Nobody Cares About David Duke Anymore…

…and yet John Maginnis and Jeremy Alford just put up a piece at about some Italian travel restriction issue he’s having, quoting a story in the left-leaning UK newspaper The Independent

An Italian court said Duke, a Holocaust denier who ran for the US presidency in 1992 and 1998, was “socially dangerous for his racist and anti-semitic views”. The court yesterday backed enforcing a Swiss travel and residence ban against the 63-year-old, which is valid across the whole Schengen area.

Luciano Meneghetti, deputy police chief in the northern Italian province of Belluno, told Reuters that Duke moved to the Valle di Cadore mountain village after being granted a visa to study and write there by the Italian embassy in Malta.

When police discovered the ban, which was made in 2009, Duke lodged an appeal with the Belluno administrative court to avoid expulsion.

And, according to the International business Times, the sentence added: “He was also previously arrested and expelled from the Czech Republic as suspected of promoting the launch of a movement for the suppression of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Let’s recognize something here, shall we?

First, David Duke’s first and last successful electoral campaign in Louisiana was 24 years ago, in 1989. He won a special election for a state representative seat in Metairie, earning a spot in the runoff with 33 percent and then barely eking out a victory over John Treen, one of the worst political candidates Louisiana has ever produced (Treen, the brother of former governor Dave Treen, almost literally committed every error possible during his multiple runs for office in that area), by 227 votes.

Duke got 8,459 votes in the only election he ever won.

Admittedly, he got a lot more votes than that in a number of his losing campaigns. But David Duke was always a protest candidate rather than a serious political figure in Louisiana, and to the extent he managed to slice into the mainstream vote it was because he was able to exploit the lack of organization within the Louisiana GOP – and some of the poor messaging of its candidates – at a time in which the state’s voters had becomefed up with the failure of Longite socialism as a governing majority ideology by which the Democrats had plunged the Bayou State into the bottom of all the standings.

Duke offered people something different. Nobody really thought he would win office, and he was able to get traction on a number of issues the political mainstream in the state failed to address. Duke had some talent as a political opportunist; he could see holes in the political market and knew how to rush in and occupy that space. It’s interesting, to an extent, that he’s now in Europe seeking to organize people into a nationalist/fascist movement – because the hole left open by mainstream political parties there which have not addressed the issues surrounding wholesale immigration from the Third World is one which could be filled by the David Dukes of Italy and Switzerland and Sweden at some point.

But the fact that he managed to win one special election for a lowly Louisiana House seat – out of nine races he ran in from 1975 to 1999 – doesn’t make him a significant political figure in Louisiana.

Nobody seems to remember Puggy Moity anymore, and he was a serial candidate who ran just as often – and lost just as often – as Duke did. While Moity wasn’t a former Klansman like Duke, he was probably even more explosive than Duke; Moity used to buy TV time in 30 minute blocks and then launch into ranting filibusters during that paid time with the most overheated (and often hilarious) rhetoric imaginable. Moity used to call Edwin Edwards “Chanel No. 5” and accuse him of having a “boy-frand,” and that was as tame as he got. Moity was one of the most outrageous showmen in Louisiana political history, but the voters never rewarded him for it.

Duke knew how to put on a show, and he was rewarded for it to an extent. But before we start elevating him into some sort of historical figure or a force in Louisiana politics because he managed to make a runoff before J. Bennett Johnston crushed him in the 1990 U.S. Senate race and because he managed to slip past a moribund Buddy Roemer, whose 1991 gubernatorial re-election campaign still stands as the worst ever run in Louisiana, into the runoff before getting crushed by Edwin Edwards.

David Duke is a footnote. An embarrassment, to be sure, but a footnote. He isn’t important now, and he wasn’t all that important then, and he’s been thoroughly and repeatedly rejected by voters both in the Democrat Party (where he started) and the Republican Party. So why should we care whether the Italians want him around or not after all this time?



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