Today’s moral purists attack early leaders, such as John A. MacDonald, Canada’s founding Prime Minister, and Matthew Begbie, B.C.’s first Chief Justice.
If we are going to remove statues of anyone in history who offends current sensibilities, to be consistent, we must also remove all symbols recognizing all early political leaders, all WWII veterans, the Christian church and everyone else.
Virtually all founding leaders of western democracies were white males. They restricted voting and property rights to white male property owners. “Clearly” they were racist, classist and anti-woman. Expunge them all!
All Allied forces in WWII were allies of the Stalinist Russians. Stalin was a repressive and murderous leader. “Clearly,” our troops, being allied with Stalin, were complicit in his atrocities. Expunge them all! For clarity, I’m not proposing any of that. But that’s where today’s moral purists inevitably lead us if there’s any principle behind their demeaning of early leaders.
Those early leaders were not perfect, but they were visionary and inspirational. So let’s discuss their flaws, but don’t try and pretend that we don’t owe a lot to their leadership.