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Celebration of Columbus Is a Celebration of Discovery

Celebration of Columbus Is a Celebration of Discovery
(Dmytro Flask/Dreamstime)

By and
Monday, 09 October 2017 05:04 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. That much, at least, remains uncontroversial. Not too long ago, there was a popular expression, "Columbus discovered America!" That claim is at the center of a huge controversy.

In recent years, Columbus has fallen into disfavor among a certain elite. An Italian sailing for Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, he participated in the conquest and colonization of a new continent, while representing the interests of a regime committing genocide at home.

The Inquisition’s elimination of Spain’s thriving Jewish community, of course, is not the cause of Columbus’ fall. The toxic taxonomy of identity that has supplanted merit and morality among progressives has — without any hint of irony — consigned Jews of all colors to the category of incorrigible "white privilege," towards which all sympathy is misguided.

Within that same taxonomy, however, Spain’s colonization of the Western Hemisphere is something of an original sin. While pre-Colombian American cultures were hardly pacifist or peaceful havens, the arrival of the Europeans—and the Old World pathogens that accompanied them—led to countless deaths and fundamental cultural changes. Columbus the explorer opened the door to these developments.

Why honor such a man with a national holiday? Why have statues of Columbus around the country? Why incorporate his name into places, from Columbus, Ohio and the District of Columbia to the Northwest’s grand Columbia River — not to mention Columbia University and the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)?

Fair and reasonable questions — with an equally reasonable answer. America honors Columbus for what he enabled America to become. America reveres Columbus not as a moral leader — few know much about him personally — but as a symbol of bold exploration and adventure without which our nation could never have emerged as a new, free, democratic republic. In addition, Italian immigrants adopted him as the patron of their community, a symbol of Italian-American pride. America celebrates that, as well.

Not good enough, say the critics. Los Angeles has done away with Columbus Day, replacing it with Indigenous People Day. New York City’s Mayor de Blasio is "looking into" removing the glorious statue of Christopher Columbus from Columbus Circle.

The campaign against Columbus statues fits with the increasingly violent and intolerant tenor of our times. Vicious hordes have descended on statues honoring Confederate leaders throughout the American South. Movements capable of seeing George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as nothing other than morally degenerate slaveholders seem to grow by the month.

Large parts of the American left are out to purge our history of anything honoring anyone incapable of living up to contemporary progressive standards. In their eyes, the people and events that paved the way for America’s establishment are irredeemably guilty of an unforgiveable offense.

This issue brings America’s cultural division to a head. Who is it that is fighting against a rising tide? Who is it that has no place in the modern world? Is it those who take pride in the liberal tradition, those who embrace traditional American values — including diversity, freedom of conscience, and tolerance — and who therefore continue to honor Christopher Columbus? Or is it progressives, who — seeing only evil in the advance of the traditions of Judeo-Christian Western civilization — wish to purge American history and traditions of anyone and anything they deem morally deficient or merely personally disagreeable?

How long until the very name "America" is vilified as an offensive artifact of an evil civilization?

Those now objecting to Columbus are not taking to the streets to protest the actions of a 15th century Genoese adventurer; they are protesting America.

Their purges of public symbols, and their attempts to punish thought, speech, and dissent, fall far outside the American tradition. They are instead the métier of totalitarians, from Hitler, Stalin and Mao to ISIS and the Taliban. The parallels are unsurprising. All totalitarians are cut from the same power-mad messianic cloth.

All the contortionist explanations for why the self-declared tolerant and diverse left makes common cause with Islamist theocracies and socialist dictatorships cannot obscure the plain truth. They face a common enemy: the Judeo-Christian liberal tradition of Western civilization. The tradition whose best exemplar is the United States of America.

The celebration of Columbus is a celebration of discovery — of the advance of Western civilization — and of the tremendous contributions of Italian-Americans. A national holiday honoring Native Americans is a distinct question worth contemplating — but if America decides to have such a holiday, it should stand on its own merits, not as a replacement for anything else.

If anything, Los Angeles’ puerile manipulation diminishes and dishonors Indigenous Americans. The progressive campaign to demonize and delegitimize Western Civilization oozes racism, bigotry, and hate. It is ultimately suicidal — which is why so many of America’s enemies are its fellow travelers. Decent people, tolerant people — sane people  — should repudiate it. 

Columbus Day is an outstanding symbol of the United States of America. It deserves to be cherished. Pride in the greatest country ever conceived and created by humanity deserves to be nurtured. Happy Columbus Day — and God Bless America.

Bruce Abramson is the President of Informationism, Inc., Vice President and Director of Policy at the Iron Dome Alliance, and a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. Jeff Ballabon is CEO of B2 Strategic, Chairman of the Iron Dome Alliance, and a Senior Fellow at the American Conservative Union's Center for Statesmanship and Diplomacy. To read more of their reports — Click Here Now.

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The campaign against Columbus statues fits with the increasingly violent and intolerant tenor of our times. Columbus Day is an outstanding symbol of the United States of America. It deserves to be cherished. Pride in the greatest country ever conceived deserves to be nurtured.
cbs, columbian
Monday, 09 October 2017 05:04 PM
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