I have to admit I was, still am, I think the word is dumbfounded by Donald Trump’s vacillation of his acceptance of former KKK Grand Wizard and US Presidential hopeful David Duke‘s endorsement. Most ordinary politicians, in today’s reasonable political arena, would see such a validation, and the subsequent acceptance as campaign suicide. But as they’re fond of saying and we’re starting to believe, Trump is not your ordinary politician. And this is definitely not your father’s political arena.
In a picture that continues to evolve, what that means is that along with his brash, in your face anti-establishment, anti-politically correct (aka racist?) speech comes an apparent willingness to sit down with white supremacists; or at the very least, associate himself with them just enough to secure political office. Much in the same way Harry Truman did on his way to the White House.
Early in his political career, Truman was up for reelection of a judgeship in Jackson County, Missouri. It was suggested by friends that he join the Ku Klux Klan if not for support then to ward off opposition. By all records, he paid his $10 membership fee, something he’s said to have regretted later, had little further involvement with the group and went on to the Presidency.
In addition to Duke’s nod, Trump has also been endorsed by the American Freedom Party. On its webpage, it calls itself a party that represents the interests and issues of European-Americans and all Americans who support our mission. It’s a seemingly peaceful and benign statement, a little nationalist in rhetoric but nothing dangerous; this in sharp contrast to what the Southern Poverty Law Center says of them and their doctrine.
The SPLC reports, the American Freedom Party (formerly American Third Position) is a political party initially established by racist Southern California skinheads that aims to deport immigrants and return the United States to white rule.
I don’t think any of this is lost on the global community, no more than it’s lost on us here at home. Long thought of as those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, especially when it comes to equality, Americans are soon going to have to make up their minds one way or the other and they’re going to have to do it while the whole world is watching.
The entire world will see whether it’s all just political maneuvering and Trump is only sliding up against them just enough to pander to their extremist base or if he’s truly willing to consider domestic policy to include the deportation of all non-white immigrants and US citizens, including anyone with any “ascertainable trace of Negro blood”; a position held by the national American Freedom Party chairman William Daniel Johnson since 1985. Would Trump be willing to put forth a Constitutional Amendment to achieve such a change as Johnson has advised? We already know how he feels about Muslims.
Likewise the world will be watching white Americans; and as he continues to win and rake in support, specifically those who seek his election. They’re already watching your reaction as he talks about doing so but they’ll want to see how you react to any truly blatant attempt to dissolve those principles that you like to say your forefathers came here and fought for so altruistically. What will you do when, or if that happens? Moreover, is a segregated America the same “Great America” you allude to in your candidates’ campaign slogan?
As Trump straddles the fence of equipment failure, many here are more than willing to give him a pass, blaming the media for basically not listening when he answers the question of whether or not he would disavow any support from the KKK or any other like-minded white supremacists groups. I say each time the question comes up is another opportunity for the candidate to alleviate the fears of many and commit to building coalitions. And so far, he’s failed to take advantage of them.
With a resounding and clearly stated, “no, I do not want or seek the support of such groups or organizations” Trump could cement himself to at least the admirable part of the establishment he seeks to overthrow; that part that respects and protects the rights of all of its citizens, regardless. And that he hasn’t done so clearly and without pause doesn’t trouble nearly as many people as it should.
YouTube video from The Young Turks