The Ron Paul-Neo Nazi Story Isn’t Going Awayby Doug Mataconis
There have been several posts here at The Liberty Papers about the support that Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign has received from neo-nazi groups like Stormfront and such illustrious personalities as former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. So far, those reports haven’t made it into the mainstream media; but, if Paul continues to show the kind of success he has over the past several weeks, he’s going to come under more media scrutiny, and, as this piece at the conservative American Thinker shows, there’s enough out there for an enterprising reporter to make something out of:
When some in a crowd of anti-war activists meeting at Democrat National Committee HQ in June, 2005 suggested Israel was behind the 9-11 attacks, >DNC Chair Howard Dean was quick to get behind the microphones and denounce them saying: “such statements are nothing but vile, anti-Semitic rhetoric.”
When KKK leader David Duke switched parties to run for Louisiana governor as a Republican in 1991, then-President George H W Bush responded sharply, saying, “When someone asserts the Holocaust never took place, then I don’t believe that person ever deserves one iota of public trust. When someone has so recently endorsed Nazism, it is inconceivable that someone can reasonably aspire to a leadership role in a free society.”
Ron Paul is different.
Dear Congressman Paul:
Your Presidential campaign has drawn the enthusiastic support of an imposing collection of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 “Truthers” and other paranoid and discredited conspiracists.
Do you welcome- or repudiate – the support of such factions?
More specifically, your columns have been featured for several years in the American Free Press -a publication of the nation’s leading Holocaust Denier and anti-Semitic agitator, Willis Carto. His book club even recommends works that glorify the Nazi SS, and glowingly describe the “comforts and amenities” provided for inmates of Auschwitz.
Have your columns appeared in the American Free Press with your knowledge and approval?
As a Presidential candidate, will you now disassociate yourself, clearly and publicly, from the poisonous propaganda promoted in such publications?
As a guest on my syndicated radio show, you answered my questions directly and fearlessly.
Will you now answer these pressing questions, and eliminate all associations between your campaign and some of the most loathsome fringe groups in American society?
Along with my listeners (and many of your own supporters), I eagerly await your response.
Respectfully, Michael Medved
Medved has received no official response from the Paul campaign.
Does Ron Paul support the views of these people ? Of course I don’t believe that he does, but that’s not the point.
The point is that the campaign is becoming associated with groups that espouse ideas that ordinary Americans who might otherwise find something worth voting for will, quite rightfully, find repulsive. In the context of a contested election that you actually want to win, no campaign can afford to allow that to happen. I’d also think that most Paul supporters wouldn’t want to be associated with people who would pervert a message of freedom to such an extent that it would justify racial discrimination and bigotry, not to mention a belief in wacky conspiracy theories.
I’ve been criticized before for bringing this issue up, and I’m sure the same thing will happen again this time, but this is something that needs to be said because you can’t live in a fantasy world where actions, more specifically the failure to act when necessary, doesn’t have consequences.
Finally, this wouldn’t require much from the campaign. It would be fairly easy for the campaign, and the candidate, to repudiate these groups publicly and the earlier it’s done the better because, as things stand now, I can almost guarantee that this issue will come up at the next debate. And then, they’ll have to deal with it.
Update: Andrew Sullivan, who has defended Paul from some of the more scurrilous Nazi stories makes this point:
I see no reason why the campaign should not return any money given by neo-Nazis who are subsequently identified as such. But Jonah [Goldberg of National Review] is right that this whole thing tells us more about Paul’s amateurism in rapid-response than anything else.
The thing is the rapid-response that’s needed isn’t that hard to do.