Having just written a book that imagines George Armstrong Custer surviving the Battle of the Little Bighorn to become a gun-slinging Western do-gooder under the clever pseudonym of Marshal Armstrong, I feel well placed to answer this burning question: If Custer were alive today, would he wear a MAGA hat? I believe the indisputable answer is yes. Here are 11 reasons why.
1. He liked hats, and though he was proud of his golden hair, it was thinning a bit. A hat could come in handy.
2. Red looked good on him—an essential part of his self-styled uniform in the Civil War was a red cravat. He didn’t care that such flash made him an easy target for snipers. Cutting a figure for the men was more important. And he wouldn’t have been intimidated from wearing a MAGA hat while walking the mean streets of Monroe, Michigan.
3. Custer was a conservative Democrat who would have been a prototypical Reagan Democrat and Trump Democrat, driven by deep-rooted patriotism.
4. Like Trump, he vigorously would have opposed the removal of Confederate monuments not only for being iniquitous in itself, but as the thick edge of a very destructive wedge. He liked the South and Southerners; they were among his best friends at West Point; and he was entirely on the side of national reconciliation. He would have been astonished and appalled at “conservatives” giving their blessing to the desecration of monuments commemorating his former Southern foes. Custer naturally assumed that Southerners—most especially including former Confederates—were fellow Americans, and he would have been outraged at socialists taking hammers and chisels to remove such symbols of American heroism, sacrifice, and martial glory.
5. As a victim of political correctness himself—last year, even the fast-food chain Sonic felt compelled to yank a harmless commercial that featured his likeness—he would have applauded President Trump for taking on this most poisonous aspect of our culture. He would heartily affirm that you cannot Make America Great Again without remembering the people who made it great in the past.
6. While he loved the adventure of the open plains—and was more sympathetic to the Indians than is often acknowledged—he also recognized that the advent of the railroads meant progress in the best sense, and he would have nodded at President Trump’s approval of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
7. Two words—Space Force. Custer loved horses and the cavalry, but it is impossible to imagine that a future Space Force would not have caught his fancy, and his talent for designing uniforms.
8. Custer was gallant, and it is easy to imagine him escorting Trump’s wife or daughters at a White House ball. It is rather more difficult, indeed nearly impossible, to imagine him offering the crook of his arm to a tottering, pant-suited Hillary Clinton. One can more easily imagine him begging off, citing a pressing engagement elsewhere (like a hunting trip in Wyoming with Dick Cheney).
9. While having no head for business himself, Custer liked the excitement of New York City and the company of tycoons. He would have seen in Trump a fantastically successful businessman and patriot. And given that Trump attended a military school, Custer could have talked to him as one former cadet to another.
10. Custer was not above a little politicking to advance his career, and would likely eye President Trump not only as someone who could restore his Civil War rank of Major General, but as someone who might, given Trump’s staffing predilections, perhaps appoint him to a cabinet position—or even to head the Space Force!
11. And finally, Custer would wear a MAGA hat to shield his glittering blue eyes from the paparazzi who no doubt would follow him everywhere, because Custer was a natural celebrity, a “Son of the Morning Star,” and, as we know, is featured in the most important novel of our time, Armstrong, available at Amazon and all good book shops.
Photo Credit: Regnery