Ron Paul himself might be a decent guy, but by now most bloggers have a pretty low opinion of his supporters, who undoubtedly do Paul more harm than good (except for the days on which they raise four million dollars, which is always helpful). The “Paultards” just don’t seem to understand basic “netiquette,” the difference between blogs and debating forums, and good manners in general. Many sites now outright ban Paul supporters. Others of us find it necessary to utilize heavy moderation to maintain the quality of our sites.
Rather than banning Paul supporters outright (and many have asked for this) I prefer to allow selective posts to provide some discussion and elaboration of the subjects of the post without allowing the comment section to degrade to total nonsense. Some posts are weeded out for duplication of matters already discussed, and far more are weeded out for their sheer idiocy. I doubt I will allow many more posts on the dangers of the Council on Foreign Relations, the United Nations, or the Trilateral Commission. If you are really afraid that these groups are planning to take away your guns, get off the damn internet and barricade yourself in your house to protect your guns and your precious bodily fluids. I might allow further discussion of giant lizard conspiracy theories as this one was new to me, and is at least still of some comic value worthy of a Robert Anton Wilson novel.
Further racist and anti-Semitic posts are definitely not welcome. This includes those variations which claim that when Ron Paul wrote that blacks are prone to violence and are unable to come to sensible political opinions he was not being racist, but was just making a statement of fact. Those statements are racist, and at least Paul has tried to distance himself from his writings with such claims. If you believe that those statements were not racist and are a statement of fact, you are a racist–and that is a fact.
I’m also not terribly interested in comments which demonstrate how Paul’s record is better than Hillary Clinton’s or George Bush’s. These are two awfully low bars to surpass and doing so does not impress me.
Among the annoying comments which are invariably deleted are those which claim that a post was written on Ron Paul in order to bring in traffic from his supporters. I already have well over six thousand subscribers plus readers who come to the site, and many more who read posts which are picked up by several newspaper and television web sites. While this is well below the readership of Daily Kos, it is plenty and the handful of Paul supporters who come to spam are hardly needed. I’ve written on libertarianism even before hardly anybody heard of Ron Paul, and have posts on most of the candidates. The posts are written for intelligent, thinking people who are interested in serious consideration of the candidates and issues. That excludes most of the “Paultards.” Actually I was writing on politics, including libertarianism, even before Paul’s first presidential run, which was before the internet and back in the days when we had to use mimeograph and snail mail to distribute our work.
Perhaps most frustrating of all is seeing the manner in which libertarianism has deteriorated over the years if the “Paultards” are representative. In reality they are far closer to the social conservatives than libertarians, even if they do oppose the Iraq war and the drug war. They echo the same revisionist history denying separation of church and state as the religious right, and join them in imposing their religious views, such as on abortion, on others. That is not libertarianism as I used to know it. Many Paultards also justify Paul’s support for earmarks for his district, claiming this has no effect on increasing government spending. Von Mises, von Hayek, Rothbard, Friedman, and every other libertarian economist who has ever lived are rolling over in their graves, hoping that next month’s cover story on Reason announces: Ron Paul and the Paultards Are Not Libertarians–Do Not Confuse Our Work With Them. Ayn Rand is pretty pissed off too, but she didn’t like libertarians much even when she was alive, so that doesn’t count.
Many feel the “Paultards” must be stopped for the good of the blogosphere. I’d also add preserving the dignity of libertarianism as another reason for this. Recently RedState restricted posting by Paul supporters who had been members for under six months, while allowing anyone to continue to discuss libertarian positions. Wonkette has offered to make the war on “Paultards” a bipartisan effort and sent RedState this message:
Dear whoever runs things at Redstate.com:
We don’t care for your website. Just not our thing, ya know? But if Congress has taught us anything, it’s that Congress can’t teach us anything about working together. We may not like your internets, and you may not like ours, but we must work together to destroy a mutual enemy — illegal alien spambots, a.k.a. Paultards.
We were impressed with your recent banning of Paultards. We have one or two that we kind of like, but we try our best to ban the others. Nevertheless, these little CGI-based runts find their way to new cyber enclaves, from which they donate $4.3 million dollars to celebrate Guy Fawkes, as popularized by that sad excuse for a film, V for Vendetta.
This is a call for internet bipartisanship. We must bipartisan…ly declare war on the Paultards! We don’t know precisely what this war entails. This is where you come in, since you’re the Republicans. You guys know how to carry out wars, right? Strategy and the like? Well, you at least know how to start wars, which is fine with us. We welcome an insurgency. Bring it on, as your leader would say.
As we’ve both witnessed over the past few years, Congress hasn’t passed like, a single bill at all because of immature spats and dangerous political posturing. We will show them how to put aside our differences and work together for AMERICA, by ridding the internet of pompous Paultards. It will be like the U.S. and the Soviet Union teaming up to stop the Nazis. We get to be FDR though. Actually fuck it, we’ll be Stalin.
What say ye?
RedState has responded:
Bombing starts in five minutes.
PS – We’d prefer to be Churchill than that socialist FDR. OK? We vote Kaus for FDR.
[UPDATE:] Attn Paultards: We are taking the initiative in this and declaring Pejman the Jew our Field Marshall in the war. Fear us.
By the way, we’re not much into occupations these day. War is fine, we’re really good at that. Occupation is hell. I hear Field Marshall Yousefzadeh just wants to go with an annihilation strategy.
On with bipartisanship, and on with the war!
Update: Mona Charen drops a bomb on the “Paultards.”