One of my favorite candidates for president this year is Vermin Supreme, who recently donated some of his campaign props to the NH Political Library. He was wearing sparkly silver underwear over his pants as he made the donation. When asked by the Concord Monitor what he stands for he answered, “I stand for all that is good.” Mr. Supreme also touted his mandatory tooth brushing campaign, his work to promote time travel research, and zombie preparedness. In any election year the real long shot candidates like Vermin Supreme or Lobsterman are more interesting than any of the so-called front runners. Many of us remember (with affection) Pat Paulson’s ongoing candidacy for the White House. Another one of my favorites was Louis Abolafia, who ran for President in 1968 representing the Cosmic Love Party. His campaign literature featured a picture of him naked, asking, “What have I got to hide?” Fortunately none of the current crop of candidates are likely to emulate Abolafia. Some of us are still recovering from the 2003 pictures of Wesley Clark in a Speedo.
That was the year that Howard Dean dominated the internet, and used it to shake loose millions of dollars in contributions. This time, Republican candidate Ron Paul is the internet king. His supporters are everywhere on the internet. Heaven help the hapless writer who actually uses critical thinking skills in a story on Paul. Legions of Paul’s cultish supporters show up to tell the writer how wrong he is for trying to hold Paul accountable for his own statements. His supporters show up at Meet-Ups wearing pseudo Revolutionary War garb. They have some things in common – most of them are men, and most of them are white. A cursory look into Paul’s campaign finances reveals that 81% of his individual donors are men.
They are often alienated white men who have been hearing all their lives that “gummint bad,” thanks to Ronald Reagan, who used to delight in telling us how bad government was, while he was working diligently to join it. Ron Paul does the same thing. He loves to talk about term limits, though he doesn’t believe in them for himself. Paul loves to portray himself as being different from the Washington insider types. Paul first ran for Congress in 1974. He lost, but was elected that same year in a special election to finish Robert R. Casey’s term. He was not re-elected in ’76, but he was elected again in 1979, and stayed for a couple of terms. In 1984 he ran for US Senate, and lost. In 1988 he ran for president as the libertarian candidate. By 1997, he’d gone back to being a Republican and was sent back to Congress. For a guy who hates the government, he sure has worked hard to get into it. If he’s not an insider, it’s because nobody likes him.
A number of liberals have jumped on the Paul bandwagon, because Paul has been outspoken in opposition to the war in Iraq. He favors a non-interventionist foreign policy, and he’d like to close down some of our military bases in other countries, he’d get rid of the Patriot Act and protect our civil liberties, and he’d like to cut defense spending. If one stops there, he’s a good candidate. No one should stop there.
One reason Paul may not enjoy so much female support is his stance on abortion. He’s an OB-GYN who loves to tell us how many babies he’s delivered, as he touts his pro-life beliefs. He has stated that he would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. He also thinks that abortion should be a state issue, not a federal one. Depending on what state a woman lived in, she could be forced to serve as an incubator. It is civil liberties he wants to protect. Civil rights are an entirely different story. Paul takes Libertarianism cafeteria style. When it comes to the rights of those who make him uncomfortable (women, homosexuals) he prefers to shunt them off to the states to decide. We might still have slavery, were it up to him.
The dark side of Dr. Paul goes largely unreported. He has ties to neo-Nazis and white nationalists. He’s the only Congressman with a 100% rating from the John Birch Society. Paul received the coveted David Duke endorsement. Who wouldn’t want to be endorsed by a former Grand Wizard of the KKK? One of his biggest internet organizers from Tennessee is a neo-Nazi. Will Williams (aka “White Will”) was the southern coordinator for the biggest neo-Nazi party in the US, the National Alliance Party. Don Black, founder of StormFront.org, a white nationalist website (which features links to the Ron Paul official campaign donation page) made a $500 campaign contribution to Paul. When asked if the campaign would return this contribution, a spokesperson said no. StormFront’s motto is “White Pride Worldwide.” Dr. Paul’s columns are featured in the American Free Press, a publication that focuses on the role of Zionism in US politics. Willis Carto, a Holocaust denier is a regular contributor.
Since 1985, Ron Paul has published a newsletter. It was initially called the Ron Paul Report, and was later renamed the Ron Paul Survival Report. His name is on the newsletter. In 1992, the newsletter published some really offensive statements such as, "Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” Paul now denies that he wrote those statements, though he didn’t deny it at the time, he didn’t deny it when asked in 1996 – but he denies it now and blames a staffer.
The Paul cultists would have us believe that he has no control over who supports him, (true) that this is some sort of coincidence. I’d be mighty alarmed, myself; if suddenly neo-Nazis were flocking to me. I believe I’d take some action – like refusing to take their money, and making it clear, loudly and often, that I didn’t support white nationalists, anti-Semites, or bigots. Dr. Paul hasn’t done any of those things.
Perhaps his supporters can turn a blind eye to his racist ties, because he wants to eliminate the income tax. Perhaps their loathing of the income tax can blind them to the fact that Ron Paul, man of science, doesn’t believe in evolution…”it’s a theory, and I don’t accept it, um….as a theory.” They thought he whupped Tim Russert on a recent “Meet the Press” appearance. I was embarrassed for him. He didn’t seem to have any facts at his disposal, wasn’t embarrassed by his ignorance, and became increasingly shrill as the interview wore on. Only dogs could hear the last few answers.
Talk show host Michael Medved posted an open letter to Paul, asking him if he would publicly disassociate himself from these fringe groups. To date, there has been no response.
Friday, January 04, 2008
The Dark Side of Dr. Paul
Posted by susanthe at 2:13 PM