Values Voters and Neo Nazis

I see that I’m in good company in my curiosity about why Ron Paul enjoys so much crank magnetism. And his crank magnetism and appeal to racist groups can’t be denied. Here for instance, is Ron Paul posing with Don Black, culled from the neo-nazi Stormfront website:


Now, I think its unlikely Ron Paul knew who this was when he posed for this shot, but between this and their endorsement of Paul on Stormfront radio, I think it’s pretty well confirmed who their candidate is. Also note, this picture was taken at the “Values Voters Presidential Debate” just as a reminder of who “Values Voters” debates appeal to.

One of my commenters, quoting Digby, made the point that Ron Paul support isn’t so much a political position as a sign of disaffection. Based on the wide political spectrum of cranks that seem to think this anti-government radical is their guy (including the poorly-named Reason magazine as PZ points out) I think Digby’s assessment is the correct one. Cranks recognize one of their own.

I’m not actually concerned about Ron Paul’s candidacy, I believe his appeal is overblown as any real exposure to his beliefs will turn off the 95% who realize such a fervently anti-government radical libertarian would be the worst candidate one could conceivably elect. He scores easy points at these debates mocking the rather pathetic Republican presidential field and appealing to the people’s populist sentiments, but underneath this facade is a crank, and crank candidates rarely poll higher than about 5-10% (and I include Nader in this category – deal with it). So while it’s been fun mocking this also-ran all week, I don’t think we’ll be seeing much more of this guy after Iowa and New Hampshire.


  1. See this video to find out who the real Nazi’s are

    You know what is worse how about Rumsfeld with Saddam! lol
    or how about Bush with Musharif they nkew these dictators! I’m sure Ron Paul does not know these guys personally! just laughable get real!

  2. “crank candidates rarely poll higher than about 5-10%”

    Unless, I suppose, they happen to have a few billion dollars of their own personal fortune to spend. That previous crank from Texas (not the ones that actually got elected) got a lot of support for latching on to one mainstream idea–balancing the budget–and riding it for all it was worth. Most of his other ideas were nuts.

    Rep. Paul has a similar thing going in his talk about recent abuses of the Constitution, something that a lot of people are legitimately concerned about. So at the debates, he sounds like not the craziest guy in the room. The scary thing is, he may not in fact be the craziest guy in the room. I mean, I lived in New York when Giuliani was mayor, and the idea of President Rudy is pretty scary.

    Personally, I think that giving Texas back to Mexico would solve a lot of problems.

  3. FWIW, when you are a public figure, all sorts of nuts want to get a picture of you to legitimize their ideas. Practically speaking, unless you have a rock-solid staff and infrastructure to screen who gets close to you, you can’t avoid these pics.

  4. Which one is Don Black? The guy in the fashionable hat, or the other guy?

    And why is that UF Gator back there? I’ve suspected as much from that crowd.

    That they also support Ron Paul, I mean. 😉

  5. Why is being anti-government bad, especially right now? The last thing the government needs right now is more power. The exact thing the government needs is less power. Ron Paul is the exact president we need right now. He’d veto damned near everything. He would probably not appoint anyone to certain positions and let whole departments rot. This sounds bad to statists and people who thing the government is good for you, but these deluded people don’t realize that we need to shrink our Federal Government. Not to the extent Ron Paul would if he could, but to the extent to which he could pull off in 4 years. And remember Democrats, the last thing on his list of 1000 cuts is SS and Medicare, the first is the military empire.

  6. This sounds bad to statists and people who thing the government is good for you, but these deluded people don’t realize that we need to shrink our Federal Government.

    That’s probably the reason that the Gator Nation is 100% behind Ron Paul. Probably.

  7. Ktesibios

    Another mystifying thing about Paulbots is exactly how they think that their Messiah is going to get his “let’s go back to the Gilded Age” agenda enacted.

    By way of example, Paul has introduced bills to abolish the Federal Reserve (one of the Alcoa Haberdashery Shoppe set’s pet bugaboos) four times (that can find). In every case, these bills have been referred to the appropriate committee and never heard from again, indicating something about the level of support existing in Congress for such a measure.

    Trying to repeal the 14th Amendment, another one of Paul’s assorted einredenishes, would be even more difficult, owing to the fact that the process of amending the Constitution was deliberately designed to be doable, but hard to accomplish.

    Unless we somehow wind up with a Congress stuffed to the gills with woowoos- and the same thing happens to at least 38 state legislatures, the kooks-cranks-quacks-hatefreaks-paranoids’ Paradise is a dead letter.

  8. Libertarians like Deus are very clever in turning the government into some kind of evil other. Why is it that when government fails, the obvious solution is “no government”? Perhaps this is my optimistic 10th grade civics teacher speaking, but the beautiful part about democracy is when it’s working, “government” and “us” should mean more or less the same thing – government is simply the means by which we act collectively. If government fails, it’s because we failed. The “solution” of getting rid of it is short-sighted and juvenile.

  9. Oh, he knew exactly who that was. Take a gander at this:

    Unless, of course, you believe the Paulbots and believe that Ron Paul had nothing to do with writing The Ron Paul Report.

    Kos got it from Nizkor who archived it back when they were documenting and archiving hate speech on the early internet. Neither Ron Paul nor any of his sycophants will release the originals of the newsletter.

    Further, he took a $500 donation from the guy and when caught didn’t return the money–instead he justified it by saying the money was being repurposed for good.

    Besides, just from a logical standpoint, why would you put someone who hates government in charge of one?

  10. “And remember Democrats, the last thing on his list of 1000 cuts is SS and Medicare, the first is the military empire.”

    The question is, why are SS and Medicare on there if Paul is, as Deus implied, a good choice for liberals? There are other candidates who would improve positive programs like those aforementioned- by using money that would have gone to Iraq for these and other beneficial programs. (Kucinich, Richardson, and Gravel come to mind.)

  11. “95% who realize such a fervently anti-government radical libertarian would be the worst candidate one could conceivably elect.”

    Now who is drawing broad, crank-style overgeneralizations? I think a lot of the appeal of Dr. Paul is that 8 years of unchecked executive power makes limited government look comparatively better.

    Nut job candidates generally get .5-5% of the vote (a la Nader). Dr. Paul is polling at the high end of that scale, an order of magnitude higher than the various libertarian candidates of the past 3 elections, despite a similar platform.

    While his platform is supremely impractical, The appeal of someone to balance out the mealy-mouthed corrupt televangalist panderers is obvious. And there’s an argument that if he was elected, congress would keep legislation sensible, while letting him clean up the executive branch. I’m not gonna vote for him, but I did give him a good hard look before coming to that desicion.

  12. Et tu Lab Lemming?

    C’mon. For one, the constant reference to him as “Dr. Paul” is a bit creepy. Second, the guy is clearly freaking insane. Why does one need to look hard at a guy whose goal is essentially the destruction of government?

  13. Deepsix

    Wow. I’m surprised you didn’t get swamped by the mini Ron Paul army. His supporters tend to scan the internets looking for any mention of his name, then flood the comments section. I think they’ve posted on every youtube video. Must be a boring existence waiting for a new youtube video so that you can post how awesome Ron Paul is in the comments. Even if Ron Paul were a legitimate candidate, his supporters would turn me off.
    Paul has very little support, as the polls indicate. However, his few hundred supporters try to force the impression to the contrary; comment on every forum that mentions Ron Paul, show up at any televised political event and wave as many Ron Paul posters as possible.
    I’ll take my crazy with a scoop of sugar, please.

  14. For one, the constant reference to him as “Dr. Paul” is a bit creepy.

    WTF? Isn’t he a Dr.? Is he watering the prestige of the brand down? 🙂

    For years he’s been on whose columns seemed right at home next to Howard Zinn, Noam Chomski, or William Blum as probably the nuttiest/freshest member of congress. A real testament to the oddities of the American voter when someone wanted to dispell the notion that all politicians were cut from the same jello mold, or that American political views were monolithic — Democrats and Republicans.

    I wouldn’t vote for him, but damn, he’s entertaining.

  15. Deepsix


    I think referring to Ron Paul as “Dr” comes across as creepy when you consider the context. Mr Paul is also a politician running for president. It would be like discussing John Edwards condidacy and constantly referring to him as “Attorney Edwards”.
    Secondly, it may be an attempt to give someone legitimacy where they may be otherwise lacking. Chiropractors are notorious for demanding they be referred to as “Dr” and placing “Dr” in front of their names on all correspondence.

  16. I think the Paulbots found Science Blogs, searched, and discovered Paul posts on Pharyngula and Dispatches From the Culture Wars. They then moved on to another site, not having discovered Denialism. Seriously, the Paul post on Dispatches got more than 500 comments, a not insignificant fraction of these from trolls.

    I read somewhere that electing somebody who wants to cut the government as much as many conservatives and libertarians do is like hiring a vegetarian to cook at a steak house- people who oppose something generally shouldn’t be placed in charge of it.

  17. I’m sorry, Dr. Hoofnagle. I didn’t mean to creep you out. And I doubt that Dr. Paul will ever get as much support as, say, Mr. Perot did. But his extremism aside, he represents a philosophy that is held (usually more moderately) by a statistically meaningful number of Republicans.

    If you want him to do poorly, though, I recommend donating money to the McCain campaign.

    -Dr. Lemming

  18. Maybe it’s time to start referring constantly to the Rev. Huckabee.

  19. Brian Miller

    Looks like you were wrong about your last statement.

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