IMHO, a few of these headscratcher monuments do not deserve to exist. Why do I say that? Well, I look at it this way: to earn a monument erected to you in the Nation's Capital, you should have done something positive for the nation. At the very least, you should probably refrain from any of the following actions (especially if you are a general fighting a war):
- Complain to your Commander-in-Chief that "a lack of resources was making it impossible to defeat the Confederate forces" when you had access to more men and material than your enemy could ever hope to muster.
- State that you were "unwilling to employ tactics that would result in heavy casualties." And you should not follow that statement with this quote: "ever poor fellow that is killed or wounded almost haunts me!" Perhaps you should get out of the whole general business.
- During the campaign McClellan declared the war a "failure" and urged "immediate efforts for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate convention of the states, or other peaceable means, to the end that peace may be restored on the basis of the federal Union of the States". However, McClellan added that this could happen when "our adversaries are willing to negotiate upon the basis of reunion." McClellan made it clear that he disliked slavery because it weakened the country but he opposed "forcible abolition as an object of the war or a necessary condition of peace and reunion."
-- tidbits courtesy of this page
So, can anybody explain to me why there is a statue to General George McClellan in the Nation's Capital?
All of this background is a lead-in to the question that TRP posed to me after I gave him my anti-McClellan spiel: "If forced to make a decision, which of the following would you make a monument for? General McClellan? Or Pauly Shore? You MUST choose. The monument would be near the Washington Monument and face towards the Capitol building." So what is my answer? Following the benchmark I set out a few paragraphs ago, I would be forced to choose Mr. Shore. It's just too bad that such an ugly mug would be permanently facing the Capitol Building.