Whether they realize it or not, most Americans are familiar with the so-called “duck test.” It is a humorous term for a form of abductive reasoning implying the ease of identifying a subject based on their habitual characteristics. It is typically stated thus:
“If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck then it probably is a duck.”
If any American had questions after listening to Donald “Duck” Trump act, walk and talk like a Nazi white supremacist, then they should have no doubts any longer about what he really is. It is particularly true as of late when Trump equated his nasty racist devotees with Americans vehemently opposed to racism. And, as if to display his white supremacist bona fides for all to see, Trump compared the white supremacists’ and Ku Klux Klan’s treasonous Confederate heroes with America’s Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
It isn’t that Trump doesn’t know the difference between his white supremacist acolytes and decent Americans who oppose them, or why the nature and symbolism of Confederate statues inclines decent Americans to want them removed; he certainly does. But he doesn’t care because he is a public and private racist and is as ensconced in the white supremacist mindset as every Nazi, white supremacist and K.K.K. member that created havoc and shed blood in Charlottesville last week.
After listening to Trump parroting the exact same talking points as the K.K.K., League of the South, Occidental Dissent, alt-right, Daily Stormer and various Confederate white supremacist groups, it is beyond refute he is one of them. It might be true that Trump doesn’t want to recreate the United States in the image of the Confederacy that attempted to tear America apart, but by venerating its treasonous leaders as some kind of divine cultural icons and defending memorials to their vicious acts and deeds, he may as well hoist a Confederate battle flag over the White House and declare war against the United States of America. In a manner of speaking, he already has.
First, Trump equating the treasonous Robert E. Lee to Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson because the latter owned slaves is simply beyond the pale. Yes, it is problematic that the Founders owned slaves, but they were not traitors to the nation they founded. Conversely, Robert E. Lee left the United States military to wage war against the United States of America; it is the Constitution and U.S. Code definition of what a traitor to America is.
Robert E. Lee only avoided being tried, convicted and executed for treason due to the Herculean effort of Ulysses S. Grant. It was Grant who convinced then-president Andrew Johnson to quash an indictment against Lee for treason. Grant was averse to going back on his word to the Confederate traitors that they would be granted amnesty despite causing the deaths of well over 750,000 Americans in the South’s bloody war against the United States.
That bloody war to “rip apart America” was fought to preserve the South’s ability to own human beings as slaves and it is that “culture” the Trump and his white nationalist acolytes want to “honor.” It is noteworthy that Trump’s acolytes want to rip the country apart again to recreate the Confederacy as “white man’s land” to “reclaim their precious patrimony” the Confederate statues and monuments symbolize.
Trump had the temerity to write on Twitter that it was “foolish” to remove statues of traitors Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson while putting them in the same class as two of the nation’s Founding Fathers. To sound as close as possible to the white supremacists and Klan members in Charlottesville last week, Trump wrote:
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.”
It was sickening that Trump accused Americans opposed to memorials to slavery and treason as “ripping apart our great country’s culture” when those same memorials honor the traitors who literally attempted to “rip our great nation apart.”
That language was not, as the New York Times wrote, “similar to that of white supremacists arguing the statues should remain in place.” It was verbatim parroting directly from the League of the South, Ku Klux Klan, and Occidental Dissent that claim the Civil War had nothing to do with white men subjugating another race.
Back in May the Los Angeles Times editorial board noted:
“Despite the assertions of apologists [like Trump], the war was not a fight to repel Northern aggression — the South fired first — nor to save a genteel agrarian culture. Those who continue to romanticize antebellum Dixie willingly embrace a world that found its meaning in the violent subjugation of another race.” )author bold)
In fact, that subjugation continued well beyond the end of the Civil War and it is precisely what white supremacists and Nazis want to re-establish; including maintaining the Confederate traitors’ statues to remind African Americans that they are sub human in “white man’s land.”
A fair number of those statues and monuments to the Confederacy were erected several decades after the Civil War ended during the so-called “second rise” of the racist Ku Klux Klan. They reflected a hateful attempt by Southern racists to “rewrite the past and intimidate African Americans already beaten down by Jim Crow laws and a caste system based on one superior race.”
As noted in the New York Times, “a statue of [Robert E.] Lee in a town square sends a frightening message [to African Americans] that the [Civil] war might be over, but the South is still the [white supremacist] South.”
If any American uses abductive reasoning, the so-called “duck test,” to identify Trump according to his characteristic traits, worldview, and speech, they are left with no other conclusion than he is a Nazi white supremacist in the mold of his avid K.K.K supporters. That same test can be employed to identify the great majority of Republicans who are still standing with Trump. Republicans may not express their white supremacy out loud like Trump, but by not demanding he resign immediately or impeaching him with extreme prejudice, they are as abominably racist as their Nazi white supremacist leader.