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Monday, August 21st, 2023

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


When the big issues are at stake, it seems like there’s always a Louisiana connection. The Louisiana Purchase, the Battle of New Orleans, the first shot of the Civil War was fired by a Louisiana Brigade.  So how does all this relate to Donald Trump?  Read on.

We’ve never witnessed a politician quite like Donald Trump.  We all know he’s belligerent, arrogant, cocky, bullheaded, vicious in his attacks, demanding constant loyalty, and only loyal himself to those who continually genuflect to him.  Yet his popularity continues to stay high, particularly in the state of Louisiana.  Yes, Trump is a unique politician the likes of which we’ve never seen in this country before. Or is he?

Let’s checkout some words of wisdom that we all have come to hear regularly from Trump.

“Always take the offensive. The defensive ain’t worth a damn.”

 “One day,” he told an audience, “You pick up the papers and see where I killed four priests. Another day I murdered twelve nuns, and the next day I poisoned four hundred babies. I have not got time to answer all of them.”

And then there is this one.  “I have more enemies in the United States than any little man I know of.”

“You sometimes have to fight fire with fire. The end justifies the means.”

“I used to get things done by saying please. Now I dynamite them out of my path.”

Sure sounds like Trump, doesn’t it. That’s just his way of operating, but would you be surprised to learn that those are not his words? Nope, they come right out of the great State of Louisiana.  They are from the Bayou prognosticator himself, ole’ Huey Long.

All the quotes above fit both politicians well.  Just as Huey Long made Louisiana politics all about him, Trump has done the same nationally. Both of them were big personas; they each made themselves the main issue, and the chief dividing line.

Trump and Long would be defined as authoritarian populists. They both shared a philosophy that they, and they alone truly represented a majority of voters.  They each tapped in to views of their supporters that their voices were not being heard, and that the political establishment was out to get them.  Both Trump and Long were impeached while in office, but both survived.

A reporter once asked Long if he was a fascist. “Fine,” Long told him in a conversation that took place less than a year before he was killed. “I’m Mussolini and Hitler rolled into one. Mussolini [force-fed dissidents] castor oil; I’ll give them tabasco, and then they’ll like Louisiana.” Then he laughed.

Trump also quoted Mussolini in his first campaign for president saying: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” When asked if he wanted to be associated with a fascist, Trump said: “No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes. And people, you know, I have almost 14 million people between Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and all of that. And we do interesting things. And I sent it out. And certainly, hey, it got your attention, didn’t it?”

Politico Magazine had this to say last week about the two towering political figures: “The similarities between the two suggest that to pull this off requires a larger-than-life personality, an us-vs.-them populist view of the world and a mode of communication and operation that, through its outrageousness, underlines the constant conflict with the powers-that-be and their supposedly worthless norms and rules.”

Long knew the value of publicity, any publicity “” without ever dealing, like Trump, with the New York tabloids on a daily basis or starring in a reality TV show. “I don’t care,” he said, “what they say about me as long as they say something.”

Before he was assassinated in 1935, Huey Long was dealing with numerous investigations and corruption charges. President Trump now faces similar challenges that continue to pile up on him.  Huey Long’s death ended his confrontations in the Bayou State. With indictments in four different jurisdictions, President Trump still has a long road ahead of him.

 Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com. You can also listen to his regular podcast at www.datelinelouisiana.com.



1 Response
  1. Lynn

    It has been stated that Long was at odds with Pres. FDR at the time. Isn’t FDR the president who mandated citizens turn in their personal gold for paper money?

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