Post-Duke Blues

November 11, 1990|By Andrei Codrescu

NEW ORLEANS — I'VE GOT the post -Duke blues I don't feel like being from louisiana these days. When I go out of the state, people Invariably ask me how David Duke got as far as he did. "I didn't vote for him!" I tell them, but it's a hollow excuse when 44 percent of the voters in this state did. That's the majority of white people in Louisiana. Well, I'm not white, and if I ever was I'm giving it up right now.

Still, Duke's near-miss is enough to give me the heebie-Jeebies whenever two or more voters are present. It makes it kind of hard to stand there by the garbage can in the morning and make friendly chitchat with the guy with the spotted dog next door. Who knows what he did in that voting booth? He's throwing out last night's Bud cans, and that's one dead giveaway. At Duke's big campaign rally in Grand Isle Budweiser had a big balloon that said "Bud for Duke." I've been drinking Miller since, because I already know who Coors is for.

I know the pharmacist on the corner voted for Duke because be had an ugly truck plastered with "Duke and NRA stickers parked on the block and only once did he get a rotten egg on his windshield -- I'm a terrible marksman. He might not be, though, and guys like that use bullets not eggs. One of the side-effects of Duke's near-miss may just be an influx of guys who make points with bullets instead of rotten eggs.

This is a fertile land for your homespun Nazi no matter what they say about Duke-like sentiments all over the country. It may be true that there are thousands of Dukes ready to sprout everywhere from the Republican-mulched soil of the last decade, but here in Louisian we are in the avant garde. While the whole country was weeping over the tragedy of the Civil War on PBS, we damn nearly elected a Nazi to the U.S. Congress.

I can either move or get plastic surgery.

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