David Duke, Donald Trump And America

In the run-up to the 2016 elections, David Duke– the most prominent current member of the KKK–was running for Senate from Louisiana, and he made no bones about the similarity between his worldview and Donald Trump’s.

As Time Magazine reported at the time,

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is running for Senate in Louisiana, and he says Donald Trump’s popularity is helping him in the race.

“I love it,” Duke told the LA Times. “The fact that Donald Trump’s doing so well, it proves that I’m winning. I am winning.”

Duke also told the LA Times that Trump’s proposed policies, like building a wall along the border with Mexico and banning Muslims from entering the country, show the country is open to a white power message. “He’s talking about it in a visceral way,” Duke said. “Donald Trump is talking implicitly. I’m talking explicitly.”

The article also referenced an earlier report, linking Trump’s candidacy to a shadowy “think tank” providing pseudo-intellectual justifications for white supremacy.

The men eased past the picketers and police barricades, through a security-studded lobby and up to the eighth floor of a federal building named for Ronald Reagan. Inside an airy rotunda, guests in jackets and ties mingled over pork sliders and seafood tacos served by black waiters in tuxedos. There were celebratory speeches during dinner, crème brûlée for dessert. Apart from the racial epithets wafting around the room, the Saturday-night banquet seemed more like a wedding reception than a meeting of white nationalists.

The event was sponsored by the National Policy Institute (NPI), a tiny think tank based in Arlington, Va., dedicated to the advancement of “people of European descent.” NPI publishes pseudoscientific tracts with titles like “Race Differences in Intelligence,” runs a blog called Radix Journal (sample post: “My Hate Group Is Different Than Your Hate Group”) and holds conferences on topics like immigration and identity politics. This time it had gathered a group of 150 sympathizers in downtown Washington to discuss what the rise of Donald Trump has meant for the far right.

The article went on to consider the implications of Trump’s emergence as a hero to white nationalists, attracting fans like Richard Spencer, president of NPI.

For the first time since George Wallace in 1968, far-right activists in the U.S. are migrating toward mainstream electoral politics, stepping out of the shadows to attend rallies, offer endorsements and serve as volunteers. “It’s bound to happen,” Spencer says of white nationalists’ running for office one day. “Not as conservatives but as Trump Republicans.”

In the two and a half years since Trump’s Electoral College victory, a number of researchers have investigated the rise of white nationalism and its relationship to Trumpism.

The link is to Journalists’ Resource, which has compiled several such studies, and introduced that compilation with the following paragraphs:

As with any issue, Journalist’s Resource encourages reporters to look to academic research as a necessary tool in covering critical and complex topics such as right-wing domestic terrorism, the mainstreaming of white supremacy and their consequences. Research will help newsrooms ground their coverage and ask more probing questions.

Below, we’ve gathered and summarized a sampling of published studies and working papers that examine white supremacy and far-right organizations from multiple angles, including their online strategies for spreading propaganda and recruiting new members. Because this is an area of research that will continue to grow, we’ll update this collection periodically.

The studies provide insight into the targets of these groups (despite the rhetoric devoted to immigrant communities and poor economic conditions, violent White Supremacist organizations still predominantly mobilize against their traditional targets–blacks and Jews).

The studies also trace the spread of hate, conspiracy theories and aggression through cyberspace.

They find that racist organizations carefully plan out their communication to achieve three primary goals: to strengthen the group by increasing the commitment of existing members and recruiting new ones, to disseminate racist propaganda, and to create a sense of transnational identity.

America has always had hate groups and bigoted individuals. What we haven’t had is a  President–no matter how personally racist some have been– willing to publicly encourage them.

I’ll repeat what I have previously said: the 2020 election isn’t about policy. It’s about who we are and what kind of country we inhabit.

We can argue about policy once we have cleaned out the real “infestation.”

 

 

16 thoughts on “David Duke, Donald Trump And America

  1. “I’ll repeat what I have previously said: the 2020 election isn’t about policy. It’s about who we are and what kind of country we inhabit.”

    The David Duke/Donald Trump worldview immediately led me to the D.C. Stephenson connection to both poor excuses for men. As National Grand Dragon for the KKK; from the sidelines Stephenson’s political control over governments in several states ruled by racism and bigotry. It was Stephenson’s womanizing, resulting in the death of one young Indianapolis woman, which brought him to the public’s attention locally, then nationally as his conviction led to the destruction of the KKK political rule nationally. One of Stephenson’s closest and most loyal underlings defied his order to destroy all documentation of his control and the naming of names of elected officials supporting his White Supremacy. The documents were turned over to the prosecution at Stephenson’s criminal trial and the KKK and political downfall began. Dealing with Trump; we must follow the sexual connections as well as follow the money.

    Can the death of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein be the beginning of unmasking those loyal to Trump and his White Nationalist administration in criminal and civil trials? Who among Trump’s loyal supporters is hiding those boxes of documents he has ordered destroyed and will release them to the SDNY system to bring down the current administration? Releasing such information to McConnell or Barr will result in their being sent to the shredding machines. Much of this country’s future is now in the hands of the Southern District of New York’s judicial system; a heavy burden to bear. The Democratic party MUST come together on issues if we are to return to democracy, Rule of Law and supporting the Constitution of the UNITED States of America. This must begin with the 2019 November elections; we cannot wait until 2020 to begin.

    “I’ll repeat what I have previously said: the 2020 election isn’t about policy. It’s about who we are and what kind of country we inhabit.” So is the 2019 November election!

  2. Yes. The extremist fascists have been looking for a messiah like Trump. The thing is, Trump’s narcissism has insulated him from understanding the consequences of unleashed hatred. Just because these mindless bastards kiss his ass, he figures they’re okay and he panders to them. It’s that simple.

    The root of the problem are the millions of Americans who can’t be bothered to even look at what their country stands for. They’re too busy blaming everyone else for their sloth, ignorance and lack of personal achievement. When I taught school, I could see these people coming in 8th grade. They learned that social sloth from their parents – I met them too.

    The thing is that if Donald Trump and the hateful pukes who support him isn’t enough of a wake-up call for those blissfully unaware Americans, then we will deserve the same fate as Nazi Germany. Why? Because we will experience the exact same dystopia they did and for the same reasons. The 92 million “patriots” who didn’t vote in 2016 are as much to blame for Trump’s ascension as Tom Perez, Hillary Clinton and the dysfunctional DNC.

  3. Sheila writes, “We can argue about policy once we have cleaned out the real “infestation.”

    This will not be an easy “infestation” to clean up. Most of us saw MAGA for what it was but the power it turned loose for racism in this country has been shocking. Very chocking.

    However, nationalist white supremacy isn’t just a USA problem. Russia is surely enjoying watching the EU meltdown from the actions of the far white nationalistic movements.

    How long will it take before brown people start shooting rednecks with Civil War flags?

    After 2020 election? Before? It’s inevitable.

    It’s a catalyst with a simmering fire and we aren’t prepared. I can only imagine how Donald will handle it. There will be many welcoming this and then what?

  4. From SPLC concerning slavery:

    “Research for this report reveals that high school students don’t know much about the history of slavery in the United States, with only 8 percent able to identify it as the central cause of the Civil War. This should not be surprising, given that most adults wrongly identify “states’ rights” as the cause.”

    Thus, the “Gone with the Wind” history was triumphant. The Civil War’s root cause was not about slavery – It was about States Right’s. “States Rights” has the banner and battle cry whenever the Federal Government has been forced to overturn institutional-legal segregation and discrimination.

    Our educational, social, and cultural failure to educate concerning the brutalities of slavery and then institutional legalization of Jim Crow, has been absent.

  5. I think that we always knew instinctively that the world would fray starting at the edges when we overpopulated it. We just couldn’t figure out when it would be overpopulated. We can be pretty sure now that we have passed that point.

    We have also revealed that we as a species are not smart enough to solve the problem ourselves so will let nature do the heavy lifting while we struggle against it. Of course that will make the transition to sustainable numbers unbearably painful and the new social traumas that are the price we pay for being on the average only marginally civilized will define us until the problems of over population get solved for us.

    Not that we should give up trying to act as we know civil order requires, there’s still a chance that we can soften some of the blows. We still need offense and defense.

  6. @Vernon Turner your inclusion of HRC… ” The 92 million “patriots” who didn’t vote in 2016 are as much to blame for Trump’s ascension as Tom Perez, Hillary Clinton and the dysfunctional DNC.” is astounding to me. Hillary won the popular vote by three million. She warned us about Trump and everything she predicted has come to pass. Trump’s “win” was facilitated by James Comey, the Russians, GOP voter suppression tactics and worst of all – the misogyny of the American, particularly, white male psyche. Until a leader emerges to unite Americans around the idea of diversity as our strength, women and people of color will be at risk. Our country will continue the perilous decline perpetrated by DJT and his KKK inspired followers.

  7. Good news.

    Every time Trump says something that can be seen as tied to or encouraging white nationalists his unfavorable rating soars. David Duke got 3% of the general election vote in Louisiana.

  8. “I’ll repeat what I have previously said: the 2020 election isn’t about policy. It’s about who we are and what kind of country we inhabit.”

    We can argue about policy once we have cleaned out the real “infestation.”
    =================================================
    On one level I can agree with this.

    As a campaign platform or a rallying cry to turn out the vote it will fail. Right now we are witnessing the full force of President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence. Think about it. It is not only the racism directed at the “others”. The “others” include anyone who is not White. I think it is no accident President Agent Orange has decided to single out the Chinese as an economic enemy.

    The “others” also include women who demand control over their bodies and equal rights. As long as a woman follows along in subservience to some male authoritarian she can be included as a part of the President Agent Orange-Pastor Pence Team.

    President Agent Orange is the ugly face of the 1% that maybe an embarrassment to them. The 1% and Wall Street will ignore or set aside his incendiary tweets. President Agent Orange delivers for them: the tax cut, and gutting the EPA. This is all that counts for the 1%.

    Ideas and Issues are what motivate people to do anything. The Democrats have to present a program-platform that proves on a policy and human level they have superior ideas.

  9. Susan,

    All that you say is true. BUT, where was her campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan? Why didn’t the DNC ask for the votes there? No, James Comey didn’t “facilitate” anything but his job. Read his book. Yes, Hillary won the popular vote, but another 3 million voted for third-party candidates. AND YET… The DNC lacked the insight to fully appreciate the vagaries of the Electoral College. It wasn’t the three million votes that mattered, after all, it was the 77,000 in three states that turned our presidency into a mocking joke. Even if half of the 92 million not voting turned out, she would have won the electoral college too. Keep in mind that Fox News and ALL right wing media were performing a full-court press against Mrs. Clinton. Roger Ailes, my he burn in Hell forever, used Fox News as the propaganda instrument to make the election close.

    I stand by my statements.

  10. Should the DNC have anticipated Putin’s spy craft in 2016?

    If they had what would have been an effective strategy to counter it?

  11. I’m not sure Trump in his muddled brain knows what he is. Perhaps we should be sorry for such humans who are free of nuance, sense of fairness, empathy etc., sick people whose mindset only involves self-gratification and greed in the eternal pursuit of money and power. They are missing out on a lot of the human experience.

    However, we cannot have such demented beings in charge of our government and adopting racism as policy and following the fantasies of similarly demented souls like Duke. Trump has to go for so many reasons I could spend the day enumerating them, whether by Senate conviction on House impeachment, un-election, resignation or whatever. However one may empathize with his view of self, we cannot let up in our resistance to his “gut” rather than reasoned initiatives, including, for one, his real or pretended endorsement of racism (among other such of his views that contradict our values), so let’s persevere in our resistance.

  12. We must give the 50+% of potential voters who are not LEFT or RIGHT a reason to vote FOR the Democratic presidential nominee (assuming he/she is sounding like “progressive” (the real meaning, not the current ideological banner) change. Progressive change recognizes that (especially in our extremely partisan/divided country) for change to happen it will need to be gradual, but incisive.

    The people (not the ones who write, rant and march) are tired of chaos. They want a government and country that they and the world can respect and feel proud of. More topsy turvy and acrimony will simply turn them off to whole idea of democracy. They will batten down their hatches and leave the US to radicals to war over.

  13. People on the right: I can emerge victorious from chaos because of religion, guns, wealth and/or cunning.

    People on the left: everyone loses from chaos.

  14. I forgot and left out “race” and “birthplace” from the list of the reasons the right believe they will benefit from chaos.

  15. Perhaps, a small ray of hope. The “market” can only stand so much chaos….as shown over the past two weeks. And, after all, they are the real rulers…

Comments are closed.