Ron & Rand Paul will be the first to tell you how much they revere George Washington, how they’re the Last Politicians In America ™ who are faithfully carrying out his ideas. But there’s one lesson the Father of our Country took to heart growing up that the Pauls somehow missed:
Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad Company.
Sins of the Father
Ron Paul’s associations with the bigoted, lunatic fringe of American politics—including white supremacists, anti-Semites, and 9/11 Truthers—are by now the stuff of legend. On November 14 and November 25 of 2007, Andrew Walden wrote two stunning American Thinker posts detailing many such skeletons in the elder Paul’s closet:
- Ron Paul is a regular guest on the radio show of 9/11 Truther Alex Jones, a strong Paul supporter. Walden writes that “Paul’s committee paid 9-11 conspiracy nut and talk-show host Alex Jones $1300. Jones claims the payment is a partial refund after he over paid August 27 when giving Paul a $2300 contribution. Aaron Dykes of Alex Jones’ company Magnolia Management and Alex Jones’ Infowars website gave Ron Paul $1600” (Paul himself, while being careful not to explicitly call 9/11 an inside job, has signaled his sympathy for the Truther movement).
- Paul has been endorsed and aggressively supported by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, Holocaust denier Hutton Gibson (yep, Mel’s dad), the white supremacist American Nationalist Union, the Communist newspaper People’s Weekly World, scores of authors and commenters on various other racist websites, & the white supremacist Stormfront.org. In particular, Stormfront founder Don Black donated $500 to Paul, and when pressed on whether or not the money would be returned, the Paul campaign was non-committal. Perhaps most disturbingly, Walden cites an October 2007 post by blogger Adam Holland, who highlights “White Will” Williams, a neo-Nazi leader who also served as web coordinator for Paul’s Tennessee campaign.
- Paul has been promoted, and his writings featured, in the American Free Press, a newsletter run by Holocaust denier Willis Carto. Walden writes that Michael Medved, who asked the Paul campaign to confirm or deny whether Paul knew or approved of Carto’s reprinting his work, did not receive a response…but in January 2008, Reason reported that “Cato Institute President Ed Crane told reason he recalls a conversation from some time in the late 1980s in which Paul claimed that his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for The Spotlight” (the former name of American Free Press).
One of the biggest scandals of Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign erupted when The New Republic’s James Kirchick revealed that, for years, Paul had been involved with a series of newsletters that often ventured into bigotry and conspiracy-mongering, including praise for David Duke and speculation that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing may have been “a setup by the Israeli Mossad.” In response, Paul denied having written any of the racist articles and claimed to have “no idea” who did.
But the libertarian-leaning Reason Magazine’s reporting on the controversy has found that, in past campaigns, Paul both admitted to and defended having written some of the articles (concerning “black teenage male[s]” who are known for “how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be” when committing robberies). Reason’s work also reveals that Paul likely knows more about the rest of the newsletters than he lets on, including many reasons to believe their author was crackpot Lew Rockwell (a longtime Paul ally), evidence that Paul profited substantially from the letters (a June ’93 tax document reports “an annual income of $940,000 for Ron Paul & Associates, listing four employees in Texas (Paul’s family and Rockwell) and seven more employees around the country”), and revelations that that the newsletters’ ugly tone and content was probably a deliberate attempt to exploit paranoia and bigotry for political gain.
The sum total of the evidence is wholly consistent with Ron Paul’s infamous history of outlandish conspiracy theories regarding new “Gulf of Tonkin incidents” manufactured by the US government as a pretext to invade Iran, a coup by the CIA, which now “runs everything,” the Trilateral Commission doing…well, something nefarious, the Federal Reserve’s hand in everything from Watergate to CIA assassinations, his claims of a dark “neo-con” takeover of America, and his insistence that even appeasement-minded Barack Obama is a war-monger. It also accounts for the angry, unhinged, and sometimes anti-Semitic nature of his most loyal supporters.
Like Father, Like Son
Rand Paul has admitted that his views are “very, very similar” to his father’s, and that apparent differences between the two Pauls can be attributed to presentation differences for campaign purposes.
And it shows. Rand Paul shares his father’s willingness to frequent Alex Jones’ show, and Stormfront is just as happy to support Rand as they were his dad. On April 23 and April 26, NewsRealBlog’s Jeanette Pryor revealed Paul the Younger’s cozy relationship with Adam Kokesh, a radical anti-war activist who attempted to shout down John McCain’s acceptance speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention, has called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, has called for American servicemen to abandon the armed forces (at a 9/11 Truther rally, no less), and advocates that Americans stop paying federal income taxes.
In December, Rand Paul’s campaign spokesman, Chris Hightower, resigned amidst revelations that he once belonged to a Satanic death-metal band, wrote poetry ranting about “Christian lies,” has jovially written on his MySpace page about black reaction to the “KKK” on one of his hoodies (to quote Hightower: “LOL!”), ranted against Southern Baptists and in defense of polygamist cults, and blamed America for 9/11. The campaign unequivocally distanced itself from most of Hightower’s baggage—except for 9/11.
While most on the Right do not match the slanderous caricature of conservatism the Left has concocted, the Cult of Paul stands as the sole exception. The Pauls seem to hold themselves to no standards of moral decency or good taste in advancing their careers, welcoming and encouraging (sometimes subtly, sometimes not) hatred and paranoia in their own midst, standing up to it only when it becomes a matter of bad publicity—and even then, they can be counted on to go no further than absolutely necessary, for fear of alienating any one part of the coalition of bigots, demagogues, and conspiracy theorists they have assembled.
They are the False Prophets of the American Founding, styling themselves as heirs to the wisdom and heroism of Washington, Jefferson and their colleagues when, in fact, neither their character nor their ideas are worthy of our forefathers. The cause of truly restoring fidelity to our founding principles is too important for serious, conscientious conservatives to indulge these charlatans.