David Duke, Benito Mussolini, Communist China and Donald Trump

Donald Trump in Atlanta, Feb. 21. (AP Photo / David Goldman)

Donald Trump in Atlanta, Feb. 21. (AP Photo / David Goldman)

Let’s review the weekend Donald Trump had:

1. He danced around his receiving support from David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, later blaming a “bad earpiece” for the reason he was able to repeat Duke’s name to host Jake Tapper but unable to say he didn’t want their support.

Yes, on Friday Trump had disavowed Duke’s support. Which, one might think, should have made it easy for him to repeat that disavowal during the interview Sunday as long as he could hear the name, which he clearly could. Rather, this looks like yet another instance of Trump — the hilariously monikered “truth teller” — talking out of both sides of his mouth as he makes it up on the fly. In other words, it’s another instance of Trump showing just how ill-suited he is for the presidency. (Note that when Duke ran for president as a Republican in 1992, the party did what it could to keep him off ballots.)

2. He took the bait and retweeted a quote by Benito Mussolini — which had been tweeted by an account whose handle was explicitly a reference to the Italian fascist:

Trump tried to explain this away as his being interested in “interesting quotes,” not actual fascists. But this particular quote is not some innocuous thought about life in general: It’s the kind of thing a dictator says to justify his violence toward his own citizens. Which leads us to …

3. Trump’s quotes about the Tiananmen Square massacre from a 1990 interview with Playboy resurfaced:

Q: What were your other impressions of the Soviet Union?

Trump: I was very unimpressed. Their system is a disaster. What you will see there soon is a revolution; the signs are all there with the demonstrations and picketing. Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.

Q: You mean firm hand as in China?

Trump: When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world — 

Q: Why is Gorbachev not firm enough?

Trump: I predict he will be overthrown, because he has shown extraordinary weakness. Suddenly, for the first time ever, there are coal-miner strikes and brush fires everywhere — which will all ultimately lead to a violent revolution. Yet Gorbachev is getting credit for being a wonderful leader and we should continue giving him credit, because he’s destroying the Soviet Union. But his giving an inch is going to end up costing him and all his friends what they most cherish — their jobs.

So, let’s review: His “problem with Gorbachev” was that he didn’t put down the protests that ultimately led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, marking the end of the Cold War. Winning the Cold War is generally considered one of the great American feats of the 20th century — and yet Trump as it was happening thought our country was “perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world.” And whose example did he deem “stronger”? That of the Chinese government, which killed hundreds if not thousands of its own people to put down similar protests. That kind of strength, Trump seemed to admire. The kind of actions that could lead to a political leader “costing him and all his friends … their jobs”? Weakness.

Think about that for a moment: The man who would be president of the United States sided with the government that ordered the murder of its own people over a man (Gorbachev) who allowed protests that led to more democracy (even if Russia’s later leadership — including another leader Trump admires, Vladimir Putin — squandered that opportunity). Just another day living like a lion instead of a sheep, amirite?

David Duke. Benito Mussolini. The killers of Tiananmen Square. These are the figures about whom Trump is ambivalent to admiring. No intellectually honest person can liken this kind of thinking to the GOP or conservative movement more broadly. This is, in terms of American politics, a unique kind of appeal that, as in other ways, is well out of step with mainstream Republicans and conservatives. It should absolutely be rejected.

Reader Comments 0

137 comments
LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

The GOP also-rans are more competent, more honest, and more American than the two Democrats. I wish our front-runner was.

Hopeless in ATL
Hopeless in ATL

It's ironic (or maybe just plain funny) that the very ones who scolded Trump for not pledging support for whomever the nominee is are the same ones jumping off the bandwagon now that Trump appears to be winning.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Caius ...is a good man who has no shot and by his very presence is helping nominate Trump.

CallMeStupid
CallMeStupid

After almost eight years of an effeminate , unqualified, feckless,  effeminate,  democrat party puppet who is buoyed by the media and this what you get.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@CallMeStupid

Unfortunately what does your comment say for the majority party in both houses of congress at the present time.Our feckless ,effeminate ,unqualified puppet seems to stymie them at every turn. Obamacare, the IRS,Planned Parenthood,the Budget, the ever increasing Deficit that goes along with the ever increasing size of the government, I can go on and on but why even bother ,the political class in both parties rig the game to pay back their debt to K Street that funds their re-election campaigns.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@CallMeStupid @Buschleaguer I am not so sure with the Donald. I worry he may just know how to play the game better than our professional politicians in congress at the present time.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@CallMeStupid After almost eight years of the Republicans insulting this way a President elected twice by a majority of Americans, it is no wonder that many of their voters turn to someone like Trump.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@MarkVV @CallMeStupid 

I am confused by your comment MarkVV ,what have republicans done that insults the way a president was elected? I concur he received the majority of votes in '08 and '12 ,but why would as you say "insulting Obama" lead their voters to Trump. More likely their ineffective attempts to curb any of President Obama's policies led their voters to someone like Trump.

Penses
Penses

Rubio here. It's refreshing to see at least one "opinion columnist" find fault with his chosen party. I have pointed out Jay's failure to do so to him numerous times, as a kind of intellectual dishonesty.

Kudos, Kyle.

Bruno2
Bruno2

Kyle--If it makes you feel better, I'm going to vote for Rubio.  Not excited about it, but he's the lesser of the various evils IMO.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

Did my part.  Voted for Cruz.  It didn't hurt.  Gave some thought to voting for Jeb to protest the bad choices we were left with, but that would have just meant more delegates for Trump.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

Kyle, if it's Trump in November, what are you going to do?

ObamaYoMama
ObamaYoMama

All liberals need to be rounded up and put on an island with a bunch of EBT cards and free cell phones placed in the middle. I would love to watch you fight for them LOL 

DebbieDoRight please stop having kids to get more free stuff. I'm sick of paying for it!


Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Buschleaguer @Hedley_Lammar @Lil_Barry_Bailout @Jefferson1776 @ObamaYoMama  Yeah Headly,we all pay some kind of tax.


Damn right.


I for example pay double the rate Mitt Romney does.


So he can build another car elevator I guess.


.The problem is some folks pay all of these taxes with other taxpayers money.


So about half the country doesn't work or receives no compensation whatsoever ?


You are sorely mistaken. Most poor people work hard. Usually at more than one job to make ends meet. 100 bucks a month for food stamps doesnt go very far.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Hedley_Lammar @Buschleaguer @Lil_Barry_Bailout @Jefferson1776 @ObamaYoMama Headly I am so sorry that you are paying a higher percentage than the Mittster. Maybe you should hire a better tax attorney,shelter more of your money offshore. Then you could afford one of those fancy elevators for your Prius.


Headly, I don't think that only the poor are having to work harder ,most of the working class are having to work more hours and are being paid less than in the previous decades. Most manufacturing jobs that supported the middle class have been replaced by service industry jobs that provide less in salary and benefits. We are all working harder for less and the gap between the poor and middle class is shrinking ,but in the wrong direction. As far as paying taxes ,I would pay more if I thought giving more to the government would actually solve anything.It seems no matter how many trillions in taxes are paid our elected officials find a way to spend trillions more ,and what do we have to show for it.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

FIRST: Great piece Kyle!  Great writing.  You really ARE  a journalist and not just an opinion writer!  Who knew?  :)

NOW: Once again,  Thank you Trump voters! You just helped to nominate the first female President. Don't forget to vote TRUMP!!!   (Snicker!)

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DebbieDoRight  No DDR, I am asking all of my GOP friends to declare their devotion to the Progressive party just for one day , and Feel The Bern. Vote for Sanders ,The Gift that Keeps on Giving Away Stuff for Free* at least until the 1% runs out of money.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@MarkVV @Buschleaguer @DebbieDoRight Not the way Bernie gives it away. Get on Bernie's FREE DUMB bus and we all can be rich or equally poor. Socialism a wonderful idea that has been successful everywhere it has been tried.

CrackerBox
CrackerBox

So Kyle,  who was President during that great show of strength in Waco Texas (1993)?

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

@Buschleaguer @Caius @vjk99 @dsallentess @erinkwhite14 @LastWeekTonight -

13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush's Watch Without a Peep from Fox News Or The Republican Party:

January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.

June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al-Qaida attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.

October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of "Bali Bombings." No fatalities.

February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.

May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al-Qaida terrorists storm the diplomatic compound killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.

July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.

December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaida terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.

March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name "David Foy." This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what's considered American soil.)

September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar" storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.

January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.

March 18, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.

July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.

September 17, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Nice list. It confirms that not one American died in an embassy or consulate attack on W's watch. Outside the embassy, kinda hard to provide protection. And you blame W for foreigners killed outside our facilities by other foreigners? Your BDS is showing.

DennisBrown
DennisBrown

This Atlanta urinal constipation has always been one sided....wonder why you all didn't write about Hillisry's investigation, etc., the night before Super Tuesday?!

Penses
Penses

I've two words for you, Kyle: Jesse Ventura.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

From way earlier:

Polls show him beating Hillary in NY

IF that actually happens in a general election, I'll eat my hat.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Visual_Cortex Put chocolate on it, might be tolerable.


Had a dessert the other night with chocolate-covered Corn Flakes... really nice crunch to add to ice cream.