Questions continue to be raised regarding Ron Paul’s relationship to white supremacist organizations. Paul has been unable to avoid allegations of racism due to a combination of racist writings in his newsletter under his byline (which he says were written by someone else) and his refusal to return a contribution from Stormfront founder Don Black. While Stormfront has endorsed Paul, there have been conflicting regarding Paul’s relationship to the group.
Little Green Footballs has posted a photograph of Paul posing with Don Black (above) at the Values Voters Presidential Debate in Fort Lauderdale on September 17, 2007. This is hardly conclusive as we don’t even know if Paul even knew who he was posing with. My suspicion is that if Paul knew who it was he naively would have still have posed with Black, along with any other supporters requesting a photograph, without this proving any further relationship.
Yesterday’s report that Bill White, “Commander” of the American National Socialist Workers Party has stated that Paul has attending meeting with white supremacists remains impossible to either verify or disprove despite all the discussion on line. Receipts have shown that Paul’s office has purchased food at the nearby Tara Thai restaurant, but not on the same days that White claims they have meetings which Paul has attended. While the receipts do not corroborate White’s claims, they do not disprove them either, as some Paul supporters claim. It is possible that Paul met with such groups before his current campaign when there would not be information on file with the FEC. It is also possible that Paul was a guest of these groups and did not pay, or paid out of his own pocket. Ultimately this comes down to whether Bill White’s word as to who attended these meetings can be trusted and it is impossible for Paul to prove a negative that he was never there.
I have yet to see any conclusive evidence suggesting anything more than that Ron Paul is naive in failing to understand the need to disassociate himself from these groups, but the writings in his newsletter and his failure to return the contribution from Don Black will keep these questions alive. Paul’s supporters who regularly spam the blogosphere are also not doing him any favors but Paul certainly cannot be blamed for what his supporters post. As is usually the case, the bulk of responses to my earlier post were totally irrational even though it would not have been difficult to write a sane response in defense of Paul.
There also continued to be a number of racist and anti-Semitic comments from Paul supporters, which is a strange way to defend Paul from these charges. Some remain conspiratorial in their interpretations, believing I’m out to get Paul. The simple fact of the matter is that if I’m going to cover Paul as a major candidate (which I do more because of the significance of his views than his chances in the Republican primaries) this means that both good and bad news will be discussed. The attitude of Paul’s supporters that only favorable posts are tolerable and any bad news must be suppressed shows the non-libertarian attitude of a large percentage of his supporters who lack any respect for freedom of speech or opinions different from theirs. When Paul’s supporter behave more like brown shirt neo-Nazis than libertarians it is no surprise that stories regarding Paul’s alleged ties to neo-Nazis have traction.
The conspiratorial comments included questions as to what corporations paid me to post negatively about Paul, as if any corporations would find him of enough significance to bother. Another couple of kooks claim that this has something to do with Israel even though there is no mention of Israel in the posts. To support their conspiracy theory they have to rely on a post on a pro-Paul blog which makes this argument by outright lying about the content of other posts here. As many of the Paul supporters who submit comments are totally out of touch with reality, have no concept of fact checking, and have little ability to think logically, it doesn’t take anything more than such false claims to fuel their beliefs.
Ron Paul has important things to say within the Republican Party about the party moving in the wrong direction on national security and civil liberties issues. It is unfortunate that questions of Paul’s views on race and white supremacists persists but ultimately it Paul’s own actions, along with the actions of his supporters, which fuel these questions.