Super Tuesday is fast approaching and with 595 delegates up for grabs, the remaining Republican candidates are hard on the campaign trail and they are campaigning the only way they know how – hurling accusations and insults at one-another.
Rubio and Cruz are aiming at Trump
The recent debate seems to have set a trend, however, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz both hitting Donald Trump hard, in an attempt to weaken the GOP front-runner’s position. So far, the New York billionaire has been portrayed as a con artist and an unscrupulous businessman.
The latest in the series of accusations launched against him is that he is receiving support from one of the most infamous white supremacist groups in the history of the United State – the Ku Klux Klan. This comes amid allegations that Donald Trump has received the endorsement of former KKK grand wizard David Duke. When confronted about this allegation on CNN’s “State of the Union”, the real-estate tycoon said he had no idea about any endorsement.
To put things in perspective, the Ku Klux Klan has been founded after the American Civil War by a group of former Confederate soldiers, initially starting out as a fraternal order. It quickly evolved into a hate group and has known three phases in its almost 2-century long existence.
The first original KKK targeted freed men, black and white Republicans. Its success was limited, although it did force some people out of politics at the time. The second emergence of the Ku Klux Klan took place in 1915. The spectrum of hatred had broadened, together with the Klan’s increase in organizational complexity.
A dark page in U.S.’ history
Apart from African Americans, the Klan was targeting members of the Catholic Church, Jews and immigrants, especially Southern Europeans. It faded away in the 1940s, not without leaving a trail of violence in its wake, especially in the South. The third stage of the Ku Klux Klan started in 1946 and was probably the most violent with the most famous incident being the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.
Nowadays, it is estimated that the Ku Klux Klan may still have around 5000 members. It is widely viewed as a subversive, terrorist organization.
While the GOP campaign has gotten people used to the exchange of insults, affiliation with a known terrorist organization is a serious accusation. It is interesting to note, however, that Donald Trump has not actually given a detailed speech disavowing any ties with the Ku Klux Klan’s retired grand wizard.
Is this another dirty technique, signed by Ted Cruz’s campaign?
According to Fox News, Trump cited David Duke as one of the main reasons for refusing a candidacy under the banner of the Reform Party in 2000, at the time actually pointing him out as a Klansman. Donald Trump’s endorsement by the Ku Klux Klan should also be taken with a pinch of salt, especially considering that accusations are coming in from Senator Ted Cruz.
In past episodes of the campaign, the Texas Senator has shown that fair play is not really a tactic he is keen on. It remains to be seen, however, if there will be any further mention of this and if it will actually hurt Donald Trump’s support.