President Trump was roundly mocked and derided for worrying in August 2017 that statue destroyers would move on from statues of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to statues of former presidents and founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Major media accused Trump of making inappropriate and even ridiculous comments.
Fewer than three years later, precisely as President Trump predicted, iconoclastic mobs have moved on from toppling Confederate statues to deface, damage, and destroy statues of and memorials to Admiral David Farragut, abolitionist Matthias Baldwin, American Revolutionary War Gen. Philip Schuyler, a Texas ranger, Commanding Gen. of the Union Army Ulysses S. Grant, Frances Scott Key, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. A statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt is facing imminent removal in New York City.
“So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” President Trump asked on August 15, 2017.
Removing Confederate memorials doesn’t mean Washington and Jefferson are next, assured Jamelle Bouie of Slate at the time. “Trump’s comparison there is dumb. It doesn’t really even make any sense. And the notion that there’s some slippery slope is dumb,” he said.