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Libertarian lesson: Never name stuff after politicians

One blowback from the politically correct crusade to rename the NFL's Washington Redskins, on the premise that "Redskins" offends the delicate sensitivities of white liberals, is an email received by Dallas Libertarian Examiner from Americans for Limited Government.

Russell vs. Revels: Statue of politician Richard Russell, Jr. in his namesake office building rotunda. If he was racist he should be replaced by politically correct politician Hiram Rhodes Revels shown in the inset.
Russell vs. Revels: Statue of politician Richard Russell, Jr. in his namesake office building rotunda. If he was racist he should be replaced by politically correct politician Hiram Rhodes Revels shown in the inset.Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

ALG President Nathan Mehrens has urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to change the name of the Russell Senate Office Building.

Why?

For much the same reason that Reid sent a letter to Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen urging him to change his team's name because it "promotes a racial slur" and "disparages the American people."

Mehrens points out that Georgia Democrat Senator Richard Russell, Jr., namesake of the Russell Senate Office Building, "filibustered civil rights legislation, actively supported segregation, and even co-authored the Southern Manifesto against the Supreme Court's landmark ruling, Brown v. Board of Education."

Doesn't that constitute a racial slur and disparage the American People?

Mehrens wants to rename the building after Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first black senator elected after the Civil War in 1870 from Mississippi, "coincidentally" a Republican.

Libertarians have long warned people against making heroes out of politicians. They are members of the criminal class after all.

But if we're going to get into the renaming game let's not get into a whizzing tiff about renaming a building from a politically incorrect Democrat to a politically advantageous Republican.

Let's rename these public places to reflect the people for whom they were named in the first place.

North Texas has several tax-funded highways named after former presidents.

LBJ Freeway is named for Lyndon Banes Johnson even though his roots are in the Austin area, not the Dallas area. Because he famously lied about non-existent attacks on our warships in the Gulf of Tonkin as an excuse to expand the Vietnam War his road should be renamed The LBJ Gulf of Tonkin Memorial Lieway.

The portion of I-20 that runs through Arlington is named the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway. Wouldn't it be appropriate for daily commuters if it were renamed the "There You Go Again Crawlway"?

President George Bush Turnpike is named for the first Prez Bush. Famous for uttering the second-term-losing remark "Read my lips: No new taxes" let's rename it to The President George Bush No New Taxway.

And what About the Second President Bush who now has a retirement home and presidential library in Dallas? Certainly political kiss-ups will be wanting to name something after him! What's his main claim to fame? His infinitely premature "Mission Accomplished" banner on the aircraft carrier even as his, his father's and Obama's Iraq War still isn't over?

Rename it The Mission Never Accomplished Perpetual Texas Taxpayer-Funded Roadbuilding Boondoggle Tollway?

Other possibilities: A road named for President Obama would be Hope Alley; for a possible Hillary Clinton presidency we'll have It Takes a Village Cobblestone Street; and for the next Neocon president we'll get My Way Or The Highway.