Thursday morning, President Donald Trump weighed in on the race to become Virginia's next governor, which, despite the evidence, is taking place in 2017 and not 1917:
Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy #'s around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2017
Those would be monuments to the Confederacy, the losing side in the Civil War. The president of the United States is advocating that they remain up, which once again puts him on the same side as the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched in support of the monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past summer, killing an anti-racist counterprotester while they were at it.
Ed Gillespie, the Republican nominee in the Virginia race, is generally a mild-mannered moderate, and no one who knows him thinks he really believes the monuments must stay up to honor the state's and the South's heritage.
But he only narrowly won the primary over Corey Stewart, a hard-right Trump supporter and sort of “neo-Confederate poster boy” who opposes the removal of the monuments and any disparagement of the Confederacy — which, again, was led by traitors who seceded from the United States for the express purpose of continuing to be allowed to own black people.
Gillespie has to get a fair number of Stewart supporters to win, so he has taken a more hardline stance on several issues, including the removal of Confederate monuments, over the last two months, even as he has kept the president at arm's length.
Nonetheless, this is who Donald Trump is backing in the Virginia gubernatorial election: a man who wants to win office so badly that he will cater to white supremacists who revere the Confederacy.
There is nothing “great” about this heritage, or about Gillespie's wrapping himself in it. The support of Trump, a man with his own history of racism, should only underscore that.