I post this in the spirit of Redstate’s seeking to promote conservative ideals and clean house in the Republican Party.
UPDATE: None other than Brother Erickson noted that Ron Paul gave some of the best answers in tonights (1-26) debate. These answers concerned domestic issues. Newt Gingrich seemed eager to throw praise Paul’s way. So for politically minded and rational folks the Paul campaign offers an opportunity to expand the base.
Dr. Ron Paul for a variety of mostly valid reasons is not popular nor supported by the Redstate community. I myself do not support him. I don’t believe he has any chance of being the GOP nominee. In particular I find his foreign views generally incoherent if not dangerous. In some respects he strikes me as a novelty candidate, a kind of reductio ad absurdum of libertarian, isolationist conservatism.
I also believe that certain of his views could be usefully co-opted to expand the reach of the Republican Party. Certainly we can have a discussion about the Federal Reserve, an immensely powerful institution without elected officials and operating in partial secrecy. Certainly we can have a discussion about the number of US bases abroad. Certainly the so-called War on Drugs has and is having unintended consequences just as Prohibition did. You may disagree with Paul but on these topics at least there is nothing “nutty”.
Dr Paul has some appeal to the under thirty demographic. Are they all or even mostly “nutty” Should the Republican Party just write off Paul and his supporters? Is there nothing to be learned by reasonably examining his appeal. Is there something scary about doing so? Will doing so cause some kind of lasting harm, if any? Of course not. Studying a set of political, policy and campaign points can not of itself cause harm.
And the last I checked Paul has an R after his name. The GOP hasn’t tossed him. This past debate he indicated to my satisfaction at least that he won’t run under another label.
I find some of the attacks leveled against Paul to be fanatical. And fanatical and conservative don’t mix. That’s my opinion. But some of the charges made against Paul and his supporters are false, fictitious and untrue. That is a fact. This kind of thing is in the Leninist tradition. It has no place in the GOP. There is nothing of conservative ideals in it.
Eric Dondero, Paul’s senior aide from 1997 to 2003 who filled other posts for Paul starting in 1987 wrote the following Dec 26, 2011 ( I found this on Right Wing News): “I’ve noticed in some media that my words have been twisted and used for an agenda by both sides.” Writing to “set the record straight” he continues. “Is Ron Paul a “racist” In short, No. I’ve worked for the man 12 years, pretty consistently. I never heard a racist word toward Blacks or Jews come out of his mouth. Not once. (Italics mine) Dondero adds that Paul has hired many Blacks and Hispanics.
Dondero does describe his former boss as “clueless” and “out of touch” concerning African-American and Hispanic culture.
Dondero, himself part Jewish vehemently denies Paul is anti-Semitic, “Absolutely No. As a Jew (half on my mother’s side) I can categorically say that I never heard anything out of his mouth, in hundreds of speeches I listened too (sic) over the years or in my personal presence that could be called “Anti-Semite” No slurs. No derogatory remarks” (Italics mine)
Dondero is equally frank about Paul’s foreign policy views and labels them “Anti-Israel” Paul sides with Palestinians, and further wants an abolition of the Jewish state according to Dondero.
Mr. Dondero’s article devotes considerable words to Paul and Gays. Succinctly, Dondero concludes Paul is somewhat uncomfortable with Gays, but is not a homo-phobe.
Paul is harshly criticized for his foreign policy views which Dondero describes as “sheer lunacy” Dondero writes that Paul was deeply influenced by Joe Becker, the latter a disciple of anarchist Lew Rockwell. Paul under intense staff pressure voted for the military action in Afghanistan following 9-11. Not to do so would have been “political suicide” according to Dondero who along with other staffers was much relieved.
Dondero characterizes the flap over what he calls “silly remarks” in some of Paul’s newsletters as a side show.What he terms the “big scandal” is Paul’s”horrendously outrageous views on foreign policy, Israel and national security for the United States”
So Dondero, rightly in my opinion, provides enough information to raise objections of the most serious kind to the Paul candidacy. But if his criticism is credible then it also seems credible that Paul is not a racist, is not anti-semitic, is not a homo-phobe. I am quite aware that many conservatives might view Paul’s anti-Israel stance as anti-semitic, but Dondero does not. He just strongly disagrees.
Now I see a post headlined: “well, well it looks like the 19 year-old in New Jersey who was firebombing synagogues is a jew-hating paulbot” The “evidence” for this is that the suspect was posting “Paul 2012” on facebook. Now this is odd because the poster’s own facebook page states that he DESPISES (his caps) Islam. Not Islamo-fascism, not Islamic terror groups; but the whole of Islam. This is religious bigotry and neither our party or politics has room for it. The post opines that firebombing synagogues is “typical paulbot behavior and all the more reason why the republican (sic) party need to shun Ron Paul and his loony followers like lepers” Typical paulbot behavior…firebombing synagogues. This is useful political discourse, an ornament for conservatives and Republicans. Yeah right.
The latter post is typical of this self-proclaimed Tea Party media director’s hyperbolic attacks on Paul and his supporters. My favorite is the post which seeks to link Paul and his apparently homicidal acolytes to the murder of three Pittsburgh, PA police officers!
The poster directs readers to his outfit’s web page. One of the videos displayed features Joyce Kaufmann calling for “bullets” if “ballots” don’t work. (Video July 2, 2010) Also prominently featured is “Micheal the Black Man” (Micheal Warns) who preaches that Satan is actually one-third of all the Black women in the US. Real name: “Lilith” Racist? Well I suspect Black women, at least a third of them, would find it so.
I disagree with a lot of what Ron Paul is attempting to sell. Not all of it however. As I wrote above, he raises some legitimate points. He also does it in the clear light of day. You can agree or disagree. You may argue he brings disrepute on our party and philosophy, but despising Islam, calling for violence and fronting for racist religious views definitely harms our cause. The Huffington Post already has picked up on Joyce Kaufmann noting that she advocated hanging illegal immigrants who were arrested.
I am 66. I am proud to be a conservative. I believe the cause of limited constitutional governance deserves all the support I can muster in the public square. No despising, no hating, no hyperbole necessary.