Trump Is A Much More Dangerous Kingfish

By Donald A. Collins | 6 August 2023
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

At this unique time in the history of our democracy we find ourselves in a deep dilemma. Donald J. Trump is undoubtedly guilty, but Trump has, through his first term campaign and subsequently parleyed via lies and subterfuge, a following of voters who could propel him to a second term as President.

A billionaire, Trump has also raised money from his adoring public which is paying his legal fees as his indictments pile up and his MAGA percent of the GOP insures his likely nomination as its Presidential candidate. Bill Barr, his now outspoken anti-Trump former Trump Attorney General, and George Will have predicted Trump will not be the GOP nominee, but the effect of his multiple indictments has so far only helped increase his margin over the other candidates and allowed him to raise more money.

Biden, while his governing record of accomplishment in his first term has been exemplary, has been attacked relentlessly by false claims of ineffectiveness and branded with corruption the GOP claims based on his son, Hunter’s getting sweet financial deals engineered by his father. The absurdity of comparing Biden to Trump in the veniality department is as absurd as US House Speaker now suggesting Biden should be impeached.

However, the prospect of 2nd Trump term is not remote. Should the NO Label Party enter a candidate, the drain on Biden votes in a close election could elect Trump, even if the current ardor for Biden among voters increases as it surely will by November 2024.

How unique in our history has a strong unscrupulous and dangerous dictator type surfaced to threaten democracy in America.

We don’t have to look far. Huey Long, otherwise known as The Kingfish, in his corrupt career and utterly flawed character eerily suggests that if he had lived he would have proved to be Trump clone President.

Wikipedia tells us his history which I partially quote here:

After a failed 1924 campaign, Long appealed to the sharp economic, religious, racial, and class divisions in Louisiana to win the 1928 gubernatorial election. Once in office, he expanded social programs, organized massive public works projects, such as a modern highway system and the tallest capitol building in the nation, and proposed a cotton holiday. Through political maneuvering, Long became the political boss of Louisiana. He was impeached in 1929 for abuses of power, but the proceedings collapsed in the State Senate. His opponents argued his policies and methods were unconstitutional and authoritarian. At its climax, political opposition organized a minor insurrection.

Long was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930 but did not assume his seat until 1932. He established himself as an isolationist, arguing that Standard Oil and Wall Street orchestrated American foreign policy. He was instrumental in securing Roosevelt’s 1932 nomination but split with him in 1933, becoming a prominent critic of his New Deal. As an alternative, he proposed the Share Our Wealth plan in 1934. To stimulate the economy, he advocated massive federal spending, a wealth tax, and wealth redistribution. These proposals drew widespread support, with millions joining local Share Our Wealth clubs. Poised for a 1936 presidential bid, Long was assassinated by Carl Weiss inside the Louisiana State Capitol in 1935. His assassin was immediately shot and killed by Long’s bodyguards. Although Long’s movement faded, Roosevelt adopted many of his proposals in the Second New Deal, and Louisiana elections would be organized along anti- or pro-Long factions until the 1960s. He left behind a political dynasty that included his wife, Senator Rose McConnell Long; his son, Senator Russell B. Long; and his brother, Governor Earl Long, among others.

Long’s death allowed democracy to dodge a bullet he didn’t dodge.

Long rose in the Jim Crow era and hence got the overwhelming support of whites while blacks were still powerless. His family’s long slave-owning history was well known. His legacy of racism was extended by Long’s family members until Lyndon Johnson, after becoming President after JFK’s assassination! made civil rights his focus and got the Civil Rights Act passed his first term in 1954.

Note how critics at the time expressed concern about his corruption and authoritarianism. A concise account of his rise to power and his misuse of power is perfectly covered in a 2021 review of “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren about his 1947 Pulitzer Prize fictional account of Long’ regime!

One quote from this fascinating review you may want to read in full:

At the end of his term as governor Huey Long was elected to the U.S. Senate. However, he continued his highly controversial tactics, and his firebrand style of populism was even perceived as a threat to FDR. Huey Long’s career ended when he was assassinated in 1935 at the Louisiana state capital where he was attempting to gerrymander a district against a political opponent. The son-in-law of his opponent approached Huey Long and shot him point-blank in the torso. The blast killed him.

In an earlier play he wrote using his fictional copy of Long, Warren says, he is “the pitiless servant of the knight of justice and the kind of doom that democracy may invite upon itself”.

The congruency with Trump’s and Long’s histories should frighten enough voters to be sure if Trump is the GOP Presidential nominee that he doesn’t win.

Colbert King’s August 5th opinion piece entitled “The coming year will test the nation. May we rise to the challenge” begins by saying,

This is not democracy’s best day. That day came on Jan. 20, 2021, when Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States. The country had been tested. A violent threat to the peaceful transfer of power had been met and defeated. The Capitol stood strong on its foundation. The Constitution held. On that Inauguration Day, democracy prevailed.

Jan. 20, 2021, now appears to have been a high-water mark.

Biden said at the time that restoring the soul of the country and securing its future required uniting the nation in a cause that he asked every American to join. Every good wish. Instead, we have political disunity in Washington to the extent that the credit of the United States, built on hundreds of years of stability and reliability, has again been downgraded on Wall Street — largely because of the petty obstructionism of the recent debt ceiling debate, which raised the ominous prospect of the United States defaulting on its debt.”

Democracy survives? To be determined, but the GOP won’t talk about governing, only trying to score points as when attacks are escalated against Biden using Hunter’s sad wrongdoings. Talk about character assassination!!! However, Biden should come out with his fully transparent truth including his role if any in Hunter’s case.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us” and “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life”.

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Huey Long: The Kingfish

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