Donald Trump somehow imagines that the nation–at least the white portion of the nation–shares his nostalgia for the Confederacy. He is prepared to fight to the bitter end to save statues of Robert E. Lee and others who rebelled against the United States of America and fought a war that cost more than 600,000 lives. He calls this our “great heritage.”

This is the same man who ridiculed Senator John McCain, who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison cell and was brutally beaten, yet refused the chance to go home early because he would not leave until his fellow Americans were freed. Trump said he was a “loser.” But he admires those who fought for states’ rights, dissolution of the union, and white supremacy.

The Boston Globe published this article about Trump’s allegiance to the Confederacy. Does MAGA mean “bring back the Confederacy”?:

WASHINGTON — Mississippi scrubbed the Confederate insignia from its state flag. Top Senate Republicans want to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. And on Wednesday, a crane lifted an enormous statue of Stonewall Jackson off its pedestal in Richmond, Va., the former capital of the Confederacy.

But while America begins to reckon with the racism of its history and its present, President Trump is defiantly defending that past.

As protesters and local governments around the country take down Confederate monuments and rethink the depiction of founding fathers who owned slaves, Trump has appointed himself their protector, tweeting seven times in a 24-hour span beginning Tuesday about attacks on statues and the nation’s “heritage.” He vowed to veto a defense bill if it strips Confederate officers’ names from military bases — a measure authored by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren but also backed by key Republicans. And on Sunday, he retweeted a video that showed one of his supporters yelling “white power.” He took it down hours later after facing criticism but he did not apologize for the sentiment.

“It’s my hope that President Trump takes a step back and realizes this is 2020, not 1940 or 1950,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, a Democrat who gave the order to remove the statue of Jackson and another Confederate officer from city property on Wednesday.

But a president who vowed to “Make America Great Again” has again focused his reelection campaign on the past — or at least one version of it. At a moment when the country is wrestling with difficult questions of race, he spent part of the week defending the honoring of Confederate generals and he will end it with an appearance Friday at Mount Rushmore, a monument that critics say has long promoted a sanitized, all-white story of American history.

“This is a battle to save the Heritage, History and Greatness of our country,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, echoing how he urged the mostly white crowd who came to see him in Tulsa last month to “save that beautiful heritage of ours.”

Trump swept into office in 2017 after a campaign that scapegoated Mexicans and Muslims and won over many white voters. Now, as polls show his support slipping with white people thanks in part to his handling of coronavirus, he’s framing civil rights protests as an “attack” on white Americans and the removal of Confederate symbols and vandalism of other statues as an erasure of their history.

“It appeals to people who believe that America is America because it’s white,” said Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chair who was the first Black man to hold that position. “So you talk about erasing ‘our heritage’ — you hear those words, what does that say to you? No one in this country talks like that except for racists.”