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What makes a small but loud and determined group of political supporters back Ron Paul, who candidate who has failed in two previous Presidential runs and — according to nearly everyone except his local flock — has lost his third and final bid?
Only about 10-12 percent of the American electorate support or vote in most cases for the always controversial Texas Congressman in three unsuccessful runs for President,
“Ron Paul is the only one who can save America,” declares many of his supporters.
While there is little doubt that America needs salvation, I believe there is considerable doubt over whether or not Ron Paul is up to the task.
Ron Paul is many things: one-time publisher of newsletters that too-often promoted racist themes, creator of get-rich-quick investment schemes that made him rich, a self-declared constitutionalist who claims to be anti-establishment but one who is also ending a Congressional career that spans 22 years as a lackluster member of the very establishment House of Representatives.
Paul preaches isolationism and a return to the gold standard while supporting conspiracy theories – including the widely-discredited belief that the American government was involved in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Visit some of the many Ron Paul forums on the Internet and you will find supporters spouting conspiracy theories by the bucketful. Visit the web sites of anti-Semitic and White Supremacist groups and you will find their Presidential candidate of choice is Ron Paul.
Paul has lost his third bid for President but stays in the race — he says — to amass delegates to influence the convention. His “delegate strategy” is to bend the rules in remaining caucus states and ignore the voters who gave the win to another candidates. Paul’s delegate teams have been characterized by state election officials as “unruly,” “rude” and “attempting to influence caucus attendees with threats and intimidation.” The questionable practices have become so widespread that the Republican National Committee is threatening to bar some of Paul’s delegate teams from the convention in Tampa later this year.
But is this man an enlightened Libertarian or a closet racist and homophobe? Read the sensationalist newsletters once published under his name and you will find statements like:
In articles that ran under his byline, Paul called former Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala a “short lesbian.” He praised former Ku Klux Klan Imperial David Duke as a “great American” and called Duke a “savior for the white race.”
At one time, Paul claimed the writings were his. Her later claimed he didn’t write the racist diatribes and didn’t know they were published under his name but aides who worked for him at the time say he is lying. He has changed his story about the newsletters many times over the years — a typical political tactic which appears to support the allegations that he is lying.
And his claims to not know raises an important question: How can a man who claims he couldn’t manage newsletters published under his name possibly manage or lead a nation?
He can’t, but that fact is lost on his small but loyal band of supporters.
Paul appeals to people of limited intelligence, those who fear other of different color along with homophobes, racists and a disenfranchised minority who are so wrapped up in hating government and America that they will buy into anyone who claims to be otherwise.
But Ron Paul does not stand a chance of winning, While some of his supporters may be genuine in their belief that he has the answers, serious questions remain about his abilities, his sincerity and his true agenda.
Copyright © 2012 Capitol Hill Blue
(Revised and edited on May 5, 2012)