For anyone moderately familiar with Ron Paul’s record, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a litany of racists, anti-Semites, conspiracy-theorists, and militia members back his presidential campaign. Paul, after all, has spent decades cultivating the support of the far-right, not least by publishing for years a newsletter steeped in bigotry. (Read my 2008 article “Angry White Man,” for ample evidence.) Much more disconcerting is the fact that so many prominent liberals have been eagerly lining up behind Paul’s candidacy. Unfortunately, this isn’t an aberration, but a telling indication of the skewed political priorities of many on the left.
That’s James Kirchick of The New Republic, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. What in the hell are liberals thinking?!! Ralph Nader is backing Paul, and that I can see. Nader enjoys chaos at any cost. He siphoned an estimated 12,000+ Florida votes from Gore in 2000 and gave us George W. Bush’s reign of terror. The war in Iraq would never have taken place, over 4,000 American soldiers would still be alive, thousands of Iraqis would still be alive, and we’d have a trillion to subtract from the national debt. The guy does things for attention, just to be a dink.
But when prominent progressive authors like Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation support Paul, by focusing solely on his “no more wars” mantra (which we all support), they deliberately ignore Paul’s true beliefs and the ugly history of Paul’s past remarks, including those in the newsletters that he published years ago; remarks that he denies writing when asked by the liberal media. Kirchick examines those newsletters in a 2008 article, in which he describes the basic “Paul” beliefs that are beyond what most Americans think are Libertarian beliefs:
They were published under a banner containing Paul’s name, and the articles (except for one special edition of a newsletter that contained the byline of another writer) seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him–and reflected his views. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing–but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.
Kirchick continues …
To understand Paul’s philosophy, the best place to start is probably the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Auburn, Alabama. The institute is named for a libertarian Austrian economist, but it was founded by a man named Lew Rockwell, who also served as Paul’s congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982. Paul has had a long and prominent association with the institute, teaching at its seminars and serving as a “distinguished counselor.” The institute has also published his books.
The people surrounding the von Mises Institute–including Paul–may describe themselves as libertarians, but they are nothing like the urbane libertarians who staff the Cato Institute or the libertines at Reason magazine. Instead, they represent a strain of right-wing libertarianism that views the Civil War as a catastrophic turning point in American history–the moment when a tyrannical federal government established its supremacy over the states.
That’s correct. Ron Paul believes the Civil War was unnecessary.
Paul’s alliance with neo-Confederates helps explain the views his newsletters have long espoused on race. Take, for instance, a special issue of the Ron Paul Political Report, published in June 1992, dedicated to explaining the Los Angeles riots of that year. “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began,” read one typical passage. According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with “‘civil rights,’ quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda.” It also denounced “the media” for believing that “America’s number one need is an unlimited white checking account for underclass blacks.”
Paul, and his rotten son, deny their past remarks and alliances with bigots and homophobes but then complain that the Civil Rights Act was unfair to property owners, preventing them from denying service to blacks.
For Christ’s sake, liberals (if you really are liberals); you’re supposed to be smarter than this. Follow the damn links. Do some Google searches. Find out for yourselves why you’re backing a person who’s rotten to the core.
Ron Paul will not get the GOP nomination, but he may take Nader’s place as an independent. A vote for Paul is a vote for the spoiler, and the result will be 4 years of GOP extremism, the likes of which we can only imagine in our nightmares.