Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans only as members of groups and never as individuals.
~ Ron Paul
Politics do make for strange bedfellows, and every candidate for national office will inevitably attract a rather lunatic element from the fringes as an erstwhile, if temporary ally. While this may make for a few welcome extra votes or cash, it can also cause the candidate in question some embarrassing moments.
For some current examples, Barack Obama has the support of the Nation of Islam's virulently racist Louis Farrakhan and is a member of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, an organization that if it's not racist sure speaks and acts like it is. Fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton is the leading recipient of donations from our country's blood-soaked weapons makers and gets massive donations from lobbyists used as intermediaries for Pakistan's repulsive dictator, Pervez Musharraf im Multan.
True to this trend, Ron Paul has attracted the attention of and donations from the founder of Stormfront, a white supremacist organization whose motto "White Pride, World Wide" is not about to win its followers an invite to the Rose Garden or my next Christmas party.
While a candidate's receiving money and public praise from a certain group does not automatically mean that they share the same underlying ideology (which in the case of the Nation of Islam, Stormfront, and the weapons makers are inhumanly repulsive), it does beg the question why would they find favor with such outcasts from civilized society.
For Americans, Neo-Nazi affiliations are about as palatable in their political candidate as child molesting — and no doubt that is a good thing. For many, including me, it is a deal breaker.
I've a boatload of money tied up in Ron Paul — I'm an investor if you please — and his receiving support from Stormfront caused me to re-evaluate my support for him. I needed to perform some extra due diligence to see if I backed the wrong horse, I needed to put my mind at ease, or else no sleep for me.
The website for Stormfront has a discussion board where members can exchange ideas, and I figured it would be there that I could find an answer to my why, and hopefully it would be one that would allow me to get a good night's sleep again.
The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend
Anyone who doesn’t vote for Paul on this site is an ass clown.
~ Post by "All White — All Right" on Stormfront's discussion board
Stormfront's support of Ron Paul is so strong, in fact, that they actually have a link to his website on their website. (It was like finding a rose in an outhouse.) The white supremacists on the site have a lot to say about Ron Paul; one thread I was reading ran to over 660 pages. Their interest in him has been noted. Every news reporter who wants to take an easy smack at Ron Paul lets loose with a breezy, over the shoulder "by the way, neo-Nazi websites are big fans of his" on their way out the door, leaving unanswered the question of why but leaving behind sinister implications for Ron Paul.
Stormfront's website reads much like any other web gathering of like-minded people. There are announcements of new births (A New WHITE baby boy!!!!), notices of upcoming events (National Knights KKKhristmas Party!), and after-action reports for past events (Thanks to all who helped with Phoenix-NSM/Stormfront BBQ!!!) — all perfectly normal if you can ignore the racist tirades, which you can't. Stormfront, and all who join, are obsessed with skin tone and even more so with Jewish people who, white skin or no, strike them as particularly repulsive.
The reasons given as to why white supremacists support Ron Paul are several, but the biggest seems to be the war in Iraq and our foreign policy in general, particularly if it in any way involves Israel. The war in Iraq is seen by Stormfront to be a war on behalf of Israel, who is seen as having far too much influence on America's foreign policy.
Ron Paul has spoken about Israel's inordinate influence on our foreign policy and the foolishness of the war in Iraq many times. He has based his stance on his reading of the Constitution and our Founders warning against foreign entanglements. What does differentiate Stormfront's opposition to the Iraq War and our foreign aid to Israel from Ron Paul's is that their stance is based on their hatred of Jews, not their love of the Constitution or peace.
Another poster named "Thunderhead" (many of the names on the website's discussion boards sound like they've been lifted from Dungeons and Dragons) supports Ron Paul because he opposes the Federal Reserve. I will grant, Ron Paul has stated his opposition to the Federal Reserve System for a variety of reasons, all of them good. At base, he opposes it because it is designed to inflate, to steal.
On the other hand, Thunderhead is opposed to the Federal Reserve System because it is "the key to Jew power." Ron Paul, to the best of my knowledge, has never expressed any opinion on Jews at all, and has never bought them up during a discussion on the Federal Reserve System.
While Thunderhead might support Ron Paul's opposition to the Fed, and other members of Stormfront might support Ron Paul on a variety of issues, they do so on completely separate ideological grounds than Dr. Paul. This is an important distinction. Thunderhead might be a very strong supporter of the Fed — if only it was white bigots using it to steal from the Jews. Ron Paul would not support the Fed, even if it sent him a monthly stipend like clockwork.
The fact that Stormfront agrees with Ron Paul on certain policy stances in no way proves that Ron Paul is a racist bigot. On each point I found that Stormfront applauds his stance, it is a coincidental match-up of two opposing ideologies. For some further examples, they support his stance to dissolve the income tax, not because they agree with Ron Paul that it's a subtle form of slavery, but because "that means we stop subsidizing minorities." They support his stance of opposition to "Hate Crime" laws, not because they share his belief that it makes citizens unequal before the law, but because it was passed to favor minorities and gays.
While Ron Paul's not being a white supremacist is a deal breaker for certain members of Stormfront (one poster, "Brandon," is disgusted since "Ron Paul's priority is not 100% the survival of the white race, so he is an enemy"), others, like a poster named "Everlasting Reign" are convinced that despite his "shortcomings" he is "the least toxic candidate by leaps and bounds."
Ron Paul's 100% priority is the preservation of our Constitution, and by odd coincidence this posture has made him the "least toxic candidate" to Stormfront — and to me. But an odd coincidence is all it is. Ron Paul's policy proposals spring from a desire for justice and equality, not from a desire to stick it to any racial group.
And in that attitude lies the chasm between Stormfront and Ron Paul.
The Enemy of Your Enemy Is Still Your Enemy
(Ron Paul) wouldn’t hesitate to call any one of us a ‘hater’ and ‘bigot’ just as any other politician would, so I’ll keep my distance.
~ Post by "Son of Liberty" on Stormfront's discussion board
Interestingly, while you will find plenty of foaming-at-the-mouth racist tirades on Stormfront's discussion boards, you will also find many postings by people who sound like they'd be well spoken and calm, even while they were burning a cross on your front lawn. As for their support of Ron Paul and its reasonableness, one poster in particular hit the nail right on its head.
"Concerned Human" completely recognizes the ideological chasm that separates Ron Paul from Stormfront. He posted "Ron Paul is not a White Nationalist. His Libertarian policies will also conflict with National Socialism, something that a good number of us support." (Emphasis mine.)
Concerned Human gets a gold star medal and a bumper sticker for his parent's car that reads "My son is an A+ student, White Pride!" because he's absolutely correct. With every point of connection between Ron Paul and Stormfront, the connection is one of practicality, not ideology. While Stormfront agrees with enough of Ron Paul's positions to lend him their support, they do it as a temporary, tactical move; they are climbing into bed with a strange bedfellow, one who is as different to them as night is to day.
Ron Paul hardly speaks about race at all, which makes sense for a libertarian. Stormfront talks of nothing but race; it's their lens to the world, their endless obsession.
Is Ron Paul personally a racist? Since nobody can look into another man's heart, only Ron Paul truly knows. I must judge him as best I can through his words and actions: we'll look at words first, so I quote him on racism:
Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans only as members of groups and never as individuals. Racists believe that all individual who share superficial physical characteristics are alike; as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called “diversity” actually perpetuate racism. Their intense focus on race is inherently racist, because it views individuals only as members of racial groups.
That does not sound racist; I've read worse.
Yes, Ron Paul voted against honoring Rosa Parks with a Congressional Medal of Honor. Yet, he also did the same to the white skinned Mother Teresa, arguing that the $30,000 prize that comes with the medal is “neither constitutional nor in the spirit of Mother Teresa.”
In that important arena of action, which answers the question will Dr. Paul use race as a criteria to break the Constitution, here are Dr. Paul's words on why he disagrees with the Civil Rights Act, passed in 1964:
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.
I fully believe that should we put Dr. Paul into a time machine and zip him back to 1890s Texas, he would oppose the equally unconstitutional Jim Crow — for the very same reasons he opposes the Civil Rights Act. Agree or disagree with such a stance, it is consistent with a respect for a principle, not a skin tone, and Ron Paul is nothing politically if not consistent.
Yet, whether Ron Paul is or is not personally a racist is beside the point to me — as long as he remains faithful to the Constitution, as long as his actions stay within its confines, he cannot vote for or propose any preferential treatment for any reason, even race — all must be equal before the law. And Dr. Paul has shown an unwavering commitment to that principle. That is the true measure that I use for a politician.
Yes, you are free to be a racist in Ron Paul's world. Every member of Stormfront can get excited after a Ron Paul victory you can run out and put up a sign in front of your store that reads "No Blacks Allowed" and you would be well within your rights. After all, it is your property to do with what you please, just like the African-American gentleman who owns the store across the street from you, the one with the sign that reads "No Whites Allowed."
And in Ron Paul's world he, like you, would be well within his rights to act abhorrently — Ron Paul referred to racism as a "sin of the heart" — and you would suffer penalty of law if you tried to stop him from doing as he pleases with his property.
Of all the variations of ideology, none so far has struck me to be less likely to allow racist legislation than classic liberalism. Libertarians, for the most part, don't even discuss race; seeing people as individuals rather than as members of a group makes it an odd subject to write about. To a logically consistent libertarian, race simply shouldn't matter; separating people on the basis of skin tone is arbitrary and irrational. Why not hair color? Eye color? Wealth? Height?
My three-year-old son is black; my wife is black, too. I have a vested interest in making sure our laws view all men as equal, regardless of skin tone. Martin Luther King had a dream, and I share it, too.
We Irish have a saying, "if you don't like me than leave me alone." I live in a mostly black neighborhood with a black wife and our son. I'm sure that some neighbors dislike me straight off because of my skin tone, but I am blessed to live among people who, if they do dislike me, show enough good manners to keep it to themselves and leave me in peace. And that is all I ask for.
If a Ron Paul president simply does his job, performs his sworn duty to the Constitution and nothing more, should he do that then I don't have to worry about Jim Crow crawling back out from under its rock. And that is all I ask for.
To all the people at Stormfront, and to white supremacists everywhere, should you wish for a country where everyone is equal before the law, regardless of their race, then by all means Ron Paul is your logical choice. Send Dr. Paul your money, your support, and your best wishes. But should you wish to one day stroll arm and arm with Jim Crow again, there is nothing for you here.
And that is what keeps me in Ron Paul's camp.
I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations.
~ Ron Paul, 2004
December 24, 2007