Avowed White Supremacist Follows in Trump’s Footsteps
When Donald Trump claims that he’s uniting and expanding the party, he’s not completely wrong. Through his extreme rhetoric, he has attracted hordes of white supremacists to the GOP. He has even inspired former-KKK leader David Duke to reenter the political arena.
David Duke’s support of The Donald isn’t just a recent phenomenon. In February, Duke suggested that voting against Trump is “treason to your heritage.” When Trump became embroiled in controversy for suggesting a Mexican judge couldn’t fairly hear a case against him, Duke came to the rescue.
Now, per Politico, Duke says he plans to run for Senate in Louisiana. “I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues I’ve championed for years,” Duke said in a video announcing his candidacy.
This has been a season for political change, and not always for the better. Bernie Sanders drew the scourge of socialism into the Democratic Party. Now, as he has throughout the campaign, Trump brought the scourge of racism to the forefront of the GOP.
Not all Trump supporters are racists. Such claims from the left have done nothing but incite the passions of those who back him. Trump has been able to reach out to the economically downtrodden, and his anti-establishment message resonates with many.
Racists are Still Flocking to Trump
While not all supporters are racists, many racists are Trump supporters. It gives Trump too much credit to say he is using coded language. Some of his speech is plain discriminatory.
If someone edited Trump’s speeches by replacing “Mexicans” or “Muslims” with “Jews,” people would mistake the date for 1930s Germany. It doesn’t take much imagination to see what David Duke would find appealing here.
Many Republicans have addressed the need for secure borders and stopping radical Islam. Mitt Romney addressed such issues during his failed 2012 bid for president. However, such candidates have not drawn ex-Klansmen out of retirement in hopes of ascending to the U.S. Senate.
By attacking groups of people instead of laying out policies to fix America, Trump has extended an olive branch to groups long-confined to the shadows. By appealing to nativist instincts, people like David Duke feel like it’s okay to parade their “European American heritage” as a badge of superiority.
Purging White Supremacists is the Only Path for a Viable Party
After Civil Rights legislation passed in the 1960s, Republicans pursued what’s known as the “Southern Strategy.” This strategy was meant to peel off southern Dixiecrats disaffected by equal rights for African Americans. The legacy of the Republican party has been tainted ever since.
The party of Lincoln that abolished the scourge of slavery turned a dark corner. As America has become progressively more diverse, the Republican party has stayed white. Certainly, there are African American and Hispanic members of the GOP. However, African Americans vote Democrat in elections upwards of 90%. GOP candidates can be hard pressed to get 40% of the Hispanic vote. All the while, parasites like David Duke are more than happy to keep the GOP from getting too far off message.
The GOP has to be willing to lose a few elections to get themselves back on track. If they do not ditch the disparaging rhetoric, they will ultimately be confined to minor-party status if they exist at all in a matter of years.
Once Americans see that conservatives and libertarians are willing to address their needs, regardless of race, ethnicity, and religion, they’ll be more open to considering a free market message. Once the bigots of the party realize they have nowhere to go, they’ll slowly fade away.
Trump is merely a symptom of the attitudes Republicans have expressed towards minorities for years. In turn, David Duke is just a symptom of Donald Trump’s candidacy. Once we remove the incentives to race-bait, we will see such behavior expunged from politics. Until then, prepare for a lot more Klansmen to start popping up as your duly appointed public officials.