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The mother of all monuments

Who doesn’t like a good fad? From piling into phone booths in the Fifties to the iconic pet rocks of the Eighties, fads grab the attention of the country and then quickly flame out. And then there was disco, which had a slightly shorter life span than the Carter administration but was every bit as painful. Talk about your misery index.

The latest fad to sweep the nation is the destruction of historical monuments. This movement is led by a roving band of jobless ne’er-do-wells called Antifa. Supposedly, Antifa has something to do with anti-fascism, we are told. In truth, Antifa is to anti-fascism what Krispy Kreme donuts are to weight loss. Throw in the knuckleheads of Black Lives Matter and you’ve got a veritable smorgasbord of mildly educated, easily led soccer hooligans (minus any interest in soccer) who think that anything to the right of Karl Marx must be removed from the annals of history. (Bernie Sanders, you’re safe.)

Any statue or monument depicting a Confederate Civil War hero is open for destruction. Even those on the winning side aren’t exactly safe either. And if the statue depicts a slave owner, better rush get your souvenir photos now while you can because it’ll be torn down, melted down and turned into an ornamental gate at George Soros’s summer compound by Labor Day.

So, in the rush to tear down monuments that could be offensive to someone, somewhere, we must broach the subject of the mother of all monuments – Mount Rushmore. Sure, it’s big and can’t be removed by a couple of land urchins with sledgehammers and a blow torch. Since it depicts the faces of George Washington (evil slave owner), Thomas Jefferson (evil, evil slave owner), Abraham Lincoln (he freed the slaves, but so what, he’s a white guy) and Teddy Roosevelt (evil big game hunter), you know the debate is coming soon.

In anticipation of such a debate, I suspect the bureaucrats at the Interior Department are already contemplating how to address the impending controversy. This scene has most certainly recently played out within the bowels of the Interior Department’s mid-level bureaucrats.

Wilson: What are we going to do?

Clark: About What?

Wilson: Mount Rushmore. You know, Washington and Jefferson. I’ve been charged with coming up with some alternatives. We might be able to slide with Lincoln. We could even possibly get away with keeping Roosevelt; I mean who even knows who he is anymore? But Washington and Jefferson are going to have to go. It’s only a matter of time.

Clark: But why? They are two of the founders of the country. Pretty big deals in their day, I hear. Both were presidents, you know.

Wilson: Sure, but they owned slaves. And Jefferson, with that whole Sally Hemmings thing doesn’t stand a chance with the college crowd.

Clark: Who’s complaining?

Wilson: We’re just trying to be proactive. What can we do?

Clark: Mount Rushmore isn’t a statue. You can’t pick it up and load it in the back of a pickup. Their faces are chiseled into the side of a mountain. And what about tourism? Over two million people go to Mount Rushmore every year.

Wilson: I know, I know. Maybe we can convince Google or Amazon to open up a facility near there. All we have to do is show them the United States government is not racist. Besides, it’s not like any of the four presidents ever set foot in South Dakota. Well, except Roosevelt, I think he hunted Bison there a couple of times. PETA is going to be all over our ass soon.

Clark: Can we get some drapes? We can just cover the whole damn thing.

Wilson: Clark, it’s Mount Rushmore, it’s pretty big. I don’t think drapes are going to cut it.

Clark: Not even if they are made from hemp?

Wilson: Um, maybe. Got any other ideas?

Clark: We could turn them into other iconic figures. You know, we just have to find some historical figures that are non-offensive.

Wilson: Do you have somebody in mind?

Clark: Michael Jackson?

Wilson: The black or white one?

Clark: Does it matter?

Wilson: These days it does matter. But I think we can do better. Try again.

Clark: Michael Jordon?

Wilson: Have you even seen how bad Charlotte’s record is since Jordon took over? Not a chance. We need someone who is completely free of any controversy…and has a winning record.

Clark: Sally Hemmings?

Wilson: That idea is a bit out there, but possible.

Clark: Maybe we’re thinking about this all wrong. Perhaps, instead of people we reconstruct Washington and Jefferson into things. We can turn Washington into kale.

Wilson: Kale? Everybody hates kale. People eat it because somebody once said it was good for us. It tastes like ragweed, but chewier.

Clark: But that’s the beauty of it. Everybody is in unanimous agreement that they hate kale. It is totally non-controversial. It brings people together.

Wilson: Now you’re talking. What else you got?

Clark: We turn Jefferson into low-income housing.

Wilson: Um, you lost me. It’s on the side of a mountain. That wouldn’t be a real boon to tourism. Plus, think of the cost to build the elevators.

Clark: But think of the view. Okay, if you don’t like that idea, how about Jefferson becomes a mega safe space for every microagression that has ever existed?

Wilson: I get it. Kind of like a giant apology tour, except everyone comes to it. Brilliant! We could double tourism! Every college kid with a gripe will want to go there. We’ll have to build more hotels.

I’m going to work on the memo to the under-secretary now. Clark, you might get a raise out of this.

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Curtice Mang

Curtice Mang is the author of two books, The Constitution - I'm Not Kidding and Other tales of Liberal Folly and The Smell of Politics: The Good, The Bad and The Odorous. He is a regular contributor of commentary and political satire to multiple websites. He lives in Phoenix with his wife.

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