Will Hinton’s Advice For Ron Paul

Will Hinton weighs in on last week’s question to Ron Paul on conspiracy theories at the CNN/You Tube Debate. I previously posted this portion of the transcript here. Hinton realizes, as most of his supporters do not, that as long as libertarianism is connected with conspiracy theories their views will not be taken seriously. He writes:

Until Libertarians/libertarians like Ron Paul can learn to not allow themselves to be lampooned in this manner, the beliefs they promote will make little headway. Until Ron Paul can learn to be a smarter politician, he will continue to harm the libertarian cause.

Hinton argues that Paul should have answered the question in this manner:

“I’m certainly familiar with organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations but I don’t believe in conspiracy theories per se and quite frankly I don’t appreciate the insinuation that I am a conspiracy theorist. Regarding my supporters, I am drawing from all across the political spectrum because of my support of freedom. And yes, even those who believe in conspiracy theories believe in freedom as well.”

If Paul’s goal was to appeal to more people as opposed to promote his personal views, then this argument would make sense. I’ve recently noted evidence that Paul might be hiding his opposition to the Iraq war in some mailings in attempts to get the votes from veterans. In the comments to that post, former Paul staffer Eric Dondero argues that Paul has long attempted to appear far more pro-military than he really is. We also see that Paul is willing to compromise libertarian principles in his support for earmarks for his district.

While Paul might sometimes be willing to compromise principle at times, I suspect that his belief in conspiracy theories, as opposed to libertarianism or even his opposition to the war, more clearly defines who he is and this is a viewpoint which Paul could simply not conceive of attempting to hide. Comments from Paul supporters demonstrate that belief in conspiracy theories is by far the most common attribute of his internet supporters. It would be a mistake to believe that such beliefs are unique to his supporters and are not shared by their candidate. Paul’s belief in conspiracy theories is often seen in his writings. Paul’s recognition that conspiracy theorists, and not libertarians, represent his major base is also seen in the letters he sends to contributors which echo their beliefs. Paul will not answer as Hinton recommends as this opinion differers too greatly from how he thinks.

Hinton writes that “the average fairly well-informed citizen in the U.S.” will include the following as descriptions of Libertarians:

  • Legalize drugs
  • Government is BAD!!!
  • Bring back the gold standard
  • Get rid of the Dept. of Education
  • Conspiracy theories

I’ve often noted that I personally avoid labels as they tend to lump people together who have significant differences of opinion, as well as separating those who might agree in several areas. I’ve also discussed how the label “libertarianism” is used in a number of different manners and how the meaning has changed over the years. It is especially unfortunate that the major legacy of Paul’s campaign will be to connect libertarianism to conspiracy theories, discrediting the viewpoint in the minds of most Americans. While there is a definite pro-freedom trend in this country with an increasing number of people being more socially liberal and fiscally moderate or conservative, libertarianism, with all its baggage, has failed to provide the answer sought by such voters.


  1. 1
    MikeVA says:

    Ron Paul was not simply asked about the CFR, he was asked about a conspiracy concerning the CFR and the North American Union. Paul’s is publicly campaigning against a move towards a NAU. The reason he answered the question in the way he did was to actually address the issue which was being discussed.

    There are lobbyists, businessmen, political thinkers, who do believe in eroding national sovereignty. It is well documented. What is unfortunate is that critics like you will resort to calling myself and others “conspiracy theorists” rather than doing your own research on the subject.

  2. 2
    jmklein says:


    and if you think thats a hack


    Feel like a tool now?:P

  3. 3
    Eric Dondero says:

    You know Ron, you’ve pegged it. You’re 100% correct. Ron Paul is more aptly described as a “Conspiratorialist” than a libertarian.

    Yes, he leans libertarian on many domestic issues. But his guiding light in his personal philosophy is conspiratorialism.

    Incidentally, as his Travel Aide for 12 years, I can also confirm that he has a keen interest in the whole Kennedy assasination thing. I can remember him discussing it with me on many occasions, while I just rolled my eyes thinking to myself, “enough already.”

    Interestingly, when I brought up the subject of the Oklahoma City bombing, and Islamic Terrorists connections to Tim McVeigh, he didn’t want to hear any of it.

    So, even though he’s a conspiratorialist, he’s a selective conspiratorialist, only believing those conspiracies which fit his Isolationist/Military/Bush bad template.

  4. 5
    Adrian says:

    Are you still going to believe that it is conspiracy theory when a new flag is hoisted over our old glory? Of course they label it conspiracy theory, because if everyone knew about the plans that are moving forward to create a North American Union, we the people would be able to stop it! Canadians know more about it than Americans. Texas knows about it. Why did Oklahoma pass a state resolution to withdraw itself from anything of the like? Why is it that an average American can talk about it and be labeled a conspiracy theorist but Vicinte Fox can go on Larry King Live and the Daily Show and talk about it and he gets applauded as a well respected leader. Shouldn’t Mr. Fox be labeled a quack and a lunatic?

    About the CFR, Ron Paul is the only candidate that I know of who is not a member. All of the so-called front runners are also CFR members. Who we think we are electing as leaders have actually been prepicked for us by the CFR. So it really doesn’t matter who you vote for as long as they are in the click, it is their will and their agenda that will be carried out and not that of the people. I for one am not stupid enough to vote for someone that was prepicked for me, but what about you?

  5. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Above are just a few of the examples of comments submitted almost every day from Paul supporters. They show excellent examples of how extremists can take something with a tiny grain of truth and develop it into totally irrational and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

    Among sources of more rational information:

    The Nation
    Seattle Times

  6. 7
    Eric Dondero says:

    Adrian, question for ya.

    Let me bring you back to 1995. Remember when you turned on CNN and saw the pictures of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City blown up? Remember the initial reports of an Arab-looking man running from the scene?

    Who do you think was behind the Oklahoma City bombing?

    Do you think Nichols and McVeigh acted alone?

    And if so, how can you explain the fact that Terry Nichols visited the Southern Phillipines, a known stronghold of Radical Muslims, 5 times the year before the bombing?

    How do you explain the fact that fully 22 eyewitnesses reported McVeigh running from the building in downtown OKC minutes after the bombing, accompanyed by an “Olive-skinned Arab man”?

    The eyewitnesses included a sitting Oklahoma City Councilman and his two staffers.

    Why the selective conspiracy theories from Ron Paulists like you? Why do you all always avoid any discussions of Middle-Eastern connections to OKC?

    Doesn’t quite fit your template – justification for going into Iraq to avenge OKC – now does it?

  7. 8
    Ron Chusid says:


    Its more a matter of not quite fitting my template for reality. I don’t even hear many supporters of the war who buy many of the disputed claims making this one. If there was anything to this we’d be hearing Bush, Cheney, and many neocons making such a justification, especially with their other justifications collapsing.

    This looks like exactly the same type of use of trivial facts, or alleged facts, to create an entire conspiracy as we see from Paul’s supporters.

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