Trump the… Klansman?

When Donald Trump first seriously considered a presidential bid, back in 1999, it was as the prospective leader of the Reform Party. He resigned from the Republican Party at that time, saying ‘I really believe the Republicans are just too crazy right’.

Trump described the anticipated leader of the Reform Party, Pat Buchanan, as ‘a Hitler lover’, and the candidate of the ‘really staunch right wacko vote’, adding, ‘I guess he’s an anti-Semite…He doesn’t like blacks, he doesn’t like gays – it’s just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy’. (…/po…/camp/whouse/ref-trump.html.)

In February the following year, Trump declared that he wouldn’t pursue a leadership bid for the Reform Party, saying ‘Now I understand that David Duke has decided to join the Reform Party to support the candidacy of Pat Buchanan. So the Reform Party now includes a Klansman (Mr Duke); a Neo-Nazi (Mr Buchanan); and a Communist (Ms Fulani). This is not company I wish to keep.’ (

At that time, Trump was interviewed on the same subject by NBC’s Matt Lauer, who asked, ‘What do you see as the biggest problem with the Reform Party right now?’ To which Trump replied: ‘Well, you’ve got David Duke just joined — a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party.’

Either (a) Donald Trump has recently converted to the Klan’s cause, or (b) his Klan affiliations—purported singularly by his reaction to journalists over David Duke’s endorsement—are campaign bullshit. It’s not hard to decry Trump on policy: Why stoop to the lazy ass, sensationalist propaganda effort? What happened to ‘When they go low’, etc.?

Trump’s a populist, anti-immigration politician. The stable of ascendent right-wing leaders throughout Europe and beyond may quickly find that their similarity with him ends there. His Republican opponents for the candidacy circled him relentlessly on the opposite claim: that he was secretly a New York liberal — a Democrat wolf in Republican sheep’s clothing.

If the social media mood’s right, we’ll see Hillary in jail next year. If Rubio and Cruz were right, we won’t.

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