This week, I spoke to someone with a different perspective.
Tom Metzger has been described as “one of the most notorious living white supremacists in the United States” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group specializing in civil rights. He founded the White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and was the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.
I asked him why white supremacists are drawn to Trump, whether the Hitler comparisons are fair and why the GOP’s presumptive nominee isn’t actually the remaining candidate he’d vote for.
Here’s what he told me.
How do you describe yourself?
Simply a white separatist or racial separatist. I think the races would be much better if they’re allowed to freely separate and develop their own culture. I don’t think diversity is going to work. I think it’s causing a lot of problems … I’m a white racist. It’s that simple. You don’t like it? Screw you.
What are your thoughts on Donald Trump?
The Republican party got behind the scene and planned this whole thing and they stood back and pretended they didn’t like Trump. Trump was drafted to do a job for the Republican party: recruiting millions of new people and reregistering old people to build the ranks of the Republican party. The Republican party was on the ropes after Obama. I think it’s funny. I get a kick out of it.
Do you support him?
No. I support the chaos that he’s spreading. We need chaos. We need upheaval. We need people marching in the streets. We need people going crazy. He’s done a good job with that.
Why is chaos a good thing?
Because it eats away at the empire. It takes chaos to deteriorate the empire.
Will you vote for him?
No. I don’t vote anymore. I have no confidence in the federal government. I would feel immoral by voting. I agree with some of the things that he says, but I don’t trust any of these people.
Why do you think white supremacists like him so much?
They’re trying to ride on his coattails. The smart ones aren’t that excited about him. But they will use his image to gain something. They love his style. He’s a showman.
Is there anything about him that you like personally?
I like his positions on trade. We have to put up the trade barriers. We’ve got to put terrorists out. He can stop that.
What about the border?
He’s a little too late on the border.
So, you don’t think putting up a wall on the border with Mexico is a good idea?
I don’t. They’re already here. How do we get them out? You’ve got a wall up there. I don’t want a wall there because you need an opening to get them out of here.
Well, I’m assuming Trump is planning some sort of a gate, no?
I’m sure he is. But it’s too late. The problem is, when you try to cram too many religions and races into one country, is that it’s going to explode. We’re going to become like the Middle East.
So you’re not excited about a Trump presidency?
No. I’m not much of a right-winger anymore. I’m more to the left. In fact, I like a lot what Bernie Sanders has to say.
Really? What, exactly?
He’s trying to help the working class and working people. He’s trying to help students get an education. His populist position I support. I don’t support his racial views, but he’s got a lot of good ideas. But he doesn’t have a chance. The South just whipped his ass and that’s too bad. I hope he drives the Democratic party further to the left.
Do you believe Donald Trump is flirting with white supremacists to get their vote?
I think the white supremacist vote is very small. There is little for him there. But I do think that there is a third or a quarter of this country who are closeted racists. When I talk to the blacks they agree with me. Too many white people are ashamed to say they’re proud to be white or that they want to marry white. So, this is a chance for them to come out and flex their muscles.
If you did vote, would you vote for Trump?
No. The sooner there’s a revolution and a civil war in this country, the better.
So would you say you dislike Trump?
Well, if he said, ‘Tom, let’s have a beer,’ I’d be right there. I think he’d be a fun guy. But I don’t trust people with that much money.
A lot of people have made comparisons between Trump and Adolph Hitler. Do you agree with them?
No. I think he’d have to go a lot farther than he is now to reach the power Hitler had, whether you like him or not.
So when Trump asked his supporters to raise their hands and pledge their loyalty to him, that didn’t remind you of the “Heil Hitler” salute?
I think it reminds me of any dictator. Mao Zedong or the North Korean little puppet boy or any big authoritarian-type leader, Charles de Gaulle, they all did that. It don’t mean anything.
Do you like the fact that Trump’s ex-wife claims he used to read “Mein Kampf” before going to be bed?
If he understands it like I do, yes. Though “Mein Kampf” was pretty boring. Lenin’s stuff was much better.