H.W. Crocker III has written an alternative history novel in which George Armstrong Custer survives the Battle of the Little Bighorn and becomes a Western gunslinger, which demonstrates that he has some expert knowledge of the man’s political opinions, and he offers, in voice of the Alt-Right, American Greatness, eleven reasons why, if he were here and alive today, General Custer would be wearing a MAGA hat.
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 himâ€”an essential part of his self-styled uniform in the Civil War was a red cravat. He didnâ€™t care that such flash made him an easy target for snipers. Cutting a figure for the men was more important. And he wouldnâ€™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.
He could be right. Custer was a Northern democrat, and had he survived the battle and returned east victorious as a national hero, he was angling for the Democratic Party’s nomination and could very possibly have won the nomination instead of Tilden.
Whether he could have done as well as Tilden did in the South, and decisively defeated Hayes, well, that is less clear. During the War, Custer was a brutal adversary, prone to insult his opponents, and there were good reasons for a Southern animus against him.
Would Custer have defended Confederate monuments, as Crocker claims? I’m less sure.