They’re Gone Now

Not far from the Georgia-South Carolina border, surrounded by chicken barns and overgrown fields, stood a monument to hope, a set of granite guidestones commissioned at the height of the Cold War with a message to humanity’s survivors should they wish to rebuild.

It’s gone now.

We’re told that, around four in the morning on Wednesday, someone detonated a large explosive device at the site of the massive stone structure which toppled one of the four slabs. County authorities later demolished the remainder, citing structural instability.

The third-place candidate in the recent G.O.P. governor’s primary, one Kandiss Taylor, spent a ton of money on a television ad campaign that promised to remove the monument if she were elected. Citing a “Satanic conspiracy” by a “Luciferian cabal”, she claimed to be a champion in a war between good and evil, citing Alex Jones and other fringe voices in a somewhat disjointed message. Surprisingly, she passed 3% of the popular vote, as the incumbent won in a landslide against his main opponent — and, best as I can tell, she refuses to concede her loss.

In a recent Facebook post, she celebrated the destruction of the monument as an apparent act of God — presumably discounting the likelihood that someone working in one of the nearby granite quarries might have brought home some stolen supplies to do the job. Words like “theft” are so very ugly; so is “terrorism”.

There are lawful ways to remove a monument from public property. They involve acts of the Legislature, orders from the Governor, court decisions, and petitions to local and county councils. What they don’t include is stealing a great batch of dynamite from your boss and just blowing up whatever it is you happen to dislike. Any way you slice it, that’s a crime, and for good reason.

Any reasonable person may well have taken issue with some of the tenets inscribed on the stone; they haven’t aged well since 1980. But calling it a monument to Lucifer is curiously unconnected with any logic I can fathom. Still: You should judge for yourselves; here are the guide words in English.

Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
Unite humanity with a living new language.
Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
Balance personal rights with social duties.
Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
Be not a cancer on the Earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

I’m not thrilled with the idea of setting a cap on humanity, and I’d advise anyone to steer clear of planned reproduction unless there really are massive radioactive areas on the planet. But it’s hard to take exception to fair laws and just courts.

Not that it matters. It’s gone now.

If you’re celebrating that fact, understand that you’re happy someone stole dynamite from his boss to blow up a tourist attraction that advised people to prize truth, beauty, and love — and did so 36 hours after a terrorist shot up a 4th of July parade in order to promote random acts of violence in the pursuit of the destruction of modern society.

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