Is Ron Paul Being Sabotaged By His Own Supporters ?

In three days, Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign will face a crucial test at the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll.

Admittedly, the straw poll will not be an accurate measure of candidate support in Iowa since at least two of the top three candidates — Giuliani and McCain — have chosen not to actively contest the Ames Straw Poll, putting the result itself in doubt.

Nonetheless, if Congressman Paul manages to get considerable support on Saturday or even, by some chance, win the straw poll, his campaign will be transformed to an entirely different level.

Over at The Crossed Pond, though, blogger Rojas is raising legitimate concerns over how some of Congressman Paul’s supporters might react if Saturday doesn’t go as they might have hoped:

One thing is certain, though: win or lose, some Paul supporters are probably going to allege vote fraud. That’s just the way the game is played these days

And, as Rojas states in a follow-up post, Congressman Paul has had the unfortunate luck of attracting some less than appealing supporters:

The problem Dr. Paul faces, of course, is that whether or not he’s done anything at all to associate him with dingbats of this sort, their active presence in his movement causes him to become their associate in the public’s eye. We’ve seen that already when the right-wing blogosphere went crazy about Paul’s association with “9/11 truthers”–when all Paul had done was speak with them politely.

I’ll be honest; I haven’t the foggiest idea of how the campaign should deal with this sort of thing. Ron Paul attracts outsiders; he draws people of strong convictions and unconventional views into politics. That’s the core of his appeal. By DEFINITION a huge portion of his support is going to be unappealing to core Republicans–hell, as a libertarian, I myself am probably too “out there” for the majority of the American public. And publicly disavowing the Jim Condits only draws media attention to them.

While I’m not sure I entirely agree with the idea that Congressman Paul’s libertarian ideas wouldn’t appeal to the Republican base, I do agree with the authors idea that the campaign has been hurt in the eyes of mainstream libertarian-oriented Republicans with it’s association with 9/11 truthers, JOhn Birchers, conspiracy nutcases, and their ilk.

Apparently, the Paul campaign recognizes the problem and has issued this statement:

Everyone who is calling the Iowa GOP over these diebold machines is doing a tremendous disservice to the Ron Paul campaign. Stop it. You are destroying relationships and turning the Iowa GOP against Ron Paul.

The campaign is taking every reasonable precaution we can to ensure a fair vote, and we ask that you leave it up to the campaign to speak with the Iowa GOP. They know Ron Paul supporters are not satisfied with the voting process, and any further phone calls only causes more problems for the campaign.

Focus your attention on turning out to vote for Ron Paul in Ames on Saturday as we are trying to do. Stop creating more problems than necessary.

Please spread this message far and wide within the Ron Paul community.


Jeff Frazee

National Youth Coordinator – Ron Paul 2008

And if Ron happens to come in third, or fourth, on Saturday, don’t attribute it to a conspiracy. Just accept it, and figure out what to do next.

That is what politics is all about.

  • NH

    Fact is they are not even using Diebold!

  • trumpetbob15

    I have always felt that the Ron Paul campaign was being hurt by Ron Paul in the debates. I have a number of conservative friends, old College Republican groupmates, and one of the problems with the Ron Paul campaign is the focus on the war. Die-hard Republicans, the ones who vote in the primary, are generally pro-war. Unfortunately, the few times I have run across Paul supporters online, they are either the pack mentality, flooding the comments section, or talking up the pro-war position and ignoring the domestic part of Paul’s ideas, unfortunately like Paul himself does. While the war is a major defining point, regular average voters aren’t attracted by being offended. I guess I see the Paul campaign as ignoring the adage “easier to attract flies with honey.” Paul has some great limited government ideas, but they aren’t coming across because “Ron Paul = Anti-war.” Actually, in the debate on Sunday, I believe it was Tancredo and Huckabee who bith used the best limited government arguments. While Paul didn’t really get the opportunity to speak on that type of issue, he also didn’t actively seek it.

    I don’t know how Iowa will turn out, but I am expecting a poor showing for Ron Paul, which is too bad. It sucks that in most people’s minds, everything is riding on Iowa because I feel a less-than stellar performance might convince the Ron Paul campaign to focus more on domestic issues that would attract average Republican voters rather than the war, which sends them fleeing to other candidates.

  • Mark

    They will try to push up all straw polls on purpose so Ron has no chance to rally the troops. The best thing for his campaign is to be honest, passionate (but not weird), and positive. Don’t parade YOUR message about Ron Paul, parade his.

  • C. Wesley Fowler

    Another hit piece. Call it what you want, but its a hit piece.

    McCain and Ghouliani “don’t participate” thereby consolidating the GOP behind the tool Romney for multiple reasons: to create an artificial marginalization of Paul (instead of dividing the core GOP vote) and giving an artificial push to the Romney campaign while, in the minds of the GOP establishment, Rudy and McCain are unaffected.

    Sorry, I’m not buying it. If Paul makes this remotely close the establishment is fucked. And thank God for that.

  • Kevin

    I am not going to second guess Paul’s choices on talking points. They are valid, hooked me and others and are what has grown the campaign to it’s current levels.

    But we need to understand that not *everything* is about Ron Paul. They didn’t choose the voting machines because of Ron Paul. And if he loses, he loses, we need to accept it gracefully and work to do better in the next one.

    We need to focus on not fighting anyone, especially the GOP hardline which could be our greatest ally. We need to focus on getting his message out to those who want to hear it. Especially the parts that are attractive to the hardcore Republicans because they have a great impact on who the Republican nominee will be.

    We won’t win by fighting them! Reason with them, make friends with them, and even trade with them if you like… :)

  • ron paul supporter who swears

    f#ck off!!!

  • Rob D.

    Ron Paul speaks for Ron Paul. He is a Constitutionalist first & foremost and DOES NOT SPEAK for anyone else. The fact that people from all walks of life support the man, does not mean that he agrees with all of their world views. This should be common sense.

    This whole “guilt by association” argument is a canard. The man believes strongly in the Constitution, and the limits it puts on government largesse, plain & simple. He is principled, humble, down to earth, and smart as a whip @ 71 years old.

    association fallacy

    “An association fallacy is a inductive formal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association. Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and can be based on an appeal to emotion.”

    I’d have more respect from these critics if they actually tried to attack his ideas for once.

  • brody

    Thank god Doug “Eric Dondero” Mataconis, the biggest nutbag on the net, doesn’t support Ron Paul. Otherwise nobody could take us seriously.

  • Scott McDonnell


    Unfortunately the 1 or 2 questions they throw Dr. Paul’s way have been only about the war. Perhaps the good doctor needs to do like the other candidates and just use the time to talk about something else.

    Like Doug says, we can cry about it not being fair, but that’s just plain politics. If Mitt Romney, Guiliani, and FT can survive the trash being dug up on them, Dr. Paul can handle this.

    I agree with the above. There is a fine line between being involved and getting in the way. The Ron Paul campaign is now at a point where he IS getting quite a bit of attention and the negativity and protest can stop. It is time to become positively involved.

    If you fight the GOP, you will lose. In the U.S. The party controls the nomination. You want them to be your friend, not your enemy.

    I can only hope that people can figure out that the attitude they see online is not representative of the brick-and-mortar local GOP.

    Go to your local GOP meetings and become a participant. Volunteer to help them. Leave a positive impression. Talk to them about Ron Paul politely to help them understand the misconceptions. When they see a large infusion of new Republican voters, especially young people, the results will be wonderful.

    Believe me, your local GOP is more worried about winning the general election than Ron Paul getting the nomination. In the end, Dr. Paul is a republican. Him winning is still a win for the GOP. The party is very fractured right now and many are predicting the dems are going to win this one. They would appreciate your help right now more than you can possibly imagine.

  • Michael

    I’m voting for Ron Paul. He is the only candidate with any integrity. The rest of the candidates,excluding Kucinich, are a bunch of lying, corrupt to the core, neocon, warmongering, war party shills that deserve to be brought up on charges of treason!

  • Joe Schembrie

    I don’t think that Ron Paul is being hurt by the ‘Truthers.’ Polls show that a full third of the voting public doesn’t believe in the 9-11 Commission account. Recall that the President’s approval rating is only 25%.

    I also don’t think that anti-war sentiment is hurting Paul. A third of Republican voters are against the war, and numbers are growing. Giuliani, the frontrunner, has less than 30% of the vote, and if the entire anti-war vote were to go to a single candidate, that candidate would be the front-runner.

    So what is hurting the campaign? How about the traditional Republican Party hacks who are trying to subvert and infiltrate the Ron Paul activism movement. These ‘mainstream Republicans’ have led the Republican Party on a death march, squandering the Reagan legacy and losing control of Congress while bankrupting the economy with unprecedented social spending and failing to capture bin Laden. And yet, they still haven’t figured out that they’re not popular and that no one loves them and everyone hates them.

    Geez, all you have to do is look at the polls. The President is at twenty-five percent approval. Two thirds of the public thinks the Iraq War was a mistake. Ron Paul’s views are not moonbat-fringe stuff. They are the opinions of the majority of voters in this country.

    Whatever happens to Ron Paul this election cycle, it is clear that the Republican Party under the neocons is headed for decline and possibly extinction.

  • Jerm

    Most presidential candidates are CFR members whos admitted plan is to eliminate America and implement a North American Union on the way to a New World Order.

    Ron Paul is not a CFR member and any aware American will vote Ron Paul.

    I don’t think whoever write the above article has a clue whats really going on…

  • Arkansas for Paul

    Unfortunately, in the debates, the war is the only thing RP gets asked about or a chance to respond to at great length. I think we’re all clear on this by now: RP is the only Republican candidate against the continued prosecution of the war. I WISH that RP would get thrown some debate questions about the ever-increasing size, scope and power of the federal government. I WISH that he would get the chance, to explain to a broad (and hopefully young) audience, why Social Security is such a rip off, and how the Medicare program is bankrupting the treasury. I was very impressed by the recent “60 Minutes” interview with the comptroller general, who said as much — the fiscal irresponsibility of the legislative and the executive branches must be exposed. It’s not sexy. It’s not a big vote generator to tell people they are losing their government cheese and other entitlements. But it’s the truth. As long as RP and his supporters keep the truth on their side, nothing else matters.

  • Denis

    I think Ron Paul needs at least 10% in the Iowa Straw Poll or it is over. In fact I think anyone under 10% should drop out.

    What are they expecting to happen? To marry rich, win the lottery, or Bush to say this one is my favorite (well maybe this last one is possible although I am not sure it will really help!).

    I think Dr. Paul is clearly the best person running. There are at least 2% of the voters that are libertarian in Iowa. 30% of the Republicans hate the war. And there are a LOT of Democrats upset with their party’s dithering on Iraq. The average total vote count in the Iowa straw poll is 30-40,000 so 10% is only 3-4,000 votes.

    In fact my bet and hope is that Paul will get at least 10,000 votes or 25-33% on a 100+ degree day. I am not sure that 10,000 is enough to beat everyone else but I bet it will at least be 2nd.

    It is time for people to get up off their lazy libertarian or classic conservative behinds and vote for freedom. I can not see this opportunity happening again for another generation. The last time we had a chance like this a billionaire was running as a libertarian/conservative. This time we have a true conservative/libertarian running and the rest of the field is brain dead on an issue almost the entire country disagrees with and that is Iraq.

    Ron Paul couuld do VERY well but Iowans who would vote for him need to get to Ames, Iowa on Saturday.

    People need to call their Republican, Democrat and libertarian friends in Iowa and get them to vote for Dr. Paul. Tell your Deomcratic friends that if Paul wins the Republican nomination, then Hillary could actually win!!! Ask them to vote for Paul. Heck Paul might even force Hillary to declare that she will get out of Iraq quickly. Otherwise she will just futz around like the rest of the Democrats are now, except Gavel and Kucinich!

    One does NOT need to be a Republican to vote in the Iowa Straw Poll. Just $35 and proof of Iowa citizenshipp and be at least 18 in November 2008.

    I wish I could vote in Iowa.

    Go Ron Paul!

  • Chris S

    If you are looking for Libertarian leaning celebrities to help promote Ron Paul during premium prime time, I’d try and get in touch with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park. One frame of one episode with Ron Paul as a character on the show would give Paul a LOT of exposure.

    new primary voters = the win (and I already read up on how my primary works).

  • zenpiper

    Who won the Iowa straw poll in 2004? Or in 2000? Does it matter? If Ron Paul wins, or doesn’t win, it’s almost irrelevant. A lot will happen in the next 15 months before the presidential election. Dr. Paul is doing well, and will continue to do well. I’ll vote for him.

    I am happy that so many fringe people are rallying to the cause. I like the 911 Truth people, I also like NASCAR people, those who play Harmony guitars, those who use blackstrap molasses and those who speak in Tongues. Everybody is welcome to the party. Just be nice.

  • Buckwheat

    Mataconis, I’m not evern giving you the benefit of the doubt anymore. Every piece you write about Paul — and that’s a lot of pieces — has that same concern troll smarminess.

    You’ve got zero credibility as a journalist on Paul as far as I’m concerned; you’ve argued in bad faith one too many times. That might work with the Straussian bitches over at The Weekly Standard, but online we get to call bullshit, and I do. On you, Doug Mataconis.

  • an Old Libertarian

    Two points on this one:

    If Ron Paul is able to build a coalition of voters who historically have disagreed, why wouldn’t that be an advantage? I seem to read a lot of dissatisfaction from mainstream party voters who are tired of being expected to be in lockstep with a mainstream party which does not represent their interests. If the Ron Paul alternative provides a message that even “wackos” can get behind, messages like smaller government, a decreased nanny state, and constitutional fidelity, then what’s the issue? Seems like we’d be criticizing the campaign precisely because of its broad appeal, no?


    After Ron Paul was connected to the John Birch Society, I became curious. The only thing I knew about that society were the dismissive or fearful assaults I’ve heard for decades: “that guy is just to the right of the John Birch Society…ha ha” etc. I decided that third-hand information wasn’t sufficient anymore, so I visited their site and read up a bit. If I’m to believe it, they advocate issues like: individual liberty, the right to bear arms, and parental responsibility. They say they oppose: governmentally controlled trade agreements like NAFTA, and the North American Union, and world government via the United Nations. Christianity also seems to be a sizable part of their foundation.

    I don’t know if there is more to the JBS than that (perhaps some nefarious subtext I’m missing), but if that’s it, then I’ve missed the “crazy” here. Sure, I don’t agree with every issue they espouse. But I agree with more than I oppose. The Christianity part might erode their defense of the establishment clause in the first amendment, but then again it might not. They don’t say.

    Truthfully, I’d appreciate any actual facts which would expose their crazy side. I really would. But how does “having my own opinion” equal “crazy tin foil hat wearer”? How “normal”, how “mainstream”, how lemming-like does one need to be to avoid such a brand? And if you can, should you?

  • infragreen

    Ron Paul supporters:
    Spamming,paranoid truther wacko dingbats?


    Fed up,pissed-at-an-untrustable system,passionate and overzealously loyal?

    Probably both, but as someone who has attended a meet-up group, the majority fall into the latter, myself included.

    I can see Ron POSSIBLY making a huge dent in the primaries. The actual nod will take a miracle.

  • Hugh Thomas

    Ron Paul is a threat to Neo-conservatives and liberals simply because he speaks the truth in an open and judicious manner. The neo-cons want control of your beliefs and money; the liberals want control of your independence and property.

    Ron Paul wants you to be free of control, of government force, and has a detailed, non-contradictory and moral system out-lined to make it happen.

    This is a revolution, and it scares the crap out of the statists. Note that the left mass murdered over 200 million people in 80 years. These were deaths not in war, but murders committed for political reasons. Families disappeared in the middle of the night, bullets went into their heads, or they were starved, imprisoned, burned and clubbed to death. Read the Black Book of Communism, from Harvard University Press, Death by Government, or Mao, the Unknown Story. If the left in America has its way, this is what we will get. If the neo-cons get their way, read some of the many books about Hitler.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate that will fight to restore full personal freedom to all Americans. Clinton, Bush, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, and Mao Tse Tung are the Kooks.

    It is a leftist and fascist tactic to falsely accuse your enemy of possessing your worst trait.

  • Darel99


    What happened to your “other plans” you mentioned you were moving to other things instead of writing about Ron Paul, What happened?

    Without a doubt you know where i stand on the subject I simply want you removed from for your poor view of Ron Paul.

    You simply go out of your way to find any detail you can to present a negative view of Ron Paul.

    I want others to call upon your removal from this post. In fact If you are paid to write I simply want you fired…. Why?

    Becuase you have lied to the readers by stating you were not going to be writing about Ron Paul and you have presented at times false information.

    In addition I own 28 unique domains the home page text link offers a direct link to
    I will instruct my web team to remove all links pointing towards liberty papers when I return to my office on monday. I think my links allow account for 5,000-6000 hits a month for if not then I’m only off by 1000 hits.

    I had plan to keep them in force based on the other good things your site offers but I can no longer support libertypapers with text links which were free to begin with when you
    lie to the readers!

    Expect your sites traffic to decrease over the next 30 days and while I didn’t check your sites page rank I expect your sites page rank will show a lower rank with googles next update.

    If the owner of the wants to write to me about this issue then please do so and if Doug is removed then I will consider no change with my text links. If not consider my actions on monday to take place.

    If I could have an effect on MSM becuse the way the lie about Ron Paul I would but in this case Doug has clearly lied to the readers with basic facts and intentions and since I have the ability to do something to effect change then I shall.

    Folks if you read other posts by Doug and are not just first time visitors then you know what I refer too.


  • Doug Mataconis


    Name one lie.

    Just one.

  • Rhymes With Right

    Unfortunately, I think you pegged it right — because Ron Paul seems to have attracted every loon, nutjob, and conspiracist who hasn’t signed up to support Dennis Kucinich.

    That is not to say that every supporter belongs in one of those categories — they don’t, as I know from my friendship with a family of major players in the Paul campaign — but Ron Paul has enough *ahem* unusual positions that he draws them like crap draws flies. Indeed, so much so that my guess is that Ron Paul not only will not be president on January 20, 2009, but he also will not be a member of Congress.

  • TanGeng

    That is what you have to be afraid of. Ron Paul support groups has a life of its own. It’s decentralized and its will be hard to control. Running a campaign like this is risky.

    On one hand, Ron Paul can a harness the tremendous enthusiasm and creativity of his supporters if their goals are aligned.

    On the other hand, when the goals are not aligned, Ron Paul and his support will have dissonance and his movement can fracture and or be distracted.

    It would appear that Ron Paul supports are a large variety of people. They might vehemently disagree with one another and yet support Ron Paul.

    It is the characteristic of his campaign, and so his supporters are both his greatest strength and greatest weakness.

    Oh yeah, Dr. Paul supporters have to stop being so sensitive. So many things are “taboo” that one could be called a Ron Paul hater for anything short of irrational exuberance.

  • Holl

    I don’t think we need to try and shape anything about Ron Paul or his supporters to fit the masses. The reason he is successful at all is because he speaks his mind on everything, doesn’t have handlers and is honest and available to the people period. So let him talk about the war and whoever follows him follows him. Don’t be afraid and try and change that, if people listen to him it’s likely they will like him. He is the peoples candidate, and so people support him in their own way and take their own initiative which in itself is powerful. But to try and shape him by becoming like all the other candidates and not address the war and screen his followers, we already have that.

  • Sam

    The article states: “Congressman Paul has had the unfortunate luck of attracting some less than appealing supporters” and I think the truth is exactly the opposite.

    The Ron Paul campaign, in MY experience, tends to draw those who are more knowledgable about this country’s government and the true problems this country faces. The ROOT problems, not the window dressing that the media feeds us. Dr. Paul’s supporters tend to be far more knowledgable than your average Republican base voter.

    It is this very knowledge that makes Dr. Paul’s supporters so passionate and it’s their speaking the truth that your average voter hasn’t heard that makes some think they are ‘out there’.

  • UCrawford

    I can’t help but wonder how many of the people here who blast Doug for discussing Ron Paul actually read what Doug is writing, or simply react in knee-jerk fashion because they’re a bunch of victims who can’t actually handle serious discussion. Hell, I wonder how many of them are even capable of rationally discussing Ron Paul’s platform.

    Doug, Scott and the Paul campaign nailed it on the head…it’s the “supporters” who blast people asking questions and whine about how they’re ignored or victimized who are hurting Paul’s campaign, not people like Doug. Ron Paul is NOT being ignored anymore, Doug is NOT trying to sabotage Ron Paul’s campaign, and unless any of you is a political officeholder, or a member of the intelligence community, law enforcement, or the military it’s very unlikely that you know any more about what “actually” happens with our government and our world than any other generally uninformed voter with access to a newspaper, CNN or the Internet. Grow up, get over yourselves and quit blaming Doug for problems you often bring on yourselves.


  • crazychester

    I think it is you who needs to wake up as well as grow up UC. If you think you’re getting the real story via any of the corporate media, you are sadly naive. The problem as I see it is that folks like Doug have a seriously hard time digging dirt on Paul’s record so it’s time to make him appear fringe and kooky by the company he attracts.

    “Ron Paul is NOT being ignored anymore”
    How do you support that?
    Is it because he got a contempt ridden and smarmy interview with Snuffulopogous?
    He’s still regularly listed as a 2nd tier candidate(read:fringe, don’t waste your time or vote), still derided by interviewers as “no chance” and the like. Any time he wins a poll, they come out in force with statements like “unscientific poll” and “overzealous supporters” to devalue a very real movement. I have yet to understand how phone calling 100 registered voters is more “scientific”. While Paul was winning the Fox phone text poll, the expressions of the hosts (especially Hannity) were priceless and they stammered repeatedly trying to explain the numbers. In the face of this ignore–then blockade–then ridicule strategy, we are supposed to be appalled if Paul supporters claim fraud?

    This is despite McCain all but looking like he’s about to have a stroke and is nearly broke. Romney is a multi-millionaire robot buying as many votes as possible. Guiliani is doing the same while being seemingly unable to utter a single phrase without referencing 9/11 or Islamic Jihad.
    Where exactly are we supposed to turn to if not Ron?

  • Doug Mataconis


    Ron Paul is a second tier candidate. He hasn’t gotten above 3% in any scientific poll. That may change at some point, but it is the truth here and now.

    That said, it isn’t surprising that the media doesn’t pay as much attention to him as they do to Giuliani, Romney, or McCain. Its not the medias job to create free press for lower-tier candidates. It’s their job to convince people to support them.

    I’ve worked in politics enough in the past to know that disappointment is a part of the job, but that whining about the fact that people aren’t paying attention to your candidate doesn’t accomplish a thing.

    Phone text polls, internet polls, and the like are not an accurate measure of real support because they are self-selecting. They do prove that the Congressman’s supporters are energized, but nobody’s ever denied that as far as I know. But they have no connection to his support among the general public.

  • UCrawford


    Your response largely proves my point. Three paragraphs spent blaming Fox News, Guiliani, the mainstream media, McCain, Romney and an imaginary mammoth on a kid’s show for your candidate’s poor showing in the polls as well as constant derogatory characterizations of Paul’s opponents, but not a single discussion point or suggestion over what Paul can do to counteract his campaign’s lack of publicity beyond calling people names. Just three paragraphs of whining about how your candidate doesn’t get any respect with no suggestion of how to change things that the Paul campaign actually has control over. That’s called a victim mentality, and it does nothing to sell your candidate…if anything it actually hurts Paul’s chances by tying his platform to a bunch of conspiracy nuts with no ideas and no comprehension of how the political process works. Swing voters (whose support Ron Paul actually needs) generally hate conspiracy nuts.

  • UCrawford

    Frankly, I thought Jeff Frazee’s advice was very solid. If Ron Paul’s career in politics has taught us anything, it’s that he knows how to run a political campaign effectively and deal with substantial roadblocks. I’d suggest to the conspiracy wing of the Ron Paul constituency that if they want their candidate to have a chance at success, they should start ditching the theories about how “the system” (the MSM, the government, other candidates) is holding Ron Paul back, they should restrict their support to finding positive ways to sell their candidate to potential voters, and they should have a little faith in the ability of the man and his staff to handle the nuts-and-bolts problems of the campaign themselves. It’s very likely that Ron Paul knows better than most of you how to run his own campaign. All they really need are the votes and the positive word-of-mouth.

  • Dena

    I have to agree with some of the comments about the possibility that some supporters might be damaging the campaign. I know one group that planned to use computer-generated phone calls to everyone in Iowa. I get thoroughly upset when I get these calls and I suspect they aren’t going to leave a good impression of Dr. Paul in Iowa. That said, I also believe complaints regarding lack of media coverage are legitimate. Being seen, interviewed, discussed, etc. on TV is how most people become acquainted with the candidates. The more they’re seen or discussed, the more followers they have and the more followers they have the more they’re discussed and the more they’re discussed the more followers they have and on and on. More people might actually prefer another candidate, had they known he existed. I don’t think media can abdicate their responsibility to the public simply by saying they have low poll numbers because the reason they have low poll numbers is in large part, due to the media lack of coverage.

  • Doug Mataconis


    I don’t think media can abdicate their responsibility to the public simply by saying they have low poll numbers because the reason they have low poll numbers is in large part, due to the media lack of coverage.

    What responsibility to the public ? The only responsibility that FNC, CNN, ABC, NBC, or CBS have is to make a product that people will watch so that they can make money for their owners. They have no legal or moral obligation to provide free airtime to anyone.

    Quite honestly, I’m surprised to see an argument like that being made on behalf of a candidate who believes in liberty.

  • Sean Haugh

    I feel for ya Doug. I’ve tried to write sober analysis of the Paul campaign too and all the Nut Cultists branded me a traitor 4eva for it. Most of these folks are pissed-off Republicans rather than Libertarians, which I hope is a lesson to anyone about what life is like in the GOP. Hold your head up and keep up the good work Doug.

  • UCrawford


    That’s because a lot of Ron Paul’s “supporters” haven’t grasped the notion that reporters are no more responsible for sacrificing their self-interest than anyone else. They apply essentially socialist criteria to judge private media companies. They honestly don’t get what Ron Paul’s campaign platform is really all about, which is something I think that Ron Paul’s campaign staff would probably agree with.


    I think you’re right about mass calling everyone in Iowa…that would be a counter-productive tactic and I think it would only serve to piss uncommitted voters and the Iowa GOP off. Hopefully they won’t use it. I feel the same way about their liberal use of spam as well. Ron Paul’s libertarian-friendly message is his strength, and these irritating tactics will only distract from it.

    By the way, Ron Paul’s lack of publicity has more to do with his campaign not spending much money on advertising yet and the fact that he didn’t have a lot of national media exposure coming in…that’s not a conspiracy, that’s just a fact of political life.

  • Doug Mataconis


    <blockquote>Thank god Doug “Eric Dondero” Mataconis, the biggest nutbag on the net, doesn’t support Ron Paul. Otherwise nobody could take us seriously.</blockquote>

    The funniest thing about this is the fact that Eric Dondero and I have gotten into more than one argument on this blog about Ron Paul, and I was always the one defending the Congressman

  • UCrawford


    I thought the funniest thing about that was the fact that you guys banned Dondero from your site. Somehow, I don’t think that a lot of the “supporters” particularly care when the facts don’t line up with what they say.

  • TanGeng


    Loved that socialistic criteria line. It never ceases to amaze me that people still have the conception about journalism that somehow reporters have a higher duty to public than merely selling their version of the story to people for adversing money. They’re in the entertainment industry vying for our attention like any magazine, sitcom, or social networking website.

    Is it suppose to be “fair” to everyone? I suppose we’re suppose to bring the fairness doctrine back?

    Is it suppose to be unbiased? Sure, if the source advertises and brands itself as unbiased. But you have to punish these companies in the market place.

    If the people want to hear about Ron Paul (and a lot of people do) the media will eventually come to fill that demand or someone else will. And if Ron Paul has a lot of money and can afford lots of advertising, those corporations will come pandering like they recently have.


    You’re also doing a great job of dampening expectations. This is great stuff. Nothing is worse at this time of the political process than having great expectations and utterly failing to make them. Nothing could be better news than having low expectations and completely smashing them.

  • UCrawford


    Glad you liked it…frankly I hope Ron Paul does well in the straw poll and makes a serious challenge for the primaries. He’s certainly got my vote. It just irritates me when people don’t actually understand what it is they’re supporting and then start doing things that actively counteract their goal. I think it’s great that they love Ron Paul and want to sell people on why his policies and positions would be beneficial…I think it’s not so great when they start insulting people who ask questions about Ron Paul, or spam polls and telemarket phones using Ron Paul’s name, or whine about how Paul isn’t getting enough press because of corporate/government conspiracies. Paul’s a politician, not a cult leader, and if you’re looking for a messiah you should look to your religion, not to Washington because politics just doesn’t work that way.

  • Darel99

    Hi Doug,

    Your lie….. You stated you were moving on to other things and would not be posting comments about Ron Paul….

    Yet, your posting more information…. That’s lie #1….

    Lie #2. You state you support Ron Paul yet you offer negative view points which are pointless…..

    Do you need a longer list? I can also list content details as well.

    Have the owner of your blog get in touch with me and I’ll list the other details.

    In my view and the view of others you are hurting the passion of the liberty papers and my links which yeilded last month just over 3700 hits to your site will no longer aid in the success of

    Have the owner of the liberty papers email me and I will provide greater details…. You sir must be removed!

    I would be glade to have one of my writers take your place on the liberty papers who is pro Pau and I will Pay for it myself.

    Live well! I await liberty papers reply. If no reply, my links will be removed on monday and I will use my writer to discredit your future posts.

    Just the facts! We discredit the MSM and I hate to do the same thing to your posts but you have left me no choice!

  • trumpetbob15


    Who knows best how to put negatives in a positive light? Ron Paul has some drawbacks. Would you rather have someone who supports Clinton point out the negatives or someone who supports Paul?

    Discussing where Paul needs improvement is helpful. Now, criticizing other Ron Paul supporters, not so much.

  • Doug Mataconis


    If you’d look at the rest of this blog, you’d see that I do write about more than just the Paul campaign. Yes, I did say I was moving on to other things, but, quite frankly, found I had more to say.

    Sorry you disagree with it.

    And, yes, I do support Ron Paul even though I don’t think he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the Republican nomination (mostly because of how screwed up the GOP has become) and I am deeply disturbed by some of the people who have claimed to be his supporters.

  • UCrawford


    What in the hell are you talking about!?! Between the typos and grammatical errors, it’s like you channel dead crazy people.

  • Bob

    I’m curious, did you think Ron Paul was going to win in ’88? Also, please tell me when in the last 50 years someone ran against the Republican establishment, had little money or name recognition and won the GOP’s nomination for president.

    Keep up the good work. Some of kids don’t like hearing that there isn’t an Easter Bunny but they have to be told.

  • UCrawford


    To be honest, I’m more than a bit concerned about the attraction that Ron Paul has for “Lou Dobbs Republicans”. They seem to flock to Paul, although most of their issues don’t seem to really gel with his. Paul opposed NAFTA, but not really for the same reasons that the Dobbsians do (Paul wants actual free trade, Dobbsians want protectionism). The common ground here seems to be Paul’s rather strict policy advocating closed borders, which directly contradicts an otherwise libertarian platform.

    The Dobbsians’ support of closed borders has always come off to me as a more or less open form of racism, which has made me leery about any candidate who receives their blessing. I’ve noticed that a lot of the more irrational and abusive Ron Paul supporters tend to key on that issue (demonstrating a xenophobia that ties in to the 9/11 “truthers” as well) so I think that’s where the opening has been for most of the lunatic fringe and as you remarked earlier Paul’s campaign doesn’t seem interested in seriously disassociating themselves from that.

    Frankly, as a libertarian Paul’s position on immigration has been a problem for me from the beginning and the number of voters his anti-immigration policy seems to attract is making me start to seriously question whether Ron Paul is the candidate libertarians should want to align themselves with for the election. I can see this platform becoming the Achilles heel of his campaign later in the primaries and definitely in the general election if the campaign gets that far. And if, when Paul is eventually questioned about his immigration policy, he starts espousing a line that’s similar to the racist crap Lou Dobbs has been spitting out I think it could end up being something that libertarians will regret being affiliated with.

    I’ve got to agree with you Doug, some of what I’ve heard from the Ron Paul supporters is really starting to disturb me too.

  • Doug Mataconis


    First of all, I’ve never considered Lou Dobbs to be a Republican of any sort.

    He’s a journalist by profession. A huckster by reputation.

    Nonetheless, I agree with you. And disagree with Lou Dobbs and Congressman Paul.

    Closing the borders is not only not an option, it’s a mistake.

    Quite frankly, when I listen to the arguments that the anti-immigration crowd (and, make no mistake, these people don’t really distinguish between legal and so-called illegal immigration), I don’t see the difference between 2007 and the early 1900’s….except for the fact that, back then, the immigrants were from Eastern Europe, and today they’re from Latin America.

  • Paul


  • Todd

    Iowa Straw Poll.

    I heard Thur the grape vine that the person in charge of the vote count works for Mitt’s campaign.

  • UCrawford


    I wasn’t actually calling Lou Dobbs a Republican, when I used the term “Lou Dobbs Republicans”, I was referring to Republicans who happen to agree with Lou Dobbs. There are Democrats who believe what Dobbs is saying as well (I suppose the technical term for all of them would be “populist”, but I figured more people would be able to relate to the other description), but I was noting that the Republican variety are the ones who are most likely to follow Ron Paul’s campaign. But yes, I think he’s a huckster too.

    Frankly, I think that if there’s one thing that would kill Ron Paul in the election, it’s his immigration platform. I just can’t get my head around why he supports closed borders…it’s at odds with everything else in his platform. And when you go to his website, it’s the issue he seems to have put the least thought and effort into relating. I can understand running on that position in his own district, where the opinions are probably pretty polarized, but I can’t see why he keeps to this stance in a national election. Not if he actually believes in equality and free markets. Perhaps it’s a tactic to appeal to the populist vote, but I’m concerned that it’s not. Paul doesn’t have a reputation for taking policy positions simply because they’re politically convenient.

    Like I said, it’s the one issue that makes me not want to vote for Ron Paul.

  • SupporterofPaul

    Just how I got here to this site…I don’t really know. What I do know is that I am a 48 yr old female conservative, constitutional republican. I work as a registered nurse and most certainly vote in online polls when I see Ron Paul as one of my choices. There have been many times I was not offered the oportunity to vote for him due to his name being excluded. I knew then and there if the media didn’t want his message out there…then it was his message that I wanted to hear. I have the basic computer skills, but I also will admit that I am not computer savvy. I have heard so much said about the “typical” Ron Paul supporter that it makes me smile just a bit.
    When I read such threads or articles stating that Ron Paul supporters are spammers and 911’ers, well I think to myself…If they could only see me voting in this online poll they would be quite surprised. I do want Ron Paul as my next president because I have seen what our country has come to, and to me it isnot pretty. I wish and hope that we all continue to remember how it was when this campaign had just begun and how we all were grateful to get to know that we were not the only ones who LOVE and BELIEVE in our GOD given rights to be FREE individual United States citizens. We had actually found a TRUE leader who believed as we did! The leader spreading the message that has been with us over 200 yrs was being spoken and applied by congressman Paul. There were so many merits and worthy attributes in this wonderful message. We were reminded that our U.S. constitution had been trampled on by several previous administrations, but most particularly this administration. I would ask all Ron Paul supporters to not allow what others say about us as supporters get under their skin,for you must realize that we have completely astounded the status quo! It makes me proud to be a part of this part of history in the making! Many people try to make sense of a phenomenal happening and are left scratching their heads in utter amazement. One can’t actually blame them because an episode such as this strong grassroots doesn’t come along hardly ever…If at all. Stay real and true to the topic of the Ron Paul message and everything else will fall into place. Thank you.




  • Fascist Nation

    Third place. Heck, I would be happy with third place considering Ron Paul has virtually no presence in Iowa.

    As for vote fraud: Of course there is going to be vote fraud. It is Diabold. And there is zero effort to validate the process, and a great deal of effort to assure the public the vote is validated. You need no further evidence.

    As for rude…I have no problem with rude. They are just butting heads with GOP leadership. You can scrape better things off your shoe. But it ought to be done by Iowans. It’s their poll.

  • UCrawford

    So if Ron Paul wins it’s obviously because the vote was honest…if he doesn’t it’s obviously because of vote fraud. Hmm, I wonder if there’s a Mitt Romney or Rudy Guiliani supporter somewhere out there thinking the same thing? At least with their supporters we don’t have to listen to a constant stream of whining and bitching about “the system” and “the mainstream media” keeping them down.

    Every time one of you Ron Paul “supporters” open your mouths, it makes me reconsider my decision to vote for your candidate. So out of curiousity, “Fascist Nation”, where exactly do YOU stand on the whole immigration issue and why? I’d ask “SupporterofPaul” the same question but her e-mail looks too much like MySpace spam to make me think she’s a real person.

  • an Old Libertarian

    To Doug and UC on the immigration issue:

    Could it be that the rationale for Paul’s position on immigration can be easily inferred by reading what he publishes on his website?

    • Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
    • Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
    • No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That’s a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
    • No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
    • End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.
    • Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.

    I find I have little problem with any of those reasons.

    If the nation were more on the footing that Ron Paul espouses (non-interventionist, freely trading, fiscally self-reliant citizenry with clear immigration rules), then open borders would indeed make sense. Open borders for a preemptively aggressive, semi-socialist state seem ill-advised from my corner.

  • sacred honor

    I seem to remember a second or third tier candidate by the name of Bill Clinton. . .but then again he DID sell his soul to the devil!

    It’s simple, if Ron Paul’s message is allowed to be heard throughout the land, he wins, hands down. I believe he wins either a two-way race as the Republican nominee, or makes history as a victorious independent, pulling millions of votes from both parties.

    He’s America’s last hope.

  • Marc Scott Emery

    If Ron Paul does at least 8% in Ames then that will be a win. If he’s in the top 5, that will be a win. If he beats John McCain, that will finish off McCain and that will be a win.

    Remember Senator Brownback is from the state next door, Huckabee’s a fundamentalist (along with Brownback), so they’ve got 5%-7% each, Tancredo has got his immigration issue supporters (5%), Hunter (who’ll get 2%) is out after this week as is Tommy Thompson (6%).

    McCain could get anywhere from 3% to 10%, Giuliani 10-15%, Romney 25%- 28%. Paul is the big guess. Is it 2 or 3 or 4% or is it a leap over the rest to the top, for 8% – 10%, beating even McCain.

    It is expected about 25,000 – 28,000 votes will be cast, Ron Paul will need approx. 2,500 votes to do well.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Neither McCain nor Giuliani are participating in the Ames poll, so beating either of them won’t matter.

  • Pingback: The Crossed Pond » Ron Paul Vs. His Supporters()

  • UCrawford

    Old Libertarian,

    Thanks for being the only poster to respond to my question. My problems, point-by-point, with Paul’s immigration platform:

    1) Politicians have been promising to “physically secure” our borders for decades. They have all failed, largely because all of the methods proposed have been prohibitively expensive in both manpower and resources and more importantly because opposing immigration is another method for government to manipulate non-violent individual behavior (which usually fails). What is Paul’s suggestion for stopping immigration that differs from past proposals? How does he intend to make immigration laws enforceable? Didn’t see that on his website.

    2) Enforce visa rules: Great, how? Whenever government doesn’t enforce its own rules it usually means one or both of two things, a) they don’t have the funding available, b) they don’t have the personnel available. Immigration enforcement has both of those problems, how does Paul propose to change them, besides creating more unenforceable laws?

    3) No amnesty? So how, specifically. does Paul plan on rounding up all these immigrants and deporting them? Special government task forces with wide-reaching police powers to determine who’s illegal or not? Regressive taxes on businesses who are found to hire illegals? Creating a massive bureaucracy to hear immigrants’ case against being deported? How, exactly, is this a small-government proposal?

    4) No welfare for immigrants. Great idea…easy fix is to eliminate benefits for everyone. Americans are no more entitled to free gifts from their government than anyone else. Get rid of the welfare for everyone and welfare for immigrants won’t be a problem. Is Paul suggesting that this is what he’s trying to do? Otherwise Paul’s just using one bad law (welfare) to justify another (immigration). And removing welfare will not stop the flow of immigrants to the United States as long as we’re a prosperous nation…they want jobs and a future, and that’s a good thing for us.

    5) Birthright citizenship. As long as there’s no welfare benefits for being an American, how is this a problem? It always seems to come back to the issue that most of the anti-immigration types like the idea of special perks for themselves. I’d like to hear Dr. Paul explain why it is that birthright citizenship is somehow an issue if there’s no welfare benefits attached. Especially since citizenship means they’ll likely be paying taxes and not leeching off the state.

    6) The current system is incoherent and unfair (agreed) therefore we should make it stricter and more unfair? Wait a minute, what’s the goal here, to get immigrants to use the system, or to get immigrants to stop coming here altogether? Because the reason immigrant circumvent the system now is because it’s too strict…how is Dr. Paul suggesting that making it stricter will change things? Unless, of course, he’s suggesting that we should just stop all immigration (legal and illegal) altogether…something he’ll never be able to do? In which case, how is this not an utterly racist position? This is the aspect that bothers me most about Paul…the fact that I can’t think of any reason besides racism to push for stopping immigration and the fact that he’s made some questionable remarks on the views of race before. I’d love to be proven wrong on this, so if someone’s got a rational explanation for it I’m all ears.

  • Titus

    UCrawford, I can see your concerns.

    My arguement is REASON. Do you want to have a two party system in which one is libertarian-conservative, or contiue with insane neocon theocratic fascists? In my opinion, Democrats have a moral obligation to register republican and change the party into something it use to aspire towards. That alone is reason to support Paul in the caucuses and primaries.

    Even though I am opposed to amnesty for illegals, I’ve seen businesses actively recruit people in Mexico to come here with a job waiting for them. Often times they aren’t fully compensated for their work, as you know. Neither party has address the obvious problem, such as active prosecution of companies who hire, or sub-contract to companies that hire illegals. Nor have I heard any suggestions to force legal residents to apply for citizenship within 4 years or leave. How come no one talks about the problems we have with keeping track of so many of these people?

  • TerryP


    If you hold all other candidates to the same accountability as Ron Paul in that you may not vote for them because of one issue you are going to be looking for a candidate for a long time. I will venture a guess that you will not find a candidate that agrees with you 100% on every issue all the time unless you run yourself.

    At this point, Ron Paul is definitely the candidate I will be voting for, as he and I agree on most issues. While I don’t agree with him on everything am I willing to forgo the 5-10% or whatever portion I do not agree with him on for now. Once he gets elected and starts moving in the direction where we agree, we can work on him to change his mind on the portions where we do not agree or at least have a discussion so that we are both better educated about our difference of opinions.

    Personally I don’t have much of a problem with his immigration stance as I agree with most of it, though I would like to know at some point more specifics. I don’t know of any credible candidate that is calling for open borders. They may say that, but if they have any qualifications such as not being a felon or having certain diseases then it is not open borders. The difference is in what and how many qualifications you will have to come over the border legally. Most Libertarians side to the fewer the better while most others would like more and tougher qualifications. IMO we are a soveriegn nation with borders. To have true open borders actually means no borders, and without borders I don’t know how you can have a Country. Because almost all other nations live by different rules than our country does, I see no problem with some minor qualifications as to who can and cannot come into our country legally and some significant qualifications as to becoming a citizen of our country.

  • TanGeng

    I don’t see this as an argument for voting for any other candidates.

    It’s merely that pointing out that his potion on immigration with an emphasis on enforcement rather than ending government benefits is inconsistent with his freedom message.

    Indeed the only reason (illegal) immigration is an issue at all is because of the welfare state. If there were benefits were not doled out by the federal government to citizens, illegal immigration wouldn’t pose an economic problem. Ron Paul talks about ending the welfare state all the time and actually states that immigration (of any kind) wouldn’t be such a bad problem. But his proposals to deal with illegal immigration, he operates with the assumption that the welfare state continues to exist.

    This is where I think Ron Paul departs from many libertarians. I’ve always thought the best way to deal with illegal immigration is to end the welfare state, spend a lot of money to round up and deport close to a hundred thousand illegals (for show), and then increase the immigration quotas by orders of magnitude.

  • UCrawford


    The reason our government usually has problems keeping track of illegal immigrants is a) lack of funding and b) lack of personnel, same as when any other government agency fails to comply with its own rules. The only way to fix this is to grow the size of government and give them more funding (meaning more taxes) and give them more police powers (to pursue illegal immigrants). Is this what we really want? As for punishing companies that hire or subcontract illegals, when the government fines a company or forces it to comply with additional regulations that increases overhead for the company. Where do you think those costs usually get made up? By raising prices of goods for consumers. Basically by imposing punitive action on producers you’ll be making life worse for the consumers, all to keep immigrants out of the workplace. So I ask you, where is the free market benefit to the population in keeping immigrants out? And if there is no free market benefit, why is Ron Paul supporting keeping them out?


    As the Ron Paul supporters often point out, Paul isn’t prone to taking political stands out of convenience, he takes them because he actually believes in them. And he’s been known to be exceptionally stubborn. So if we’re electing Ron Paul based on his platform, I find it highly unlikely that he’s going to diverge from it when he’s in office because popular opinion dictates otherwise. The immigration policy he runs on is likely going to be the immigration policy we’ll have with Paul so I’d like to know the specifics before I cast my vote and not after. And I agree that few of us are likely to find a candidate 100% to our liking, but his immigration policy is to my mind a fairly major issue, it’s incompatible with freedom and free markets, I think his view is unenforceable, and I’d like to know why exactly he holds this position or how specifically he’s planning on reforming immigration before I hop on the bandwagon.


    You’re right, it’s not an argument to vote for another candidate. And for now, Ron Paul has the most positives. But here’s the thing with me…I see within the basic policy Ron Paul has proposed on immigration not so subtle shades of racism and xenophobia. I’m not calling Ron Paul a racist, but I’m saying that’s how his policy on immigration comes off to me. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who has noticed this because I’m very certain it’s what attracts most of the more extreme Ron Paul voters (the “Lou Dobbs Republicans” I referenced earlier). I believe that if this is a major issue for Paul and he pushes through with reform (beyond simply abolishing the welfare state) that the legislation he pushes will be little more than a form of statutory discrimination that will be eternally tied to libertarians in much the same way that Barry Goldwater’s deference to states’ rights unfairly tied him (and the Republican Party) to segregation and racism. And while I support most of the issues that Dr. Paul has brought forth, the idea that I may be voting for someone who claims to be pushing a freedom agenda but is willing to create laws that encourage discrimination does not sit well with me, and I’m not sure it’s a position I, or anyone who actually supports individual freedom, would want to put our vote behind. I’m just saying that I’d like to know why Paul has the policy that he has, and how he chooses to address it before I choose whether or not to vote for him. And I think it’s a fair question to ask.

  • UCrawford


    If your idea was what Ron Paul was actually pushing, his immigration policy wouldn’t be an issue for me (interesting suggestion, by the way). Same as if he limited himself to abolishing the welfare state. But he seems to be pushing for stricter rules to restrict immigration overall (not just the illegal kind) and I think it’s important to find out why.

  • George

    I hope hillary wins so you guys can sit around and wonder what went wrong.

  • UCrawford

    If Hillary wins we’ll have a Republican Congress in 2010 and she’ll be out of the White House in 2012. And if you think the negative feedback from the military is bad now, just wait until Mrs. Tact decides to start dictating terms to them if she decides to use them like Bill Clinton and Bush have…they’ll absolutely hate her. She’s got all of Billy Bob’s baggage and none of his personality, her foreign policy is a joke, plus she’s about as openly socialist as you’re going to get…her presidency would be the worst possible thing that could happen to the Democratic Party.

  • UCrawford


    If, however, you’re using the Hillary comment to get me to ignore my concerns about Ron Paul’s immigration platform, that’s a red herring and it does nothing to change my position. How about trying to sell me on why Ron Paul’s immigration platform isn’t anti-freedom, anti-capitalist, and possibly racist? Or do you not have an explanation either?

  • George

    My explanation is that libertarians sit around marginalizing themselves while a candidate with the most paradigm shifting potential in our lifetimes is enjoying spontaneous support. But the likes of you would rather contribute to the sabotage of these events so that you can continue whining after the Democratic or (R) power elite candidate wins and continues the statist direction of this country. It makes libertarians look like the most masochistic mindset possible. IMO Ron Paul actually does better without any libertarian support.

  • UCrawford


    Again, I’m all for a candidate pushing an individual freedom, free-market platform. On the other hand, when that candidate proposes a policy that both works against individual freedom and free markets, it makes me question just where his priorities actually lie…especially when his platform seems to continually attract a large share of racist, conspiracy theory nutjobs who are more interested in keeping foreigners out than promoting freedom or free markets.

    It makes me wonder why they find his platform so attractive, since individualism is incompatible with racism and nationalism (both collective ideologies). It makes me wonder why Ron Paul shows up on the shows of guys like Alex Jones (an anti-Semite and 9/11 truther). It makes me wonder which is the real Ron Paul, the guy who preaches individualism and free markets or the guy who want to keep foreigners out of the country…because I find it unlikely that any rational person can be both. Judging from your dismissive attitude towards libertarians, I think I can make an informed guess which side of the argument you lean towards. Now I’m curious which side of things Ron Paul leans towards.

    Like I said, if he clarifies his position and he’s actually got a libertarian friendly slant on reforming immigration, I’ll be happy to vote for the guy. If he leaves it vague, then frankly he deserves the criticism. And it’s not like this policy position wouldn’t come out in a general election anyway, so stop whining because people who might end up being supportive ask serious questions about your candidate. If anything serious questions help Ron Paul’s campaign, assuming he or his supporters can answer them capably.

  • TanGeng


    You might be right about 2010 or 2012, but there are some financial tremors in the real world, and if Hillary gains control and the unions and protectionists flex their muscle, it might be the Great Depression all over again. Except this time, since we’re the ones importing investment money, we’ll suffer like Europe did during the 30s. We might get a New Deal redux – full blown socialism to all our detriment.

    That kind of hypothetical calamity might make people wholly reconsider common sense, and then who know what the people of the United States would think about Hillary Clinton. However, I have to add that Hillary could pass herself off as a prototypical neo-con if she weren’t such a socialist.

    Meh, just speculating.

  • UCrawford


    I don’t think it’ll be that serious. FDR, for all his faults, was a very charismatic guy who was capable of selling people on bad policy which enabled him to create a lot of bad programs that prolonged the Depression. Hillary is not likeable or charismatic, quite the opposite, so I don’t think that bad legislation is going to push through on the force of her personality. Remember, during Bill Clinton’s presidency she was entrusted with one major policy, health care, and she completely screwed it up. One of the biggest reasons it failed was because of her complete ineptitude at working with others, and she hasn’t demonstrated that she’s seriously changed during her time in the Senate. She’s the same nasty unlikeable hack now that she was as a First Lady. So the damage will likely be less, not to mention that she doesn’t have an ability to run for office for four terms. Also, I think that the times are fundamentally different…during the 30’s the gild hadn’t completely come off the socialist lilly yet, and it has now. People might start going down the path of socialism every once in awhile, but they’re less likely to fully commit to it now than they used to be. Hell, even Europe’s starting to walk away from it.

    As for the neo-cons, I don’t really differentiate much between them and the socialists. They both believe in big government, they just believe in big government to push different agendas. Both are statists, both are wrong. Hillary and Bush are really more alike than they are different.

  • Darel99

    Hi UCrawford,

    What the hell am I talking about you ask? Then you go on to say “Between the typos and grammatical errors, it’s like you channel dead crazy people”

    First, let me make is very clear… You have not read my former posts to Doug… If you have been following Dougs comets along the way about Ron Paul I have questioned his real true intentions… Just return to his former posts.. He complains because Barry Manolow supports Paul… He reaches for out into the blogg world to find silly topics and he has implied dishonest comments. So, it’s my responsibility to challenge anyone who does harm to a great candidate… Yes, Doug has harmed Ron Paul’s name. So, since I’m a free market supporter from the GOP has benefited free of charge from my links for various sites that I own. I asked the owner of Liberty Papers to reply and he/she has not. So, Monday morning my links which were free of charge will no longer benefit the site. I have supported the just cause the site offers will no longer benefit from my free web traffic.

    You go on to attack my typos and grammatical errors and something about channeling dead crazy people… It would appear you watch to much Science fiction and judging by the number of posts you offer it appears you must live in a basement living off of hot pockets….

    So before you personally attack me you should have the common courtesy to offer facts or some method of reason… The truth is less then two months ago I was driving my motorcycle and was hit but a drunk driver. I’m lucky to be alive! It did however, cause massive Ocular issues… One eye is covered and the other has degenerated with poor vision… I do expect complete recovery but not for months. So, my passion for Paul supports the cause even when I should not be online.

    So Ucrawford, you call me what ever you wish. But, I assure you I write with fluid details and poetic prose and flawless posts before my accident. In fact i have authored several books and have another released the end of September. My last book sold over 235,000 copies.

  • Darel99


    I noticed in a recent post you spoke about lou dobbs… He is an independant! He is also a very nice person. Duncan Hunter is a very nice guy too.

  • TerryP


    One question I have is what is your definition of open borders? In my mind, true open borders mean no borders at all. Personally I can’t live with that definition. I want someone that crosses our border to have to live by our “rule of law”. Without borders this is meaningless. Without borders to our country, freedom is meaningless as the rest of the world does not share our same belief in freedoms that our founders did. Having open (or a better term “no”) borders is a sure way to less freedom.

    My other question to you is there some other candidate that has a stance on immigration that is more to your liking that you agree with on most other issues as well and has even the slighest chance to win or at least be heard? Dr. Paul is at least giving libertarian ideas on say 90% of the issues a voice. For the unlikely chance that Dr. Paul is elected and moves us in a libertarian direction, who is to say that the next candidate will not be more to your liking in regards to immigration. Without Dr. Paul, there will likely not be another candidate that has the chance he has now for quite some time.

    If I had my way here are a few things I would do to help “fix” illegal immigration.

    1)Make it far easier to become a legal immigrant. Some minor qualifications would be a criminal background check as well as a health check for communicable diseases. Once it becomes easier to be a legal immigrant we should have less illegal immigration. This should make it easier to find and go after illegal immigrants and employers that employ them. It should also make it easier and cheaper to protect our border.

    2)While eliminating welfare for everyone would be best, currently that is only a pipe dream and will take years to happen even if it is possible. In the meantime, however, eliminating as much of the welfare state for legal as well as illegal immigrants, will help relieve some of the pressure of people wanting to come to this country. This would include, as much as possible, health care and education.

    I have no problem if someone wants to come to our country for a job, but they should not be expecting any handouts either and must live by our rule of law.

    3)I would eliminate birthtright citizenship for children of non-citizens. For legal immigrants they should have a chance to become a citizen after some fairly substantial qualifications are met. If they can show that they have come to work, pay taxes as well as their other bills, not looking for gov’t welfare exceeding the taxes they pay, learn some basics about being an American citizen, and stay out of trouble I see no reason why say after ?ten? years they could not become a citizen if they so desired.

  • UCrawford


    My definition for “open borders” would be more or less unlimited immigration. I don’t see opening the borders as incompatible with requiring immigrants to comply with our laws, since our borders are largely legislative creations anyway, so I’m not quite sure where your opposition stems from. We don’t have border controls between states after all, and yet people moving across state borders are held accountable to each state’s laws. We have people here who reside in one state and work in another, yet we don’t accuse Nebraskans of stealing Kansans’ jobs as we do with the Mexicans. We have extradition proceedings between countries, the same as we have extradition proceedings between U.S. states. I just don’t see the open borders between countries as significantly different than the open borders between states. As for the rest of the world’s desire for freedom, I haven’t seen it as being any different than ours…people want prosperity and stability and a future and not to pay taxes in the rest world, same as they do here. And, as history has taught us, most immigrants who come to America have eventually assimilated into the culture and abide by our laws leading me to believe that our visions of individuality and freedom aren’t exclusive to Americans. And the immigrants bring additional labor and utility to our country as well, as well as exporting our ideals back to their own countries. Why would we want to keep them out?

    For your other question, the answer is no, I haven’t heard a mainstream candidate with a better plan on immigration (or pretty much anything else). But I also don’t see the other candidates going on Alex Jones’ show, nor do I see the other campaigns getting tied as closely to anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories as Ron Paul’s campaign has been. A lot of the people who rabidly support Ron Paul seem to have goals that oppose individual freedom, and it makes me wonder if I’m missing something in the campaign that’s attracting these guys and just where the priorities of the candidate lie. If it comes to a choice between abolishing the welfare state or closing off the borders to enable us to keep welfare going, which would Paul choose?
    And if he’s willing to pass laws that discriminate against people solely on the basis that they’re not from here, I have a big problem with voting for him.

    For your suggestions:

    1) I agree with you that immigration should be made easier and I’d be okay with basic background checks, although I think that it would be incredibly costly and almost impossible to successfully implement (but I’d be willing to give it a try). And I think that your proposal would eliminate a lot of the illegal immigration problem simply because they have an real incentive to go through the system (currently they don’t). I’m skeptical that it would make patrolling our borders much easier, but it might. So I think you’ve got a good plan and one that tries to reconcile controlled immigration with the free market. Problem is, Ron Paul doesn’t appear to be pushing that plan or anything like it, he’s pushing to make immigration more difficult. That’s my quarrel here because that plan doesn’t make sense for a free market advocate.

    2) I don’t think eliminating the welfare state is as much of a pipe dream as you might think. Nonetheless, if your rationale for keeping strict immigration laws is that removing them would overwhelm the welfare state, then you’re using one bad law (welfare) to justify another (restricted immigration). And it’s a losing proposition anyway because I don’t believe that more restrictive immigration laws would work anyway, I think the level of restriction we have now is inherently unenforceable (as evidenced by the large number of illegals). How would creating more laws change that unless you drastically increase the size and spending of government to enforce those laws? I don’t think you can…not without more expense than it’s worth for the benefit you derive.

    3) Why is the citizenship an issue if you remove handouts for everyone? And why the hoops for citizenship anyway? I was born here and I didn’t have a citizenship test, nor did anyone else I knew. Why are the immigrants held to a higher standard? More precisely, why should we pay for a government program to hold them to a higher standard. I agree with you about the taxes and the crime, however. They should be held accountable like everyone else. Incidentally, here’s a story about how many illegal immigrants actually pay income tax…mainly because they hope it will help them earn their citizenship:

  • UCrawford


    I don’t know Lou Dobbs personally so I can’t vouch for how nice or not nice he is. All I have to go off of are his columns where he spends most of his time bagging on Mexicans and free enterprise while claiming that capitalism doesn’t work. Frankly I find most of what he preaches these days questionable, poorly argued, and rather offensive. I also question whether he actually believes in it, since he started his career as a free-market economist and switched to populism once his ratings went in the tank, possibly so he could differentiate himself from his competitors.

    Best of luck on your recovery.

  • TanGeng

    You might notice that I’m not a big fan of strict immigration controls. I immigrated here after all, and was not a fan of the the connections you had to have in order to be clear to come. I would like to see the quotas much more relaxed, you know return to the Ellis Island sort of immigration policy:

    Come here.
    Get register through the legal channels.
    Be on your way to be naturalized.

    Certainly the influx of immigrants has the effect of depressing wages at home, but it not like wages aren’t being depressed by competition from overseas sources. The only problems are:

    the illegals usually don’t paying taxes
    the illegals get welfare state benefits

    But it seems to me that open immigration and welfare state means massive unemployment in the United States. I’d be rid of the welfare state before I decided to let immigrants come. But the end goal would be easier immigration.

  • UCrawford


    I don’t think you and I are that far apart on immigration, actually, I think our differences stem more from policy disagreements but we seem to have similar endgoals. For the record, I wasn’t referring to you as one of the extremists that put me off on Ron Paul…I never got the whole xenophobia vibe from you and you don’t seem prone to reciting empty, meaningless slogans when posed with a question :)

    I’d agree with you that in a perfect world you’d get rid of welfare before opening the borders in an attempt to minimize economic cost. In the world we live in, however, I don’t see politicians ever slashing benefits until they’re faced with a crisis that forces them to, lest they threaten their incumbency, so if we wait until the welfare system is reformed to open the borders I think we’ll simply be waiting until the welfare system (Social Security, Medicare) crashes on its own anyway. In which case, why prolong the misery? Why not open the borders and force entitlement reform sooner rather than later?

    Basically, the way I see it opening the borders will force entitlement reform, whereas keeping them closed will insure entitlement reform won’t happen for a long time. That probably comes off as a risky strategy to some, but frankly I think it’s the only way to reform both systems in our lifetime.

  • UCrawford

    And I agree with your idea about the Ellis Island approach. The problem I have with Ron Paul is that’s not the policy he’s pushing.

  • UCrawford

    As for immigrants depressing the economy, there was a link someone cited awhile ago noting that immigrants actually depress wages less than they reduce prices from producers, making them a benefit to consumers and the economy at large and not a detriment. Wish I could find that link again…

  • TanGeng


    Ahh the crisis model for getting rid of the welfare state. I’d rather not resort to such a thing since it would result in tremendous upheaval, but I don’t know if it’s avoidable.

    Oh, I wouldn’t doubt the price depressing effect of increased immigration. More workers and motivated workers means more wealth for society as a whole. I was reading some other paper that described used the wage depression argument to counteract the fact that real GDP growth is faster with more immigrants. I got really frustrated when they failed to even acknowledge the price depressing effects as well – as if to insinuate that all of the surplus production went to the corporations rather than benefiting everyone through competitive prices.

    Anyways I think Ron Paul’s position on immigration is merely satisfactory. I’m not happy about his proposal as permanent policy, but his rhetoric and his logic around the subject is the best of all the candidates in the two major parties.

  • UCrawford


    I’ll grudgingly concede that Ron Paul’s position is not as abhorrent as some (Tancredo, for instance). And he’s written articles outside of immigration that indicate he rejects racism as irrational collectivism, in addition to usually favoring free trade and free markets so his positions seem solid enough for me to vote for him. But then I still have to ask, why the harsher immigration standards and why are so many extremists who support collective ideas flocking to him? It just doesn’t fit. Anyway, that’s my conundrum. Thanks for the input, though, your point about Ron Paul still being the least worst candidate even if he’s not the perfect candidate is definitely something to mull over.

  • UCrawford

    And no, I don’t think the crisis model is avoidable. Not if we want to get rid of the welfare state with our system of government. Politicians just don’t work that way.

  • TerryP


    I am glad we agree for the most part on my number one.

    I actually agree with you for the most part on your comment on number two. I am actually calling for far less stringent immigration laws as evidenced by my suggestion in number one. It is obvious what we are doing now doesn’t work.

    For number three you said “Why is the citizenship an issue if you remove handouts for everyone?”. That is the kicker isn’t it. I would be happy if we could get rid of all the handouts right now, but that is not what we have today. We need a policy for today not down the road when and if we are able to get rid of all the welfare handouts. If we just open up the borders tomorrow without doing something about the welfare state it would be a disaster economically and for our freedoms.

    I actually agree alot with you on immigration as to where we should strive to get to, but I think you are looking at where we should be at on step ten on steps one through ten and I am more concerned about what happens in the in-between steps in getting to number ten.

    I also agree that Ron Pauls ideas on immigration don’t exactly align with mine but they come far closer than any other candidate that I can see.

    I believe that we will get far closer to what you believe we should have for immigration policy if we elect Ron Paul than if we elect any other candidate. Once he is in office other freedom loving candidates that may be more in line with you on immigration will have a much better chance of being elected to office. This will give your stance on immigration a far better chance of becoming policy, even if Ron Paul doesn’t agree 100%, than if we elect one of the other statist candidates.

    In my mind it will take some time to get rid of the welfare system and Ron Paul is our best chance to do so. Once that happens, immigration likely becomes a much smaller issue.

  • Tim

    Jeff, all I can say is AMEN. A small number of Ron Paul supporters aparently care more about their own personal agendas/conspiracy theories than getting Ron Paul elected. We should turn them away from our campaign and let them know that their ridiculous conspiracy theories are not welcome in a national campaign

  • UCrawford


    Valid points on the immigration issue from both you and TanGeng.

  • an Old Libertarian

    Because Ron Paul is closer to the majority of my views than any other candidate (by a vast margin), I’ve chosen to support him for president…again.

    I agree with George and Tim that Libertarians are constitutionally contentious, if you’ll excuse the pun. The same people that question authority will also tend to question each other, and everything else. I find this more endearing and less contemptible, but it can indeed have the effect of tossing that baby out, even when the bathwater really isn’t that dirty.

    I happen to agree with Ron Paul’s immigration platform as long as welfare and interventionist policies are in the mix. My opinion will change to the degree we refrain from offering a “free lunch” to everyone who wanders by, and refrain from forcefully meddling in the affairs of people (both here and abroad) who later target us as a result.

    All this being said, I think public discussion is exactly what we do need. Unquestioning obedience to a candidate, a movement, a party, or a nation only serves the tyrant. Escaping from persecution and tyranny educated the people who founded this country in ways that those of us born to it in later generations can’t really appreciate. No doubt many people who choose to legally immigrate here have that first-hand understanding better than many native-born citizens as well.

    If Ron Paul’s campaign cannot stand up to questions, it is doomed. The questions are only beginning to fly.

    One of the many reasons I support Dr. Paul is because he up to that challenge. Name another candidate who even approaches Ron Paul in reasoned, constitutionally based policy. Name one whose history of standing by the convictions he espouses is even close. As the Texans say, they’re mostly “Big hat, no cattle.”

    Go ahead and pick nits, ask questions, compare policies (if you can get the other candidates to state them). I remained convinced, not through blind obedience, not in defiance to guilt by association, and not because it’s popular or unpopular. I remain convinced because I actually have the option to vote for a candidate, warts and all. I have a chance to vote for a man who has not only espoused many of the policies I think are healthy for America, but actually worked toward them for decades. He’s actually stood against the tide in support of the constitution, spoken truth to power, and demonstrated integrity in a town where that is not rewarded. How astonishingly refreshing.

  • A Duhon

    From my experience in meeting rl libertarians and listening to libertarian radio, reading libertarian publications, is that libertarians are complete and consummate assholes. I think Ron Paul couldnt ask for shoddier and sabotaging “support” than from these standard dickwad libertarians. Honestly I hope you guys back off RP entirely and start obsessing about some other 2nd Tier candidate.

    You’ve already established how displeased you are with Ron Paul, so forget about him, eh? Me, Alex Jones, and all the rest of his supporters will be happy about that.

  • Wake up

    After reading all the remarks about Dr. Paul and then actually watching him in action in the debates, I have to agree that the people in control of the media – and yes, it’s a small group of people whose first loyalties are not to the US – these people are derailing Paul’s campaign by ignoring him. When they do mention him, they’ll set it up to make him or his supporters look like kooks. The biggest kooks are those who believe the two-party system in the US is real. Both “parties” now work for the same masters. Look at what happens regarding immigration or the war in Iraq for example. Just about all of them toe the PC party line.

    In my mind, Ron Paul isn’t going quite far enough when he lists the problems that are destroying America. But I also understand he has to dance around certain facts because all of the brainwashed idiots out there who think the two parties are really fighting each other, the people who believe that the immigration debacle is natural, that we were attacked on 9/11 because “…they don’t like our freedom,” these people are too scared to look at unpleasant truths. Paul dances around naming the culprits, but his assault on the Fed is a good start. Maybe some of the sheeple will begin to look at things sideways. Sure, Arabs are jealous of our “freedom”. Sure, no conscious decision was made to replace the majority population of America with a new population. An uneducated population satisfied with lowbrow jobs and government handouts. Let other, culturally obedient “imports” handle the technical infrastructure and we’re set! Yep, it’s all natural. That’s why the same thing is happening throughout the West. It’s all chance. Except for the inconvenient fact that the people who WROTE the Immigration Act of 1965 (not Ted Kennedy, he was a “sponsor”) are the same people who have been the “majority” controlling the Fed since it’s inception, they are the same people who were looking for an excuse to get us into war in the middle east for their own selfish reasons, and they are the same people who control the media (they have the majority share holdings – despite claims of faceless corporation ownership). And gosh darn it, they are the same people who make sure Paul is ignored. Of course, all the good little brainwashed sheeple shit their pants at the truth, and in Pavlovian fashion screech and yell “racist” or “hater” or worse. Just because they’ve been trained to react that way instead of looking for the “why”. That trusting trait found at high levels among European derived cultures has been turned against us. This country literally underwent a coup in the 60’s and no one wants to admit it. Yeah, “radicals” like Abbie Hoffman just decided out of the blue to get their shtick going.

    Yeah, laugh now. You won’t be laughing at all in 6 years or less.