THAT is why he was elected. He actually beat out a blatant anti-slavery firebrand for the Republican nomination, precisely because the party knew that a candidate running primarily on the issue of slavery would be unelectable.
The South simply wasn't willing to compromise at all, unfortunately.
You're aware that there have been numerous incarnations of the KKK, right? Only the first had anything whatsoever to do with Confederacy, and that was simply because it happened to be an insurgent group made up of Southern veterans from the Civil War.And your claim that "the legacy of the Confederacy does no more to foster hate or violence than any other American institution" is one of the grandest examples of a false equivalency I have ever seen. It was the legacy of the Confederacy that brought about the KKK and Jim Crow. It was the legacy of the Confederacy that gave impetus to those who opposed the Civil Rights struggle, who opposed desegregation (such as the "segregation academies" that still exist in the South to this day - I should know, since I attended one). It was the legacy of the Confederacy that kept Vicksburg, MS (where I lived for a while) from celebrating our nation's Independence Day for eighty-one years after the end of the Civil War.
Among the Klan's later incarnations, the strongest bastion for roughly half of the Twentieth Century was the Midwest, not the South. Indiana, in point of fact, had the highest rate of Klan membership per capita in the entire country prior to 1940, and they tended to be just as focused on Catholics (the largest lynch mob in American history was actually formed to try and capture some random foreigner at a train station which wild rumor held was secretly the Pope in disguise) and European immigrants as they ever were African Americans.
Where the modern Klan, which legitimately was reformed to deal with the issue of desegregation in the 1960s, is concerned, they have about as much to do with the actual C.S.A. as the Waffen S.S. had to do with the medieval order of the Teutonic Knights - which is to say, next to nothing at all. Just because a bunch of whackjobs try to co-opt a certain symbol in order to bolster their own perceived legitimacy, doesn't mean that they are correct in doing so.
For that matter, it's not even like Segregation was an exclusively Southern phenomenon anyway. It was simply a bit more "official" in the South, so it was more of a public struggle to get rid of it.
Sooo... Yea. Sorry, man. I don't see any way in which either the C.S.A., or "Southern culture," is tied to what happened in Charleston. It was the act of a lone, and highly disturbed, individual, which has subsequently been condemned from basically all corners of the political spectrum.
The sooner people stop trying to make it into something it's not in the interests of fueling their own regional/cultural bigotry and ideological biases, the better.