The country music legend Charlie Daniels has come to the public defense of president Trump, and weighed in on the highly charged debate about the Confederate-era statues and monuments which dot America’s public spaces.
Speaking to host Rita Cosby on Newsmax TV, Daniels compared tearing down the confederate statues across America to the actions of ISIS in destroying ancient iconography, saying both were an attempt to edit out parts of history “you don’t agree with” adding, “If you don't like it, don't look at it."
The “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” singer also said that he agreed with Trump that there were violent people on “both sides” at Charlottesville.
Daniels said that he condemned “any group made for the sole purpose of hating people of any creed or color,” but added, “I condemn anybody that was hitting people with sticks, but apart from the barrier I couldn’t tell one side from the other.” In the interview, he also praised Trump for standing up to “political correctness,” saying, “The guy’s a human being, he’s not a politician.”
Daniels, who was promoting his autobiography Don’t Look At The Empty Seats, also praised Trump’s method of interacting with North Korea, saying, of the rogue nation’s abandoned threats to bomb Guam, “That’s the first time I’ve seen Kim Jong Un, or any of these Jongs... ever back down from anybody.”
While there are of course many recorded occasions on which the North Koreans have threatened to bomb other countries without following through, it is the actor and songwriter’s comments on the statue controversy that are likely to provoke the most debate. He praised Robert E. Lee as “one of the most honorable people in our history,” and said that everyone in America has to encounter imagery every day that they may not like.
He cited the example of sexualized movie posters, and said that people who don’t like them are not entitled to start “tearing them down.”
Regarding the confederate statues, he said, “They’re not standing there talking... The statues are not preaching... They’re not shouting out some kind of crazy epitaphs... They’re just sitting there. So just turn around and don’t look at them.”
We await President Trump’s inevitable retweet of Daniels’ interview with bated breath.