Three months ago, David Duke, a white supremacist, declared his support for Donald Trump. Duke—who beat a field of Republicans, and all sorts of but one Democrat, when you look at the 1991 race for governor of Louisiana—praised Trump for saying “what I said almost 25 years back.”
When CNN’s Jake Tapper invited Trump to repudiate Duke together with KKK, Trump begged off, saying he needed more information. That prompted a rebuke from House Speaker Paul Ryan. “If a person would like to end up being the nominee associated with Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games,” Ryan demanded. “They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices.”
Nighty days later, Trump has been doing what Duke did, and much more. By tapping popular anger and exploiting anxiety about Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, blacks, and Seventh-day Adventists, Trump has beaten a field of Republicans. If he can overcome one last Democratic candidate, he’ll be president for the United States. As opposed to turn far from Duke’s politics, Trump has moved closer to them. He’s got repeatedly accused Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge that is hearing a fraud case against Trump University, of bias and unfitness because Curiel—who came to be in Indiana—is “Mexican.” This weekend, Trump added that a Muslim judge may be similarly not capable of treating him fairly. Meanwhile, Trump repeated his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.