President Donald Trump may be the second best president the Confederacy ever had. In recent days, he has decried the removal of statues honoring Confederate generals and politicians. He has threatened to veto the defense appropriations bill if it includes a provision that would lead to renaming military bases currently named for Confederate military heroes. And he has slammed NASCAR for banning displays of the Confederate battle flag at stock car races.

All this pro-Confederate talk and tweeting is part of a broader campaign strategy to rev up paranoia about a left-wing war on traditional American culture. Such fearmongering has worked well for him to the extent it has helped keep solid his political base among evangelicals, Fox News watchers and talk-radio devotees.

The question, though, is whether Trump wrapping himself in the rebel flag is a smart move as his re-election campaign sinks lower and lower in the polls. Undoubtedly, every stars-and-bars-flying neo-Confederate in America is already a Trump voter. Will the suburban women and undecided independent voters he needs to attract be inspired by the president’s defense of Dixie, or will he prove himself to be way out of step with the current mood of a country that seems to have no interest in seeing the Old South rise again?

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