When it became apparent that there is something seriously wrong at very least with Ron Paul’s judgment as to who he associates with, and likely as to his actual beliefs, I expected to see an increasing number of potential supporters distance themselves from Paul. The tipping point might be coming even more rapidly than expected. I noted on Tuesday that many libertarians are finally having questions about Paul due to his ties to extremists. On Wednesday I looked at Paul’s poor attempt at damage control on race which resulted in further questions as to whether his campaign is ready for prime time. By late Wednesday Paul was facing a new round of negative blog posts due to his continued affiliation with advocates of 9/11 conspiracy theories.
For some more pandering to the Troofers and other conspiracy theorist whackjobs. I’ll listen for anything of note, but as of now, I’m done with Ron Paul.
The Ron Paul campaign has unfortunately become a gathering place for 9/11 “Truther” morons, racists, neo-Nazis, Southern secessionists, fascists, conspiracy theorists, wannabe authoritarians, Birchers, and nativists that I do not want to be associated with. Worst of all, the candidate himself knows about these err….outside of the mainstream supporters and he refuses to publically repudiate them and refund the donations from the most high profile ones. (No Lew, I’m not calling for Ron Paul to do background checks on all of his supporters, just refuse the donations from the high profile scumbags). If a candidate thinks its alright to make common cause with these people, especially one who is running a “principled” campaign on restoring liberty, than I have to question his conscience for aligning with these people at best and question his ability to lead at worst. I’ve come to the conclusion that a Ron Paul candidacy unless he repudiates these people who do not share the belief in liberty, will harm the overall freedom movement by giving the impression to the American people that “freedom” and “liberty” are just code words for fascism, racism, and conspiracy mongering like the “New World Order” and the “North American Union”.
The precedent is there. Ron Paul needs to follow it for entire freedom movement’s sake.
Until then, this classical liberal is not a part of the Ron Paul Revolution.
Publius Endures asks, Why Ron, Why?
Plenty of commenters, myself included, have pointed out that Ron Paul could either be the best or worst thing to happen to libertarianism in decades. In order for him to be good for libertarianism (and for that matter, the country), he has to either win or, more likely, make people think. Continuing to seek out the support of 9/11 Truthers and nutcases is the surest way to ensure that his appeal remains exceedingly limited and to ensure that libertarianism as a philosophy becomes irreparably associated with these nutcases. In other words- actively seeking out the support of these people hurts both the Paul campaign and the libertarian philosophy more generally.
What make this worse is that it shows Paul’s priorities- he would rather spend time chasing the votes and support of a tiny number of 9/11 Truthers than chasing the votes and support of the millions of libertarians, disillusioned Republicans, and disillusioned Democrats. It’s simple math, really: he has limited resources. Why spend those limited resources on a small group of whack-jobs than on a large group of people who have been hungry for a politician speaking the language of freedom ever since Reagan left office?
I sincerely hope that what he said tonight was strong and indisputable against the 9/11 Truthers. If it wasn’t, I am going to need some serious convincing to return to the Paul camp. My support will either go to Obama, Thompson, or, just as likely, no one at all.
While I see no reason to consider Thompson, or unfortunately any Republican this year, the thought process of considering people from each party, as well as no one at all, mirrored my view before the Republicans moved to the extreme right on social issues, and advocated a disastrous foreign policy, in recent years.
Which is approximately the same time he’ll have my support. The screaming about this has been going on for weeks now, and frankly there is no longer any excuse whatsoever for him not to break that association. On that basis there’s no reason for any sane individual to support of any longer. Game over.
At first the question was whether Paul was sane. Next the question will be whether anyone who supports Paul is totally sane. Of course simply reading the comments from his strongest supporters who spam the blogosphere already provides a clue on that one. The bottom line is that people want to be certain that the person they vote for as president is sane and rational. Paul seems to go out of his way to encourage doubts. Furthermore, people who advocate for political and ideological views do not want to have their views associated with racists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists. I expect an increasing number of libertarians, classical liberals, and paleoconservatives who have considered supporting Paul to realize that association with Ron Paul will act to discredit their views and make it difficult to be taken seriously. Paul can be the candidate of libertarian ideas or can be the candidate of right wing extremists and conspiracy theorists. He cannot be both and it is increasingly clear which path Paul has chosen.