Doug Mastriano was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1964. I was born in New Jersey in 1969. He’s the son of Italian Americans. My mother’s side of the family is Italian-American. He was raised in Hightstown, New Jersey. I owned a home in Hightstown from 1997 to 2002. He graduated from Hightstown High School in 1982. I graduated from rival Princeton High School in 1987. He was an Eagle Scout. I was a Cub Scout. He attended Mercer County Community College. I attended Mercer County Community College for a semester before deciding to move to California. He has lived in Pennsylvania since 2012 when he began teaching at the Army War College in Carisle. I lived in Pennsylvania in 1995-96, and I live there now and have since 2002.

I was raised to understand that New Jersey fought in the Civil War on the side of the Union. My ancestors fought for the North. The Confederacy was the enemy. A traitorous slaving enemy. Their defeat not only preserved the Union, but it was a major step in human development. That’s not only what Doug and I were taught in our public schools, it’s what I still believe today. For some reason, Doug believes something different.

In fact, Reuters discovered that Mastriano’s has had a Confederate fetish since at least 2013. Here’s more, from the New York Times:

Doug Mastriano, the far-right Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, wore a Confederate uniform for a faculty photo at the Army War College that surfaced on Friday.

The photo, from the 2013 to 2014 academic year, shows Mr. Mastriano wearing a gray military uniform, including a gray cap with yellow trim, and holding a Civil War-era firearm.

Of course, Pennsylvania Republicans were quick to offer excuses:

Lee Snover, chair of the Republican Party in Northampton County, downplayed the significance of the photo.

“It happened years ago. There was something called the Civil War and that included Confederate soldiers, so not sure what the big deal is,” Snover said.

Asked whether she supported the college’s decision to take down the photo, she said, “I wouldn’t have. I don’t like liberals tearing down our history.”

Mastriano’s seat in the State Senate includes the historic Gettysburg battlefield where the Confederates suffered a disastrous defeat. Many people like to visit to reenact the battle, and obviously some of them need to wear Rebel grey. I did not automatically assume that Mastriano posed in a Confederate uniform because he sympathizes with their side.  But seeing him buddy up to defenders of Robert E. Lee puts an end to the speculation.

It makes me sick when people celebrate the South’s murderous decision to secede from the Union in defense of slavery. When someone who wants to be my governor does it, it makes me extraordinary angry. When someone with such a similar background to mine does it, I just wonder what the fuck happened to them. He has absolutely no excuse except for the worst kind of racism.

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