With Obama completing the displacement of the American people and the Republicans trying to start a war to detract attention from their uselessness and to revive their collapsed grassroots support, a poor observer barely has time and attention to note the civilizational degradation taking place in Lexington in the old and once-honored Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University is the final resting place of Gen. Robert E. Lee, one of the most beloved of all Americans, and his family.  It has been a place of pilgrimage and a quiet and dignified memorial to the lost Second American War for Independence.  There have been Confederate symbols in the chapel and occasional memorial events by Confederate descendants around the campus, where the grave of the most famous horse in American history, Traveler, is also to be found.

The college was founded in the early 19th century with the name of the great Virginian who led the First American War of Independence.  Amid the poverty and oppression of Reconstruction, R.E. Lee accepted the presidency of the struggling institution.  He was following his policy of working quietly to revive the fortunes of his people.  Lee turned down the gift of an English estate and offers to use his name in businesses that would have made him a millionaire several times over.  (This was incomprehensible to the ruling Republicans who were busy enriching themselves through state capitalism.)  After Lee’s passing, the institution became Washington and Lee.

The present trouble began when some affirmative-action law students demanded that all complimentary notice of the slavery defender Lee be removed from the campus.  In a sane society and in normal times the strangeness of such a request would be obvious, not least because Washington fought for a people who were even more slaveholding than those Lee defended.  But some years ago, when the NAACP was lagging from corruption and uselessness, it adopted a plan to attack relentlessly the Confederacy as the source of all oppression in America.  Actually, there are many, many better symbols of racism and oppression everywhere in America that are routinely ignored.  However, by focusing on Confederate symbols the campaign cleverly enlisted all the formidable weight of American self-righteousness in its ranks.

The complaint once filed, the outcome was predictable.  The carpetbagger president of the college (and the presidents of all Southern colleges are carpetbaggers) genuflected to the god Diversity and appointed a committee.  Such committees, ostensibly objective examiners of the question, are invariably lickspittles of the head man.  All acknowledgment of the Confederacy is now to be banned, although as far as I know, General Lee’s remains are not to be dug up and desecrated and his chapel renamed Mandela Shrine.

The strangest part of the episode was yet to come, however.  The college president defended the new dispensation thus: “Lee was an imperfect individual living in imperfect times.”  Presumably the president is a perfect person living in perfect times.  The spectacular intellectual shallowness, moral lameness, and slippery self-serving character of this leader of American education is all too typical of his kind, alas.