Despite calls by some politicians and the media for erasing those connected to slavery from U.S. history, it looks like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are going to be with us awhile longer. Voters strongly believe it’s better to learn from the past than erase it.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 88% of Likely U.S. Voters oppose removing the names of Washington and Jefferson from public places and taking down statues in their honor. Just seven percent (7%) favor the removal of their names from the public square because Washington and Jefferson like several of the other early presidents were slave owners. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Ninety percent (90%) oppose the closing or changing of Mount Rushmore because two of the four presidents it honors were slave owners. Only six percent (6%) believe the national historic monument in South Dakota should be changed or closed because it honors Washington and Jefferson.
Ninety-four percent (94%) of voters agree that it is better to try to learn from the wrongs of the past than to erase them. Just four percent (4%) think it is better to erase the wrongs of the past instead.
Voters tend to agree with President Trump’s defense of historical statues, and few think getting rid of Confederate monuments will lessen racial tensions in America.