Paul Supporters Receiving Increasingly Negative Press

Last Thursday I presented a somewhat tongue in cheek report on a bipartisan effort to go to war to rid the blogosphere of the problem of the Ron Paul supporters. While the war effort was intended to be humorous, the disdain for many of the Paul supporters among both conservative and liberal bloggers is quite real and the Paul supports are receiving an increasing amount of negative coverage of their actions.

Conservatives have the most problem since Paul is running as a Republican and his supporters have more reason at present to attack other Republicans than Democrats. Shortly after my post on the topic, conservative columnist Mona Charen posted a Memo to Ron Paul Supporters. Charen made the following complaints, with further elaboration in her column: Paul is inconsistent, historically challenged, unserious, and too cozy with kooks and conspiracy theorists. While the bulk of the post is centered around criticism of Paul, it is clear that she is influence by the annoyances of his followers as she writes, “Like every other journalist in America, and who knows, maybe the world or even the universe, I’ve been deluged with your letters and e-mails.”

CQ Politics has a story specifically on the problems of Paul supporters, primarily for the conservative blogs:

Indeed, things have gotten so bad that a growing number of political blogs and discussion boards — not exactly prime outlets of delicacy in public-spirited discourse — have taken the drastic step of barring especially vocal backers of the Texas congressman from their ranks. Two high-profile conservative blogs, redstate.com and littlegreenfootballs.com, have issued selective bans on the more disruptive Paul supporters trolling the sites. And this month, Bobby Eberle, who runs the site GOPUSA.com, addressed an open letter to Paul backers urging civility.

Eberle’s letter took pains to note that he wasn’t singling out Paul supporters per se but rather “the aggressive network of online fans who bombard discussion boards, spam Web sites, flood online polls, and behave in a manner that puts their candidate in an extremely bad light.”

Eberle says that in seven years of running GOPUSA.com, he’s never come across users as routinely abusive as Paul backers can be. “The typical e-mail from a Ron Paul supporter often contains profanity and is filled with name-calling and attacks on the other candidates,” he says. “They throw out slurs such as ‘neo-con’ or ‘fake Republican’ or ‘sheeple’ or ‘jerks’ or worse. They say people are ‘stupid,’ ‘idiots,’ ‘traitors,’ and worse for not supporting Ron Paul.

The story also notes how Paul supporters “have spoiled the fun when the site has sponsored unscientific polls to gauge the popularity of the Republican field.” After describing action taken by other conservative blogs an isolated Paul supporter is quoted as seeing the problems which arise from their actions:

At least some Paul enthusiasts have begun arguing that their online zeal may be on the verge of becoming counterproductive. “Now that Dr. Paul has more attention from the mainstream media, we have to take extra precaution to ensure that we are being as tactful as humanly possible,” one anonymous poster wrote recently on a popular Paul discussion board about the congressman, who’s also a physician. “We cannot afford to give the mainstream media or any of Dr. Paul’s opponents ammo.”

But the Paul campaign says it’s in no position to enforce such message discipline among its supporters. “These are independent supporters that are acting on their own volition,” says campaign spokesman Jesse Benton. “The campaign doesn’t have control of or influence over that.”

The lack of control is only partially true. In 2003-4 there was similar, and probably more widespread, use of the internet by supporters of Howard Dean. Their actions varied from constructive actions (which is also seen by some Paul supporters, such as in fund raising) as well as spamming comparable to that seen by the Paul supporters. Joe Trippi and some Dean supporters realized the harm that the latter were causing and did make an effort to convince them to cease their activities. Naturally they were not 100% effective but their efforts did help reduce the harm to the campaign.

Many Paul supporters, even more than Dean supporters, fail to comprehend that their efforts are frequently counterproductive. They need to decide if their goal is to win arguments (primarily in their own minds) or to actually win friends and influence people. While the problem is greatest in the conservative blogosphere, liberal blogs are also affected. I’ve found that many liberal bloggers, including myself, who were initially sympathetic towards Paul due to his beliefs on the war and civil liberties now have a much lower opinion of Paul which is somewhat due to the conduct of his supporters.

The problems from the Paul supporters include those quoted from the CQ article above but also include many of the attitudes expressed, particularly racism, anti-Semitism, and promotion of a variety of conspiracy theories. They often repeat the same unsubstantiated revisionist history used by the religious right to defend Paul’s absurd beliefs which deny that the Founding Fathers intended to create a secular society. While Paul supporters might believe the false history they promote, along with the conspiracy theories they subscribe to, such claims only convinces others that they are a bunch of kooks. The debate tactics used by Paul supporters are also particularly counterproductive. For example, I’ve had numerous Paul supporters attempt to argue with me by claiming that I believe or that I’ve written something completely different from what I believe or have written. I know what I believe and what I’ve written, and it is ridiculous to believe that taking an except out of context is not going to make me think otherwise. Such tactics will quickly convince me that the Paul supporter is not worthy of conversing with, but is certainly not going to make me any more supportive of their candidate.

While it might not be entirely fair, the conduct of Paul’s supporters does reflect on Ron Paul. It is meaningful that Howard Dean’s campaign made an effort to get Dean’s supporters to behave responsibly but Paul’s campaign does not. Paul also encourages much of the other criticism of him based upon that of his supporters. Paul’s refusal to return the contribution from Stromfront founder Don Black, as would be expected from any serious candidate, seriously harms his credibility. When he has written that this is a Christian nation and writes about the Israeli lobby it comes as no surprise that anti-Semites such as Hutton Gibson, Holocaust denier and father of Mel Gibson, have endorsed him. Often Paul will refrain from totally endorsing the conspiracy theories of his followers, but he suggests agreement with their beliefs in his writings and letters written to contributors. He frequently appears on talk shows hosted by conspiracy theorists and has his column published by neo-Nazis. While Paul generally does refrain from appearing as irrational as his supporters, his actions do raise questions and the conduct of his supporters only makes observers wonder if deep down Paul isn’t just another one of them. While no candidate can benefit from the actions of supporters who come across as kooks, Ron Paul is particularly susceptible to harm from association with such supporters.

Update: Wall Street Journal Joins Coverage of Paul Supporters

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25 Comments

  1. 1
    RonPaul33 says:

    Paul Supporters Receiving Increasingly Negative Press. Last Thursday I presented a in. http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=2393

  2. 2
    RonPaul33 says:

    Paul Supporters Receiving Increasingly Negative Press. Last Thursday I presented a in. http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=2393

  3. 3
    Jerri Hanfield says:

    Here’s a message to the people who purchased you to write this blog: Please grow up. There is more to life than power and wealth. These things do not go with you when you are laying in the ground. We all surrender everything when our time comes. Don’t create a living hell for everyone around you by enforcing your power-addicted reality on everyone around you. GROW UP AND BECOME ADULTS, PLEASE.

  4. 4
    Eric Dondero says:

    The efforts of the Ron Paul supporters are now even proving to be counter-productive within the libertarian movement itself. Many of us are starting to believe that his leftist libertarian approach is doing real damage to our overall libertarian movement.

    “Libertarian” thanks to the Ron Paul campaign, is getting more and more identified with Anti-War whacko and pacifist, not its original meaning of Pro-Defense.

    Not everyone in the libertarian movement is happy with Ron Paul’s campaign.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Excellent demonstration of my point about how so many comments from Paul supporters involve paranoid ideas of conspiracies as Jerri writes, “Here’s a message to the people who purchased you to write this blog.”

    It’s not about ideology but the fact that so many of Paul’s supporters are simply out of touch with reality. However if we look at the aspect which comes close to ideology it doesn’t hold up. She writes about “enforcing your power-addicted reality on everyone around you.” My major complaint about Paul is that while claiming to be a libertarian he seeks to enforce his social conservative beliefs on others with his opposition to both opposition rights and to the secular nature of our government as intended by the founding fathers.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    “Anti-war” and “wacko” are too different things. The Paul supporters definitely come across as wacko, but they are both right and being consistent with libertarianism in their opposition to the war.

    I wish you were right that “Not everyone in the libertarian movement is happy with Ron Paul’s campaign.” While this is true of the rare libertarians such as you who support the war, I find it disappointing that so many libertarians will support Paul because he used to call himself a libertarian and ignore his essentially conservative social agenda.

  7. 7
    Antonio Larrosa Diaz says:

    Forgive me for getting in your blog, but I am a Spanish writer struggling to which I read many people. My site is http://www.antoniolarrosa.com

  8. 8
    John Howard says:

    The conduct of Ron Paul’s supporters is just fine. They are nowhere as dishonest and insulting as the anti-Paul forces. The intensity of the name-calling and lying, both about Ron’s supporters and his positions is reaching laughable levels. It is merely proof that he is gaining and the war-mongering tin-foil hat (Help! Islamofascists are under my bed) crazies in the neo-con party are losing. They will continue to lose because they have told too many lies and are too rude and insulting (no surprise in people who want so much killing of innocents).

    Eric Dondero (above) is typical of the liars. Ron Paul is not a pacifist. He is very much pro-defence and Dondero knows it. And being anti-war in the current political context is hardly “whako” and Dondero knows that also.

    But lies and insults are all the anti-Paul forces have left (actually, it’s all they ever had) – that and banning his supporters from websites and broadcasts while those websites go on lying about and insulting him – which tells you a lot about what kind of sadistic authoritarian world they long for.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    John Howard,

    Most bloggers have seen too many examples of the contrary to accept your statement that the conduct of Ron Paul’s supporters is just fine.

    Dondero is not a liar when he describes Paul as a pacifist. He many be incorrect. I certainly disagree with Dondero on Iraq and foreign policy, but that doesn’t make him a liar. The problem for Paul supporters is that when you constantly come across as accusing those who do not support Paul as being liars, authoritarian, or part of some conspiracy it does not help in terms of increasing Paul’s support.

  10. 10
    badmedia says:

    You know, how can people pretend to be libertarians with a straight face, when you don’t even understand the political scale.

    There are 2, count them 2 levels of government. The federal, state(and then on down to local communities and personal liberty). At the federal level, conservatives AND libertarians are generally alike. Conservatives believe in STATE government, and Libertarians believe in more local communities and personal liberties. But at the federal level, they are basically the same. And thus why libertarians before the neo-cons would generally vote for a republican, and why Ron Paul fits both parties.

    You call yourself a libertarian, and yet you fail to realize that every issue is not a 1 question answer, but a 2 question answer. The first question is – is this a function of the federal government. Only if you answer yes, then the question of – in favor or opposition. Because if you answer no on the first question, the 2nd question doesn’t even matter.

    And yet, everyone always assumes the answer to the first question is yes. And then they distort their response to being “anti” this, or “anti” that. When he is in fact, saying no to the first question, it is not a function of the federal government, state governments can take it up.

    And state government is where libertarianism traditionally came in, and where a republican and a libertarian would clash, as the republican wants the social programs on a state level, and a libertarian doesn’t.

    And when you answer Yes to the first question, then you are by defintion supporting an authortiarian government. Because by answering yes to the first question, you are saying it is ok for government to decide, and only the direction it decides is debatable.

    And Ron Paul supporters understand there is the first question, even though the media and people constantly distort it to being a single question of what the government should do, while assuming that yes, the government should be the one to decide. And we are sick of it. Every time an article comes out and distorts ignores the first question, it’s a slap in the face, because it is bias. Perfect example, dept of education. Ron Paul is against it, and what do people say – oh he wants no public schools. When in fact, the states are FREE to have those programs and decide. Every time someone makes that claim, they assumed YES on the first question for you.

    And that is why Ron Paul is getting support from all over, because he is the only candidate saying NO to the first – now silent question. He is the only candidate who will even want to talk about the first question, otherwise known as using the constitution. Because the more you answer YES on the first question, the more authoritarian government you have.

    I hope we can start taking an honest look at politics for a change, and give people some real choices, and let them know and understand the real dynamics of politics.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    We have excellent examples of how libertarianism has degenerated and why the term no longer means much of anything. We have a social conservative like Paul calling himself a libertarian. We have a supporter of the war and Patriot Act like Eric Dondero who calls himself a libertarian. Even Bill Maher calls himself a libertarian yet supports John Edwards. None of the three would get along very well together. If all three are libertarians, the word sure does not mean very much anymore.

    In the past libertarianism was primarily concerned with the relationship between the individual and government, regardless of the level. Libertarians would not oppose government actions on one level of government but support it on another. However many libertarians have become increasingly conservative, with the Paul supporters resembling conservatives both on many social issues and in the importance they place on states rights. Libertarianism historically has been about the rights of the individuals, not state or local governments.

    This is an essentially anti-libertarian viewpoint. The more local decisions are made, the easier it is to get a majority to support repressive measures and impose their views upon others. Paul’s failure to respect the 14th Amendment allows for states or local governments to ignore Constitutional liberties if that is the majority view in an area. This is contrary both libertarian principles and the goal of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority. This is also why so many neo-Nazi and right wing extremists support Paul as they see the election of Paul as the best way to impose their agenda.

    Paul and many of his supporters also violate the principles of states rights they otherwise advocate when it conflicts with their social conservativism with regards to abortion. Paul has supported a federal ban on so-called partial birth abortions and a federal law to override state laws which are scientifically accurate in differentiating a zygote from a fully developed human.

  12. 12
    Allen says:

    It is interesting that the bloggers do not like the supporters of Ron Paul for their bad behavior and at the same time they all slander Ron Paul for his supporters. These have been the only things they have ever written about him, with rare exception. It is practically baiting them to post angrily, and getting angry when they do.

    Now I do see posts every day from supporters that are “troothers”, and I have read in almost every blog that he is supported by the skin-head type, and I definately do not support them, or their slander of bloggers. But the troothers want more transperancy in government, and so do I. And the “Jewhater” scum want to remove banker control and legislation, and so do I. I am not one of them, but as long as they keep thier views from hurting others, I say ignore their idiocy. You can’t outlaw stupidity, or we would all be former cons.

    It is sad to me for people to hinge their vote on something besides the principles the candidate stands for, be it “he can’t win” or “his supporters suck”. This is what is wrong with America today.

    I am a Conservative, I also am anti-war and could see right through the nonsense leading up to Iraq. I found out that Ron Paul was running and knew him because of his economic principles. I supported him before I even knew he was against the war. Now I practically beg people to vote for him. I am sure I have ruffled some anti-Paul blogger feathers, but I can’t help it.

    The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are written to protect individual rights. Everyone has their reasons for supporting Ron Paul, but that does not mean that he supports them. Individual rights protect all, not just me.

    It really is not an issue what a candidates personal beliefs are. If they will honor the Constitution, I will always know my rights are safe. Life, Liberty, and Property. The rest can go to the States. Let us compromise TOWARD the Constitution instead of against it.

  13. 13
    tmcitizen64 says:

    I don’t support Dr. Paul because he is a Libertarian.
    I don’t support Dr. Paul because he is a Republican.
    I don’t support Dr. Paul because he is a Democrat.

    I support Dr. Paul because:

    – he wants to stop policing the world.
    – he wants free trade not negotiated trade.
    – he seems to be smarter than all the other candidates and tells the truth about what he would try to do as President even if it isn’t what his audience wants to hear, where I come from that is called integrity and honesty. (Aren’t we all a little tired of having a dumbass in the Whitehouse).
    – his 10 term voting record in Congress tends to suggest that he will do or try to do within the framework of the constitution what he says he will do.
    – he seems to understand economic theory and understands the impact of the ongoing devaluation of the dollar and has challenged the “experts” at the Fed on these issues.
    – If Naomi Wolfe is right, I believe he would stop in it’s tracks all executive initiatives to subvert our constitutional rights and guide us away from a fascist shift.
    – I support Dr. Paul because every main stream media outlet and member of the political establishment keeps telling me I shouldn’t bother. My favorite were a couple of articles/opinions complaining that the presidential campaign season was starting so early, asking why are people paying attention before the primaries. You don’t need to pay attention now, pay attention when we have it down to two. Go back to sleep America.

    Well, I did start paying attention to the media and I didn’t like what I’ve been seeing with regard to Dr. Paul. It is amazing how the media uses the same terms and discredited stories to try and chisel away at Dr. Paul’s momementum. Eric Dondero (who you defend above)has consistently battered Dr. Paul while at the same time claiming to support him.

    So, when you read another blog or news article that claims that Dr. Paul is a racist, a nazi sympathizer, a kook, a nutcase, a longshot, a crank, and my favorite – just another say anything politician, it’s so transparently biased and beneath the level of Dr. Paul’s discourse that we his supporters jump to defend him. And, then that is used against Dr. Paul too.

    The truth is, I think this part of the debate is over, the campaign has past the point where the media can undermine it with negative innuendo. The Ron Paul campaign has already tipped so to speak.

    And, so the next Act begins with the power brokers exploring other options for ending the Paul movement. What will you write about Dr. Paul when he is stopped dead in his tracks? Glenn Beck calls us Terroist. A new law past by Congress seeking to criminalize domestic “anti-government” thoughts seems to agree. If we raise another $10 million on December 16th and Ron Paul wins NH in January and then places third or fourth in Iowa, what will they do then? Maybe, we’ll get to see why they’ve been working so hard to consolidate power in the executive branch?

    I don’t know what’s going to happen. My guess is it’s going to be big.

  14. 14
    Kaligula says:

    And we have the example of Ron Chusid who passes judement on the libertarinism of others while supporting candidates who voted for the Patriot Act and/or it’s Reauthorization.

    You’re Ron Paul rants are starting to sound like a broken record…

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    Allen,

    “It is interesting that the bloggers do not like the supporters of Ron Paul for their bad behavior and at the same time they all slander Ron Paul for his supporters. These have been the only things they have ever written about him, with rare exception. It is practically baiting them to post angrily, and getting angry when they do.”

    You have the sequence off. I, and other bloggers, have written partially favorable posts about Paul but also noted areas of disagreement. The response to the slightest negative comment about Paul, even in posts which are largely positive, is a barrage of personal insults, racist comments, and a bunch of conspiracy theories (including numerous responses to this post which remain in moderation for these reasons). It is the Paul supporters who have brought on their negative reputation and all the negative articles and posts about them.

    This post is based on the Paul supporters as it is coverage of an article in CQ. My primary criticism of Paul is based upon his beliefs. He does not defend the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. His interpretation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights is contrary to that intended by the Founding Fathers and contrary to numerous court interpretations. As I’ve discussed elsewhere, his view would result in less freedom .

    I note that you say you are a conservative and therefore it might make sense for you to support Paul. Paul is primarily a conservative who varies from the bulk of current conservatives in his opposition to the war, but not a libertarian. I can understand an anti-war conservative supporting Paul. The libertarian support for Paul is a reflection of how libertarianism has strayed from its old meaning and become far more conservative over the years.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    tmcitizen64,

    “So, when you read another blog or news article that claims that Dr. Paul is a racist, a nazi sympathizer…”

    One important distinction is that the criticism is not necessarily that Paul is a racist, Nazi sympathizer, etc but that he seeks support from such groups regardless of whether he agrees with them or not. That will limit his acceptability beyond his limited group of supporters.

    “The truth is, I think this part of the debate is over, the campaign has past the point where the media can undermine it with negative innuendo.”

    You miss the point. These stories persist because Paul’s own actions encourage them. If he returned Don Black’s contribution and stopped appearing on the radio shows of right wing extremists it would be a different matter. It is not so much the media as Paul’s own acts which are undermining his campaign.

    ” I support Dr. Paul because every main stream media outlet and member of the political establishment keeps telling me I shouldn’t bother.”

    I partially agree with you there. I don’t think Paul has a chance, but if he is the candidate you want then you should support him even if he is a long shot.

    “And, so the next Act begins with the power brokers exploring other options for ending the Paul movement. What will you write about Dr. Paul when he is stopped dead in his tracks?”

    The “power brokers” don’t have to do anything as Paul is not going anywhere. However if there was action to shut up Paul I would defend him–just as I posted in his defense when attacked by pro-war Republicans at the debates and just as I have had a couple of posts criticizing attempts to keep him out of the debates. I will both continue to criticize him where I disagree but do support his right to express his views and to run for office.

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:

    Kaligula,

    Actually we have your example which demonstrates many of the problems with Paul supporters including making false claims about those of us who write anything negative about him and express the attitude that freedom of speech ends when Paul is criticized. Disagreements with a candidate are not rants, and if you don’t like my opinions you do not have to read them. A true libertarian, however, would not repeatedly express the view that opinions which disagree with yours should not even be expressed.

    I am not supporting any candidate, so your claim that I am supporting candidates who voted for the Patriot Act is false.

    As for passing judgment on the libertarianism of others, nobody claims that any of the Democratic candidates are libertarians. However Paul, who has some views which are anti-libertarianism, can fairly be judged on this criteria. When discussing Democratic candidates, and when discussing Paul, I frequently note areas of both agreement and disagreement.

    It is also dishonest to write about candidates who “voted for” the Patriot Act as opposed to their actual views. Many of those who voted for the Patriot Act did so as part of compromises to reduce the deleterious effects of the act. This does not mean they support the act and it is dishonest to portray this as reflective of their views. They can rightly be criticized for presenting a weak an ineffective opposition, but this is different from their views.

    In contrast the views of Paul which lead to decreased liberty are not cases of strategic voting. My objection is to his actual views.

    Getting back to the topic of this post, you demonstrate why publications like CQ are posting articles regarding the problems of Paul supporters. Attacking candidates of another party, especially in a dishonest manner as you have, does absolutely nothing to defend Paul’s views. If we are comparing Paul and the Democratic candidates, none of the Democratic candidates have supporters who behave in the manner Paul supporters do. None of the Democratic candidates have supporters who show such widespread spamming of other blogs, showing such incredible lack of toleration for other views, and such an inability to engage in any form of reasonable discussion. None of the other candidates have supporters who post racist slurs around the internet or promote ridiculous conspiracy theories to the degree Paul supporters so. None of the other candidates have supporters who do so much harm to their candidate.

  18. 18
    P81 says:

    Ron Chusid, I commend you for supporting the right for Dr. Paul to be a part of the debate process. I can understand how bloggers can get to people. This has been a major issue among fellow Dr. Paul supporters. Unfortunately there are rude, childish individuals blogging from every camp. For some reason the other bloggers aren’t usually called out.

    Libertarianism has no set in stone stance on all of the issues. The foundation is simply liberty. Pro-Life is the belief that the fetus has rights as well. This is one issue that splits the “Libertarian Party”. I myself belief in the rights of the unborn but have no quarrels with the morning after pill. I belief Dr. Paul doesn’t either. I also don’t belief my views on this subject should trump another states or the whole country for that matter, nor does Dr. Paul. Reversing Roe vs. Wade would benefit both camps. The federal government should not be allowed to make rulings on state issues. If New York residents agree with pro-life stances and Nebraska doesn’t why should the federal government tell them otherwise?

    Dr. Paul has doubled his supporter base every quarter. From what I can gather, there are currently more positive stories in the internet than negative ones. He has currently raised over $9 million this quarter with over 104,000 donors in the last couple of months. On his way to surpass his goal of $12 million and estimated to bring in about $17 million. Quite an accomplishment for an underdog, don’t you agree?

    What are the main issues that you don’t agree with? Eric Dondero was supposedly fired but he might say he quit Dr. Paul’s camp, regardless his views shouldn’t be taken as the only libertarian stance.

    Recently, a staunch supporter paid for an ad on USA Today out of his own pocket! Thats almost $100,000! There are a lot of great stories that can be made of his campaign, even if you don’t agree with some of his stances. The next great story will be either http://www.rudysreadinglist.com or http://www.teaparty07.com, both look very promising!

    One last note, what are your views on the Council on Foreign Relations being a part of both Republican and Democrat camps? It is quite a powerful think tank.

  19. 19
    Ron Chusid says:

    P81,

    “Unfortunately there are rude, childish individuals blogging from every camp. For some reason the other bloggers aren’t usually called out.”

    The reason is that supporters of other candidates do not present the problem that Paul supporters do. The closest thing we had to this was with some of the Dean supporters in 2003, but both the campaign and more responsible Dean supporters made efforts to get them to see how their actions were harming their candidate. I’ve been far more critical of Edwards than Paul but I only get a handful of negative comments from Edwards supporters which sound anything like those from Paul supporters, even though there are far more Edwards supporters than Paul supporters.

    “I also don’t belief my views on this subject should trump another states or the whole country for that matter, nor does Dr. Paul.”

    But Paul does. He has supported federal legislation banning so-called partial birth abortions and federal legislation which would invalidate state laws which differentiate between a zygote and a fully developed human. Plus, matters of rights do not change from state to state. My concern is over the relationship between government and the individual regardless of level of government. If each state is able to decide upon fundamental liberties it is far easier for a majority at a state or local level to suppress the rights of the minority.

    “Dr. Paul has doubled his supporter base every quarter. From what I can gather, there are currently more positive stories in the internet than negative ones.”

    But his growth is from a small amount and he remains a fringe candidate. The positive stories are largely because he is a fringe candidate. The big story is that we have a Republican who stands up to the other Republicans on the war and civil liberties. However if Paul should ever look like a candidate who could win we will see more details such as on his ties to extremist groups and his views which result in less freedom. The negative stories are just beginning, such as the one I cited in CQ. The Wall Street Journal has picked up on this today.

    Even my coverage here has been more positive than negative prior to the recent blog posts precipitated by the behavior of Paul supporters commenting here. I’ve had multiple posts regarding Iraq, civil liberties, and drug law which portrayed Paul favorably. This includes a post a couple of days ago on signing statements which links back to Paul’s opposition to Bush’s use of them. If my goal was really to bash Paul, as his supporters commenting here claim, I could have easily leaved Paul out of the story and just commented on other politicians who more recently spoke out against them.

    “What are the main issues that you don’t agree with? Eric Dondero was supposedly fired but he might say he quit Dr. Paul’s camp, regardless his views shouldn’t be taken as the only libertarian stance.”

    I’ve included Eric’s comments as he does provide background. From what I’ve heard, he was fired over their disagreements on the war. I’ve argued quite a bit with Eric over that one, supporting Paul’s position against Eric on the war and the Patriot Act.

    I’ve gone over my disagreements with Paul in a number of other posts. My primary disagreements are over his denial of the importance of separation of church and state and the intention of the founding fathers to form a secular society as well as his views on abortion. I also find his views on the 14th Amendment troubling as this leads to the denial of Constitutional liberties to the states, which is probably why so many racists and neo-Nazis support him realizing it opens the door to them imposing their views in states and local areas.

    “One last note, what are your views on the Council on Foreign Relations being a part of both Republican and Democrat camps? It is quite a powerful think tank.”

    Basically everyone who is anyone in the establishment who deals in foreign policy is a member of the CFR. It is not they are a powerful think tank but that it is an organization with many powerful members. Many Paul supporters miss this distinction and work this into their conspiratorial view of the world.

  20. 20
    p81 says:

    Unfortunately some people can’t contain their emotions.

    As far as abortion goes, Dr. Paul actually thinks it should be up to the states, as do I. And i’m nowhere near what you would call a social conservative. I believe in separation of church and state, so does Dr. Paul. I believe schooling is much better handled at the local level and the unconstitutional dept. of ed. is a major drag on our children’s education.

    We have started looking towards our federal gov. for everything. This causes us to neglect the state representatives who clean us out for all of our state taxes.

    I detest this two party system. It has pinned everyone against each other to quibble over single issues. I despise most politicians dems and repubs. All of the “Top Tier” presidential candidates are corporate puppets as evidenced in http://www.opensecrets.org .

    Unfortunately the CFR is a “Think Tank” just go to http://www.cfr.org and you will see a green button that says “The Think Tank”. I find it hard to trust anyone with ties to this organization after reading articles directly found on their website. I would encourage you to take a look at CFR President Richard Haass. Their are some serious issues concerning his views on the corporate worlds role on governing. This organization should be seriously looked at concerning their involvement in government policy as well as their role in eroding the sovereignty of countries as well as ours.

    I’d like to discuss more on the latter as I believe we need to take a serious look at the people who dictate our foreign policy. For the record all members dems and repubs that are members of the CFR have not condemned a future attack on Iran. The only candidate to do so is Dr. Paul.

    Also, if anyone has read the ten planks of communism, I would love to have a discussion concerning the similarities to our current government.

    Happy Holidays!

  21. 21
    Ron Chusid says:

    “As far as abortion goes, Dr. Paul actually thinks it should be up to the states, as do I.”

    Which is one reason why Paul is unacceptable to me. Women should not have their rights denied because they happen to live in a southern state or other state where abortion would be banned. As I noted, Paul’s record is not one of leaving it to the states. He has voted to supersede state law with his anti-abortion views.

    “I believe in separation of church and state, so does Dr. Paul.”

    Paul does not believe in separation of church and state. He has both expressed this view in his writings, as well as claiming this is a Christian nation, and his record is hostile to separation of church and state, including supporting school prayer which is in violation of the Constitution. I have discussed this in several posts, such as here:

    http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=2358

    Being a think tank offers absolutely no evidence for the conspiracy theories about it promoted by Paul supporters. It is also easy to draw up conspiracy theories based upon similarities to things like the ten planks of Communism but, just like the other conspiracy theories promoted by Paul supporters, there is far more fantasy than reality here.

  22. 22
    Galileo says:

    Ron Paul has the best supporters in the history of presidential elections.

    Here, some supporters are getting us the Ron Paul Blimp:

    “A blimp? A blimp!

    Imagine..the mainstream media is mesmerized as the image of the Ron Paul
    blimp is shown to tens of millions of Americans throughout the day (and
    throughout the month). Wolf Blizter, stunned and as if in a trance, repeats
    the words “Amazing, Amazing”.”

    SEE THE BLIMP:

    http://www.ronpaulblimp.com/

    I bet Rudy Ghouliani doesn’t have any supporters getting him a Ghouliani Blimp?

  23. 23
    Mark says:

    I think my blog is a pretty good, if small, example of the problems within much of the Paul ‘netroots. My blog is quite new and, as such, quite small. On average, I would get perhaps one comment for every 9 or 10 posts; the only time a commenter has ever made an ad hominem against me at my site has been when I questioned something about Ron Paul. Importantly, I should note that the vast majority of my coverage of the Paul campaign was positive, and I was quite open in my support of him. However, I did make several posts arguing that he was not quite as ideal as he seemed, and eventually announcing my leaving the rEVOLution altogether. Those posts have resulted in now dozens of comments- several times more comments, indeed, than the number of comments I have received on the other 90% of my posts. While some have been rational, others have just been stock, robot-like statements amounting to “Ron Paul is God”, and a good chunk more have just been pure ad hominems.

    One of my last posts while I was still openly supporting Paul involved a defense of David Bernstein’s explanation of why he didn’t support Paul. My post was in no way an attack on Paul, but was instead an attack on what I thought was Lewrockwell.com’s complete misrepresentation of Bernstein’s argument.

    In response to my non-attack on Paul/defense of Bernstein against LRC’s ad hominem, I received the following comments:
    “As your idiotic post helps demonstrate, libertarians are their own worst enemies. Go ahead. Join the circular firing squad, moron.”
    “Idiot.”

    In several posts, I recently announced that I was withdrawing my support from Paul for at least the time being. In response, I got the following:

    “what have your sort of libertarians done for the movement lately? Besides effectively withdrawing it entirely from the national political conversation, I mean.”
    “a stain on libertarianism itself”
    “You are just like the whiny racist card pimps. No better”

    …Etc.

    Guys, this isn’t exactly the way to win people over to supporting the “rEVOLution.”

  24. 24
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mark,

    There are really two different but closely related situations. You sound like a case of a Paul supporter who dropped his support for Paul at least partially as a result of the conduct of his supporters. Obviously that is counterproductive for the Paul campaign.

    The more common situation I’m aware of in comparing notes with other blogs in the liberal blogosphere is bloggers reporting on Paul somewhat favorably but still not agreeing with him on everything–as would be expected from liberal blogs. Rational people would appreciate the favorable coverage from liberal blogs and want to encourage that while understanding that liberal blogs are not going to agree with Paul on everything. Instead they go ballistic over any disagreement, greatly reducing the chances for continued positive coverage.

    The Paul supporters also don’t get that it isn’t necessarily about supporting or opposing Paul. As a blogger covering the nomination process one thing I try to do is to discuss trends before they hit the mainstream media. In this regard when blogging about the Paul campaign the point is to blog about what is important, and what I expect the mainstream media to be talking about down the road. Early in the campaign I covered the significance of a libertarian such as Paul running with many favorable comments. (Actually I’ve continued favorable reports where warranted, such as linking to an article written by Paul in a recent post on candidates views on Bush’s signing statements.)

    I posted about the significance about Paul before the mainstream media and later saw them pick up on it. As the campaign went on I saw that the next story was Paul’s connection to extremist groups and the problems caused by many of Paul’s supporters. The recent articles in CQ and the Wall Street Journal show that again I was right in discussing a topic here before it was being discussed by the mainstream media.

  25. 25
    p81 says:

    Dr. Paul believes in the freedom to express one’s religion. I am not a Christian or any religion for that matter but have no problem with people expressing their beliefs. When the courts where trying to take out “under god”, I really thought that was the stupidest argument people where making about church and state. There is no forced religion on us, that is the true reason why Thomas Jefferson advocated a seperation of church and state. Should a conviction be overturned if a judge says “may god have mercy on your soul”? Hell no! Furthermore, our ideas of school have become diplorable, if someone wants to teach there kids through religious means, fine, just don’t give any more fed tax dollars to schools, end the federal governments role in education. There is no constitutional role for the government in the schools to begin with. plain and simple. In FL, the state constitution guarantees free ed., this should be up to the people in FL on what agenda should be administered.

    What is you’re opinion on corporations having a seat at the U.N. or something similar? What is you’re opinion on the statements of the current president Mr. Haass?

    When the words “conspiracy theory” is thrown out it becomes easy to neglect the facts. I only ask that everyone who runs for any office be open about there associations with whatever organizations so that people can investigate and decide for themselves. let me know what you think about the following:

    The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are…

    1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc…).

    5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

    6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
    Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver’s licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read “controlled or subsidized” rather than “owned”… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

    8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
    Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
    Americans are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, but are actually “government force-tax-funded schools ” Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like “majority rules”, and “pay your fair share”. WHERE are the words “fair share” in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is “fair share” even suggested !! The philosophical concept of “fair share” comes from the Communist maxim, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. … America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC … Teaching ourselves and others how to “fish” to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be “needy”… Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

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