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Make America Great Again? 

Donald Trump once again raised the removal of Confederate statues and memorials while touting his support for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.

The president tweeted "Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy numbers around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!"

So walk me through this. The president wants the country to remember the names of Confederate soldiers who committed treason against the United States but could not remember the name of a U.S. Army Special Forces sergeant, who gave his life for our country, during a conversation with his next of kin when he told his widow, "He knew what he signed up for," after he was killed in action on Oct. 4, 2017, in the north African country of Niger?

I'm appalled that the self-proclaimed patriots who want to "Make America Great Again" are mostly the same people who want to save monuments of traitors, men trained in war at our national expense and sworn to defend the United States of America, who betrayed that oath to turn their military training against their own countrymen in a bloody four-year struggle to save slavery. The hundreds of thousands of white and black soldiers who gave their lives defending our democracy while smashing the Confederate States of America deserve far more honor and respect than preserving the history of slavery and treasonous rebellion to appease the Republican base and their grievance movement. What imaginable national interest do we serve by making heroes of these traitors who were complicit in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln?

And conservatives have the nerve to suggest professional football players disrespect those who fought and died for our country when they kneel during the national anthem? Please.

Jose Luis Castellanos

Santa Maria

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