Ron Paul

I see that Andrew already has the Youtube of Ron Paul’s visit to Leno last night, which I saw live. Andrew quips: “Freedom: I wonder if today’s GOP leaders have heard of the idea?”

There really is one thing I do not understand about Ron Paul- why do some unseemly types seem to be attracted to him? Every day we read about some nutter or another who has contributed to him (which the GOP party apparatchiks, terrified of a Paul candidacy, quickly promote), but I have gone through his position on the issues, and the only thing I can see that would even remotely be attractive to the less seemly crowd is his position on immigration:

No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That’s a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.

No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.

End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.

Surely Paul can not be the only Republican candidate who has that position on immigration, so why does it seem like the Stormfront crowds like Paul, and that a small minority of his supporters (the most vocal ones, if you are to believe Red State) are from less savory parts of the political sphere? Am I missing some dog whistles?

I do know one thing, though, about Paul. Of all the candidates on both sides of the aisle, Ron Paul is the one that my largely apolitical friends keep talking about. I was talking to a co-worker yesterday on the walk to a workshop, and he had seen Paul on C-Span. Now granted, this co-worker is to the left politically of the Democratic party, and is truly one of the folks out there who thinks the Democrats are just as corporatist (and here is Jay Rockefeller shilling for Telecom amnesty, if you needed more evidence) as the GOP, and as such, is largely disillusioned with the entire political process. However, he had glowing things to say about Paul. He doesn’t agree with him on everything, but stated that many of his proposals and positions made sense and resonated.

Like I said, he is not the only one.

75 replies
  1. 1
    Alex says:

    He also does a lot of “New World Order” talk, which I think explains a lot. It’s like a dog whistle.

  2. 2
    norbizness says:

    I can tell you about some of his appeal, living somewhat near his district. Our cable access shows in Austin are clogged with conspiracy theorists aplenty: Trilateral Commission, Bilderberger group, UN land grabs and bodily fluid impurification projects, etc*. Ron Paul is the only elected official whose positions they could possibly construe as being in sympathy with some of their paranoias.

    * I am not passing judgment on my more spirited “the federal income tax was passed illegally” compatriots in Austin; they occasionally ask a good, probing question or two before going off about gold fringes on a flag being admiralty something or other and it has no jurisdiction blah blah blah.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    Christ, Cole. 4 before 10:30….am!?

    I’m going to guess either a rampant meth habit or a lack of lady friends. Or perhaps he’s jonesin’ for a cameo on Maher like Sully got.

  4. 4
    capelza says:

    I like that he says what he actually thinks. I know he knows he doesn’t have a snowball’s chnace in hell of winning and perhaps that is why, or vice versa, because he says what he thinks, he doesn’t have a chance.

    I like that. I don’t agreewith him but it is refreshing. I think many are attracted to that. It’s like Gravel who is just up there in the debates spilling out all the non triangulating yohaw he wants.

    Both drive the party insiders nuts. And for that I think they should be allowed to continue in the debates.

    Why the truly icky are drawn to Paul? I think that they feel a Paul presidency would give them free reign to ass out in a libertarian uptopia of Hobbesian savageness and anarchy.

  5. 5
    Davebo says:

    One thing’s for certain, the military sure seems to love the guy.

  6. 6
    teh says:

    Maybe they are attracted to the candidate they think is the least likely to repeat stuff like Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc.?

    They may also like his seeming paranoia about the North American Union, NAFTA superhighway, and so on. He also supports free trade, so I don’t know what to make of that. He probably has principled reasons that he opposes specific free trade agreements, but I’m not sure how his views on this stuff all fit together.

  7. 7
    r€nato says:

    I think that they feel a Paul presidency would give them free reign to ass out in a libertarian uptopia of Hobbesian savageness and anarchy.

    indeed, and he’s actually running under the banner of one of the two major parties, which means he’s got something more than a snowball’s chance in Houston.

    Not much more, of course, but Ron Paul actually gets invited to debates which are seen on national television and stuff like that.

  8. 8
    anon says:

    Am I missing some dog whistles?

    Paul says “fiat money,” Stormfront hears “Jew Banker Plot.”

    (There’s also the fact that his name has been attached, fairly or not, to some really awful stuff about scary black folk; but that’s not really issue-oriented and has been publicly hashed out ad nauseam. But it’s got to be part of the wacko appeal.)

  9. 9
    demimondian says:

    Why are the truly icky drawn to Paul? Because his *views* are truly icky, John.

    Even now, he argues that “abortion should be settled by the states”. Remember Jim Crow? That’s what the respectable Jim Crow supporters said, too, and for that same reason — to be able to reassure their icky supporters while presenting a veneer of respect for humanity. His racist tracts in the 90’s? Yup, them too.

    Ron Paul is no libertarian, John — he’s a classic well-turned-out Southern thug, no more, no less.

  10. 10
    Bombadil says:

    However, he had glowing things to say about Paul. He doesn’t agree with him on everything, but stated that many of his proposals and positions made sense and resonated.

    Same thing happened with H. Ross Perot. Taken individually, some of what he said resonated with a lot of people, until the whole package started to come into focus. Once they got a good look at what else came with what they liked, eh, not so much anymore.

  11. 11
    NH_GOP_Insider says:

    The problem is you are not looking for the nutjobs, racists and communists that support Hillary and Obama.

    But the CFR, as nutty as any group, with their sick in the head boss Rockefeller, will endorse Hillary and Rudy so there you go.

    Enough reason not to vote for either of them.

  12. 12
    Dreggas says:

    In some ways Paul reminds me of Ross Perot, minus the voodoo stick.

    However I think what really resonates with a lot of people, not just the nut jobs, is what Sully mentioned. FREEDOM. Think about it, what is one thing all those militia types loathe the thought of? Government intrustion into their lives in any way. You think they are happy with what the GOP is doing? Now take the apolitical side and left side. Remember, the right is where fascism comes from not the left. It’s almost like having the new senator (can’t remember his name off the top of my head) who said he didn’t want to amend the patriot act he wanted to destroy it. Minus a lot of the perceived cold heartedness there are a LOT of libertarians out there and they come from all sides of the spectrum. Most people I know value their freedom, don’t want to live in a police state and in general want to be left alone. The current system is failing in that regard especially under bush.

    From my side as a younger person who grew up during the 80’s and the era of MAD. We used to be told horror stories of the Soviet Union, used to be scared shitless by them. Stories about oppression, being spied on, being tortured, being disappeared. And you wonder just why the hell we get so pissed about the bushies? This is the shit we were told AMERICA DID NOT DO! We were told we were better than this, that “it can’t happen here” and now it is and we’re hell bent on undoing it. If that means giving the establishment the finger then so be it.

  13. 13
    capelza says:

    Remember, the right is where fascism comes from not the left.

    Oh there are “fascists” on the left, the extreme left..but there is the difference. Our totalitarians are really a fringe group, not the elected president and his administration.

  14. 14
    Bombadil says:

    Oh there are “fascists” on the left, the extreme left..but there is the difference. Our totalitarians are really a fringe group, not the elected president and his administration.

    And I don’t see Ted Rall making the trains run on time.

  15. 15
    Johnnyb says:

    Abortion? Talk about icky! Even the KKK never killed as many Blacks as abortion does in a year, talk about hypocritical! Never understood why some people are just so gungho about killing babies in the womb.

    If you go to Stormfront you can read about why they support Ron Paul. They believe that our foriegn policy in the middle east has nothing to do with our national security and everything about promoting a Jewish Zionist State. They also believe that Affirmative action discriminates against whites, and that Welfare takes money from whites to support blacks. In large measure Stormfront is not entirely wrong about these issues. Whats kind of supprizing is that Ron Paul has the highest support amongst black voters as well.

    Back to the Abortion thing. While abortion is accepted by the national Libertarian platform many libertarians disagree about the issue. If you see life starting at conception and the most fundamental duty of Government to protect life then there is no way that you can logically claim that abortion is a right because it condones the murder of the unborn. People who think that abortion is about Womens rights are morally retarded.

  16. 16
    mds says:

    “States’ rights” is a dog whistle of impeccable pedigree.

    There’s a reason why he promoted the views of Jared Taylor, and why he’s contributed multiple pieces to Dixie Daily News, the organ of the Southern Caucus, with its longstanding bad feelings about the War of Northern Aggression. Combine this with the somehow libertarian principle of building a big border wall to keep out the Mexican filth who are seeking to contract out their labor in the marketplace, and you’re golden.

    I’d say there’s a bit of reassurance to some other contingents of the Right from the fact that homos and pregnant sluts wouldn’t have equal rights in Paul’s America, either. But it’s secondary to the crypto-racist component of pseudo-federalist bullshit.

    He appeals to the Loony Left because he’s more anti-war than virtually all the Democratic candidates, and he’s pro-weed. “Pro-weed” would bring more fake libertarians on board, except that he doesn’t want to shred the entire Constitution, just Article Three and the First, Ninth, Fourteenth, and Sixteenth Amendments.

  17. 17
    RSA says:

    Maybe I’m out of touch, but all the libertarians I’ve ever argued with have been on the side of open borders. I didn’t realize that there was a closed borders faction among libertarians. (Not that many fringe groups supporting Paul are libertarians, but Paul himself is.)

  18. 18
    Pb says:

    Even now, he argues that “abortion should be settled by the states”.

    Ron Paul, arguing for increased states rights? Now there’s a shock. Next you’re going to tell me that he voted against a spending bill. Yes, he’s anti-abortion, very much so, in fact, but that’s really not a surprising position for him to take, anyhow.

    As for racism, here’s what Ron Paul said about that…

    Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called ‘diversity’ actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist.

    Personally, I think Ron Paul is rather naive, and that he ascribes to a philosophy that generally would not work in practice, or at the least, not here and not any time soon. Also, he’s rather right-wing on social issues–he’s an elected Republican from Texas, it’d be surprising if he wasn’t. But I think he’s much more of a fool than he is a racist. And FWIW, he is exactly right on the issues of civil liberties and the Iraq war, and better on those issues than are far too many of the Democratic candidates, which is quite sad.

  19. 19
    A different Matt says:

    I have three premises and a conclusion about Ron Paul’s resonance:

    Libertarians present issues in a vacuum.

    Issues presented in a vacuum seem commonsensical.

    Commonsensical ideas resonate with people who don’t know anything about anything.

    Thus, when Ron Paul talks about taxes, immigration, or small government, his followers think: that sounds great! why isn’t anyone else saying these things?

    Most people understand a nation-state is a complex thing full of overlapping, interlocking, even conflicting agencies and actors. But to a libertarian, the immigration issue boils down to citizens not having their taxes pay for immigrant’s free healthcare. To the otherwise disengaged or apolitical, it’s more important for an issue to be simple than fair or judicious.

  20. 20
    Billy K says:

    Bilderburger Group does not strike me as a consipracy. Strikes me as truth.


  21. 21
    cjii says:

    Americans from all walks of life are attracted to Ron Paul. Its not only his message and positions but he is the only one running for President who seems to have any integrity.

    Recent convert.

  22. 22
    thehim says:

    Surely Paul can not be the only Republican candidate who has that position on immigration, so why does it seem like the Stormfront crowds like Paul, and that a small minority of his supporters (the most vocal ones, if you are to believe Red State) are from less savory parts of the political sphere? Am I missing some dog whistles?

    I think the fact that Paul talks about restoring this country back to our Constitutional roots resonates with people who wish this country could go back to 1776 when it comes to our race relations.

  23. 23
    cicero, jr says:

    “Even now, he argues that “abortion should be settled by the states”. Remember Jim Crow? That’s what the respectable Jim Crow supporters said, too, and for that same reason—to be able to reassure their icky supporters while presenting a veneer of respect for humanity. His racist tracts in the 90’s? Yup, them too.”

    So a belief that medicinal marijuana laws should be left to the states equals Jim Crow? Interesting.

    BTW, got any links for the racist tracts?

  24. 24
    r€nato says:

    If you see life starting at conception

    I don’t.

    People who think that abortion is about Womens rights are morally retarded.

    Oh, well, you’ve convinced me then.

    You don’t get many dates, do you? At least, not with women.

  25. 25
    Randolph Fritz says:

    Take a look at Dave Neiwert’s coverage of Ron Paul. The answer is, the man’s a well-dressed wingnut, who’s keeping quiet about his wingnuttery. Rather like another Texan who made it to the White House.

  26. 26
    Tsulagi says:

    And FWIW, he is exactly right on the issues of civil liberties and the Iraq war, and better on those issues than are far too many of the Democratic candidates

    That is the Paulian appeal. Two big areas needing attention today. Probably also why Paul gets more contributions from serving military than any other candidate. Funny watching a RedState thread where that was brought up and the following gymnastics trying to minimize the fact.

    Refreshing hearing a candidate on national teevee talking about habeas corpus. That the default position of the government shouldn’t be it’s a liberal commie lovin Nazi appeasing hate America tool of the terraists. Terrorists defined as anyone who isn’t on party message.

    I tell you, I’d take Ron Paul over anyone else on the Republican debate stage. Especially Rudy. Paul’s a bit nutty, but at least you know the nut you’re getting.

  27. 27
    jenniebee says:

    Could Ron Paul just split off and run on the Objectivist ticket already? It would make everything a lot easier if we didn’t have to keep pretending that this Randoid is a “libertarian” anymore.

    Srsly: roads = welfare in this man’s mind? What an incredible recipe for economic stagnation!

  28. 28
    Dan says:

    Apparently Ron Paul had years’ worth of newsletters – Ron Paul Report, Ron Paul Survival Report, etc. – on all sorts of fringe subjects. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg on these, but they don’t look good:

    Here’s an interesting quote reprinted in a Texas newspaper:

    “We hear bleats about homophobia, but it is actually religiophobia that afflicts America. The government is starting with the fringe, but it won’t stop there. All Christians have much to fear.”

    Paul later claimed that these were “ghost-written,” though it’s hard to see how he missed all this radical material put out under his own name.

  29. 29
    Joshua says:

    All the New World Order folks latched on to him a long time ago, but he is now putting out a calm, sensible veneer. Well, its not really a veneer, he does believe the stuff he talks about in the debates (he’s no Mitt Romney), he’s just selectively excluding the stuff the NWO-types dig about him.

    In any case, Ron Paul is not going away. Think about it. Lets say you are a conservative who believes in low taxes, free market, etc. You really hate this administration but haven’t done the deep thinking to realize the Republicans in charge and the ones who will be in charge for the forseeable future are just a hopelessly corrupt lot.

    So you turn on the TV and see all the usual Bush policies from every candidate. But one. Who’s this guy? He says we need to leave Iraq. He says we can’t be fighting the world’s battles. He says the government can’t be spying on whoever it wants. He’s the ONLY one saying these things. Everyone else is sprouting wood off Guantanamo. He says the same things about free markets and lower taxes and stuff but unlike Romney or Giuliani he sounds like he has actually thought this stuff through.

    He is so different from the other clowns on TV, so much better, it doesn’t matter he’s not one of the media pre-approved front-runners. So that’s what is happening. He is NOT going away. He might after Iowa, he might just get blown out of the water, but until then, he will continue to gain traction and the Republicans in charge are shitting their pants over it.

    I love it.

  30. 30
    Itsjustme says:

    What resonates is non-intervention and freedom. The ones I find to be “wingnuts” are the ostriches with their heads in the sand as to what the current government agenda truly is. Name calling however, does nothing for or to anyone. A Different Matt would like us to think “Commonsensical ideas resonate with people who don’t know anything about anything”. I would like you to know that it is a lack of common sense that brings people who can make statements like this out of the woodwork. Instead of following along with what you’re told maybe I could suggest you do some research on what is really going on. I suppose you’ll tell me next that the superhighway and the Amero and the NAU are all fictitious as well. Maybe it is you that knows nothing about anything? Might want to think about that. There are alot who support Paul based on only one issue that “sounds good” but there are even more of us who support him based on many issues and the truth. Some of us even have college and master’s degrees. Take a real look at he issues and you just might learn something yourself.

  31. 31
    Larry says:

    I find it ironic that so many people speak out about how horrible and unworkable Dr. Paul’s ideas are or how naive or foolish or shortsighted he is by latching on to one or two points they don’t like. Ron Paul’s ideas are completely workable without any naivety, the problem is they require intelligence to understand and a complete understanding of all his ideas. If you look at his individual positions in a vacuum, he seems a bit extreme and maybe even a little crazy, but if you actually take the time to realize that his views don’t exist within a vacuum but are a part of a much larger and well thought out whole, suddenly he makes sense.

  32. 32
    b-psycho says:

    RSA: I’ve heard some of the more paleo-leaning types of libs argue that the reason they don’t support open borders is the existence of the “welfare state” as an incentive for freeloading — conveniently ignoring how, since if they got power they’d abolish it all, their immigration stance is moot anyway.

  33. 33
    Pb says:


    If Ron Paul were God-Emperor of North Korea, he might have a shot at establishing his kind of a society. And who knows, he might even end up doing a better job than Kim Jong-Il is currently. But explain to me how he could possibly do it as President of the United States, and even if he did, how it would work at all.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    No need to wonder why he attracts the fringe types when he said this after the L.A. riots:

    “Regardless of what the media tell us, most white Americans are not going to believe that they are at fault for what blacks have done to cities across America. The professional blacks may have cowed the elites, but good sense survives at the grass roots. Many more are going to have difficultly avoiding the belief that our country is being destroyed by a group of actual and potential terrorists — and they can be identified by the color of their skin. This conclusion may not be entirely fair, but it is, for many, entirely unavoidable.

    Indeed, it is shocking to consider the uniformity of opinion among blacks in this country. Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty, and the end of welfare and affirmative action…. Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the “criminal justice system,” I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.

    If similar in-depth studies were conducted in other major cities, who doubts that similar results would be produced? We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, but it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings, and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers.

    Perhaps the L.A. experience should not be surprising. The riots, burning, looting, and murders are only a continuation of 30 years of racial politics. The looting in L.A. was the welfare state without the voting booth. The elite have sent one message to black America for 30 years: you are entitled to something for nothing. That’s what blacks got on the streets of L.A. for three days in April. Only they didn’t ask their Congressmen to arrange the transfer.”

    He blamed a ghostwriter but if he was willing to attach his name to this, well, really, do you need to wonder?

  35. 35
    Billy K says:

    Dodd/Paul ’08 FTW!!!

  36. 36
    Tex MacRae says:

    Every day we read about some nutter or another….

    Your specialty is reading the Wingnuttosphere. They’re his biggest detractors, nitpicking through whtaever they can find and blowing it out of proportion as per usual. No surprise there.

  37. 37
    Pb says:

    No need to wonder why he attracts the fringe types when he said this after the L.A. riots

    Except, of course, that he never actually said it.

    He blamed a ghostwriter but if he was willing to attach his name to this

    Heh, nice backtracking there. Yeah, I’m sure that never happens to politicians. Having someone write something for them? That’s un-possible!

    Incidentally, if anyone out there hasn’t heard about / is still interested in that particular ancient tempest in a teakettle, Wikipedia’s got a pretty good summary of it.

    Pro-tip: if you want to convince me that Ron Paul is a racist, find me something he actually said. It’s not like there’s a shortage of material out there–find a video clip, a transcript, something in the Congressional record, whatever. I think you’d quickly find out that he’s no Tom Tancredo.

  38. 38
    The Other Andrew says:

    I’m seeing more and more Ron Paul signs here (I live in Montana). I’d never vote for him–he’s right on two big issues and wrong on virtually everything else, as far as I’m concerned–but I hope he runs on a third party ticket.

  39. 39
    Cyrus says:

    Surely Paul can not be the only Republican candidate who has that position on immigration, so why does it seem like the Stormfront crowds like Paul, and that a small minority of his supporters (the most vocal ones, if you are to believe Red State) are from less savory parts of the political sphere? Am I missing some dog whistles?

    I don’t know the dog whistles any better than you, and I want to second Randolph Fritz’s link to Dave Neiwert (I read this one on my own a few weeks ago, it seems to be the nut of the thing), but then again, maybe we should stick with the simplest explanation: except for on the war, Ron Paul has doctrinaire right-wing views on all the issues that matter and many that don’t. The same can be said of a few other Republican candidates, but Paul alone has a lot of little signals that he’s a fringe nut (gold standard, “Dr. No,”), and they probably know their own. Without commenting on his integrity or anything, it’s really not a coincident that Stormfront et al. have been drawn to him.

  40. 40
    Larry says:


    Paul isn’t looking for anything nearly as radical as you seem to think. He wants to reduce the power of our federal government and reduce its responsibilities, handing them back to the states where they belong based on our government’s constitutional charter. The failure of many people opposing him in trying to argue against him is failing to recognize that his belief in constitutional restraint means he would not try to impose his social beliefs on a nation through the federal government, unlike pretty much the entirety of the Democratic and Republican parties. He desires to bring our troops home where they can actually defend our borders and our people rather than corporate interests. Stationing our military at home rather than in foreign bases decreases the need for some much money in defense to the point of being able to sustain those social programs that are failing long enough that those who have already committed to them are not left in the cold but gives the rest of use the opportunity to get out. His desires for hard currency and a true free market are in the best interest of the health of our economy and nation. Do some research into Austrian economics, you’ll find that it can explain many many phenomena that traditional economic theory writes off as “just the way things are”.In response to JPL’s comment: that is one of a few newsletters that became an issue during Paul’s first presidential run and at that time were admitted to. Later, after the election was over, he was interviewed about them and at that time admitted that he did not write them and found their sentiments regrettable but as he allowed them to be published under his name took moral responsibility for them. Further interviews with his fellow-congressmen revealed that nothing in his behavior or voting record reflected these kinds of sentiments and therefore the issue was dropped. There’s a reason this “story” has never broken into mainstream media, its already been addressed and dragging it up again would make them look foolish.

  41. 41
    binzinerator says:

    the most fundamental duty of Government to protect life


    First, you’ve made a personal assumption about what life is or where it begins, and try to make it everyone elses. In other words, you assume the most fundamental duty of Government is to adopt your particlar set of religious beliefs as the standard of when to define ‘life’. If it’s your religious belief that says life begins at conception, it’s yours, not mine. I don’t like your attempt to make it mine by force.

    Second, show me in the Constitution where it says ‘the most fundamental duty is to protect life’. The problem I have here is your (again) own personal reference as to what the most fundamental duty of the government is. Where in the Constitution does it assert that any one particular purpose of government it establishes is paramount, more important, trumps all others — let alone one specifically to protect a blastocyst?

    It seems to me that to ‘establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare’ are important duties for government, but I don’t see any one being singled out for ‘most fundamental’ status.

    By the way, I’d add ‘privacy’ to those duties I still expect of the government, plus keeping religion apart from the state and, hell, freedom itself — and it certainly ought to include freedom of government interference with one’s own reproductive organs.

    I think what you meant to say was that the fundamentalist duty of Government is to protect life.

    By the way, this ‘most fundamental duty of Government is to protect life’ bullshit is exactly what Bush has been saying to excuse and justify all the un-American and un-democratic criminal shit he has been doing, from pre-emptive war to torture to suspending habeas corpus to spying on Americans without warrant. His shredding of our rights — his ignoring those other duties of government — follows directly from this very wrong assertion.

  42. 42
    RareSanity says:


    The broad spectrum of people he appeals to (including conspiracy nuts) can boil down to a very simple personality trait…rebellious.

    People who support him are generally people (I am one of them) who have problems with authority, are individualists, and are very anti-establishment. As far as the the conspiracy theorists embracing him in large numbers, they are anti-establishment, and nutty, but anti-establishment none the less. I am just generally rebellious…you know the type that likes to argue just for arguments sake?? Not all Ron Paul supporters are conspiracy nuts, but most conspiracy nuts are Ron Paul supporters. You know just like the whole all Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is Cognac.

    I know that there are many people that subscribe to the “he’s a nutjob” characterization, but I submit, as bad as things are with “the establishment” the best thing for the country probably is a rebellious, anti-establishment, rable-rouser to install some sanity back into government. Remember those rabel-rousing nutjobs Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hancock, Madison…etc? He won’t be able to do everything he wants, Congress won’t allow it. But, if he can get re-establish some the Constitution destroyed by Bush, it would be well worth it.

    And if nothing else, something you said ought to be proof enough that he is exactly what this country needs…“…but hot damned does he piss off the right people”.

  43. 43
    Pb says:


    Even if we stuck purely to economics, what do you think would happen if we suddenly had a hard currency and a truly free market? There isn’t enough gold in the world to support our economy–not even close. And that free market we don’t really have right now is benefiting us. Ron Paul would merrily collapse our economy through his ignorance, if Congress let him (not that they’re stopping Bush from his own brand of it, mind you…).

  44. 44
    demimondian says:

    Pb — This isn’t an isolated item in a large-circulation broadsheet, this is many years’ worth of lead items in limited release circulars. It takes an incredible level of credulousness to accept that nobody among his friends ever pointed out to him what was being said in his name, and not once, but repeatedly.

  45. 45
    Larry says:


    Our current economy is not benefiting us as a nation. It benefits a very select subset of corporations and that’s about it. The Recessive/Boom cycle theory only works economically for so long and eventually has to collapse due to the strain a currency must be put under to maintain it. Dr. Paul is also not trying to introduce us directly back to a gold standard and completely doing away with the US dollar. He’s attempting to introduce competing currencies that ARE hard money to stabilize the economy. Does that mean the dollar as issued by the federal reserve may be abandoned and further devalued by the marketplace in favor of the more stable currency? Yes, yes it does, and that’s not a bad thing, it may not save the “dollar” but it saves the US economy from collapse due to hyper-inflation.

    and since the discussion seems to continue, demimonidan: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every last thing people try to bring up in this accusation and nothing has passed even cursory research without being discarded as fake or part of the initial documents your Pb already discussed. If you have something specific and not just an unbacked general statement, please present it, if not, accept that your wrong.

  46. 46
    Pb says:


    I never saw more than a couple of quotes from an article or two, and all that from 15 years ago or so. Either it was really limited release, or there just isn’t that much dirt to be dug up. Still, the issue was raised only a few years later, and even then, there apparently wasn’t much ‘there’ there. I’d say it’s a lot easier and more convincing to just argue that Ron Paul is wrong on the issues than to try to dig up and reanimate an old and moldy non-story.

  47. 47
    A different Matt says:


    First off, John asked: “There really is one thing I do not understand about Ron Paul- why do some unseemly types seem to be attracted to him?

    That’s what I was responding to when I said people who know nothing about anything support Paul. I made a sloppy statement. I did not mean to denigrate everyone who’s impressed with his message, I was only responding to why Paul’s message resonates with the select group John Cole asked about.

    However, this: “There are alot who support Paul based on only on issue that sound good but there are even more of us who support him based on many issues and the truth.” is exactly what I’m talking about. With everything that goes on in public policy between identifying and solving a problem, where does truth fit in? Is it true that a superhighway is a federal problem? I mean, I understand interstate highways are built with federal money, but why or how is it a problem? How is the public harmed in a tangible, real way by an international road? And is non-interventionalism a true solution? I don’t understand.

    So let me say again, while I didn’t mean to put down all Paul supporters, I’m wary in general of their approach to complex negotiations, competing interests, cultural conflicts… you know, politics.

    So I stand by my observations. (Jenniebee above makes a similar point – I was thinking about comparing Paul to Rand too when I said libertarians tend to view issues in a vacuum.) “Freedom” and Non-intervention are difficult to achieve in a world of transnational corporations and open borders and rising superpowers and limited resources and whatnot. If we adopt non-interventionalist policies, how will that affect our leverage when in engaging in diplomacy? I’d like to see each candidate acknowledge the pros and cons of their ideas, and show how the pros outweigh the cons before I take them seriously as problem-solvers. Some shit about The Truth™ ain’t gonna cut it.

  48. 48
    Pb says:


    Does that mean the dollar as issued by the federal reserve may be abandoned and further devalued by the marketplace in favor of the more stable currency? Yes, yes it does, and that’s not a bad thing

    I’d argue that it could be a very bad thing–a lot of people hold dollars, you know. I agree that if we could in fact be slowly and carefully weaned off of them and move to a more trusted currency, that could be a good thing, but I haven’t seen Ron Paul articulate that. Here’s what he said instead:

    The economic law that honest exchange demands only things of real value as currency cannot be repealed. The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or Euros. The sooner the better.

  49. 49
    demimondian says:

    Um, no. Larry, you don’t get to set the terms of the debate, I do. You need to show that the snippets which were released at the time are not real. Dr. Paul has been unwilling to release the exculpatory originals — now, I wonder why that might be? Actually, no, I don’t, because we all know why: they’d be as exculpatory as Larry Craig’s interrogation tape was.

  50. 50
    Hume's Ghost says:

    Paul is popular with the fringe and extremists because he’s blowing a dog whistle. I was going to link to Orcinus but someone already did that. In one of those posts you’ll see a quote I found at Stormfront which perfectly illustrates what they hear when Paul talks.

    But its more than that. Paul actively interacts and panders to extremist elements like the Patriot movement. That’s also covered at Orcinus, including a link to a picture of Paul shaking hands with the founder of the S.C. Constitution Party at the Patriot banquet they threw in Paul’s honor.

    Another example is Paul on BIll Maher saying that the Civil War should not have been fought and that slavery could have ended another way. That’s an idea that circulates among neo-confederates (also covered at length in the Orcinus posts, but here’s another link

    I’ve speculated before that some of the extremists – such as David Duke – who have endorsed Paul have read teh Ron Paul Survival REport letters from the 90s which the rest of us have not since Paul won’t release them. The only copy (that I know of) that we do have is one that a neo-Nazi liked so much he put it on his website and then Nizkor archived it. In it Paul says (or a staffer, according to him) that American is under attack from terrorists who can be identified by the color of their skin (black).

    Then there’s Paul having for a brief time Christian Reconstuctionist fascist Gary North (a self-described “Christian economist) on this staff. THat in itself is cause for suspicion.

  51. 51
    Larry says:

    I will concede that the quotes you mention are indeed his ideals, however, in further discussions on the issues he has expounded that his actual plans are much more gradual much like his feelings on welfare and social security being to completely end it, but seeing that as unnecessarily severe to those already dependent on those plans supports a gradual phase out instead.

    To quote Dr. Paul in a 2002 interview.

    I’ve been asked so many times about what we should do with the system now. If I don’t like the paper money and I don’t like the Federal Reserve, what would I do. And it generally is I wouldn’t get rid of the Federal Reserve in one day, because it would be very very chaotic. But I would like to fully legalize competition in currencies. And I think some of these currencies have .. or gold has trouble in really developing, getting people to use them, because the tax collectors can still come. If you’re using gold coins and your gold coins go from 300 dollars a coin to 400 dollars a coin, you could be taxed on the appreciation of that if you sell those coins and put it into paper. So, you have to eliminate all taxes. Sales taxes and capital gains taxes on gold coinage if we want to do anything to encourage the use of gold as a competing currency.

  52. 52
    Hume's Ghost says:

    Orcinus(or more specifically, Sara Robinson at ORcinus) also covered the tortured excuse for Paul’s Survival Report

  53. 53
    Larry says:


    I’m not setting “terms of debate” I’m requesting a very basic debate principle. An unsupported claim automatically falls if refuted. If you don’t like using actual debate or logic rules that’s another story all-together. Oh, and just so you can’t claim I haven’t supported my side, here’s a link regarding the newsletters and the later interviews I mentioned earlier.

    If you have other evidence of such statements, present it so we have an opportunity to gauge its merit and refute if necessary, if not your just blowing hot air.

  54. 54
    Pb says:


    Interesting find of yours there:

    I wouldn’t get rid of the Federal Reserve in one day, because it would be very very chaotic.

    Here’s something else Ron Paul said in 2002, on the House floor:

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation to restore financial stability to America’s economy by abolishing the Federal Reserve.

  55. 55
    demimondian says:

    No, Larry, you *are* trying to set the terms of debate. The alleged refutations are all claims that documents are frauds. The nature of provenance is that a fragmentary and inculpatory document is considered valid unless evidence can be presented to tend to undermine it.

    In this case, where “Dr.” Paul can easily present such evidence, and has chosen not to do so, the stain is clear and unequivocal. His word is *not* enough, not is yours, and his silence speaks volumes.

  56. 56
    Larry says:

    Pb, the bill being referenced in the second statement is H.R. 5356 and calls for the abolishing of the federal reserve over a 18 month period after a 12 month prepatory period and the transfer of liabilities and responsibilities to the Treasury Department.. It does not, however, directly address the concept of fiat money, which, though severely hampered by the absence of the Federal Reserve, does not directly prevent congress from printing new money just like the Fed does, though admittedly its much harder for them to hide it as they’d have to call a vote any time they wanted to. On the idea of the two statements being contradictory, in light of the bill being presented at the time, I do not feel he contradicted himself. Now, I will readily admit that Dr. Paul regularly lets his passions show through in his speeches and writings but is not as good at communicating the more moderate and thought out plans he includes in his bills.

    demimondian: Dr. Paul was asked by the New York Times about the issue in the past year and though they were unsure why he would not disclose who actually wrote the documents they did not disbelieve his claim “since the style diverges widely from his own.” per the article. Per the previous linked article, there are several references to the fact that Dr. Paul has never, aside from this newsletter incident been associated with racism and quite the contrary has shown distaste for it.

    Now, Pb, if you’d like to continue debating, I’m fine with that as you provide citation. demimondian, I have refuted your point, he has addressed the issue, he simply does not consider the identity of the writer important and from what I can tell would rather not reveal it which is his right, and if the author asked not to be involved his obligation. Please provide citation to something further as you’ve mentioned “this is many years’ worth of lead items in limited release circulars” and yet failed to cite a single one other than the ones I’ve addressed. If that is not acceptable than I might as well be arguing the 911 Commission Report with a Truther and this debate is pointless and I will not continue it.

  57. 57
    Pb says:


    Incidentally, the current bill Ron Paul has up to abolish the federal reserve is H.R. 2755, and he’s got the timeline for it down to a year now. But you’ll notice that in his 2002 floor statement, he didn’t mention a timeline at all–just urged his fellow members to abolish the federal reserve.

    Now maybe it is just passion, but I do find it interesting that his statement there sounded so much more radical than his actual policy position. Is it your opinion that this is generally the case with him, and if so, do you think he’d gain or lose supporters if he stuck closer to advocating what he’d actually do in office?

  58. 58
    Larry says:

    In regards to H.R. 2755, the text is more or less identical. I believe your missing the 18 months given to the Treasury Department to make a report on the progress/steps taken in the transition after the 1 year. This more or less means, the Federal Reserve has 1 year to get its affairs in order and closes down exactly 1 year from the passing of the bill. Upon which time the Treasury Department takes over and assess liabilities and has 18 months to have everything in order.

    As far as his words vs. his actual positions, I believe this is his key problem. He does believe what he says, don’t get me wrong, but his legislation is more tame to allow for the fact that he intellectually understands the difficulties even if his passion would go otherwise. In all honestly I think if more people knew this was the case he would lose some of his fringe support but more than make up for it in more moderate voters.

  59. 59
    Beth says:

    Abolition of the Federal Reserve probably makes Stormfront and the conspiracy theorists (all anti-Semitic) pass out in ecstasy. The Fed *is* a Jewish conspiracy to them, you know.
    All the nasty ones are in the L. Ron Paul Hubbard Cult because there isn’t a single thing he’s for or against that doesn’t mesh perfectly with their insanity, whether he intends it that way or not.
    David Neiwert at Orcinus has been tracking RP’s flirtations with the extreme right for some time now, and it’s not pretty. Also here, from Adam Holland.

    But this:
    (which the GOP party apparatchiks, terrified of a Paul candidacy, quickly promote),
    …is just goofy. Terrified? No. “We” (not that I’m an apparatchik of anything) know he has no chance, but nobody wants to give his filthy entourage of supporters a seat at the table during the debates and otherwise. Also, I’m pretty sure everyone from left to right is sick and tired of the cultists crapping up the internet. I’m of course not referring to all of his supporters, but I do wonder what motivates people to be for the extreme Bircher-style ideology of Ron Paul. He makes Pat Buchanan almost look rational by comparison (and it makes me sick to even think that).

    The more you look at Ron Paul and his record, the more you’ll see what I mean about his voting record and ideology being manna from heaven to pond scum.

    The only thing that surprises me is that the comments here aren’t flooded with RP Cultists damning you to hell for failing to worship at the Temple of “Dr. Paul.”

  60. 60
    Beth says:

    Larry, if you want to demonstrate any credibility, try to find a source for the newsletter refutation OTHER than Free Market News. That’s like me refuting criticism of Bush with a link from Blogs for Bush.
    And so that newsletter was supposedly ghost-written, as you and every other cultist has said a thousand times. Well, then who wrote it? And why does RP allow things to be said in his name, without even reviewing it at all? Is it because he has/had unconditional faith in the ghostwriter of that article, and if so, shouldn’t that be called into question? I’m sorry, but I don’t accept “it was a ghostwriter” as the final answer on that story. If it were completely off the wall, like if were written by Barack Obama, OK. Not in this case, though–not with RP’s political ideology. He’s gotten away with brushing off questions about racism too many times in the past.

  61. 61
    Larry says:


    With the exception of a few and I will stress that it is very few, Ron Paul’s supporters are well informed of his opinions and genuinely believe in his message of personal liberty and freedom and value that above any benefit a government program might give them in exchange for some of it. The majority of these groups like Stormfront see Ron Paul and even though his message disagrees with them on several points, it matches up enough that they support him. The same was true of President Bush in 2004 and 2000 and other presidents before. These groups have to support and or vote for someone and they pick the person who’s ideas let them do what they want the most. As far as the “Cultists” comment, I believe you are missing a key point, we’re not actually this organized body poised to jump at any forum or news post that happens to mention Dr. Paul, but most supporters have an RSS news feed or something for him and will make posts if they feel the need or desire to. This causes a bit of a swarming affect on high profile articles or blogs sadly. We’ve also been trying to ‘tame’ our more idiotic cohorts recently.

  62. 62
    Larry says:

    Beth, your second post wasn’t visible before I posted my first reply. I do believe I cited the New York Times as well. If that’s less credible, somehow, than the blogs you’ve referenced I’m not sure what to say.

  63. 63
    MikeR says:

    John, I recall Dave Neiwart over at Orcinus discussing some of Paul’s questionable links to right-wing fringe types. Dave’s usually pretty thorough; you might want to read what he’s said about the guy.

  64. 64
    Beth says:

    No Larry, I don’t question the credibility of the NYT (I can’t believe I’m saying that, but whatever). I didn’t see your link to the NYT (still don’t, but I believe you).
    I don’t include you as part of the “cult,” because you’re obviously one of the sane ones. The others are just really, really noisy.

  65. 65
    Larry says:

    Sorry, I referenced the NYT article without actually linking, here’s the link. Its long and the section on the newsletter stuff is somewhat short but is addressed.

  66. 66
    Psycheout says:

    I interviewed a Ron Paul supporter. It was interesting to say the least. Ron Paul is pretty good at pretending to be a sane rational human being. Many of his supporters are not.

  67. 67
    Dan says:

    I respect the Ron Paul supporters’ right to pick whoever they want to run the country. All I ask is that they respect my right to not pick someone who doesn’t even know what’s in their own newsletter.

  68. 68
    Larry says:


    Was at work when you posted those links/references which blocks blogspot so I couldn’t read them. I’m at home now though. As far as those are concerned, Many of the references being addressed simply reinforce that there are a significant number of fringe racist groups who support Paul. Two of the articles you referenced make the point that their support implies he agrees with them. The Paul presidential and congressional campaigns have had one major rule/challenge, and that’s been that Ron Paul will accept any invitation from a group to speak or debate or appear as long as no previous scheduling issue exists. His message at these appearances are often untargeted, and based on some of what I’ve witnessed from watching You Tube videos and seen on newscasts he often is unaware of the venue or his audience till he gets there. This is reckless for sure for a candidate either presidential or congressional but his message too often suggests otherwise. He venerates Ludwig Von Mises who himself was a Jewish person which very easily contradicts the claims of antisemitism. The issue regarding racism against blacks is addressed in the newsletter controversy which adressed with the NY Times article and the FMNN article as the only proofs used in those blogs of that is from that Houston Chronicle article that the controversy rose from. On the Eric Dondero blog postings. I can’t really take Mr. Dondero’s claims as fact. He fails to back them up with any proof or even any corroboration from other Ron Paul staffers who have left Ron Paul’s campaigns. Tie this to the fact that he’s running against Ron Paul in for his congressional seat and I just can’t accept him as a legitimate source.

  69. 69
    Nancy Irving says:

    Ron Paul dog whistles: withdraw from U.N., abolish income tax, abolish most federal agencies, go gold standard, get rid of the Federal Reserve…how many more crackpot winger ideas do you need?

  70. 70
    Nancy Irving says:

    The man is a joke. Or ought to be, and that he isn’t makes me fear for the Republic.

  71. 71
    John Foster says:

    Who are you to decide who is and who is not “unseemly”?

    Ron Paul attracts all kinds of people. Being different or weird or eccentric is cool.

    Sorry you want us all to be cookie cutter autobots.

    This is America right?

  72. 72
    Larry says:


    Though I can respect that you disagree with his ideas, I would stress that all those things you just mentioned are the very things that have caused Republics of the past to collapse or fail. So saying that you fear for the Republic because of these things doesn’t make much sense. It would probably be safer to say that it makes you fear for the current establishment or possibly for the status quo.

  73. 73
    Tom says:

    For some of us, wanting to live in a Republic rather than a dictatorship makes us one-issue voters. All the Republican candidates embrace the Bushite regime, except Ron Paul. Nor will all the Democrats repudiate and undo the damage the Bushites have done to our Constitutional system, leaving us with the loooming possibility of a lose/lose choice come next election.

    To ensure that we have a Republic and freedom, we need to make the next election a choice between two proponents of a Republic (a win/win scenario) rather than between two candidates who favor executive power and secrecy. Even a racist anti-semitic loon running the Republic is better than a dictatorship by someone with ‘centrist’ views. And that’s what Ron Paul’s surprising support boils down to.

    Support by Stormfront and the rest of the radical fringe
    isn’t surprising, it’s the rest of his support. Which is not a matter of ignorance, but of, well…. desperation.

  74. 74

    Ok, let’s break this down.

    Abortion: This guy has delivered over 4000 babies in his medical career. Seems to me like a guy who isn’t going to like the idea of killing babies.


    He doesn’t think the Federal Government has the power to decide on that issue. Not the Executive, Judicial, or Legislative.

    Ron Paul’s a funny guy. He thinks that if it’s not mentioned in the Constitution of the United States then the Unites States Government doesn’t have the power to do it.

    He thinks the Govt. should be bound by the law of the land.

    Now that’s crazy talk.

  75. 75
    g. Anton says:

    Why Ron Paul? Look at the current babbling idiot and the current crop of other Republican would-be’s–they all ought get in line for a prostrate massage (assuming that Rudy still has a prostrate).

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