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“Feeling A Revolutionary Spirit”: Moved By Donald Trump, David Duke Plots A Comeback

I see that David Duke hasn’t moderated his views since he was an active politician in the early 1990’s. That’s unfortunate. Some people mature with time.

Instead, he’s feeling “a revolutionary spirit,” and is seriously considering making a challenge to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Duke has until June 22nd to qualify for the November ballot. Remember, Louisiana has those funky elections where the November election can serve as a primary of sorts if no one reaches 50% of the vote. In those cases, there is a subsequent runoff election.

I don’t remember if Duke is/was a Grand Wizard or an Exalted Cyclops or what exact honorific he used in the Ku Klux Klan.

“There are millions of people across the country who would like to have me in the Congress. I’d be the only person in Congress openly defending the rights and the heritage of European Americans,” he said. “We are on the offensive today. There’s no more defenses.”

He actually thinks he’d make a good running mate for Trump.

Duke compared himself to Donald Trump, who he endorsed for president.

“I’ve said everything that Donald Trump is saying and more,” he said. “I think Trump is riding a wave of anti-establishment feeling that I’ve been nurturing for 25 years.”

Yet, Duke is realistic enough to know that Trump is unlikely to put him on the ticket.

Trump won’t reach out to him because the candidate fears “offending the oligarchs,” a term Duke uses for the political establishment he said is controlled by Jewish, Hispanic and African American interests.

Aware of his checkered history, Duke said he welcomed the backlash that would come if he runs.

In most cases, it’s a cheap shot to highlight a candidate’s most unsavory supporters, particularly if that support is unsolicited and unrequited. But it’s noteworthy to see Duke feeling this energized by Trump’s success. He’s moved by the spirit to stop playing defense and run for office because he sees in Trump the fruition of a quarter century of race hatred that he’s been “nurturing.”

Maybe Duke is just misinterpreting Trump or the political moment or basic reality, but there’s little doubt about what Duke thinks he can accomplish under Trump’s leadership.

Should Duke make it to the House, he said one of his first goals would be to repeal the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, which liberalized immigration laws by eliminating race-based quotas.

Obviously, Duke thinks Trump is a fellow traveler, and he might have been bolstered in that impression back in February when Trump had tremendous difficulty finding one bad thing to say about the KKK.

When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday about David Duke and the KKK supporting his candidacy, Donald Trump passed on refuting them. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” he said. “So I don’t know. I don’t know — did [David Duke] endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.” When Tapper said he was specifically talking about the KKK, Trump continued saying, “I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about.” He then declared, “You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong. You may have groups in there that are totally fine — it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups and I’ll let you know.”

But who, really, knows nothing about the Ku Klux Klan?

Trump did disavow the Klan’s support, but so tepidly that Duke was obviously encouraged.

So encouraged, in fact, that he’s ready to take on the House Majority Whip. And, in case you’d forgotten or just didn’t know, Steve Scalise has in the past spoken to one of David Duke’s little hate groups (the European-American Unity and Rights Organization) and once campaigned as “David Duke without the baggage.”

If Duke does run, the people of Louisiana’s First District will get to decide if they want their David Duke with or without the baggage.

In the meantime, Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Mary Fallin, is telling people that Donald Trump is a racial healer.

I’m just not seeing that.

 

By: Martin Longman, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, July 13, 2016

July 14, 2016 Posted by | David Duke, Donald Trump, Ku Klux Klan | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Walking In David Duke’s Shadow”: Trump Treads A Well-Worn Path Of Bigotry

It’s happened before. The Republican establishment, recognizing the danger that the bigoted, demagogic candidate posed to the party, roundly opposed his election. On Election Day, however, the candidate captured a majority of the white vote. It was no fluke, as his odious views were well known. He had even once held elected office. A column I wrote almost 25 years ago refreshed my memory.

The candidate was David Duke, an ex-Klansman, neo-Nazi and former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives who ran for governor of Louisiana in 1991 and lost by a landslide to Democrat Edwin Edwards, thanks to a phenomenal black turnout.

Then, as now with Donald Trump’s campaign, Duke wooed economically discontented and politically alienated white voters by playing to their fears and resentments. Duke’s supporters believed back then that the quality of their lives — financial situation, job security, personal safety — was no better than when President George H.W. Bush took office in 1989, maybe even worse. As a result, they were frustrated, insecure, angry and ready to blame someone. So they gravitated to Duke, a man they believed would vanquish their foes.

The remarkable thing about the “Dukies,” as some of his supporters described themselves, is that they hardly resembled the caricature that might have been drawn of people who openly sympathized with a racist and anti-Semite.

I was in the midst of a large gathering of Dukies on election eve 1991 in a packed, smoke-filled American Legion Hall in the nearly all-white Metairie, La., House district that Duke had represented. I was also among Duke’s crowd the next day at his election night rally in Baton Rouge.

They resembled the enthusiastic white women and men who attend Trump’s rallies. Duke’s supporters were in their 20s, 30s and 40s, along with many senior citizens, more of them wearing jackets and ties and dresses than cowboy boots and jeans.

As with those in today’s Trump crowds, Dukies’ attention and emotions were riveted on their candidate and against the devils he excoriated: criminals who rape, rob and steal; politicians who only want more government and taxes; the liberal news media that try to tell them what to think.

A few of Duke’s 1991 themes echo today.

Said Duke, “Our environment is being threatened by massive immigration.” Sound familiar?

Duke on his trade policy and what he would say to the Japanese: “If you no buy our rice, we no buy your cars.” Is this where Trump gets it?

Duke on values and religious freedom: “I believe that Christianity is the underpinning of this country. . . . And if we lose its underpinning, I think we’re going to lose the foundations of America.”

A similar message is being delivered by at least one top Trump supporter.

Warming up the crowd this week before Trump’s appearance in Hickory, N.C., Pastor Mark Burns said: “Bernie Sanders . . . doesn’t believe in God. How in the world are we going to let Bernie — I mean, really? Listen, Bernie gotta get saved. He gotta meet Jesus. He gotta have a coming-to-Jesus meeting.”

Donald Trump, the outrageous, is no original. David Duke first trod this path.

But Trump is taking his campaign to places Duke never dreamed of.

Duke thought he knew what was bugging white America. White nationalism was his answer.

Trump knows what the United States needs. His answer: Donald Trump.

Trump’s aim seems not to be just the Republican presidential nomination. He clearly wants to be an American ruler, above political party, Washington politics and the demands of democratic compromise. Popularity and admiration will bind him to his followers. He’s so sure of his followers — “many, many millions of people,” as he puts it — that he predicts riots if his path to capturing the nomination is blocked by the GOP establishment.

Trump feeds off a zealotry born out of his promise to reawaken America and restore the country’s greatness. He promises to make his followers strong, instill them with pride, give them hope and make American power dominant in the world.

That kind of thing, too, we have seen before.

From der Spiegel: “There was the impact of the expanded Führer cult on Hitler himself. . . . He became, so it was said, more dismissive than earlier of the slightest criticism, more convinced of his own infallibility. His speeches started to develop a more pronounced messianic tone. He saw himself . . . as chosen by Providence. When, following the successful Rhineland coup, he remarked, in one of his ‘election’ speeches: ‘I follow the path assigned to me by Providence with the instinctive sureness of a sleepwalker,’ it was more than a piece of campaign rhetoric. Hitler truly believed it. He increasingly felt infallible.”

It has happened before.

 

By: Colbert I. King, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, March 18, 2016

March 20, 2016 Posted by | David Duke, Donald Trump, Establishment Republicans, White Nationalists | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Trump Panders To Forces Of Backlash And Bigotry”: Our Exceptionalism Depends On Our Making Righteous Choices

Donald Trump may well be the most polarizing figure to come along in American politics for several generations. Still, he has managed to unite David Duke and Louis Farrakhan, men whose cultural and political profiles suggest they’d find it hard to agree on anything.

Duke is a former Ku Klux Klan leader who served in the Louisiana House of Representatives before losing several races for higher office. A white nationalist, Duke has traded not only in a frank and forthright bigotry against black people but also in anti-Semitism.

Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam, a cultish religious organization that claims roots in Islam but is more closely connected to black nationalism. He, too, has a long history of anti-Semitism, as well as reckless and unhinged attacks on white people in general.

Whatever their serious and searing disagreements, both men are attracted to Trump’s presidential candidacy. You probably know by now that Duke has spoken fondly of Trump, telling his presumably white radio audience recently that voting for anyone else is “really treason to your heritage.”

Farrakhan, for his part, has stopped short of an outright endorsement. But he did tell his followers that “I like what I’m looking at” in Trump because the real estate mogul “has stood in front of (the) Jewish community and said, ‘I don’t want your money.’”

If you’ve somehow managed to miss the rise of Trumpism in this most peculiar campaign season, the fawning of Duke and Farrakhan provides a quick guide to the roiling resentments and bitter antagonisms that undergird Trump’s popularity: He hasn’t just attracted bigots, but he has also urged them on. He was slow to repudiate David Duke’s enthusiastic support; he has engaged in a cheap and hateful xenophobia, smearing Mexican immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists”; he has vowed to close the United States to all Muslim immigrants.

Though the Republican establishment is belatedly in full-out panic over Trump’s rise, his dominance in the GOP presidential primaries isn’t the most worrisome thing about his campaign. Whatever happens to his candidacy, his voters aren’t going away — and neither are their dangerous passions. Their anger will not be easily placated.

How did we come to this? Isn’t the United States supposed to be the “shining city on a hill,” the exemplar of racial diversity and religious pluralism, the exceptional nation that respects human rights and practices tolerance?

In truth, we’ve never been as exceptional as we claim. Our history shows a faltering and hesitant path toward the practice of our stated ideals, a twisting, wrenching journey toward full equality for all. But either through divine inspiration or sheer luck, the nation has had the right people at the right time, whether Abraham Lincoln or Eleanor Roosevelt or Martin Luther King.

Still, there have always been forces of backlash and bigotry among us. Those forces are most powerful during times of economic dislocation and rapid social change, when ordinary citizens grow anxious about their jobs and fearful about their place in the social order. And we are living through just such a moment: The population is becoming more diverse just as the crosswinds of globalization and technological change have buffeted the economy. It is only too easy for some people to blame the “other,” to find scapegoats in those people who don’t look or sound like them.

Perhaps the nation might have avoided the rise of Donald Trump and his odious politics if more of our political and business leaders had avoided the impulse to pander to hate and to profit from fear. Instead, there has been pandering aplenty. Politicians have played to the peanut gallery, exploiting racial, ethnic and religious fault lines for advantage. Meanwhile, media moguls interested less in policy than in money have found it lucrative to exploit divisions with tendentious news-talk shows that foster fear and cultivate anxiety.

If the nation survives this crazy season — and I still don’t believe we will swear in a President Trump next January — perhaps our leaders will learn an important lesson: This democracy is a delicate matter, a fragile proposition, and it must be nurtured and protected. Our exceptionalism depends on our making righteous choices.

 

By: Cynthia Tucker Haynes, Pulitzer Prize Winner for Commentary in 2007; The National Memo, March 5, 2016

March 6, 2016 Posted by | David Duke, Donald Trump, Establishment Republicans, Louis Farrakhan | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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