Christopher Columbus was an American-style entrepreneur. He conceived his project alone, suffering in poverty for nearly a decade while raising the money to sail west in search of a backdoor route to the Indies of the East. Most of us can’t begin to grasp the scope of Columbus’s insatiable curiosity, intellectual drive and accomplishments of navigation. Most of us couldn’t find the hamper without a GPS.
Today Columbus’s reputation is under siege. But those seeking to delegitimize the Genoan explorer’s legacy may actually have a larger target in mind. Statues of Columbus and tributes to his achievements are in many ways proxies for the Western tradition of freedom, liberty and the rule of law. America had better protect Columbus and win this war. There is no one else to save the world next time around.