No More Government Statues

LETTER TO THE EDITOR (News-Press): NO MORE GOVERNMENT STATUES

You recently ran an editorial about the “Cancel Culture” and the ongoing vandalizing of public statues (“It’s time to cancel the whole ‘cancel’ culture”, March 21).  It was written by a member of “NeW”, a group that is “educating, equipping and empowering young conservative women”,  an admirable group for sure.

What the editorial completely missed is that governments should not be in the “statue business” at all. More generally, government has no legitimate interest in endorsing or embracing any one person or any one value at all. Governments exist solely to provide certain utterly essential services that we cannot provide for ourselves, nothing more.

Building (or maintaining) statues is not an “utterly essential service that we cannot provide for ourselves”.  Besides, there is nothing inherently “Conservative” about allowing or encouraging government to spend taxpayer money on erecting or maintaining statues. All government statues should be sold off. More importantly, governments should limit themselves to essential barebones work. The rest is up to us as individuals and as voluntary associations.

I realize that there are many people who are worthy of great respect and who should be routinely acknowledged in the public square as inspirations, (Dr. Martin Luther King comes immediately to mind, of course). However, this should be done through private efforts, not governmental action at taxpayer expense. 

We Libertarians enthusiastically embrace all of the above sentiments. 
Larry Gillis, Cape Coral

Professor Gillis is Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Lee County and a former member of the New-Press Editorial Board