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Trump denies knowing anything about David Duke or white supremacy: a pathology of lies

by Sanjay Perera

Recently, Republican front runner and America’s best hope for fascism, Donald J. Trump, made it clear that he has no idea who exactly David Duke is despite receiving support from him. Please see the clip below:

This is an interesting situation as Trump seems reluctant to acknowledge links to his potential supporters in the Ku Klux Klan. Just as the former Klansman (read: ex-Grand Wizard Duke) supports him, Trump has yet to deny knowing what the KKK is about. But being the logician that he is, Trump implies that just because Duke may have Klan links, and he (Trump) does not deny knowing anything about the Klan, it cannot be inferred that he knows anything about Duke, nor what Duke or the Klan stand for.

But it can be validly stated that Trump apparently does not know anything about Duke. If this seems confusing, not to worry: that is because Trump is a pathological liar as will be explicit by the end of this piece.

However, the attempted clarification by Trump on Duke causes even further puzzlement as he denies knowing what being a white supremacist means. This implies that although he may have heard of the Klan, he does not know what they stand for. We take it from this that Trump may find obscure what terms like ‘racism,’ ‘prejudice,’ or ‘xenophobia’ mean. This begs the question as to whether Trump knows what ‘truth,’ ‘honesty,’ or ‘compassion’ mean.

If he does claim to know certain things then we must ask him to explain what he really means when he talks about, let us say, trying to ‘make America great again.’ Presumably what Trump means in his campaign and candidacy is what needs to be done to make America fascist, for he seems to equate greatness with fascism.

Unsurprisingly, Trump is not only aware of Mussolini but uses his quotes such as: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” And when pressed on this in a media interview Trump says he likes the quote: “Sure. It’s OK to know it’s Benito Mussolini. Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. It’s OK. It’s a very good quote. It’s a very interesting quote. And I saw it and I know who said it. But what difference does it make, whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?”

Credit: imgur.com

But the next question is does Trump know who Hitler is and the question is not facetious at all. In an interview with Vanity Fair, his ex-wife Ivana says he knows quite a lot about Adolf. This extended quote is worth reading:

“John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, ‘Heil Hitler,’ possibly as a family joke."

Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

‘Did your cousin John [Walter] give you the Hitler speeches?’ I asked Trump.

Trump hesitated. ‘Who told you that?’‘

I don’t remember,’ I said.‘

Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.’ (‘I did give him a book about Hitler,’ Marty Davis said. ‘But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.’)

Later, Trump returned to this subject. ‘If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.’”

So Trump likes to use interesting quotes from Mussolini, and has/had a book of Hitler’s speeches which he states that he would never read. This wizard of integrity and coherence is the right man for America to choose to make it fascist again.

Before we forget, on the point of honesty and whether Trump genuinely had any idea of Duke, here is his statement from 2000:

“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 [Trump] said in his statement. ''This is not company I wish to keep.’”

And we have Trump again in the year 2000:

LAUER: When you say the Party is self-destructing, what do you see as the biggest problem with the Reform Party right now?

Mr. TRUMP: 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. Buchanan's a disaster as we've, you know, covered. Jesse's a terrific guy who just left the Party. And he, you know, it's unfortunate, but he just left the Party. He's going to be doing his Independence Party from Minnesota. And he's a terrific guy and a terrific governor, and he's got a great future. And I've always said, Matt, that I would run if I thought I could win, and in order to win...”

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The writer is an essayist and admirer of the ideas and works of Thoreau, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie. He is also Editor of Philosophers for Change