The Smearing Of Ron Paul

A reader writes:

As an active, online Ron Paul supporter who likes to seek out debate with his detractors, I can’t tell you how many times I and others like me have encountered the "He’s a closet Nazi/Racist/Fascist" nonsense. I have literally lost track of how many times I’ve sighed at yet another blatant attempt at character assassinationall stemming from the same worn out issue surrounding his newsletter in the 80’s; an issue which has been thoroughly explained/debunked ... and yet this drivel persists.  Obviously, many on the Right and Left feel threatened by him and his burgeoning popularity, and they’re grasping for some potential crack in his armor, something that will stain the entire perception of him and his motivations because,  for a lot of people out there, Ron Paul is almost too good to be true.  Its almost as if people want to believe he’s a closet racist or neo-Nazi ... It would humanize him. The existence of someone like Ron Paul, agree or disagree with him, essentially serves to remind us of how compromised and debased the vast majority of our representatives are ... and that reflects on us, doesn't it?

When people see a man who says he is the champion of freedom unabashedly accepting money from groups who one would not associate with such a message, they think “something smells” and look for a “there” there.  I think this is due to our loss of consciousness of what non-politically correct notions of liberty really amount to, but it remains a detriment to his accessibility and trustworthiness.  Through generations of political whoremongering, we’ve become accustomed to the idea of politicians as panderers and implements-for-hire, and many of us don’t know how to asses a candidacy that doesn’t fit that mold.  We don’t know how to interpret a man who said, standing before an Arab-American political consortium at which he was invited to speak, “Someone asked me if I had prepared a special speech to address this organization, and I said no, it’s the same speech I give everywhere.”  And it was.

To answer the constant slurs directed at Ron Paul, I give an example of why “guilt by association” is a fallacy (which is sadly no longer self-evident).

Ron Paul supports dismantling the Fed (in theory) because he believes fiat currency is bad monetary policy, and inflationary central banking is destructive to the long term sustainability of the middle class and economic prosperity.  White supremacists want to dismantle the Fed because they believe international banking institutions are controlled by a secretive cabal of Zionist Jews who want to control the world, and being anti-Semitic, they think this is a terrible development.  A rational mind can clearly see why Ron Paul would garner the support of white supremacists and neo-Nazis for reasons wholly unrelated to what Ron Paul actually stands for.  It is a simple case of conspiracy-minded “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.  This holds true for virtually any “fringe” group expressing discomforting support for Ron Paul (9/11 Truthers, neo-Confederates etc)  the common ground all of these disparate groups, along with a great many “normal” Americans, share with Ron Paul is “Anti-Establishmentarianism”.  The Establishmentarians don’t know what to make of this abrupt groundswell, and so they predictably lash out with smears designed to keep Ron Paul and his ideas/philosophy at the margins of the national discourse.

Thing is, it’s not working, this is taking on a life of its own, and it’s an incredible political adventure in the making.  Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting with a modern William Wallace against the forces of tyranny.  It’s exhilarating, and addictive.  When Ron Paul is eventually defeated, (or killed, if he gets too close), this thing he tapped into will continue on.  We’re already talking about the future.  People are being inspired on a massive scale.  Young adults I’ve encountered are already floating ideas of running for local or state office as Ron Paul Republicans.  Children of the 80’s are living “Goldwater Redux”.  This should be a positive development for anyone who calls themselves conservative.  Nevertheless, it isn’twe get more hostility from Neocons than from the Left.  When can we all admit these people were never conservatives to begin with, just carpet-baggers from LBJ’s Guns and Butter Brigade?  I really think its time to hang these neo- Jacobins and Christian Theocrats out to dry, and pick up the mantle of the American Experiment.  No one else seems to be using it.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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