The grand dragon of the Klu Klux Klan in Georgia announced that he would today support Senator Barry Goldwater for President.
The klan leader, Calvin F. Craig of Atlanta, declared that his endorsement of the Republican candidate was based on the issues, not personalities. Mr. craig is himself a candidate for the state Senate in the Democratic primary election Sept. 9.
“We don’t want the backing of the Ku Klux Klan and I don’t think we’e going to get it.”
President Reagan, saying he had ”no tolerance” for what the Ku Klux Klan represented, today repudiated the group’s endorsement.
In a letter to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, the President said:
”Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse.
”The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood.’‘
Next it was the Republicans’ turn to try to avoid any guilt by association with the Ku Klux Klan. The problem arose when the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, said to be the biggest and most militant Klan group, endorsed Ronald Reagan. Its newspaper editorialized that “the Republican platform reads as if it were written by a Klansman,” citing such points as opposition to gun control, the Department of Education, and “forced busing.” Obviously, one does not have to be a Klansman to accept such views, and Mr. Reagan rejected the endorsement, saying , “I have no tolerance with what the Klan represents, and I want nothing to do with it.”
And, yes, it is noteworthy that, for instance, Goldwater relieved Strom Thurmond for bathroom breaks during his epic civil rights filibuster, and it is noteworthy that Reagan referred to “young bucks” for welfare cheats and launched his campaign outside Philadelphia, Mississippi on “state’s rights”…
Just proves a point that even as you’re scooping up the vote off of white resentment, you should still… still… still, off of second nature, be able to throw away the support of David Duke.
Three times on Sunday morning, Donald Trump was given the chance to disavow the support his campaign is getting from white supremacist groups. And three times, he balked.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Trump was pressed by host Jake Tapper to distance himself from David Duke, a former KKK leader who has supported Trump’s campaign and gone so far as to say that a vote against the businessman would be a “treason to your heritage.”
Here was answer No. 1:
Just so you understand. I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know — did he endorse me or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.
And when Tapper followed up, here was answer No. 2:
Well, I have to look at the group. I don’t know what group you’re talking about. 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.
And when Tapper specified that he was talking about David Duke and the Klan, here was answer No. 3:
Honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I’ve ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.
But he got around to it on twitter, his go to place to get around to these things.
And lest we forget the past… one of the previous forays into Presidential campaigning as he steered off one of his current dopple-gangers, Jesse Ventura, and ran into one of his future dopple-gangers — Pat Buchanan, in the Reform Party.
Mr. Trump painted a fairly dark picture of the Reform Party in his statement, noting the role of Mr. Buchanan, along with the roles of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and Lenora Fulani, the former standard-bearer of the New Alliance Party and an advocate of Marxist-Leninist politics.
“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani,” he said in his statement. “This is not company I wish to keep.” [via Justin Green]
Yes. A really weird party, that Reform Party — gets weirder when you throw the bopping Buddhists of John Hagelin into the mix.
What dent will such an occurrence make on Super Tuesday? Well… one more chance for the kvetching of the Republican elite.
And then the “still…”
Trump’s overtly racist campaign makes it hard to see how he wins Western swing states like Nevada or New Mexico that have high numbers of Latino voters. But his economic pitch to the white working class holds obvious appeal in traditional Democratic strongholds in the upper Midwest — communities that have been ravaged by the past three decades of U.S. economic policy. Even if Trump lost every other swing state in the country, turning the Rust Belt red would be enough for him to win the Electoral College.
Somehow the bottom line on the coming Trump — Clinton campaign.