Ron and Rand Paul both have a tremendous number of supporters who agree with them on one or a small number of issues but typically have little knowledge of the full spectrum of their beliefs. This commonly stems from their views on foreign policy or drugs. Their opposition to the drug war as well as the Iraq War did make them stand out, but their extreme states’ rights view should not be confused with libertarianism. Their supporters range from libertarians to neo-Nazi groups, and in many ways it is the neo-Nazis who understand their views the best. Their opposition to government action is generally restricted to the federal government. This, along with opposition to the checks and balances in our system, sets up a situation which would make tyranny on a state or local level far easier to achieve.
Ron Paul has always been a creature of the extreme end of the old right, supporting their views ranging from isolationism to racism. Some libertarians still accept Paul’s denials of involvement in his own racist publications, while many other libertarians did distance themselves from Paul when his denials were debunked. Whether Rand Paul can avoid being tainted by his father’s racism might have a major influence on the trajectory of his political career. The Washington Free-Beacon raises questions as to whether Rand Paul has a similar background to his father’s:
A close aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) who co-wrote the senator’s 2011 book spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist, raising questions about whether Paul will be able to transcend the same fringe-figure associations that dogged his father’s political career.
Paul hired Jack Hunter, 39, to help write his book The Tea Party Goes to Washington during his 2010 Senate run. Hunter joined Paul’s office as his social media director in August 2012.
From 1999 to 2012, Hunter was a South Carolina radio shock jock known as the “Southern Avenger.” He has weighed in on issues such as racial pride and Hispanic immigration, and stated his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
During public appearances, Hunter often wore a mask on which was printed a Confederate flag.
Prior to his radio career, while in his 20s, Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”
“The League of the South is an implicitly racist group in that the idealized version of the South that they promote is one which, to use their ideology, is dominated by ‘Anglo-Celtic’ culture, which is their code word for ‘white’,” said Mark Pitcavage, the director of investigative research at the ADL. The ADL said it does not necessarily classify it as a hate group.
There is far more about Hunter in the linked article. Rand Paul’s office released a statement saying “Sen. Paul holds his staff to a standard that includes treating every individual with equal protection and respect, without exception.”
I doubt that the views of a single staffer will seriously taint Rand Paul, but being the son of a prominent racist politician does place his career at risk, at least on a national level, if further reasons to question Rand Paul regarding racism should be uncovered.
Update: It appears this isn’t the first time a staffer has been tied to racist views:
And the worst part for Paul-land is that it’s hardly the first time something like this has come up. In late 2009, Rand Paul’s campaign spokesperson was forced to resign after Kentucky blogger Joe Sonka discovered the MySpace page for Chris Hightower’s heavy metal band, which was a fan of KKK gear and wishing people a “HAPPY N***ER DAY!!!” on Martin Luther King Day (that post was accompanied by a photo of a lynching). There was also, of course, Paul’s momentary opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.