So, we all remember David Duke. He’s that hard-line racist who endorsed Donald Trump a few months back. Why the hell am I bringing up David Duke? Well, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is looking to add a congressional seat to his resume.
Mr. Duke is considering issuing a challenge to current House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. If Mr. Duke follows through, it’s bound to be the Battle of the Bayou, with Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District on the line.
This isn’t the first time Mr. Duke was considered running against Rep. Scalise. The United States’ most famous white supremacist has actually considered challenging Rep. Scalise before. From Red State:
“[Duke’s] target, Steve Scalise, is the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, and spoke out fervently against Duke and his groups after inadvertently speaking at an event hosted by one of those very groups (Scalise claims he didn’t know who the group was, and people who were there claim Scalise wasn’t actually there, so it’s all kind of fuzzy).”
This possible run at Congress is another attempt by Mr. Duke to oust a man he calls a “total sellout.” But despite the history Mr. Duke shares with Rep. Scalise, the former Klansman admitted that the shooting of police and transit officers in Dallas last week was the primary reason he has begun considering running for Congress again. Mr. Duke’s website states that he has been encouraged to run by an “enormous amount of people” in his district. The statement says further:
“With the country coming apart at the seams and no one willing to really speak the truth about what is happening, the majority population in this country needs someone who will actually give voice to their interests in the face of an increasingly violent hatefest launched by the media and political establishment against them.”
Mr. Duke may have an “enormous amount of people” in his district urging him to run (keeping in mind that “enormous” is a subjective term), but if they are, they’re pushing for a guy whose political history is largely composed of defeat. Even though Mr. Duke served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1989-92 (winning a special election following Charles Cusimano’s resignation), Mr. Duke has failed to make successful runs for U.S. congressional seats (1990, 1996, 1999), for the Louisiana governor’s mansion (1991), and for the presidency (1988, 1992).
While Mr. Duke is still weighing his options, he recently told The Daily Beast that he expects to have a decision by July 22, which happens to be the state of Louisiana’s ballot deadline.
“There are millions of people across the country who would like to have me in the Congress. I’d be the only person in Congress openly defending the rights and the heritage of European Americans. We are on the offensive today. There’s no more defenses.”
Considering the damage Donald Trump has done to the electorate over the past year (bringing racism closer to the mainstream than it has been since Jim Crow), I wouldn’t be surprised if David Duke actually made a run at Scalise’s congressional seat. If he does, I wish I could I say he’s guaranteed to lose, but alas, I do not have that level of confidence.
After all, the Trump Effect likely isn’t limited to the presidential race alone. It could very well manifest in the congressional races also.
Featured image by Paul M. Walsh, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.