This is a subject I always feel uneasy writing about. After all, discussing (and sometimes dissing) running US presidential candidates is an internal affair and should be restricted to the citizens involved.
That one is somewhat exceptional, so I reluctantly break my own rule. While my sympathies are with the libertarian cause, Ron Paul is taking the cause in the direction that (given he wins, which is, as far as my friends tell me, a low probability outcome) is sure to bring the country to its demise. And I am not talking about the small government/low taxes part, but about the isolationism he preaches.
Non-involvement in the outside world affairs may work - for a while. As it worked for Rome, Japan, China and other places that decided to put themselves in enforced isolation. But then the moment will inevitably come when the big bad wolf is already huffing and puffing at your door, and unfortunately you don't have firewood to boil the water. I am afraid that with Ron Paul at the helm that moment will come sooner rather than later, taking into account his exceptional lack of knowledge and understanding of the world outside USA and his monochrome "let's all be friends" mantra used to respond to any worrisome phenomenon in that world. Or his responses like "CIA Tells Me Iran Not Working on Nuclear Weapon". Naive? Trusting? Interesting how this most naive and trusting person will interpret something like this:
Today Zionists are completely surrounded by the Mujahedin of Islam and we advise them (Zionists) to return to the countries of their origin soon to save their lives.Something a la Juan Cole, I wonder? By the way, the plans Mahmoud the Mad nurtures re United States are not very much different, but of course one can make allowances for sanity in this case, I guess.
But you know what: even Paul's attitude to Israel sometimes makes sense. I wouldn't reject this statement lightly:
I am not the only one who can see the absurdities of our foreign policy. We give $3 billion to Israel and $12 billion to her enemies. Most Americans know that makes no sense.I have always been a fan of the idea that cutting this $3B umbilical cord that, in a way, is twisted around our necks, is a good deed, no matter that a few new holes will have to be made in our collective belt. Only, of course, it's not about the money as much as about the military purchases made with it. And I am quite certain that Mr Paul hasn't said all he thinks yet, hiding - among other things - his thoughts about these purchases. To be fair, here is a WND article by a lady who claims to be "a principled libertarian and an unapologetic Zionist" that tries to prove that Ron Paul is good for Israel. Could be. I strongly doubt it for some reason.
The other way to judge a man is to check who his friends are. Friends there are aplenty, and I am sure that many of them are nice, libertarian kind of hard-working people who (like I, by the way), would like to see less of the Big Brother, more of their own money and more say in what to do with their own lives. However, not all of Paul supporters are of that kind. And here comes the crunch: tell me who your friends are...
The tolerance Ron Paul displays of his anti-Zionist (if not outright antisemitic) supporters was already noted. So is his tolerance of openly antisemitic ones. Many of these characters appear on a site Daily Paul, which usually revs up at crucial election or primary times. Then all kinds of odious "supporters" crawl out from the woodwork - the conspiracy freaks, members of this or another militia, the intrepid fighters against the New World Order, white supremacy knights etc. Among them, of course, your garden variety "anti-Zionists". Daily Paul takes care to allow Paul a step or two back from what is going on in its articles and, especially, comments.
Recently I've seen another shining example of a Ron Paul's supporter going all out in his "anti-Zionism". Somebody with a moniker James_Madison_Lives discloses a frightful Zionist propaganda conspiracy. Well, not really a conspiracy when its chief protagonists willingly tell all to anyone, but why not present it as something sinister and secret? What is interesting in this article is the support material used by the author. To start with, the plainly anti-Zionist Israeli Occupation Magazine. To continue: Counterpunch - as anti-Semitic as they come, with Jonathan Cooke, the British Palestinian. And to top that, one Greg Felton, charitably characterized by Terry Glavin as "Jew-obsessed, conspiracist, Hamas-praising, Ahmedinejad-admiring, medication-needing". More on Greg Felton, if you wish, but get your barf bags ready.
Just one example of many, and if you have a few hours to spend - especially if you feel that you lean toward voting for that man - visit the Daily Paul Liberty Forum. Then decide if you are going to join the company of these ladies and gentlemen. Or, if you want a shortcut, just check out the comments to one short piece. The reason I put so much stress on Daily Paul and its branches is simple: the place identifies itself with Paul (save that disclaimer) and I don't doubt that a phone call from Ron Paul would have changed the contents and the tone of that ridiculous site. Still year after year it consistently churns out all matter of sick bullshit and the telephone just doesn't ring... so something isn't right there, and it's not just Daily Paul management.
Yes, all that besides the esteemed candidate himself rejecting the evolution theory and nurturing conspiracy theories instead.
So - you decide.
Thanks to Judeopundit for some background material.