Ron Paul: the Polypundit Populist

[Editor update: When I wrote this I used the word “Polypundit” in the sense that there are multiple conspiracy pundits supporting Ron Paul. I was unaware that there is a blog out there called Polipundit – that blog is not related to this article, and I am not implying that they are Ron Paul supporters.] 

Ron Paul is running a campaign of “the way things ought to be” — with little reference to political reality. Vague policy papers and appeals to yesteryear, conspiracy theory, tradition, culture, and nostalgia attract a many-faceted crowd of followers, each of whom sees Ron as the saviour for their single issue.

He throws the right code words into most speeches to gather that fringe — military industrial complex, big corporations, corporatism, constitutionalism, trade-protectionism, gold standard, big government, anti-war, blowback etc. etc. It all sounds fine on the surface, but he’s trolling at the wrong depth by the manner and order in which he presents the ideas and the words he chooses.

These single-issue fringe groups each see what they want to with this posturing, but when you place all of them into the mosh-pit arena of political reality they collide and crush each other. His populist campaign has acquired a rich field of kook-pundits and their flocks to pimp for him however, and it’s time to question how this populist movement of marginalized splinter groups would work.

Some of that is evident in how his grassroots campaign is careening out of his control. At the same time Ron Paul was disavowing white nationalism Don Black and other members of Stormfront were registered in Ron Paul forums and posting there.

Don had six posts, five of which got removed because they were of the “we aren’t racists, we are racialists and not so bad” variety of persuasion. The one Don Black post left up at the forums is the one that discredits Bill White who “outed” Ron Paul’s alleged meetings with white nationalist groups. Bill White is a “fringe of the fringe” character, actually in the American Nazi party, and someone whose veracity has been questioned.

[editor: I’m not linking to Stormfront, they are easy enough to find, their forums are public and you can find a lot support for Ron Paul there in fresh posts daily. The large white nationalist sites have also run campaign ads for Ron Paul since October or prior until just recently. I found these side and header ads prominently displayed while researching European White Nationlist groups tied to Stormfront.]

Regardless, Don Black and other Stormfront people are involved. At the Stormfront site you can also find the old instructions from August on how to get to the Ames straw poll and how to register. Even with the multi-state “storming of the Ames Straw Poll,” Ron Paul still finished a disappointing fifth, with Romney and Huckabee the leaders.

Does this make Ron Paul personally a racist? No, I don’t think so. Does it make him a politician willing to pander to that fringe for support? Yes, as evidenced by his speaking engagements at the Robert Taft club and refusal to return their donations. Note the plural there, it’s not just Don Black’s $500.00 I am talking about, it’s also the money raised from the banner ads for Ron Paul at Stormfront and VNN.

 He also has clear associations with 9/11 truthers, as well as support from them, and his “blowback theory” caters to that crowd. This even though the original 9/11 truther, Hamid Gul, is a foreign politico allied with the MMA, Bin Laden, and theTaliban. Hamid came out three days after 9/11 and laid the whole plot out to cover for the Pakistan ISI and Bin Laden. Here’s the interview. [Sorry to link to the fever swamp at Fisk’s site, but this is the verbatim UPI interview that begat the “Troofers.”]

How much of the money-bomb’s content came from these groups? Probably something we will never know since it would take a couple months of combing the reports that come out in January for the details — and by time that research was done Ron Paul probably won’t be in the running anymore.

One of Ron Paul’s supporters is Alex Jones, pimp for every whack-job conspiracy theory out there, from the Bilderbergers, to the Illuminati, to 9/11 Truthers. Leftover survivalists from the 80’s pant after his every word on his radio show, and the gold currency standard theorists are there as well.

Everything that happens is controlled by some super-secret group in Alex’s miscreant brain. He calls himself the “grandfather of the 9/11 truth movement”, however as you can see above we know where the theory originated.  [Editor: I won’t link to Alex Jones sites any sooner than Stormfront; both are houses of fear and hate where the stench of madness flies up the flue.]

So at some point you have to ask what unites Ron Paul supporters besides gullibility? If he somehow made it into the top tier of candidates, how would the Prison Planet folks get along with the VNN folks? What about the Tea-cup racialists at Storm front and the Troofers?

His campaign carried much further will self-destruct, but from that destructive self implosion will come tanker farms of bile and political ill-will. The debate will be poisoned by his disillusioned followers, so please be prepared to wade through a lot of bile, piss, and vinegar before we get to the main campaign. With net anonymity the mob of commentors that follow these conspiracy theories  are more vocal, and like a mob they will attack anything or anyone that differs with them.

Just remember to step back and look at the bigger picture when that comes — the President is somewhat powerless to change 90% of what Ron Paul says he is campaigning for. It’s Congress that makes the law, the executive branch just follows them, and congress holds the power to change the things he says he is worried about. If he’s so darned fired up about changing things, then why is he wanting to leave Congress? Maybe it’s like his earmarks, he voted for them before he voted against them.

UPDATE: There’s a must-see video at Politcal Party poop.com

34 Replies to “Ron Paul: the Polypundit Populist”

  1. I will go tomorrow and get a better picture of the infamous Swastika flag house in Dearborn Heights that has now become a Ron Paul for Prez house. We need a throbbing memo sort of graphic to go from one to the other so that people can see what sort of loons Luap Nor attracts. Oh, its rampant.

  2. You seem to be guessing what Ron Paul is really standing for, and to my esteem that is pretty obvious. He is a straightforward libertarian.

    That means believing in private property (and thus abolishing the IRS, abolishing the “inflation tax” aka the Federal Reserve System, for a private money system), in human rights (so: no more PATRIOT acts and SOX – regulations), in peace (so no more aggressive wars – what a barbarian!).

    If racists, loonies, lefties, neocons or whatever are converting to him, we should be happy about that, but it doesn’t mean he’s converting to their ideas.

    Ron Paul doesn’t care about the presidency. He just want a position to spread his ideas. Maybe he’s not open about that.

    Best,

    Pieter

  3. I credit you for writing a long post of your own rather than simply posting long quote segments and writing a few sentences of commentary as many bloggers do. You do draw together two things rarely mentioned together in the same place – truthers and stormfront – and that originality is meritorious. Nevertheless the conclusion you draw is specious. Although seemingly attractive your reasoning assumes that Stormfront and truthers represent the majority of Ron Paul support. As neither a member of Stormfront nor a 9/11 truther, I am not of that demographic. I support Ron Paul nevertheless. As someone formerly involved in the local Ron Paul meetups, neither are other Seattle-area Ron Paul supporters of that demographic.

    I encountered only one vocal truther while I was working with the meetups. I encountered no racists while I was working with the meetups. Note that I didn’t say “I encountered no vocal racists” – I’m certain that there were truthers present but not speaking up. On the matter of racism however there was not the slightest sign of it. We were a rather PC group. Nor was it in the very deliberate ways that politicians, universities, and some organizations try to be PC. It was just general kindness. There was only one really obnoxious person who tried to join our group. He eventually got kicked out for sending hate mail at other members. (The justification for kicking him out was that we couldn’t tell if he was a real supporter of Ron Paul or just someone trying to disrupt the group.) Even he was only an idiot and not a racist though. He didn’t even use racist slurs! Given their prevalence in our culture that’s surprising.

    Ron Paul’s true core support are the people who realize that it isn’t charity and righteousness anymore when you’re spending other people’s money. Ron Paul’s chief controversy isn’t the manufactured problems regarding racism and fascism, but it’s the Iraq war. Racism has no relation to the campaign as it is actually run nor to the philosophies of its supporters. The Iraq war on the other hand is justified as security. Security is seen by most libertarians as a valid function of government. (This is why there are many libertarians who support the Iraq war.) Many people who support Ron Paul don’t say that terrorism is no danger. Rather they, like me, say that terrorism is an irrational thing to fear, and point out that the government’s excesses in supposedly combatting it are arguably more dangerous to individuals. Moreover it is pointed out that the government’s excesses in trying to combat terrorism are certainly more dangerous to individualism!

    Indeed, individualism is a major component or perhaps even the major component of Ron Paul’s support. Ron Paul is leading because people consider the government to be too overbearing and fascistic.

    So why then are fascists supporting the man least likely to implement their policies? To answer this we must answer the question of who benefits in a fascistic system. The answer is not “the common man”. Nor is it even “the wealthy” as proposed by some socialists. (A wealthy but independent minded person under a fascist system would have her property siezed!) The answer to who benefits under a fascistic system is “the political elite”.

    Ron Paul is less likely to implement fascist policies than many of the other candidates. However, he has made a stand against the current political elite and their ‘fortress Washington’ pro-federal policies. From the perspective of an advocate of fascist systems – or any statist system, at that – changing the elite means new elite.

    The conclusion from all of this, disturbing as it may seem, is that Stormfront likes Ron Paul for a relatively innocent reason, and one shared by a lot of others. He’ll bring new blood to politics! Stormfront may be a more threatening organization than many but there’s no rule that everything they do must be malign. They have the potential to gain a lot from a shakeup of our country’s overpowered political elite – and that merits a close eye for certain. At the same time it’s unlikely that they’d gain anything, mainly because a close eye IS being put on them. Stormfront is no more a greater threat to liberty than the current government, than terrorism is a greater threat to human life than heart disease.

  4. I have to disagree fiercely with your first two paragraphs. Ron Paul is not simply throwing out ” code words “, and I think it is really dishonest to try and portray his ideas as shallow but targetted to draw the fringe crowd.

    Each of those “code words” has a tremendous amount of substance and weight behind it and worthy of a lengthy discussion. The kind of discussion that mainstream media won’t allow in its short 30 second soundbytes.

    Ron Paul can handle himself well and elaborate in depth when given the time. Just go find some of his lengthy youtube speeches on a range of topics, from the debasement of the currency, to the problems with social security, problems with the war on drugs, war on terror, amnesty and open borders etc etc.

    However, I have been a passionate supporter for a long time, and I am deeply shocked to see the kind of people who are drawn into supporting Ron Paul. I have little concern that Ron Paul is being swayed or is even pandering to their fringe beliefs, but really, how can the extreme right support a candidate who wants to end the war on drugs and strongly support the separation of church doctrine and the state… and how can the extreme left support someone who is a strong advocate of gun rights, removing the welfare state, cutting taxes and allowing the states to decide on abortion.

  5. if that creep wins. America is finished, and wretched EU will take its place. Please don’t let that happen

  6. Thirty years ago I asked the LaRouche supporters at the airport, “What’s your theory on who assassinated Kennedy?”
    “We don’t have a theory. We know.”
    I think Ron Paul’s supotrt is similar. He has no doubts, no nuance. All that is wrong with Amerrica can be fixed if we just follow the Constitution. The abortion debate disappears when the states are allowed to decide it. All our economic problems are solved when we return to the gold standatrd. Ron Paul KNOWS.
    He’s a total loon, of course.

  7. Bravo!

    Luap Nor has concerned me not for the strength of his conviction or belief (or which history shows he has, arguably, neither), but for the people I know who support him.

    Not that they are bad people, they are good people who ought to know better.

    In pursuits of such public office we can tell somewhat of the character of a mans’ message by those he attracts, and as Luap has attracted the very worst sort of people, his message is, by associated suspect.

    His further refusal to recuse himself of the support, monetary and physical, of these people is a further unimpeachable blight on his already sullied name.

    Luap is not a man fit to be President of the United States of America.

  8. Thanos: the Paulestinians are onto you, my friend!

    To those who are drinking L. Ron Paul’s Kool-Aid about creating the perfect minimum government society, remember the wise words of Voltaire:

    “Le meilleur est l’ennemi du bien” (idiomatically: “Perfection is the enemy of goodness.”)

  9. Thanks all for the commentary, it’s appreciated. To a couple of points above, I have read Ron Paul’s positon papers, and find too much contradiction in them. I’ve also read most of the other candidates as well, especially those who have taken the time to publish them in Foreign Affairs.

    I did not mention all of Ron Paul’s followers, but many of them are simplex in political thought – they think Ron Paul is the silver bullet for their issue. This however is a presidential election and if you are going to vote you need to at least think multiplexually about the candidate you choose.

    I find too many contradictions between Ron Paul policies and actions (as witnessed by the RP earmarks) and too many contradictions between what he says on different issues. (How can you be libertarian for instance and still say you want trade protectionism and locked borders?)

    The other thing that concerns me is that he’s running for an executive position, not legislative, but he campaigns on issues it takes congress to change.

    The world a present is rife with tyranny and those tyrants would love it were Paul to win and actually implement Isolationist policies. Like it or not, the time to fight “globalism” was in the fifties, not now. Now we are too interdependent with the world economy and large-scale foreign trade. That must be protected, and I’m not just talking about oil and the strait of Hormuz when I say that.

    Russia is rising again and exhibiting all signs of re-implementing aggressive policies as well.

    Think back to the last time we had an Isolationist in the oval office, Jimmy Carter. As outcome the Jihad we face today restarted in Iran. (See my essay in the sidebar, Ancient Enemies.) We lost control of a strategic asset, the Panama Canal (the Chinese now run part of it.) Three countries fell to blackest communist tyranny each year he was in office. At home the US faced the worst Economy – rampant stagflation and gaslines.

    Do you really think it wise to revert to that? Isolationism does not work, America must protect our economic interests as well as those of the free world. We can’t do that with talk.

  10. It will be infinitely valuable to have a President interested in reducing the power of the federal government. There has not been such a creature, I think, in over a century.

    All ten ingredients for fascism have gathered here in America, and all it is going to take is one more crisis, and freedom will be gone from this great experiment forever. We are charging off a cliff in a runaway truck, and Ron Paul is our last, best hope at hitting the brakes.

  11. Ben

    The way Alex Jones sells his “theories” is by telling folks that there is still time. We are only weeks away from the Apocolypse, unless we out the ___________ (choose your favorite scapegoat).

    He has been on the radio for years telling people ther is still time. Nothing ever happens, he just moves onto the next theory.

    You, Ben are the same. The country will be destroyed if Ron Paul doesn’t get elected.

    Truthfully, all the Jews in the world couldn’t pot enough to end the American Experiment. The Experiment is a run-away train success because it allows kooks like Ron Paul and his cohorts to make a good life for themselves, even if they are less than desirous people.

    Isolationism is the path trouble.

    Please stop with your finitism.

  12. “Ten ingredients for Fascism” tells me you are one of the kooks Ben. Which apocalyptic pundit do you follow? It’s not the Goracle, but the “sky is falling” technique of these populists is needed to justify dire means. Dire means are not needed, at this time or anytime in the near future. The US is doing great if you pay attention.

  13. So, what’s up with Polypundit’s support for Paul?

    I know it’s wacky over there with the pro-wrestling emphasis but can you expound on their support for Paul a bit more?

  14. .
    re: “…single-issue fringe groups…”
    .
    don’t criticize the pro-undeclared war crowd, please…
    .

  15. Thanos, I’m definitely NOT a Paul supporter. Not sure how you got that idea.

    Just wondering why Polypundit is supporting him.

  16. re: “…his “blowback theory” caters…”
    ============
    9/11 Commission Report, pg.120:

    “Deputy National Security Advisor James Steinberg added… that attacks in Afganistan offered… blowback…”

    the cia bin laden unit and ol’ nsa steinberg musta be a self-critical bunch of truthers too…

    truth, honesty, integrity… jus fahgettaboutit

  17. Robert Taft has invited Filip Dewinter to speak, and they are paleocons aligned with Pat Buchanan and co. Read Pat’s latest book to understand what the “teacup racialists” Bill White referenced yesterday at VNN are about. From Bill White at VNN:

    “Is all this stuff serious?

    You’ve got to be out of your mind.

    I make a few, moderate, true statements about the easily established fact that Ron Paul meets with white nationalists from the soft-racist set and that he has a specific aide, Norman K Singleton, who acts as liason with tea-cups racialist groups.

    The response has been this insane, vicious attack on me, with every lie, smear, and bit of bullshit that the tea cups can come up with.

    I’m not altering my story one bit — what I published is true, the defenses being made are insane, and consist of very little but repetitions of every crazy thing fringe lunatics have published about me for the past ten years — this time, insisted on by bigger figures in the fringe lunatic movement.

    What is it white nationalists think is wrong with the fact that Ron Paul briefly dealt with me back in 2002?”

  18. Linda, apologies, there’s someone actually called Polypundit? I did not know that, and did not mean to imply that a blog is supporting them. I was using the word in the sense that he has muliple pocket and fringe pundits pimping for him. I’ll add a correction to clarify.

  19. Ah…I see. Yes, it’s a blog but rather unimportant in the overall scheme of things.

    As for the attacks on you everyone who dares to speak out against Paul gets attacked. It’s really no surprise considering where his support comes from.

  20. Linda, thanks for checking back, as the saying goes: “If you must make enemies do so through choice, not accident”. So again apologies for not understanding your comment, it’s been a busy morn with the Bhutto assassination.

  21. Thanks for linking the NYT correction, but it doesn’t explain the RP ads that ran on white nationalist sites for months, nor does it explain the continued support for them now. Go there, read the forums, you can take a shower afterwards. It might be educational as to who the Paulists are allying with.

  22. As far as I can tell, Thanos, the Robert A. Taft Club is a bunch of little (r), big (L) college kids. I’m not sure why your painting them as racists but it’s the kind of “evidence” likened to that used by the truthers. I watched the lecture Paul gave at the R. Taft Club (available on YouTube) waiting for the slightest hint of racist jargon with nothing to show for it. Thanks for the wild goose chase.

    Here’s my problem with your supposition:

    In 1989 David Duke successfully ran to the HOR in LA as a Republican and probably received supporting funds from the State and National GOP.

    Strom Thurmond, a Republican Senator from 1964-2003, successfully ran for Governor of SC in 1946 as a segregationalist and ran for POTUS in 1948 on the same racial segregation platform. He said, “I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there’s not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.”

    Both of these guys ran for President as some point in their careers.

    Just these two examples alone (at least in my eyes) make Don Black and Stormfront (both of whom I’ve never heard of until they hitched their wagon to Paul’s campaign) look rather insignificant, in the grand scheme of racists worth worrying about.

    If you don’t like Paul’s message, that’s fair enough, but I think it is a very broad leap to paint the man as a racist when his public actions suggest something very different.

    The bigger picture that I think you are missing is that Paul represents (to most people I think) a rejection of the status quo in the Republican ranks. In the last seven years the Republican party has come to look and behave just like the Democrats we worked so hard to defeat. I think it’s ok to partisan to an extent but if you can’t admit that the Republican party leadership today is barely a shadow of what our party is supposed to represent then it’s you who needs to step back and take a look.

    Paul may not be the perfect candidate but he adds valuable input to the intra-party discussion. And even if his presence does nothing more than push the so called top tier candidates back to fiscal conservatism and reducing the size of the Federal government, his campaign was a success.

  23. Please take a moment and re-read my article for comprehension. I distinctly said I did not think that RP is a racist.

    It’s not one white nationalist site, it’s multiple. Don Black is just the example. You can also find Bill White writing about him at VNN, you can find support for him at the VDARE site, and others.

    The fact that other ex-republicans like David Duke have been racists doesn’t tell us much about present times does it (he got kicked out for a reason n’est ce pas?) That’s distraction from the point, and somewhat irrelevant.

    Robert Taft has hosted Vlaams Belang as well

    http://www.noblesseoblige.org/wordpress/?s=vlaams+belang

    The Republicans got the small government message in the 2006 elections, Ron Paul is behind the times.

    Beyond all that the president has little control over fiscal policy – that power resides in Congress. If he’s a “small government” libertarian as he professes, he should stay there.

    He’s got the endorsement of our enemies, and that’s a clear sign that he’s the wrong choice for president.

  24. ha, Jefferson lobbied for War with the Islamic Terrorist of his day for over 15 years before taking us to war(without getting a congressional “declaration of war”) against them and their city-state sponsors. He was also very clear in why we needed to go to war and their motivations.

    Jefferson was not a ‘blame America” for all problems FOOL like Ron Paul is, which is ironic since Jefferson is the founder a guy like Paul basically worships as a God. Jefferson wasn’t out blaming the Foreign Policy of Washington and Adams for “why’ the barbary pirates attack us. He clearly stated it was because of their religion and was commanded to them by their prophet, Mohammed.

    someone should ask that loon about this on national TV once

  25. .
    doc paul voted to authorize mr. bush to pursue and capture bin ladin and his followers into afganistan for the 9/11 attacks… without declaration of war.

    jefferson received authorization from congress to protect the commerce and seamen of the u.s. against the attacking pirates of tripoli… without declaration of war.

    fdr received authorization to counterattack the state of japan after pearl harbor… with a declaration of war

    exactly what american persons, property, or commerce was the state of iraq attacking?
    .

  26. number2, obviously you are trying to change the subject. Nice try. RP is supported by a lot of crackpots. Stick to the subject & refute that if you can.

  27. no, i believe, in spite of your childish insults, that i effectively replied to the post just previous to mine.

    on the other hand, it is interesting that you perform hit and run attacks by posting your own wish list of scandals, epithets, and insults, even when clearly shown to be wrong. the edits, revisions, and commentaries, without benefit of the original text or even strikeouts for others to see, and without acknowledging your factual errors, doesn’t speak highly of your regard for honesty or desire for truth.

    stating that you are making an “easily established fact” and then deleting the posted text, just does not make for a good debate. if people (including myself) won’t change opinion in the face of real words and deeds (true facts), there just doesn’t seem to be much reason to continue debating a dead issue.

    in closing, i’ll give you the “crackpot” quip, i’m simply unable to refute your masterful point. so now i’ll quietly leave you to your scholarly work… cheers

  28. There haven’t been any edits in the post you are referencing. There haven’t been any edits in the comments in this article. When I get things wrong I correct them, that’s the point of striking things out and leaving original text in, so people can see the update & the mistake. It’s called honesty.

    But just for you I have now edited the article, there’s a video link above that you must see. Good luck with your candidate who won’t make it to elections.

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