Bobby Bailey, a staunch Trump-supporter and enthusiastic first-time voter was shocked and dismayed when he learned, after an online-argument, that the Ku Klux Klan, although conceived in the South as Democrats more than 100 years ago, had, for decades actually represented the doctrine and interests of the Republican party.
"I was--I was stunned," Bailey said. "I'm devastated. All this time I'd been telling a racist lie and then wondering why people more educated than I was kept saying I was racist. It was horrible--just horrible--to find out they were right. I'd always said 'The Left' called people they disagreed with 'racist' because it just their way of insulting us--but then I found out I'd been saying racist stuff all along." He shook his head. "Devastating."
Bailey detailed how he had used the picture of Hillary Clinton kissing former KKK member and Senator Robert Byrd as proof that the Klan was a Democratic Party institution. "I mean--it was right there--everything. That was my big win--my A-Game."
He later learned upon actual research, that Byrd, although a high-ranking member of the Klan, had not only forcefully renounced them, but become a powerful fighter for Civil Rights. He was lauded by the NAACP as a civil rights hero." Bailey looked lost. "How could anyone know that--I mean, without reading some history or doing research?? When I go on Google, it's all Republicans telling half the story.*"
Things got worse when he studied the shifts in party identification in the South. "I knew the KKK was all Democrats," he said--"but I never realized that later on--in modern times--they became Republican. I mean--there was this whole story about a Klan leader endorsing Hillary--but I did some research and found out that was just deception and they really endorsed Trump for the same reason the Stormfront Nazis did."
He said his conversion came about when, after arguing with liberals online, he decided to look deeper into his own arguments about who "the real racists" were. "I always said it was the Democratic Welfare Plantation--even though they pointed out that there were more white people on foodstamps than black--I felt the over-representation of black people made my point."
He sagged. "It didn't. I was really invested in the crime numbers Trump tweeted about black crime--and I found out they were fictional--created by a guy from a KKK-like group--and I'd spread that everywhere. It just made sense. All my online friends believed the same thing."
He said he now feels haunted. "I did some research and I ... I felt sick. I'm afraid to look at other stuff like the Government Civil Rights case against Trump. I've got my talking points--but what if the Liberals were right about that too? What if they're right about the Confederate Flag being a racist symbol that came back in to use to contest segregation?"
"What if the fact that the South--absent partisan identity--voted AGAINST the Civil Rights Act and the North voted in favor--and if that were true, what if the shift from Democrat to Republican in the South kept the racists?? What if there was actually a Southern Strategy??"
He looked lost. "What if it's true that Trump is a liar? What if--"
He trailed off. "No! We're building the wall. Immigrants are rapists! Hillary called us deplorables. I can't ... I don't want to read any more books. It's too painful."
He then turned back to his female-elf avatar in World of Warcraft and refused to speak further on the issue.
* Bailey noted that he clings desperately to a story that Byrd wrote a letter praising the Klan after he allegedly left it--but feels that this fact doesn't hold up well in contrast to Byrd's powerful support for Civil rights and positive judgement by the NAACP. Still, he explained that any possible weakness in the story was hugely imporant to his friends online.