No word yet on what happened at David Duke’s speaking engagement on the subject of a possible run for president in 2012. But Duke released a video detailing his platform in case he would actually run. Some of it is pretty funny, actually. He starts by saying that he’s not sure whether he will actually run for president, and that his decision will be based on the amount of money he can raise. Then he insults his potential voters:
Duke admits that he will have some difficulty with a possible run for president on account of the fact that he is a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. But he cites the late Senator Robert Byrd, who had also been in the Klan but then went on to serve in the US Senate, as proof that this can be overcome. Of course, Byrd left the Klan and (mostly) stopped spouting racism and bigotry, and, in later years, publicly repudiated the Klan and stated his regret for his youthful involvement in it several times. As former president Bill Clinton said at a memorial service after Byrd died, “He did something he shouldn’t have done, and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that’s what a good person does.” Contrast that with David Duke, who continues to disseminate the most odious forms of racism and antisemitism to this day.
Further into the video, Duke lays out his platform. His planks include:
- “American first….We must bring our boys home from these insane foreign wars….We cannot afford to let Israel or any other nation dictate our foreign policy….”
- “Stop the immigration invasion….Mass imigration is destroying the America of of our fathers and mothers….[including] legal and illegal [immigration]….”
- “True equal rights for all, special privilege for none. Racial or gender discrimination will stop on the first day I am president….”
That last point needs to be unpacked a little. He’s saying that he would do away with all federal programs that encourage the awarding of contracts to female and minority-owned businesses, and annul all affirmative action programs, no matter how thoughtful or carefully-executed they may be.
After watching the video, I would wager (if I were a betting man) that Duke will not actually try to enter any Republican primaries. His pitch includes enough calls for cash — and no mention of any sort of exploratory committee — that I’d guess that this is simply an effort to drum up excitement and raise funds for his regular activities. Duke has a history of treating his supporters as a personal ATM.