A Republican Missouri state lawmaker raised eyebrows this week after he published a controversial tweet in which he called for the removal of the Lincoln Memorial, calling the 16th president “reprehensible.”
According to the Daily Caller, state Rep. Tony Lovasco (R) tweeted a video of the removal of a 12-ton statue of Robert E. Lee, adding in a caption of an image of the Lincoln Memorial, “If we insist on tearing down statues of reprehensible people, let’s at least be fair and balanced about it.”
What’s his deal?
Given the bizarre nature of his tweet, unsurprisingly, a number of media outlets, including the Daily Caller, reached out to Lovasco for clarification, though it didn’t appear to clarify much.
The Republican state lawmaker told the outlet that his tweet didn’t mean he is “officially calling for the statue to be removed,” adding that his call for the removal of the Lincoln Memorial was “mostly sarcastic.”
However, Lovasco doesn’t appear to be a fan of what most historians consider one of the most influential and greatest presidents in American history, as he added “that while Lee may have been a terrible person (and should be condemned as such), Lincoln was no hero.”
His initial tweet was apparently bombarded by commentators who presumed that if Lovasco wanted Lincoln canceled, he must be a fan of the confederacy.
“It’s unfortunate how many people think saying ‘Lincoln was reprehensible’ equals some kind of support for the Confederacy, especially given the context of my tweet. It’s quite possible to point out that neither Lincoln nor Lee where [sic] good people deserving honor,” Lovasco said in another tweet.
Why against Lincoln?
Lovasco went on to explain why he believes President Lincoln doesn’t deserve the praise that he often receives in the history books.
“Lincoln forcibly conscripted people to fight against their will for the Union army, suspended the right of habeaus corpus, and was responsible for the needless deaths of thousands of people, including large numbers of Native Americans,” the Republican said.
A quick search through comments on Lovasco’s post revealed that many were taken aback by his anti-Lincoln criticism.
Other groups have previously called for the removal of various statues and monuments of Lincoln, including a group of Wisconsin students who said the deceased president, who was responsible for freeing the slaves, was “anti-black.”
While it’s unclear if Lovasco was serious about joining that movement, in truth, it seems as if he was simply hunting for a little extra social media attention to keep things lively.