues of long-dead 200-year-old Democrats, they should petition the relevant bodies, and either cheer when they win or politely accept defeat when they lose.

This is not something to protest over. It is not something to spend millions of dollars fighting.  We have more important issues in this country… issues like crime, jobs, education, health, invasion, and national security.

And while we’re on the subject… for the most part, the Republican Party has no say in the matter, and ought to stay out of it.

The Confederacy was a rebellion by Democrats, the party of slavery. These are statues of Democrats – the original Democrats, the honest 19th century Democrats who at least told you what they thought, and didn’t lie to their members with promises of a welfare state and a chicken in every pot like 20th century Democrats did – and it’s Democrats who are demanding that they be torn down.

Let’s let the Democrats sort it out amongst themselves. Republicans were the anti-slavery party, the party that was specifically founded to end the practice in the United States. Republicans truly have no dog in this fight.

A Statue in Charlottesville

There is a statue in Charlottesville.Like many such statues, it’s a beautiful, imposing monument in a public park… in this case, a handsome statue of an equestrian Robert E. Lee, West Point graduate, decorated veteran of American wars, and commander in chief of the southern forces in the Confederate States of America, the renegade country that lost a civil war.

General Lee was, by all accounts, a great man. An honorable Virginian who served his country, who detested slavery, and who in fact was not a slaveowner himself.

But when war came, he answered Virginia’s call, even though President Lincoln had hoped he would serve the North.

The reason why is instructive: While Lee was an opponent of slavery, he viewed the United States as a federation, not as a single nation. He believed his true debt of loyalty was to his country, which was Virginia… so he believed he had no choice.  While northerners viewed the United States as a single nation, so rebels must be classified as traitors, most southerners viewed each state as a nation, and the United States as a voluntary association.

Robert E. Lee would have felt like a traitor to Virginia if he had heeded the call from the United States to fight against his countrymen in Virginia.

Look at the European Union and the 2016 BREXIT vote in Great Britain. They have a surprisingly similar dynamic over there, across the Pond, even today.  Great Britain rightly maintained that they had never meant to surrender their sovereignty when they joined the EU, but over the past twenty years, the EU became more and more tyrannical, so Great Britain was right to depart.  It shocked the EU leadership in Brussels.  “You can’t leave!” they screamed… but Great Britain could, and voted to do so.  And the EU is furious.

We in the United States were in a very different situation, but that much was similar. Certain politicians of the American South felt that their states could exit the federation anytime, and most politicians of the American North disagreed.

This could have been an interesting philosophical point were it not for the role that slavery played in the politics of the era. The South was pro-slavery… even though few of those who fought for the South were slaveowners, even though many were philosophically opposed to slavery themselves, they identified with their states, so when war came, they fought for the CSA.

In the years since, most Americans have managed to find a middle ground, respecting heroism, valiance, devotion to their neighbors and states, relieved that slavery was finally eliminated in the end.

So most Americans view the various statues as what they are: artwork, decorations, historical artifacts. They shouldn’t upset us, as they stand for many other issues as well, not just for slavery.

But to some Americans today, especially those who are whipped into a frenzy by political demagogues, these statues just stand for the evil institution of slavery, gone from the United States for 150 years now, but still practiced across much of the globe.

A Riot in Charlottesville

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, a fight took place in Charlottesville, around this particular statue. There was a demonstration and a counterdemonstration, and state troopers looked on while fighting erupted.

The acknowledged Left (Democrat public officials) and the unacknowledged Left (members of the media who pretend to be nonpartisan, but are anything but) immediately seized upon the fight as a political touchpoint, and demanded that President Trump denounce some of the fighters.

So he did. But that wasn’t enough for them.  While he rightly denounced all the fighters, all the instigators on all sides, the Left only wanted him to call out the neo-Nazis and KKK members.  Well, President Trump has been denouncing neo-Nazis and KKK members for 20 years, but the Left nagged until he denounced them again by name… along with Antifa and all the other thugs present at the fight.

The Left would have us believe that this is a moment of embarrassment for the Right. It is not.  The Right had nothing to do with that event.

The people who had a permit to demonstrate – a broad group that included Neo-Nazis and KKK members – was a group of Democrats. They are of the Left.

The people who arrived to counter-demonstrate – a much larger group, including Antifa, Occupy, Greens, and the typical CraigsList hires of the MoveOn variety – was also a group of Democrats. They are of the Left.

So these may have appeared to be different groups of Leftists… different branches of Leftists… but there’s simply no question about it: This is a battle between Leftists.

The so called Right-Wing – the conservatives and libertarians of and around the Republican Party in America – has nothing to do with either side of that dust-up in Charlottesville.

Remember, Republicans were in the North during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t even allowed on the ballot in some Southern states.  Republicans aren’t involved in this internecine squabble between variants of American Democrats. 

The Truth Will Out

One of the great old lines of the genre of detective novels and 1940s noir movies is the declaration, “The truth will out.” No matter how hard powerful forces may try to bury the facts, eventually, the truth will be discovered.

And sure enough, in the days since Charlottesville, a great deal has come to light. More is sure to follow, but in mere days, consider what we know of the background already:

Jason Kessler, the organizer who pulled the permit for the original ‘pro-statue’ demonstration on Saturday, was a registered Democrat, longtime Obama supporter and Occupy protest veteran.

The organizers of the counter-protest – who, of course, did not have a permit – were also registered Democrats and Occupy protest veterans. They brought in busloads of protesters from states away.  How?  How did they all get there?  Well, the word had gone out as soon as the permit was pulled.  There was somebody on the inside, at city hall, pulling the strings to ensure there was a counter-demonstration in his town.

For such demonstrations, police design the cordons in specific ways, to ensure that protesters and counter-protesters are kept apart, to ensure that innocent bystanders are safely out of danger, and to ensure that if necessary, people can be dispersed safely and quickly.

By contrast, we have learned that the police intentionally designed the layout in a manner that allowed these opposing forces to be so close to each other, a fight was virtually inevitable. Worse still, the police failed to intervene at a logical time, despite being present in the necessary numbers and gear to do their jobs.


These cannot be coincidences. Both the protest and counter protest were organized by the same kind of people – left wing Obama era Occupy activists. There was clearly local government involvement in fanning the flames by ensuring that there would be a much bigger counter protest than the original authorized demonstration would be. And someone gave the police the orders to behave as they did; no police force would behave this way on their own.

At this writing, we don’t know everything yet. We don’t know which Democrat officeholders were involved, whether it was strictly local or if decisions were made as high as the governor’s office… but there is a gubernatorial race in Virginia this fall, and fanning the flames of racial division is a well-known tool in the modern Democrat campaign playbook. Maybe the main one.


The Charlottesville story catapulted to the top of the news. For as small an event as it was, it captured the imagination of the press.  There have been mass killings, horrific tragedies, both on the domestic and international scenes since Saturday, but the press has not allowed them to eclipse Charlottesville.

North Korea announced that it is standing down; Little Kim withdrew his threat to attack Guam. A dozen MS-13 gang leaders were arrested in Ohio and Indiana in a major DoJ drug bust.    The NAFTA negotiations are beginning with the goal of targeted openings of certain markets with Mexico and Canada.

But the press doesn’t care. They’re covering Charlottesville.  Why?

Because that was the plan.

The event itself was a setup. All they had to do was stage a rally at a Confederate monument, and they could be sure that a few KKK members and neo-Nazi sickos would show up to participate.

People who know their history certainly know that the KKK is a creation of the Democratic Party, with late Senate leader Robert Byrd their most famous recent chief… and people who know their history also certainly know that Nazis are socialists – it’s the name, for Heaven’s sakes… Nazi stands for National Socialists – so they’re Democrats too.

But the press isn’t interested in people who know their history.

The press is interested in gullible people, and they have found many.

Only the modern American press would have the audacity to claim that Nazis and KKK members – a bunch of Democrats – were right wing. But they do.

So they created a narrative that good, decent, caring counter protesters saw these ‘rightwingers’ and stood up to them, then the ‘rightwingers’ got violent. And they doubled down on that spin.

Even as we learn that the police were ordered by politicians to turn the place into a powder keg, even as video shows that it was the Antifa counter protesters who started the fighting, even as news reports confirm that the so called ‘unite the right’ rally was actually run by a left wing activist… the Left is confident that few enough people will learn the truth, and that their false narrative will hold for enough people that this will end up as a political win for the Left. Even though it was a massive sham.

These are all Democrats… from the fighters on both sides to the men in bronze up there on the pedestals. And yet, the Democrats are masterfully twisting the truth to try to make Republicans look bad.

They want to make Republicans defend statues of dead Democrats, so they can claim we agree with them, even though we fought a civil war against them to free the slaves.

They want to make Republicans support the Nazis and KKK members who were set up, even though we are diametrically opposed to them on every issue.

They want to make Republicans’ belief in fair play and the rule of law our undoing. The Left knows we oppose the rewriting of history, and they are confident that they can tie us to the memory of the very people our party was established to oppose, the people we fought and won a civil war to defeat.

The Republicans have always stood for individual freedom and intellectual honesty, and the today’s Democrats are intent on cleverly crafting a way to use our moral core against us.

So, if you’ve been wondering why Democrats are working so hard to topple every monument to Civil War era Democrats – in fact, to remove every single standing reminder that slavery was an original “Democratic Party Family Value” from the very beginning – perhaps the answer is right there in the question.

Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based writer, actor and trade compliance trainer. His columns are regularly found in Illinois Review.

Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the byline and IR URL are included.


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  1. There you go again, John: Trying to talk logic to leftists who, by nature, are irrational.
    It’s a traditional Democrat trick: blame the Republicans for the very things of which the Democrats are themselves historically guilty.

  2. What a great article. It defines the cause for the upheaval in our society today. But agreement or acknowledgment will never be accepted by the Democratic Party, they would rather live the lie, than relinquish their illusion of what good government is meant to be. Our President Trump has a huge fight before him in the long haul of his time in office. In my humble opinion he is going to need to be much more aggressive with the various organizations of traitors that advocate for his failure. All the political rhetoric & gibberish has been for naught, it’s time for the Attorney General to investigate and file charges against these dissenters that their goal is to destroy America.

  3. while John keeps beating the Democrat-Republican, left-right drum Soros & the deep state one world government group are funding 187 different groups with the specific intent of destroying the United States.

  4. I am truly sorry for those of you who want a third party to replace the GOP. I understand, and I don’t blame you.
    But I am realistic, and I know – not just think, but KNOW – that voting third party only empowers the Left.
    Every GOP vote that gets wasted on an unelectable independent, libertarian, or constitution party candidate just helps elect legislators who vote for Schumer, Pelosi and Madigan..