Will Virginia Republicans Fall for a Trump Mini-Me?: New at Reason

Republican Corey Stewart appears to be emulating the president in his campaign for the Virginia gubernatorial nomination.

A. Barton Hinkle writes:

Politicians often wrap themselves in the American flag—that's to be expected. But the Confederate one?

Corey Stewart, GOP candidate for governor of Virginia, has made the Stars and Bars his unofficial banner. The move qualifies as the most curious of his campaign, but it's far from the only odd one.

Stewart has railed against "politically correct" efforts to move Confederate statuary from their places of honor, and denounced those who would do so as "tyrants." Last week he slammed his primary opponent, Ed Gillespie, for alleged squishiness on the subject—in an ad titled "Lee Jackson Courage." By gad, sir. Just... by gad.

Why Stewart—who was born in the great Confederate state of Minnesota—pursues such a digression into the past remains a bit of a mystery. He has said he was "Trump before Trump was Trump," and is plainly trying to mimic The Donald's campaign strategy, right down to the cutesy name-calling (Stewart refers to Gillespie as "Establishment Ed").

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