I am old enough to remember the original George Wallace, a hateful racist who was Governor of Alabama. He ran for president as a champion of white nationalism. His base is now Trump’s base. Trump is the second coming of Wallace.

This post says it succinctly.

Trump channeled Wallace in front of Mount Rushmore.

Racism is alive and living in the White House.

On June 10 the Lincoln Project, the effort of former-Republicans to defeat Donald Trump, posted this on Twitter: “Today @realDonaldTrump became the Confederacy’s Second President.” The reason: Trump’s relentless defense of “Confederate generals who fought against the United States of America to preserve slavery and uphold white supremacy.”

In the weeks that followed, Trump has only doubled down on this defense, denouncing Black Lives Matter protesters as “vandals” attacking “our heritage,” and making clear that his re-election strategy centers on the stoking of white racial resentment, perhaps to the point of race war…

If last year Trump abused the legacy of Lincoln, this year he celebrated an edifice that has come to symbolize white supremacy and the illegal dispossession of native American lands, created in 1927 by a man with KKK sympathies who also created the monument to the Confederacy on Stone Mountain, Georgia, that features Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis.

Following Trump’s Juneteenth weekend rally in Tulsa, the site of the 1921 massacre of hundreds of local Black citizens, the explicit racism of Saturday’s site was obvious, and made more obvious by Trump’s neo-fascist diatribe of a speech. CNN’s description is apt:

In a jaw-dropping speech that amounted to a culture war bonfire, President Donald Trump used the backdrop of Mount Rushmore Friday night to frame protesters as a nefarious left-wing mob that intends to “end America.” Those opponents, he argued, are engaged in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.”

Trump did reference the egalitarian promise of July 4 as a celebration of the Declaration of Independence. He cynically nodded to Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” and to the example of Martin Luther King, Jr, and he listed a pantheon of “heroes” that included Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Muhammad Ali. But these were rhetorical flourishes, dissimulations designed to furnish a veneer of plausible deniability for the otherwise racist force of the speech. For Trump made clear to his white base that it is the current followers of Douglass, Tubman, and Ali who constitute a clear and present danger to “American Greatness.” The speech was nothing less than a call to arms, not simply to re-elect Trump but to vanquish enemies of the people: “Here tonight, before the eyes of our forefathers, Americans declare again, as we did 244 years ago: that we will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people. It will not happen.”

While Trump cynically invoked King, it is hard to imagine a rhetorical performance more different from King’s “The American Dream” speech, delivered on July 4, 1965, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, at the height of the struggle for civil rights that Trump is intend on repudiating. King’s speech was a serious moral appeal, a call to realize the “promise” of American freedom. Trump’s speech, especially when considered in the broader rhetorical and political context in which it was delivered, is a cynical incitement to a racially-inflected culture war….

There are obvious differences between Wallace and Trump. Trump is in many ways a postmodern racist, a shapeshifter perfectly capable of denouncing “shithole countries,” describing cities like Elijah Cummings’s Baltimore as “disgusting . . . rodent infested messes,” mocking Black journalists such as Yamiche Alcidor, and demanding that women of color who oppose him “go back to where they came from,” while simultaneously glorifying “Louie Armstrong” and Jesse Owens. Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech was thus more rhetorically complex, and in many ways more insidious, than Wallace’s 1965 speech.

But both men are at heart reactionaries for whom July Fourth is an occasion to commemorate not Lincoln’s inclusive vision of a strong national government that emancipates its citizens from oppression, but the neo-confederate opposition to this emancipation. Trump celebrates not a nation of free, rights-bearing, democratic citizens, but a homogenous populace unified in struggle against against imagined enemies: “Uplifted by the titans of Mount Rushmore, we will find unity that no one expected; we will make strides that no one thought possible. This country will be everything that our citizens have hoped for, for so many years, and that our enemies fear — because we will never forget that American freedom exists for American greatness. And that’s what we have: American greatness.”

To this extent, Trump, like Wallace, appeals to a genuinely Confederate reading of the Declaration of Independence itself.

Donald Trump is our George Wallace, our Jefferson Davis, a man who yearns to restore the Confederacy.

He must be defeated.