I devoted space yesterday to Donald Trump -- a man whose pronouncements are not just untrue but hateful. I did not intend to return to him this morning. But, having read Michael Harris' column today at ipolitics, I once again return to a loathsome subject.
Harris makes the point that there are several disturbing parallels between the late governor of Alabama and presidential candidate and the present blowhard:
Wallace’s campaign was thinly disguised as the protection of states rights. In fact, it was a bigoted rejection of civil rights for all Americans, and a circling of the wagons around racial segregation. It was Wallace who infamously said “If some anarchist lies down in front of my automobile, it will be the last automobile he will ever lie down in front of.”
Fast forward to Donald Trump. There is an eerie echo of Wallace’s violent and incendiary demagoguery. Trump has not only encouraged his followers to “knock the crap” out of anti-Trump protesters at his rallies, he also promised to pay the legal bills for anyone who assaulted his detractors.
There is another comparison between George Wallace and Donald Trump. One of the important areas of support for Wallace back in 1968 was extremist groups like the White Citizens’ Councils. Though he did not recruit them, neither did he reject their support.
Sound familiar? When he isn’t quoting Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Trump has been tacitly accepting the support of people like David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Both candidates also ran on anti-Washington, pro-law and order platforms. Wallace sneered that U.S. foreign aid was “like throwing money down a rat hole.” He never missed an opportunity to invoke the police as the proper answer to the “anarchy” of the anti-Vietnam war movement.
Similarly, Trump routinely portrays ‘Establishment Washington’ as the downy nest for fools, chokers, losers, and “horrible” negotiators who have sold the country down the river. He wants to wall out Mexicans as rapists and criminals, and ban all Muslims from the United States because they “really hate” America.
At the end of his life, Wallace admitted his mistakes and asked forgiveness -- particularly of African Americans. Somehow Trump doesn't seem capable of that. God help the United States if George Wallace's ghost -- in his fire breathing prime -- is elected president.