Why Russia? Don’t ask Trump, ask David Duke

Alec Dubro
4 min readJan 20, 2020

“Our race faces a world-wide genetic catastrophe. There is only one word that can adequately describe it: genocide.” David Duke

So really, what’s the thing with Russia? Why would Donald Trump and portions of the American right be drawn to a relatively poor country that seems to have few international friends and is known for assassinations, interfering in elections and sports doping?

Out in the world, Russia is not much of a success. Sure, it’s a Eurasian country with a lot of land and a lot of oil. But it has a population and economy just somewhat larger than Mexico and produces far less in terms of manufactures than does our southern neighbor. Except for nested dolls and caviar, few people can name Russia products. It has a big and powerful military, true, but always seems to be on the wrong side of every conflict. And it’s authoritarian in ways which few Americans — even those on the hard right — would tolerate at all.

Yet many Trumpers seem inexplicably drawn toward it. According to a recent story on Voice of America, Russia has even made headway in the US military: “Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military.” Although the Defense Department explains this rise in terms of Russian propaganda, they’re missing a more basic point: The attraction for US and European rightists has little to do with Russia’s strength or politics. Instead it’s about whiteness.

Few right-wing Russophiles will openly admit they see Russia as a kindred soul; they may not even be consciously aware of it. So, we have to turn to a philosopher of America’s dark soul to explain it — professional racist David Duke. In 2004, Duke was beginning his advanced studies in whiteness at a diploma mill in Ukraine. That year, he published an impassioned broadside entitled, “Is Russia the Key to White survival?

“All across the Western world,” he wrote, “I see our racial consciousness growing, our movements increasing, our spirit rising. Everywhere, our people are putting aside petty differences and nationality divisions and understand that now we must have White Pride Worldwide and White Unity.” Nowhere is that truer, he said, than in Russia, “Russia…

Alec Dubro

Alec Dubro was a warehouse worker. He was also a Rolling Stone record reviewer, a journalist and president of the National Writers Union