Ron Paul’s Fair Weather Friends

Much has already been made of the interest shown in the Ron Paul campaign by groups on the reactionary right, from 9/11 ‘truthers’ to white supremacists. Less widely reported but of growing concern to those watching the Paul campaign and wondering if it is going wildly astray is the involvement of far-left groups who are flocking to Paul’s banner for reasons which may be genuine or may mask an effort to undermine the entire Republican primary. I like Ron Paul and what he stands for on a great many issues and especially his devotion to the Constitution, but I can’t help but worry about the unsavory character his campaign is beginning to develop.

Stories are circulating on GOP email lists of interested Republicans attending Ron Paul meetups around the country and being confronted by openly hostile leftist/progressive/socialists who seem to be supporting Paul, but have no love for regular Republicans who also support the candidate. There are accounts that confrontations have become heated at some of these meetups, particularly the one held in Las Vegas earlier this month. Suspicion particularly focuses on attendees who are believed to be MoveOn.org operatives and why they are so interested in Ron Paul. Is their interest genuine, or is it only part of a campaign to disrupt the Republican primary?

The involvement of MoveOn.org in the Paul campaign can be confirmed on their page at Meetup.com where they are shown as co-sponsoring a number of the regional Ron Paul meetups and they have also released a video ad in support of Paul. Paul’s campaign has also received positive public response from a variety of prominent leftists, including Cindy Sheehan. One socialist in the Netherlands of all places, makes a compelling argument for why US socialists should support Ron Paul.

Most Republicans see the objectives of MoveOn.org as inherently antithetical to the basic beliefs of the Republican Party. MoveOn.org is an openly anti-Republican, anti-Conservative and anti-Libertarian organization which is openly funded by a wealthy international socialist whose goal is to undermine and control the Democratic Party, and it is largely run by people with past associations with the Communist Party USA and the Democratic Socialists of America. With its position at the far left of the American Political spectrum and as the main instrument through which George Soros seeks to undermine and control the American political system, it is understandable how Republicans might be concerned about MoveOn.org’s interest in and support of Ron Paul.

The key to Paul’s popularity on the left lies with his opposition to the Iraq War, but also with the suppor the has from a segment of the traditional Libertarian Party constituency, the left-libertarians or social anarchists. This element of the broad alliance which makes up the Libertarian Party, where Paul was once a prominent figure and presidential candidate, is philosophically compatible with the most extreme parts of the socialist leaning wing of the Democratic Party. As typified by Justin Raimondo who has effectively formed an alliance with the anti-war left, they place issues like the war ahead of a broader libertarian philosophy. Many of them take an anarchist position against property ownership and are so hostile to government that they come off as anti-American.. They differ from typical ‘minarchist’ libertarians and neolibertarians in their outspoken hostility to the Republican Party and their unwillingness to compromise their extreme principles in the interest of political reality. Strangely they don’t have the same hostility towards the Democrats, and many of them see socialists as their natural allies. As the Democratic Party becomes more dominated by socialist factions it becomes more appealing to them. Their enthusiastic support for Paul means that there is a nucleus within his following which is already allied with forces within the farthest left part of the Democratic Party, and they have been drawing on that association to bring more leftist/progressives into Paul’s camp.

Paul seems willing to take support from wherever he can get it and doesn’t seem particularly concerned that socialists may try to influence his campaign or distort the nomination process in the Republican primaries. Although he has promised that if he fails to get the nomination he will not jump parties and run as a Libertarian, he doesn’t seem to care that the newly registered pseudo-Republicans he’s creating will leave the party the moment the primary is over, even if one of the more moderate somewhat libertarian candidates wins.

In a recent interview with LibertyWatch Paul makes very clear that he’s aware of his appeal to the left. He commented that, “Right now, liberals are the most enthusiastic about my campaign. If I get a speech on the House floor on foreign policy, I’ll get many hundreds — sometimes thousands — of comments sent to my office. I would say 90 percent of them are from Democrats.”

He doesn’t seem particularly concerned, and even accepts the idea that these supporters are ‘liberals’, even though it’s pretty clear that they don’t believe in most of the same liberal ideas that Paul or other libertarians in the Republican Party support. Paul even acknowledges this. “[L]iberals are very, very frustrated with their own Democrats. Although they know I have shortcomings from their viewpoint — because I’m for free enterprise and free markets — they love my position on civil liberties and they love my position on war.”

He’s clearly willing to take support from wherever he can get it, which is understandable, but it does put his loyalty to the Republican party and true libertarian ideals in question, as much as his unwillingness to speak out against the racists, conspiracy fanatics and other extremists who support him does.

It is Paul’s anti-war position which seems to drive much of the interest of the left in his campaign, which begs the question of whether their support is genuine, or just based on the single issue of the War in Iraq? Do they support Paul and everything he stands for or do they just see his candidacy as a chance to strike a blow against the evil Republican warmongers in their own primary. What will leftist/progressives who are flocking to register Republican so that they can vote for Paul do if he doesn’t get nominated? Would they stick with a candidate like Mike Huckabee or Fred Thompson who share many of Paul’s positions on issues other than the Iraq War, or will they flee back to the Democratic party once Paul loses the nomination and they’ve done as much damage to the primary process as they can? Perhaps the most important question for Republicans is whether Paul could hold onto some of their votes in a national election if he were a Vice Presidential candidate?

Paul seems to have decided that whatever advances his campaign is a good idea, no matter where that support comes from or what strings may be attached to it. Distressing though it may be to admit, it looks like ambition is turning Ron Paul into a real politician.

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About Dave 536 Articles
Dave Nalle has worked as a magazine editor, a freelance writer, a capitol hill staffer, a game designer and taught college history for many years. He now designs fonts for a living and lives with his family in a small town just outside Austin where he is ex-president of the local Lions Club. He is on the board of the Republican Liberty Caucus and Politics Editor of Blogcritics Magazine. You can find his writings about fonts, art and graphic design at The Scriptorium. He also runs a conspiracy debunking site at IdiotWars.com.

14 Comments

  1. The only loyalty that needs to be put in question is a candidates loyalty to the Constitution of the United States. It is after all, what they are sworn to uphold.

    Which is why Paul is right when he states that his campaign unites us all at least to some extent, and obliterates the left/right, liberal/conservative meme that gives a lazy MSM a means of polarizing and sensationalizing everything.

    Fact is the fringe wack that leeches attention from the RP crowd is EXTREMELY minor in the grand view of enormous number of normal, modest, concerned and dismayed Americans that are catching onto this revolution in American politics.

  2. Phil, the problem remains that the extremists and leftist crossovers have become the face of the Paul campaign, and if he wants to keep appealing to a more ‘normal’ audience as you suggest, he needs to address this concern.

    Dave

  3. I agree with Phil. The MSM will look for anything to promote bad press for Paul. Look at that phony Tucker who supports Paul by forging a media stunt with a pimp and prostitute. Clearly this was ment to embarrase or shade Paul with guilt by association. Should we not be more concerned with Hillary getting AIPAC money? Or how about how Rupert Murdoch has been raising money for Hillary. Even FOX news came to her support when she was confronted by code pink. You would think FOX would love to report that Hillary is losing ground with the left. Instead they report that people using free speach should be “tazed or beaten to a pulp”. Fact is the Left/Right paradigm is quickly crumbling. Both sides of the isle have almost single digit approval. Ron Paul is a uniter and he comes at the right time. The globalists are racing to install a facsist dictatorship and only Ron Paul has shown that he will defend our sovereignty. Don’t worry to much about the “crazies” ruining the face of the campaign. Chances are that some of these people are plants or moles or being hired. Tucker showed that this type attack will back fire. And for the rest well… for one I love to put on my tin foil hat and listen to some of your fellow Austinites Alex Jones and the late Bill Hicks. Crazies are people too and if they support Ron, well that is there right, and I support that right.

  4. AnyOne that belives this Replician Elitist crap just proves that
    A you’re not to bright.
    B you’re willing to subvert the constition for party domination.
    I know you won’t publish this but at least you’ll know how i feel about it. You should all, and hopefully one day will be tried for treason.
    Charles Young

  5. Dave,

    Ron Paul, and any politician should happily accept any vote they get. Rascist Whites in the South vote for George W.Bush. That does not mean, nor should it mean, Bush is a rascist himself.

    I am a liberal on most issues. I thin the war and the Constitution are THE issues of this campaign, and everything else is secondary at this point. So I will vote for Ron Paul. So what? In my Congressional district, Cynthia McKinney twice lost Democratic primaries because of Republican crossover votes. I say, ‘thank god’ for those Republican crossover votes, cause that woman was an embarassment.

    If you don’t like the system the way it is, you should advocate that states ban crossovers.

  6. Charles, of course I’ll publish your semi-literate comment. We’re not into censorship here. Your opinion and how you express it say everything we need to know about you.

    The fact that you hope that people will be tried for treason for expressing an opinion makes it hard for me to believe that you’re a Ron Paul supporter.

    You’re part of the problem this article is about.

    Dave

  7. Ron Paul, and any politician should happily accept any vote they get.

    I agree, votes are content neutral.

    It’s the advocacy of racists and extremists I’m concerned about.

    And if they and leftist agitators are driving away potential Paul supporters that’s a genuine problem which needs to be addressed.

    I am a liberal on most issues. I thin the war and the Constitution are THE issues of this campaign, and everything else is secondary at this point. So I will vote for Ron Paul. So what?

    I’ll probably vote for Paul too. I don’t agree on the top issues. I think the economy ranks higher than the War. But I don’t want to see his campaign discredited because of the idiots it has attracted or the impression that it’s a leftist attempt to screw up the primary. And I do want Ron Paul primary voters to stick around and support whoever gets nominated (unless it’s Tancredo).

    In my Congressional district, Cynthia McKinney twice lost Democratic primaries because of Republican crossover votes. I say, ‘thank god’ for those Republican crossover votes, cause that woman was an embarassment.

    Can’t argue with you there. And again, I don’t object to the crossover votes, so much as the potential negative impact. It’s not at all clear that these leftists aren’t trying to STOP paul’s candidacy.

    Dave

  8. Last I checked I wasn’t ‘associated’ with Ron Paul beyond having donated to his congressional campaigns and considering voting for him in the primary.

    Dave

  9. nobody care what you think.

    the revolution is here and your either on board, or we’ll simply walk over you.

    politics as usual is over,anlong with your type of propaganda, the net is all the proof you need

  10. Thank you for proving the point of the new article I’m writing, David. The arrogance you display is exactly why you and your revolutionary brothers are going to cause Ron Paul to lose.

    Dave

  11. I will be the first to admit that not every Ron Paul supporter actually *supports* the cause. They may try to, they may intend to, but attacks and insults aren’t the way to do it at all.

    Ron Paul has a little something that could appeal to everyone, whether you want to reduce government on the right, or end Wilsonian interventionism on the left. We should be focused on developing the smallest federal government that we can all agree wholly on, instead its become a bit of an establishment vs. outsider revolutionary mentality.

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