Isn't that cute. A liberal wants the decision taken away from the big bad state and given to the smaller, individual communities and towns. But hey, sign me up.
Late to the party but I feel this is an important point to make.
I'm currently vacationing in Tennessee, where just like everywhere else this issue of Confederate monuments is hotly debated. Specifically, I am just outside of Memphis, which desperately wants to remove statues of Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest*, and others from public spaces in the city. The city council actually voted on this a significant time ago (possibly a few years; I'm trying to remember from the news report I saw), and overwhelmingly supported removal.
*The Forrest statue is a much more complicated issue, on its own. It not only is a statue of the Memphis native, but it also marks the burial place of Forrest and his wife. So even if you can get the statue out there's a whole, uh, deeper problem on their hands.
Unfortunately, the state of Tennessee passed a law several years ago stating that all statues, memorials, and monuments located on public land are officially under the authority of a state historical commission, and may not be removed. Any relocation or removal must be preceded by a waiver from that commission. So the city of Memphis, wanting to have these statues at least relocated, have been waiting for a waiver from a commission appointed by a rural-dominated, Republican-heavy state government.
Nobody seems to be holding their breath.
So while Nickle mocks someone for wanting the kind of local government that most reasonable people on all sides of the issue would probably feel makes sense, the group that actually pays lip service to wanting that kind of local freedom takes it away (and, as we've seen in recent years, this isn't the only place where or issue on which this occurs).
Statues are not generally put up only for the purpose of remembrance. They are put up to glorify heroes and keep that glorification in the memory of future generations. That's why statues for the people we're talking about were put up in the first place. The statues of Lee and Jackson were put up to glorify great soldiers who fought in a lost cause (or the Lost Cause), because they were heroes to a significant number of people in a city and state where a significant number of people openly supported the losing side. The same for the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors statue, which glorifies the memory of the regular fighting men who came from this city and state and fought on the losing side. I honestly doubt the Dred Scot decision even came into the minds of most people when the Taney statues went up in Baltimore and Annapolis; they were to glorify the memory of a man that to this day held a a higher place in the national government than anyone else native to this state.
When it comes to remembrance of the Civil War, we have hundreds of places around the United States that exist for that purpose. They are national and state battlefields, national and state monuments, national and state cemeteries. Places where the Union managed to break the back of the rebellion, like Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Places where the Confederates managed to bloody the northern nose for a little while, like Shiloh and Fredericksburg. The place where the rebellion started at Fort Sumter, and the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Even places like Fort Pillow and Andersonville, where the closest things to Nazi-level atrocities occurred on our continent.
Those places will be there to help all generations remember the war and what it did to the United States and how the outcomes and consequences will never stop reverberating through time. We don't need statues of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson or Nathan Bedford Forrest, or even Roger Taney, who did as much as any single person to light the fuse that shortly after fired a shell in Charleston Harbor. We have those places.
Other countries rarely glorify traitors, and rarely glorify losers. When they do, say in the case of William Wallace, for example, it is a person who fought a losing battle in the service of an oppressed people, and usually a people who eventually did earn their freedom. The rebellion of the 1860s was not an oppressed people attempting to throw off the shackles of a domineering power, no matter how many Southern historical writers want to push that view of the fight. They were a people fighting for the right to oppress and dominate others when the tides of history were receding from that beach. They were traitors to the United States of America, and they were losers. They earned remembrance, but never glory.