The Democratic Party of Orange County renewed their efforts to remove John Wayne’s name from the local airport this week, citing a 50-year-old interview with Playboy Magazine as reason enough to erase the man’s legacy. Jumping whole-hog on the progressive movement to tear down statues and replace breakfast mascots, the Democrats said that Orange County’s growing diversity demands that Wayne be tossed onto the bonfire of history.
Not everyone, however, is quite so eager to dismiss John Wayne’s image on the basis of a few problematic comments. Michelle Steel, the chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, argued this week that Wayne’s legacy should be his immense contributions to both the local community and the nation at large.
“John Wayne led the movement to make Orange County home to Vietnamese refugees, he was an ardent supporter of our men and women in uniform, and his family foundation has been a national leader in cancer research,” argued Steel. “As an immigrant to our country, I am extremely sensitive to the actions and statements of people who perpetuate and make racist statements. The comments by John Wayne from 50 years ago are wrong and sad from someone who so many people across America hold in high regard.
“While I have experienced racism first-hand, I do believe that a person should be judged on the totality of their actions and contributions to society which is why I support keeping the name John Wayne Airport,” she continued. “John Wayne’s contributions to families in Southern California and across America live on to this day. He personally worked to assist Vietnamese refugees resettle in America, many of whom still live here in Orange County. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s investments in research have resulted in groundbreaking treatments and the establishment of a cancer institute in Santa Monica. Because of his dedication to our military and country, Mr. Wayne received both the Naval Heritage Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.”
Of course, in an era where leftists are trying to cancel everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to Abraham Lincoln, what difference does it make that Wayne did much more good for the country than one stupid interview could ever erase? No, in the era of “let’s dig through your social media history and call you out on the worst joke you ever made,” the point IS the cancellation. The point IS gathering up a mob and ripping people apart. Alive or dead, it doesn’t matter. The point is change for the sake of change.
The point is making people afraid that they will be next if they don’t sign on to every jot and tittle of the leftist agenda.
Maybe they should take Wayne’s name off the airport. This generation doesn’t have the slightest clue what to do with his iconic brand of toughness and masculinity.