Talk about your pandering — Rudy Giuliani visited Montgomery the other day and said the people of Alabama should decide whether to fly the Confederate battle flag over the State Capitol:
“One of the great beauties of the kind of government we have, which is a national/federal government, is that we can make — on a broad range of issues — we can make different decisions in different parts of the country,” Mr. Giuliani said. “We have different sensitivities, and at different times we are going to come to different decisions, and I think that is best left up to the states.”
The NY Times says this question poses a litmus test for GOP candidates in the South. I think that’s overstating it; outside of a sizable minority of nuts, most Southerners prefer not to wallow in the past. Let me repeat: the flag is a symbol of white supremacy. And despite my Confederate roots, I’m glad the Union won.
Here’s what a real leader would say: “Yes, it should be a decision left to the states, but I wish those states would choose not to fly it. This country is already divided enough; do we really want to be honoring a symbol of secession? And consider what message you’d be sending to your state’s sizable African-American population. The South should not be celebrating its past, but its present. You’ve come a long way — why not recognize your progress instead of romanticizing a lost cause, one that sought to enslave an entire race of people while dividing these United States.”