The sad history is many of these monuments were not erected immediately after the war, as memorials, but in the 1920s, the last time the country was in thrall of major anti-immigrant hysteria. They were explicit reminders of white supremacy. And that’s the thing about this last election that’s so unnerving. As Martin Longman has noted repeatedly after looking at demographics etc., as much as the Left has discussed “distractions,” white people in certain areas, not typical voters, came out for cultural reasons that had little to do with Medicare-for-all, Bernie, whatnot. They came out based on race and culture, BLM resentment, and to vote against “liberals” whatever their affiliation and differences. In this way, the Left has constructed its own distraction, right or wrong. Unless some of these voters stay home again or start voting third party again, the House is going to be a tough uphill in 2018.
Either way, given US history, we shouldn’t be surprised by what we are seeing. The first Black president was bound to lead to major white resentment one way or another.