Why Ron Paul’s Left-Wing Champions are Wrong

A Challenges to Those on the Left Who Speak out for Republican Ron Paul on the Basis of his War Opposition

Maybe you’ve seen them at antiwar protests — supporters of the “Love Revolution” of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. In Chicago, Paul backers hired a plane with a banner fly over the demonstration in October.

The libertarian Texas congressman has won over a group of antiwar writers and others on the left who say he is the only candidate in either party’s presidential primaries worth supporting.

Paul gained these left endorsements because he has taken a stand against the occupation of Iraq and the U.S. “war on terror” that few Democrats dare to. He voted against last year’s war funding bill, supports repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act and opposes an attack on Iran.

But that’s not all Ron Paul stands for — far from it.

He also, for example, regularly claims that the “American way of life” is under assault, and fighting back means “strengthening the borders” — i.e., cracking down on Mexican immigrants. Paul is opposed to abortion rights — apparently, his libertarian defense of individual freedom doesn’t apply to women.

He says he’s proud to stand in the tradition of Ronald Reagan — who Paul was almost alone among Republican officeholders in supporting when Reagan first ran for president in 1976. In between the Reagan quotes on his Web site, Paul makes it clear that he believes in “small government” — by which, he means eliminating the federal government’s already shredded social safety net, not to mention the Department of Education.

These positions have certainly been as important as his antiwar views in attracting a following on the right — encompassing conservatives fed up with the neoconservatives’ grip on U.S. foreign policy, as well as rabid anti-immigrant forces, open white supremacists, admirers of Pat Buchanan’s anti-free trade economic nationalism and assorted 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

Given this, why is Paul even getting the time of day from antiwar activists? This phenomenon can only be understood in the context of the disarray in the antiwar movement and the lack of a viable left-wing independent alternative in the elections.

The Democrats — both in Congress, and the main contenders for the party’s presidential nomination — have done nothing to meet people’s hopes that they would stand up to the Bush administration on the war. Yet most liberal organizations, including within the antiwar movement, will fall in line behind the Democrats, tailoring their activities to the need to “get an ally in the White House.”

For those who resist the pro-Democratic tide, all this can lead to some cynical conclusions — including the idea that the future lies not with organizing among progressives who will likely vote Democratic, but with reaching out to conservatives who support Paul.

“Many, if not most, of [Paul’s] supporters are new to the electoral game,” wrote Joshua Frank, co-editor of the Dissident Voice Web site. “Sure, some may indeed be rednecks, but what the hell is so wrong with hard-working folks who oppose Empire? Disregarding or pooh-poohing Paul’s movement because he’s not a progressive and some of his followers have odd world views makes us look like elitist snobs.”

Since when is it “elitist” to speak up for immigrant rights or a woman’s right to choose? Or the dangerously radical proposition that there should be a right to free public education?

By Frank’s logic, these issues should be set aside because Paul opposes the war. But does that mean, for example, that the left should have supported the far-right presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan in 1992 — since Buchanan opposed the Gulf War the previous year.

Antiwar activist Stan Goff makes this myopic proposition — that none of Paul’s reactionary positions matter as long as he’s for withdrawal from Iraq — explicit in a recent article on the CounterPunch Web site.

“I already know what I am going to hear from all over the program-intoxicated, ‘I won’t endorse this-n-that position’ liberal-left,” Goff wrote. “Ron Paul is backward on abortion, passively racist, anti-immigrant, and on and on. Sorry, but I said I’d vote a dead cat that was antiwar before I’d vote a resurrected Eugene Debs if he showed up and supported the war. I meant that from my heart.”

Setting aside the sneering tone, does Goff understand what he’s saying? That issues like abortion and immigrant rights must be judged as “less important”? Would he like to say so to the millions of people who marched for immigrant rights on the last two May Days?

The bizarre image of a resurrected pro-imperialist Eugene Debs — a man who, after all, went to federal prison for opposing war — is a pretty pathetic excuse for climbing on Paul’s bandwagon.

The formula of supporting a candidate with antiwar views, no matter how right wing they are on other issues, is disastrous for anyone who wants to rebuild the left.

Consider this quote from another one-time presidential candidate: “We stand with Cindy Sheehan and the memory of her son which should spur all truly patriotic Americans to demand an end to this war for Israel, this war against America, the Iraq War.”

The author of those lines is neo-Nazi David Duke.

Goff may believe that Paul’s antiwar platform is the primary point of his campaign, but Paul and his supporters are pushing the complete package.

In Iowa, for example, as the caucuses approached, Paul used his Internet-raised millions to fill the TV airwaves with a xenophobic ad about “protecting” U.S. borders. It begins with images of people swimming across the Rio Grande and warns in a menacing voiceover, “Today, illegal immigrants violate our borders and overwhelm our hospitals, schools and social services.”

Paul’s promise: “Physically secure the border. No amnesty. No welfare to illegal aliens. End birthright citizenship. No more student visas from terrorist nations.”

For his supporters on the left, this bigotry is excused by claiming that Paul has found a way to win the support of “hard-working folks” who the leftist “elite” have ignored. But the unstated assumption here is that the “hard-working folks” are white, and the only antiwar candidate they’d support has to be anti-immigrant, anti-abortion and “passively racist.”

For one thing, this is a condescending — not to mention, completely wrong — stereotype of working-class white people.

But more importantly, “hard-working folks” are also immigrants, Blacks, Latinos, Arabs and Muslims. They are gays and lesbians (Paul voted to bar gays from adopting children). They are women who depend on their right to legal abortion under Roe v. Wade, which Paul has called “the worst of all rulings” and said should be overturned.

If the point of supporting Paul is to make the antiwar voice in the U.S. stronger, then you have to ask how diverse groups of people will be drawn to any movement against the war associated with a candidate who heaps abuse on some of them.

Building a stronger antiwar movement isn’t simply about reaching “beer-drinking rednecks from Tennessee or pot smokin’ hippies from Oregon,” as Joshua Frank puts it, but building solidarity with others in their struggles and furthering the kind of politics that makes our side stronger.

That can’t be accomplished by sidestepping ideas used to divide people, like racism, sexism and homophobia. Any progressive movement that hopes to grow, whatever the issue, needs to take on such arguments directly whenever they arise.

Unfortunately, when Sherry Wolf of the International Socialist Review argued for confronting Paul’s bigotry in a recent piece on CounterPunch, she was painted as a “sectarian” — a word that’s typically reserved for vilifying the socialist left.

Opposing right-wing ideas that make any movement weaker isn’t “sectarian.” It’s basic solidarity. The proudest moments in the history of the U.S. left are bound up with struggles to defend the principles of solidarity, by any means necessary. It’s a sign of the disorientation of the left today that such ideas can be looked upon so cynically.

This isn’t, as Goff and Frank suggest, an argument for having a checklist of political requirements for someone to be involved in the antiwar movement. If Paul wants to bring a blimp to the next antiwar protest, I don’t really care.

But it is an argument for rejecting a candidate who doesn’t believe in what you believe in. We say it about the Democrats — and we should it all the more loudly about a reactionary like Ron Paul, even if he does oppose the war.

Elizabeth Schulte is a correspondent for Socialist Worker, where this article first appeared. Read other articles by Elizabeth, or visit Elizabeth's website.

32 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. lorena redbrook said on January 9th, 2008 at 11:40am #

    It would seem that Elizabeth Shulte is the one who is out of tune with what America wants and not Ron Paul. As an educator I can tell you that a great many of us would like to see the national Dept. of Education abolished. Education should be a local thing. To a one most teachers abhore the “No child left behind” which is hogtieing school systems nationwide. Few Americans are against “Immigrant rights”, but a vast majority of American citizens are vehemently opposed to granting undeserved “rights” to Illegal Aliens who scoff at our laws. A majority of Americans are also opposed to “Gay marriage”. Ron Paul is personally opposed to abortion having devoted his life to delivering babies, ie. bringing lives into this world. However, he said that is something that should be relegated to the states. How can Ron Paul be considered a ‘reactionary” when all he asks for is to respect our Constitution. I am thankful that those who think like Miss Shulte are a tiny minority of non-thinkers in our nation. It is time for the majority to be heard.

  2. Anthony Kennerson said on January 9th, 2008 at 11:42am #

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for writing this.

    I find it simply shocking and appalling that any progressive worth his/her salt would even consider Ron Paul as anything other than a right-wing crank masquarding as a “anti-war” candidate….especially considering that women and people of color should be the foundation of any independent Left popular movement to begin with.

    Perhaps, it’s frustration with not having a genuinely progressive anti-war candidate combined with laziness in organizing a movement from below which causes far too many putative liberals and leftists to search in despairation for anyone….ANYONE….that will lift their spirits.

    Opposing the war is certainly fundamental….but it should be part of an overall program that assaults all aspects of inequality…..and last time I checked, racism, sexism, and homophobia still managed to exist.

    We can do much, much better than this.


  3. faux leftism, Ron Paul; right-wing libertarianism | The SmackDog Chronicles (v. 2.3) said on January 9th, 2008 at 11:56am #

    […] Paul cheerleading from certain elements of the Left. Quoteh Elizabeth Schulte via Dissident Voice, posted today: The formula of supporting a candidate with antiwar views, no matter how right wing they are on […]

  4. Michael Dawson said on January 9th, 2008 at 12:08pm #

    “Terrorist nations.” We’re supposed to believe that a freak who very actively peddles such racist, criminal concepts would actually change our foreign policy?

    What a sad mess we’re in…

  5. messianicdruid said on January 9th, 2008 at 12:12pm #

    Did you really call Ron Paul a reactionary? What, pray tell, is he reacting to? He has been saying the same thing for at least the last thirty years. Since before the last time I voted for him for President.

    More ridiculous name-calling and divisivness from unprincipled mob-rule advocates, in the media and out, only makes a man with such integrity shine compared to the mattoids and opportunists that you all have been given to “choose” from.

  6. Timber said on January 9th, 2008 at 12:33pm #

    Setting aside Ms. Shulte’s predictably oxymoronic embrace of the absurd official government conspiracy theory regarding 9/11, she makes many valid points here.

    Surely, it’s easy for many people regardless of political persuasion to claim to be “anti-war” in the face of an embarrassing fiasco in Iraq. How many of these critics would be as vocal if our invasion and occupation had been the quick and easy one-sided massacre that many of them seem to have hoped for? The best analogy I can come up with for this phenomenon is that of a bunch of sports fans who demand a new coach for their favorite team in the face of a disastrous losing season.

    It’s rare to the point of insignificance to hear these critics mention the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, the conduct of American troops, the global military empire that preceded and will follow the Iraq debacle, or any other aspect of the “war” except the deaths of American military personnel. And almost to a person, they fall back on the comfortable theme of “incompetence” on the part of the Bush administration to explain why the Iraq invasion and occupation was wrong.

    Ron Paul’s stated policies are significant for what he leaves out of his critiques: while he criticizes big government, he retains a cliched conservative caricature of the government as a “nanny state” wasting taxpayer money on welfare for lazy, shiftless Americans and illegal immigrants, and leaves government subsidies for big business or tax shelters for the rich out of the equation; he seems comfortable with the idea that American children around the country would be subjected to religious indoctrination in public schools imposed by local Taliban-style school boards; and he rightly criticizes government surveillance and other violations of civil rights while abiding by the cliched libertarian precept that such violations are acceptable when imposed on us by employers.

    Like the flat tax, a national sales tax or other schemes sold to the American middle-class by think tanks sponsored by the ultra-rich, I worry that Paul’s message appeals to short-term wishful thinking without providing any context or criticism of the institutions (like the military) that make taxes inevitable in a society dominated by corporate capitalism.

  7. dan elliott said on January 9th, 2008 at 4:03pm #

    Timber: nowhere could I find in Ms Schulte’s article any “…predictably oxymoronic embrace of the absurd official government conspiracy theory regarding 9/11…”

    What I did find was a an arguably slighting reference to “9/11 conspiracy theorists”, in which the “slight” derives from the context of being included in a list of rightwing crackpot causes. I can understand how a 9/11-focussed person might well feel offended, but that does not justify the claim that Ms. S. has embraced the Official Version.

    She didn’t even say “conspiracy nuts”, she politely described you as “theorists”:) As I said, I can understand how you might be a bit peeved to be taken so lightly, but how you got from there to accusing the author of “embracing” any particular theory is beyond me.

    As one who rejected the “Official Version” even before the Powers That Be decided what it was, I reserve the right to reject also the antics of the kind of 9/11 parking-meter Libertarians & crypto-racist hobbyists who in 2004 pretended opposition to the Status Quo, then turned around and voted for Anybody But Bush, that is, for Kerry and his Ziofascist pal Joe Lieberman.

    So who are the Truthies pushing this time, Ron Paul?

    Let’s be clear: you Truthies with your tunnel focus on an event which will spawn theories forever and a day with no closure, just like JFK, RFK, MLKjr, on and on, “my PhD can lick your Phd” — you Truthies may be an important ally at times, but I wouldn’t follow the smartest of you around the block, because you waver from this side to that, depending on where you think your Middleclass Amerikkkan interests lie.

    Mainly you come across as a bunch of hobbyists, blah blah. As a movement, you aren’t politically committed to ANYTHING except bending the ears of people who haven’t been paying attention.


    BTW, props to Ms Schulte for demystifying the Ron P. nonsense.

  8. Mark J. Seydel said on January 9th, 2008 at 5:19pm #

    dan elliott,

    You stated – “BTW, props to Ms Schulte for demystifying the Ron P. nonsense.”

    Not quite. Do you think this will effect anyone who supports Ron Paul. Elizabeth has obviously not done her homework on Dr. Paul. She stated a few things about him that can be found in many places on the internet dedicated to smearing Dr. Paul’s name, but nothing of substance.

    I find it amusing that a socialist would try and make anyone believe that another person is wrong for being “non-mainstream”.

  9. Hatuxka said on January 9th, 2008 at 5:44pm #

    Show me a leftist who is not a white male and the chances of Ron Paul getting any leftist support is zero (among the sane, I mean).

  10. Allan Stellar said on January 9th, 2008 at 7:19pm #

    Dan wrote:

    “I reserve the right to reject also the antics of the kind of 9/11 parking-meter Libertarians & crypto-racist hobbyists who in 2004 pretended opposition to the Status Quo, then turned around and voted for Anybody But Bush, that is, for Kerry and his Ziofascist pal Joe Lieberman. ”

    Of course, Kerry’s running mate was John Edwards. Not Joe Lieberman.
    I like the Ziofascist term though. You just got the election cycle wrong.

    From your dull friend,


  11. Max Shields said on January 9th, 2008 at 7:47pm #

    It’s amazing how the MSM has framed the conversation around left and right. It’s as if so much of what’s happening outside of the national polical mileu was just… not happening.

    First, libertarianism is not in and of itself a right-wing ideology. Paul is a conservative libertarian, but there are many progressive, leftish, and Marxist libertarians, and eco-libertarians.

    The counterculture of the 1960s and 70s (and before) was a (and is) decentralization/libertarianism movement. Where do community economists E.F. Schumacher andRalph Borsodi fall into this tired notion of left and right; or, for that matter, the 19th Century genius of political economist Henry George? Wasn’t Thomas Paine and T. Jefferson liberterians?

    Ron Paul has made comments during this campaign that any progressive would proudly embrace. I don’t think the guy is jerking us around with his anti-war stance – it really sounds very genuine as does his progressive buddy Kucinich. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with finding common ground on important issues and building alliances around them.

    But that’s a whole lot different than supporting Ron Paul the Republican Conservative libertarian unless you really buy all of what he truly believes in, and not just peeling off some of what he says for alliance purposes.

  12. messianicdruid said on January 9th, 2008 at 8:28pm #

    “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with finding common ground on important issues and building alliances around them. ”

    The RP campaign proves one thing for certain. Americans dont have a clue. From the numbers he is running maybe 10% get it. The sad fact is that America is now a socialist country and has been for awhile. They no longer want to take responsibility for themselves and will rely on the government to do it for them no matter what. Raise taxes by 10%? no problem for most of these people as long as they get something out of it. The people that are pissed are the ones who pay so much and get so little in return. For the most part, thats the middle class. As for educating enough of them? Its just not possible. The media and big corporations have spent billions educating the masses into what they are today. Without a multi-billion dollar counter effort there isnt much chance to educate them and make them want to take responsibility for their actions and their future. Its always someone else’s problem, someone else is always to blame. If you take the mess this country is in as a whole its basically our politicians as a whole who have done this to us. However, there is no accountability.
    The system can’t go on for much longer the way it is. Everyday or every week there is another scam going on by government employees who continually change or break the rules and get rewarded for it at the taxpayers expense. This is what the sytem has turned into.
    As all of this comes out, the masses just keep on going to work and then get home and turn on the idiot box. Hard to educate people that just don’t care.

  13. Lloyd said on January 9th, 2008 at 8:42pm #

    Us ‘progressives’ are willing to sacrifice another million Iraqis for whatever crumbs the Dems will throw our way.

  14. hoaxbuster said on January 10th, 2008 at 12:14am #

    This article by Schulte is full of baseless conjecture and unsourced “he-said/ she-said” pretend scenarios in order to make fallacious arguments. All the Ron Paul charges have been debunked for years. It’s amusing to see how hardcore fascists, marxists, and other statist propagandists, who want to abolish the Constitution, cling so desperately to such hearsay-agitprop and parrot it as gospel. This hoax-piece is worse than the one by Josh Frank, where he pretends to have a hard time believing Ron Paul is a racist. What a laugh riot. (All Frank and the other editors ever post here is anti-Paul BS anyway, so spare us the phony sympathy and sense of justice.)

  15. Jim said on January 10th, 2008 at 4:45am #

    I feel as if a really nasty group of party-crashers got drunk much more quickly than they expected. They are nodding off on the couch currently. Within a month all will have gone home.

    The attitude toward the web showed a profound disrespect for civil norms and, frankly, democracy. Crashing web sites they did not own; flaming; disrupting online polls with multiple hits.

    Very rude people.

  16. Timber said on January 10th, 2008 at 8:19am #

    I just love it when defenders of a stupid position prove their critics right; half the defenders of Ron Paul above are reciting the exact tired old cliches about an imaginary big government that somehow allows some imaginary group of people to live an imaginary life of luxury and ease while persecuted white Christians (many of whom no doubt with sons, daughters, or other family members living off the same government’s largesse in the military, police, or some other bloated central agency) are forced to actually pay TAXES.

    Other posters demonstrated my point that those who claim to want “local control” of education only support that position as long as they believe it will impose their own bigoted, freed0m-crushing, materialistic version of a particular religion on the children in their community. Again, no sense of irony in advocating a slavish devotion to an ideology that creates another hierarchy of control, asks for money, and denies liberty to any but the obedient.

    And while I agree that obviously libertarianism spans the political spectrum, the variety that most people in the Libertarian, Constitutionalist or Republican parties favor is the one that gives a few extra crumbs to obedient true believers who defend the “right” of the priveleged, connected, corrupt few to retain their vast fortunes and their control over the rest of society, the one that claims to hate government when it aids the poor or the sick but loves it when it commits violence against the rest of the world on behalf of big business.

  17. Michael Donnelly said on January 10th, 2008 at 11:45am #

    Does Schulte understand what she’s saying by bringing up this hoary canard?

    “Setting aside the sneering tone, does Goff understand what he’s saying? That issues like abortion and immigrant rights must be judged as “less important”?”

    Apparently they are “less important” to the Democratic Party establishment. After all, Democrat senators elected Sen. Harry Reid Majority leader by unanimous vote. And, Reid’s position on both issues are to the right of Ron Paul’s.

    So, if the “litmus test(s)” doesn’t even apply to the Ds, themselves, bludgeoning anti-war Paul suporters with it is just a tad disingenuous.

  18. Michael Dawson said on January 10th, 2008 at 12:13pm #

    The proof of the many excellent reasons for flipping Paul the bird he deserve comes screaming out of every post from one of his true constituents. Just look at all the talk about “mob rule,” the decline of “personal responsibility,” etc.

    Libertarianism is half sophomore philosophy and half psychosis.

    Just as there has never been such a thing as a self-sufficient human being, so is it that, in a large, complex society, there is no such thing as “private property” or “rights” (not to mention roadways, fire departments, armies, etc.) without mechanisms of collective enforcement. Accepting that hard unchangeable fact is simply necessary for obtaining political and intellectual adulthood.

    Alas, Paul and his crypto-fascist followers are still playing with children’s toys, albeit very dangerous ones…

    And, of course, they aren’t even consistent. Not even close. Isn’t unstructured “mob rule” exactly the point of libertarianism?

  19. Brad said on January 10th, 2008 at 3:46pm #

    Michael Dawson,

    You are foolish.

    It is about what level of government the services are applied to.

    Your use of labels clouds your view.

    You have grown up in the land your forefathers gave you and you live fat and happy in your ignorance of what America was intended to be.

    Alas, there are many with your affliction.

    I pity you and your kind.

  20. messianicdruid said on January 10th, 2008 at 5:53pm #

    “Mob-rule” is a definition of democracy. In a republic there are obviously laws, but these must not change at the whim of the majority. Sadly, the republic died when the majority decided to have the minority for lunch.

    Concerning RP’s so-called “racism”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvzsiESqVss

  21. Deadbeat said on January 11th, 2008 at 3:19am #

    I’ve seen Ron Paul rebuttal to these horrendous allegations and having engaged and debated many Libertarians over the years, I believe him. Libertarians are not racists. Their problem is that they are naive to why the power of the government was needed to protect African Americans and to reverse the Jim Crow discrimination laws. If this was left to the states Jim Crow laws may not have ever been reversed. Increasing the power of the federal government is abhorrent to the Libertarian ideology attributing to their hesitancy of using such powers.

    That being said, I do agree with identifying the contradictions inherent in the Libertarian ideology. However I feel that there is also a harshness and shrillness in the tone and attack on Ron Paul by Ms. Schulte that you won’t find coming from her with the same ire targeting racism on the left in particular, for example, that of a Noam Chomsky who is an avowed Zionist.

    Also Ms. Schulte, like Ron Jacobs in his recent article, acknowledges the interest in Ron Paul is due to the vacuum caused by the failures and weakness of the left. But like Jacobs, Ms. Schulte does not provide the analysis and explanations FOR the weakness and demobilization of the left. While I agree that “we” need to strength the left how can that happen when the ISO has consistently provided dubious analysis about the current political conditions. They too have promoted the “war for oil” mantra to obfuscate the influence of Zionism on the war on Iraq and the demobilization of the anti-war movement. Their inconsistencies breeds distrust and weakens solidarity.

    I do not fear Ron Paul because I know where he stands on the issues. People trust him because he adheres to his principles. Unfortunately I cannot say the same about the “left”.

  22. Alice said on January 11th, 2008 at 7:43am #

    The Ron Paul “Revolution” an Extreme Rightist Threat
    by Steven Argue


    – abortion and supports the continued ban on same-sex marriage.
    – He was one of the original co-sponsors of the “Marriage Protection Act”.
    – He’s also a religious extremist who thinks that creationism should be taught in the schools.

    Both Congressman Paul and his aides REGULARLY MEET with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays. This is part of a dinner that was originally organized by Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, and has since been mostly taken over by the Council of Conservative Citizens.

    I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy.

  23. Deadbeat said on January 11th, 2008 at 9:44am #

    Zionism has a much greater hold over our culture, foreign policy and political economy — much greater than the marginalized “extreme right”. The shrillness of the attacks on Ron Paul is nowhere near the fever pitch that should be coming from the “left” upon the phonies on the left who have excused Zionism — not only in Israel but the “Zionistic” aspects that have gripped the United States.

    The “extreme right” did not take the U.S. to war at the cost of untold numbers of Iraqi lives and consumed resources that could have been used to fix the levies thus saving lives. In fact, the “extreme right” has been calling for a reduction to the military budget since the end of the Cold War which ironically would save energy, reduce the consumption of oil, protect the environment, and improve economic growth.

    The shrill duplicity leveled upon Paul by the “left” obscures analysis and is a quite familiar tactic. The ISO spewed the same shrillness when Lenora Fulani endorsed Ralph Nader in 2004. In their article, Nader’s Wrong Turndescribe Ms. Fulani as having “cult” associations. Such labels offer no analysis regarding WHY Ms. Fulani has popularity in the African American community. The ISO offered no explanation of Ms. Fulani’s primary issue — African Americans must break from the Democratic Party. Her popularity rose in 1988 because she made her campaign a referendum against the Zionist/racist/Democratic New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Rather than educate the readers to this very important aspect, the ISO, hopes to dissuade readers using disparagement rather than analysis. This is yet another example the ISO doing a disservice and harming their own cause because such shrillness effectively obscured the Zionist/racist/neoliberal policies of Ed Koch that harmed people of color and that Ms. Fulani rise was a reaction to those harmful policies and due to a vacuum on the left. Blacks see the shrillness, especially by whites, as an attack on someone in their community trying to help them rather than a cogent and persuasive analysis.

    This same dynamic holds true for Ron Paul. Paul’s libertarianism needs clear and rational analysis. His policies are attractively “progressive” and clear to folks who want this war to end. In fact, I would argue that the folks who support Paul to see an end to the war on Iraq are MORE principled than the “left” who sold out their principles to demobilize the anti-war movement and support the John Kerry/ABB/safe-state strategy in order to protect and obscure Zionism. And, while the ISO condemn this strategy, they never once provided an analysis regarding the culture of Zionism that grips the U.S. political economy and demobilized the anti-war movement.

    Before the ISO condemns folks who want this war to end through the support of Ron Paul, it needs to start with the condemnation and exposure of the neo-Zionist on the left who have obscured and excused Zionism’s power in the U.S. When people see that then they will be able to trust the left because then they will see an adherence to principles.

  24. The Fanonite said on January 11th, 2008 at 4:30pm #

    – abortion and supports the continued ban on same-sex marriage.
    – He was one of the original co-sponsors of the “Marriage Protection Act”.
    – He’s also a religious extremist who thinks that creationism should be taught in the schools.

    Good to know people have their priorities right. What’s a million Iraqi lives (and 5 million displaced) worth faced with such apocalyptic threats?

    And then they accuse Ron Paul of racism! For the airheads who I see congratulating this type of arse-dribble, all I can say is why not trade countries with the Iraqis? That way not only will you be free of restrictive laws to worry about, you’ll also have the freedom to be blown to smithereens by the same bombs you are so eager not to keep from dropping on Iraqi heads.

    I wonder why none of the ‘progressive’ candidates — all save one bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby — has the principle or conviction of a Ron Paul?

  25. joe said on January 11th, 2008 at 7:50pm #

    John Edwards, for one, is many times better than Ron Paul:



    How come there is no mention of the English role in the war in Iraq? Not just the British army, not just Blair. But the intellectual backing for neo-conservatism from people like Hitchens and Niall Ferguson.

    And now we people like yourself, and Alexander Cockburn backing Ron Paul?

    Go back to your pints and your stag weekends. Leave us alone.

  26. Evil Non-Marxist Land Owner said on January 11th, 2008 at 8:35pm #

    RE: “right to free public education”

    A “right” to “free public education” requires a gun (or threat thereof with a sheriff’s sale) in the face of land owners to extract real estate taxes.

    And with that, Elizabeth is in the camp of the original Nazi party:

    “In order to make possible to every capable and industrious (citizen) the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our system of public education… We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents…”

    – excerpt of planks of the Nationalist Socialist (NAZI) Party of Germany, adopted in Munich on February 24, 1920

    Well, well….seig heil Elizabeth. Give David Duke a kiss, you agree with him more than ya think.

  27. Jim said on January 11th, 2008 at 8:37pm #

    The ignorance here just amazes me. You call Ron Paul a bigot but he’s the only politician that believes the war on drugs is a war on minorities. He believes that drug addiction is a disease, not a crime. 70 % of our prisons population are full of young black and latino americans because of direct discrimination. Yuppie white boys aren’t doing the time. And what’s so wonderful about the Department of Education”? It’s created a generation of young adults with a 5th grade eduction. Schools should be held accountable by parents not federal bureaucrats.
    Torture, preemptive war…this is the works of a dictator or a rogue nation. Look in the mirror..are you really proud to be an American??

  28. Tom Yager said on January 11th, 2008 at 8:39pm #

    Ron Paul is not going to get the nomination of the Republican Party. Dennis Kucinich is not going to get the nomination of the Democratic Party. The question is which pro-war and pro-Patriot Act candidates are these parties going to nominate?

    On the other hand, the question about the GreenParty is which anti-war and anti-Patriot Act candidate are they going to nominate? The Greens are already on the ballot in 21 states. Help them get on the ballot in every state and build an alternative to the duopoly.

  29. dan elliott said on January 11th, 2008 at 8:52pm #


    Yeow! ya got me. Dead to rights.

    How can I wiggle out of this? Hmm… well, lets try this here:

    “I may be senile but I’m not boooringggg”;)

    Well Allan, maybe you’ll do to take along after all. Just be careful not to get in the way?


    Dan Elliott
    Head Honchorooney,
    (Wierdios of Mystical Disconstruction)
    Sacramento Weir, CA*

    *Organism listed for ID purposes only

  30. Deadbeat said on January 12th, 2008 at 4:10pm #

    On the other hand, the question about the GreenParty is which anti-war and anti-Patriot Act candidate are they going to nominate? The Greens are already on the ballot in 21 states. Help them get on the ballot in every state and build an alternative to the duopoly.

    Totally agree.

  31. PatrickSMcNally said on January 16th, 2008 at 5:46am #

    One obvious issue which all sides here seem to have missed is the attitude towards vote theft in the era of Diebold elections. Apart from the more general issues, a key point to be counted in favor of the Socialist Equality Party is that they recognized the reality of stolen elections back in 2000:


    Without restricting ourselves to Ron Paul alone we may ask, how many of the other candidates and parties have openly acknowledged the issue of voter fraud? If no awareness of this as an issue is demonstrated anywhere, then the rest is sort of moot. Ron Paul has basically acted in the manner of a loyal Republican. Similar comments could be applied to most of the other candidates with respect to their own parties. But is this the sort of candidate who is likely to raise questions of vote fraud should that appear relevant? If not, then the rest of the discussion is a waste of time.

  32. Travis said on February 2nd, 2008 at 12:05pm #

    “Paul makes it clear that he believes in “small government” — by which, he means eliminating the federal government’s already shredded social safety net, not to mention the Department of Education.”

    That’s because it goes against the 10th amendment, you do believe in the Constitution don’t you?