Friday, February 5, 2016

On Willis Hart Getting All Exercised Over The Existence Of Mt. Rushmore

Pure stupidity from the Libertarian blogger Willis Hart regarding the erection of monuments in honor of dead leaders.

Willis Hart: On Mount Rushmore... Not only is this a dumb idea (glorifying politicians), it's a dangerous one (the fact that history is replete with charismatic leaders who the people have succumbed to and ended up six feet under or wishing that they were). And look at the four dudes who we've chosen to put up there; two slaveholders and two war-mongering crazies (though, yes, Washington and Jefferson are preferable overall to Roosevelt and Lincoln)! I'm telling ya', if it was up to me, I'd have sandblasted that sucker (Mount Flushmore is what I call it) decades ago. (1/21/2016 AT 5:02pm).

For the most part it seems as though Willis is opposed to the existence of this monument (Willis: "I don't think that there should be a Rushmore, period"), although there is one post where he says that his Mount Rushmore would consist of the faces of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Cleveland.

Obviously it depends on WHICH politicians we're talking about. Clearly that one post proves that Willis is OK with "glorifying politicians"... it all depends on whether or not he personally agrees with the politics of the politician in question.

On the other hand, WTNPH has authored many more in which he says it should not exist or be destroyed. WHY so many commentaries in regards to this specific monument and none of our many other monuments honoring politicians? Washington DC has a lot of them, yet not one commentary where he says the Lincoln Memorial should be dismantled (which one might expect, given how much Willis hates Lincoln). Also no commentaries where he expresses an opinion in the affirmative re dynamiting the Washington Monument either (and so on).

Anyway, in regards to Willis' statement, "look at the four dudes who we've chosen to put up there"... FALSE. "We" did not choose. According to Wikipedia it was Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor, who "decided [Mount Rushmore] should have a more national focus and [he] chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be carved into the mountain".

I don't know why Willis would say "we" chose. Does he think there was a vote by all US citizens and we democratically selected George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln? It is true that "South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region [and] Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud, and Buffalo Bill Cody"... but the sculptor decided on the presidents (although "President Coolidge insisted that, along with Washington, two Republicans and one Democrat be portrayed"). "We" had nothing to do with it (as per Wikipedia).

As for Willis' desire to "sandblast" Rushmore, this reminds me of the sentiments of another group.

Tracking a trail of historical obliteration: ISIS trumpets destruction of Nimrud [article excerpt] ISIS continues to bulldoze its way through the cultural heritage of Iraq and Syria, releasing a new propaganda video showing its fighters destroying Iraq's ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in March. Nimrud lies close to ISIS' main stronghold in Iraq, the northern city of Mosul. The video... shows militants attacking the more than 3,000-year-old archaeological site with sledgehammers and power tools before finally using explosives to blow it up. The United Nations has previously described such deliberate cultural destruction as a "war crime"... (CNN article by Susannah Cullinane, Hamdi Alkhshali and Mohammed Tawfeeq. 4/13/2015).

So, as per this article (and given the fact that Rushmore is "listed on the National Register of Historic Places"), would the Hartster's desire to sandblast it be a WAR CRIME (if he acted on it)? He does say that "if it were up to him". Luckily it isn't up to him, as if it were destroyed it would surely cost South Dakota a lot in lost tourism dollars. One has to wonder why Willis hates the people of South Dakota so much. At least those citizens whose incomes are linked to tourism.

There is one valid criticism to be made here however, which is related to the fact that "the United States seized the area from the Lakota tribe after the Great Sioux War of 1876 [even though] the Treaty of Fort Laramie from 1868 had previously granted the Black Hills to the Lakota in perpetuity"... but none of Willis' idiotic diatribes have anything to do with the Lakota's valid gripes.

OST #104


  1. I understand the point Will is attempting to make, I think.

    For me zero monuments would be just fine, on Rushmore or anywhere else. But apparently a very many didn't and don't see it that way.

    Come to think of it a BB King monument at the capital would be okay. :)

    1. But would you sandblast it? Me, I acknowledge the fact that it's a historical landmark and part of our cultural heritage. Also pretty tricking impressive. If Willis did sandblast it I'd be OK with him getting the death penalty.


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