The Reaction To Donald Trump's RNC Speech That Should Scare Absolutely Everyone

There's only one thing that could make Donald Trump's RNC speech any scarier: a positive reaction from a notorious white supremacist. To cap off the Republican National Convention, Trump told the nation that it's in the middle of a terrible crisis. And according to him, he's the only one who can save it from going under. Inspired by the fear-mongering address that singled out Mexican immigrants and Muslims, among others, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke praised Trump's speech. And that should be ringing some alarms. He tweeted:

Great Trump Speech, America First! Stop Wars! Defeat the Corrupt elites! Protect our Borders!, Fair Trade! Couldn't have said it better!

Speaking from Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow provided an insightful explanation as to why Duke's response, which is generating a bundle of reactions on Twitter, would be so concerning to both Republicans and Democrats:

And a lot of people who I think are critical of Donald Trump generally look at praise like that from somebody like Donald Trump and wonder if he is a gateway drug, if there is something beyond Donald Trump himself, that means a much greater transformation of the Republican Party into something that is going to be new to mainstream politics.

Trump has become a pro at walking the line between insensitive, unrefined speaker and racist. And though he hasn't formally invited racists to join his party, he hasn't done a thorough job of deterring them. When CNN's Jake Tapper asked Trump about his initial hesitancy to denounce Duke in February, the candidate claimed to know nothing about the man. A few days later, after blaming the incident on a bad phone connection, Trump said he had disavowed Duke multiple times over the past several years. Then why did he claim to not know who he was at first? It all seems a bit fishy.

Last Week Tonight's John Oliver thinks he has the answer to that question. As he introduced his satirical "Make Donald Drumpf Again" campaign, the talk show host explained why silence — even for a small period of time — is so dangerous right now:

Because you definitely know who he is, partly because you called him ‘a bigot’ and ‘a racist’ in the past, but that’s not even the fucking point. The point is, with an answer like that, you are either racist or you are pretending to be, and at some point, there is no difference there.

For reference, this disturbing tweet exemplifies the types of beliefs Duke looks for in a candidate:

And unless Trump tells Duke to hop off his bandwagon indefinitely, the Republican Party's going to find itself having to accept an utterly anti-American intruder.