The Confederacy Loses Again in Virginia

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the defeat of Republican Corey Stewart in Virginia last night. His Senate race against Democrat Tim Kaine was called right after polls closed. No politician has embraced the memory of the Confederacy more openly than Stewart over the past few years. This transplant from Minnesota was welcomed with open arms by Confederate heritage groups like the Virginia Flaggers.

He also inspired and rallied support from a smattering of white nationalists like Jason Kessler.

This is certainly encouraging news, but it is unclear what, if anything, it means for the ongoing debate about Confederate monuments. Stewart demonstrated that the defense of Confederate monuments and embrace of the Lost Cause will not win an election in Virginia and may even be a liability. This may send a signal to other politicians to steer clear of this issue.

For now it’s enough to celebrate the defeat of Stewart’s not-so-unique brand of hate and nostalgia for a Confederate past that is thankfully ‘gone with the wind.’

About the author: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What next? Scroll down and join the discussion in the comments section. Looking for more Civil War content? You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published. Pre-order your copy today.

23 comments… add one
  • David McCallister Nov 7, 2018 @ 4:29

    Confederate Heritage WINS in Florida and Georgia!
    1. In the only direct referendum on Confederate issues, Walton County, Florida voted over 60% to keep the Confederate Flag flying at the county seat, DeFuniak Springs.
    This is a repudiation of the Democrat Executive Committee, and the NAACP, which tried to pressure the County Commission into removing it. 60% is enough to get an amendment to the state constitution passed!
    2. The Democrat candidate for Governor of Florida, Andrew Gillum, who had supported a Bill in the legislature to remove Confederate monuments across the state, LOST.
    3.Similarly, Stacey Abrams, Democrat candidate for Governor of Georgia, also LOST. She had made Confederate monuments, especially Stone Mountain, a big issue in that state.
    There’s at least two prominent Anti-Confederates going down in flames; and the flag still flying high.

    • Kevin Levin Nov 7, 2018 @ 4:35

      Thanks for adding this to the post. That said, I don’t think it is accurate to suggest that the “flag is still flying high” in those states. Local stories of monument and flag removals tell a very different story. Abrams certainly made Confederate monuments a bigger issue than Gillum, but neither candidate was decisively defeated. The same can’t be said for Stewart.

      Still, you raise some important points to consider.

      • DavI'd McCallister Nov 7, 2018 @ 11:12

        Which proves my point, Kevin. If the people ever get to vote on keeping Confederate monuments, flags, symbols, etc. they do vote to keep them. It’s only politically motivated (ie threatened by the Naacp and Antifa, Cair, Dem. Socialists, BLM, etc. ), politicians who cave in. This is why the ‘takeem downers are afraid of democracy, and never want the people to vote. So right now, Confederate symbols are batting 1000. Sorry to rain on your parade..

        • Kevin Levin Nov 7, 2018 @ 11:27

          I am sure you believe this. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

          • Reggie Bartlett Nov 7, 2018 @ 12:13

            Mr. McCallister has a point, much like the flag in South Carolina or Alabama statehouses, or the statues in various cities like New Orleans or the spate of removals after Charlottesville none of them were removed with widespread public vote.

            I like how Mr. McCallister cited the repudiation of Stacey Abrams, one of the planks of her campaign was not only the total removal of all Confederate monuments in Georgia, but the sandblasting of Stone Mountain. What happened last night was a big and very vocal rejection of that insane idea by the state of Georgia. Same goes for the flag in Walton County, Florida it withstood a public vote and will still fly today.

            Much like you said yourself Levin, it’s for the communities to decide, well these communities chose. Now are you willing to show consistency with that conviction?

            • Reggie Bartlett Nov 7, 2018 @ 12:21

              And to second this, this is why the flag of Mississippi is still the same. Interestingly I was there just a couple weeks ago, the 1894 flag is as popular as ever and was flying proudly from government offices in the rural towns of Northern Mississippi I visited.

              And that’s another reason why these far-leftists who operate in towns like Jackson and Oxford don’t want a statewide vote on it, it’ll end the same way it did in 2001, by the same margins.

              • Jimmy Dick Nov 8, 2018 @ 13:35

                Yes, it is up to the local communities to decide on whether they want to display monuments to traitors and white supremacy. They get the choice about whether or not to show the world that ignorant racists live in a community. They get the chance to tell the world they support slavery based upon race.

              • HankC Nov 9, 2018 @ 5:13

                No doubt this is why Mississippi ranks so high in areas such as education, income and life expectancy.

              • Claudia G Nov 12, 2018 @ 18:58

                I traveled through Mississippi this summer. It is such a contrast between the pretty properties with beautiful lawns and the overwhelming amount of poverty. Guess which group has what. Mississippi needs desperately to serve all of its citizens and stop worrying about preserving the vestiges of a war to preserve slavery of African Americans.

            • Kevin Levin Nov 7, 2018 @ 12:40

              Much like you said yourself Levin, it’s for the communities to decide, well these communities chose. Now are you willing to show consistency with that conviction?

              I am not sure what point you are trying to make. Yes, it is up to local communities to make these decisions either directly by voting in a referendum or through their elected officials.

    • hankc9174 Nov 8, 2018 @ 11:17

      more of a ‘last gasp’…

  • Buck Buchanan Nov 7, 2018 @ 5:44

    Those are hardly widespread “Confederate” victories.

    And I still don’t understand the intense desire to celebrate all these second place trophies.

    • CGibson Nov 7, 2018 @ 6:48

      Really. That “South gonna rise again” mentality is depressing. Thanks

  • Msb Nov 7, 2018 @ 13:33

    Don’t know if you have seen Rebecca Solnit’s essay in The Guardian about the continuing Cold Civil War in the US. I think she echoes a lot of points that you have made.

  • Neil Hamilton Nov 7, 2018 @ 16:28

    The legacy of the Confederacy has been fighting a shrinking, rear-guard action since Appomattox. There may be a blip once in a while on the heritage radar, but the retreat continues. It is the near, desperate jubilation at such occasions that signals that even those who wish it otherwise, know they are losing ground.

    It’s time.

    • Kevin Levin Nov 7, 2018 @ 17:08

      The trend has been clear over the past few decades.

    • Msb Nov 8, 2018 @ 2:22

      Except for continued voter suppression in ex-Confederacy states, I would agree with you. Sadly, of course, voter suppression is not practiced solely in the Sotuh.

  • Rob Baker Nov 8, 2018 @ 7:22

    I’m not certain Corey Stewart’s loss will count for a lot in the current climate. A unapologetic Nazi Party leader received 55,000 votes in Illinois after all.

  • andrew Nov 8, 2018 @ 19:48

    The Confederacy ended 153 years ago. Good. Now let’s talk about how the Democrats impose bad schools, crime and corruption on far too many African Americans in 2018.

    • CliosFanBoy Nov 9, 2018 @ 15:18

      and then we can talk about unicorns! they’re just as real…

      • andrew Nov 12, 2018 @ 17:00

        Good for you with the sense of humor. Mine is more of a gallows humor, while yours is more of a malignant narcissist/sociopath sense of humor. I’m happy for you.

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