The war on statuary serves two purposes: The first is to humiliate Southerners in retribution for their support of Republican politicians and conservative causes, particularly religious and social causes. The second is to help Democrats win elections without white men. If only whites voted, the last Democratic president would have been Lyndon Johnson. If only white men voted, Mitt Romney would have won 45 states and 501 electoral votes in 2012. Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 showed Democrats that political math behind the Obama coalition — assembling enough groups of aggrieved minorities to create a majority — is no guarantee of victory in the Electoral College, especially when the charismatic young black man is replaced by a degenerate little old lady from Park Ridge. Keeping non-whites in a state of panic and agitation is necessary to Democrats’ political aspirations. Twenty years of economic prosperity and social peace would do grievous damage to the Left: The Reagan boom, which lasted from the early 1980s until nearly the turn of the century, reduced the Left to little more than a few deans of students and had Bill Clinton complaining that he’s been forced to become an Eisenhower Republican to win and keep the presidency.

The Democrats’ motives here are tawdry and self-serving, for the most part. As cheap and silly as Southern sentimentality can be, the desire to reduce and humiliate one’s fellow citizens is distasteful. We would all do better to take Abraham Lincoln’s advice: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.” Friends overlook one another’s little vices.

And friends do not terrorize one another by torchlight. Republicans would do well to remember what the alternative to being the party of Lincoln really is.