Why Ron Paul Will Not Go Far

Ron Paul has recently gotten in some trouble for items written under his name in newsletters back in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  The article that I linked to quotes material that appears to be racist, anti-Semitic, pro-Confederate, and many other bad things.  His supporters are quick to note that he did not actually write the material, but rather that it was ghost-written.  One of his former chiefs of staff, John Robbins, has pointed the finger at Lew Rockwell , another of his former chiefs of staff, for these writings.

This incident reminds me that while I like some of what Ron Paul says, I would never trust him to lead this country.  In fact, I wouldn’t trust him to lead much of anything.  Because there are a large number of strange people among his followers.

The regular media will be more than happy to point out some of these people, but I think it will be useful if I point out two of the “punks in my neighborhood” who are among his followers.  My neighborhood, metaphorically speaking, is that of conservative Presbyterianism.

There are two of Ron Paul’s supporters who have been on his congressional staff previously.  The first one of note is Dr. Gary North.  While Dr. North has a good understanding of past events, such as the economic thought of Puritans, when it comes to predicting the future, he is no better than Pat Robertson.  He is noted for predicting that Y2K would cause a global catastrophe, and he thought that by 1992 the AIDs epidemic would overwhelm the world’s hospitals.  For decades, he has been looking for a disaster to take down the United States’ economic system, so that his ideas would find a more receptive audience.  You can find a sampling of his writings here.

The other person I want to mention is John W. Robbins. Dr. Robbins also served on Ron Paul’s congressional staff.  Gary North once said of John Robbins, “He is a lot more conservative than I am, and a lot meaner.”  He claimed to be his Chief of Staff from 1981-1985, apparently succeeding Lew Rockwell in that position.  (Lew Rockwell’s bio says that he served as Ron Paul’s chief of staff from 1978-1982.) 

Dr. Robbins is the head of the Trinity Foundation, which publishes the works of Christian philosopher Gordon Clark, a Calvinist with some quirky ideas.  He is also quite the muckraker in conservative Presbyterian circles.  If you check out the Horror Files section of his website, you will see quite a number of attacks on fellow Presbyterians.  Frequently, the alleged offence is that the erring person is on the road to Rome.  Such accusations are even leveled against folks like R. C. Sproul, who is a pillar of conservative Presbyterianism.  Also, you do not want to get in an argument with Robbins on the Internet.  He can get really nasty.

With friends like these, Ron Paul should not get more than 15% in any primary.  There will be a few people who support him because of some of his views.  But to get serious consideration, people will have to look at the whole man, and a man who is surrounded by people with seriously weird ideas will always be vulnerable to criticism.

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15 thoughts on “Why Ron Paul Will Not Go Far

  1. You said, “Because there are a large number of strange people among his followers.”

    Perhaps we should delve into the psychological profiles of the other candidates supporters. I imagine there are quite a few “strange” ones supporting the others as well.

    I support Ron Paul. I never thought of myself as “strange” but I imagine I am perceived that way by at few people I’ve encountered in my lifetime.

    I think that would also find out that through out the history of our nation there have been famous American leaders who may have been a little “weird” in their thinking.

    Human beings truly are a strange lot.

    I’d stick with the “Books, Toy, and Games” theme if I were you. Here’s a few book recommendations; 1776 by David McCullough is a good read followed by his book “John Adams” . You might also consider American Sphix by Joseph Ellis. To my knowledge, non of the authors are Ron Paul supporters if it makes you feel any better.

    I find there are quite a few voters out there who are seriously deficient in understanding the origins of our nation as well as what made the founding fathers tick. You might also read up of the huge riff between two of the nation’s principle founders….Jefferson and Hamilton.

    In my humble opinion, the only Jeffersonian candidate out there in either party is Ron Paul. The rest either believe in an over inflated European style social welfare state or in a far too powerful federal government which in the end, can not help but threaten our civil liberty.

  2. Count me in…retired schoolteacher, age 60, 20-year member of the GOP.

    Very strange indeed.

    No one gives a good hoot about those newsletters.

    We care more that Obama belongs to a black separatist church and that Hillary hired the racist LaRAZA operative as her campaign co-chair.

    Now THERE you have TWO HUGE RACISTS!

    You ought to spend more time on that than some old newsletter that is not even attributable to the flawless Dr. Paul..

    Heh.

  3. “I would still be looking for gifts for the family during this season. The Mrs. would still like presents; gold, jewelry, and labor-saving devices called slaves would be at the top of her list.”

    Oh my, you support the institution of slavery! And I’ve seen Bible quotes on your blog and the Old Testament talks about slavery, so you must use the Bible to validate your pro slavery stance. African Americans were slaves and you want a return to slavery so you must be racist too!

    See, anything can be taken out of context and twisted. For the record, your above quote was made in jest and had to do with Viking raiders. Nothing you have posted would lead me to believe you support slavery or are a racist.

  4. Here is a quick answer to the responses so far, before I go to work.

    nh4ronpaul, I already posted about Barack Obama. It is in my Archives from long ago. I believe the title of the post was “Is This Candidte Racist?” Before you tell me what I should write about, you should look at what I have already written.

    I know that Ron Paul followers don’t give a hoot about those newsletters, but potential Ron Paul voters in the future will. It will prevent him from getting beyond a base of something like 10% of the Republican primary voters.

    And D. Stewart, I never said that all Ron Paul voters are strange. But a few people who have been quite close to him are strange, and their strangeness is of a type that I am able to recognize and point out.

    Sean, you should read the New Republic article before you decide that the quotes were taken out of context. Incidentally, John Robbins, a Ron Paul supporter who cannot be accused of political correctness, thought many of the writings were abhorrent. (He blamed Lew Rockwell for them.) So the line for Ron Paul supporters is not that the offensive material was taken out of context, but rather that Ron Paul did not write it.

  5. If you look closely, you will see that the NAACP makes a public statement that Dr. Ron Paul is NOT a racist.

    By going to http://www.ronpaul2008.com you can see a partial list of all the scientists, professors, business leaders, actors, politicians, and many more “nuts and crackpots”.

    Besides, Paul is probably the only one who is NOT a member of the CFR. When the candidates are mostly all members of the same think-tank organization, do you think that any of them would make any changes? No, I don’t. It would be business as usual, regardless who the republicrat is.

  6. Gary,

    I always take the NAACP’s word for who is a racist. Don’t you? 🙂

    Actually, I never said RP is a racist, but some of his ghost writers appear to be. And since he is not capable of controlling his ghostwriters, he shouldn’t be president. That doesn’t mean his ideas are bad, but he is not the purest vessel to carry them.

    I know that many of RPs supporters are perfectly normal. Some are even outstanding, as your list shows. That still does not falsify my statement above.

  7. Lenny,

    Is an “agictator” a cross between an agitator and a dictator? I.e., someone who rules by annoying everyone else until they give in?

    If he acts like that, like for example if he always gets the last comment on all of my posts, can I borrow your dawgs and chase him off? 🙂 Or maybe we can just distract him by setting him up with your cousin?

  8. “pro-confederate and many other bad things….”?????

    That was odd.

    BTW the newsletters were not written by “ghost writers”. That suggests that they were constituent letters sent out by Rep. Ron Paul. They weren’t.

    They were a business venture in the pre internet days. Back in the ‘ol days people used to buy subscriptions to newsletters to get the “inside track”. There were many publishers of “conservative” newsletters. One of the most common methods of developing a “new product” was for the publisher to pay a fee to a well known person with the “right profile” to use their name as the Banner for a new newsletter.

    There were hundreds of these newsletters on both the left and the right “back in the day”. In most cases the connection of the “banner name” to the actual letter was nil. The publisher normaly would pay a fee + a comission to the person whose name was used & the publisher was responsible for the writing and editing.

    And trust me from some of the ones I knew first hand, there was very little editing. In most cases the contract would say that the letter was to “provide a conservative, libertarian, austrian, whatever” view on the news of the day.

    Many of the “names” were embarased by the content that would go out from time to time under their name, but what were you going to do?

    BTW one of the few exceptions to this rule was “scary” Gary himself. He always wrote his own copy, or at least told you who the guest writer was.

  9. Kevin,

    Perhaps I should have written “pro-slavery” instead of “pro-confederate.” That would have been clearer.

    A man’s good name is very precious, and if someone puts his name on the masthead of a newsletter, he should be ready to take responsibility for what is written under his name. If not, he is engaging in risky behavior, and it may come back to bite him.

    I used to subscribe to some of Gary North’s newsletters. To his credit, he did always make it clear who was writing.

    BTW, despite what I wrote about Ron Paul, I hope he wins some state such as Nevada or Idaho (Utah, alas, will not be in play), just to keep the frontrunners from getting too confident. I think it would be great if the Republicans had a brokered convention. If they had fistfights and broke chairs over each others’ heads, and finally settled things in a smoke filled room with real cigar smoke, that would be even better.

  10. You are correct, that was confusing.

    If instead you had focused on slavery, rather that form of government, you would have opened all kinds of opportunities.

    For example, you could have titled your post “The Two Pauls; Why I object to Ron, and the Holy Apostle”.

    Pax

  11. Yes, we could get into more detail, like the differences between ancient slavery (which was based on circumstances such as debt or being on the losing end of a war) and Southern slavery (which was based on race), and what difference the coming of Christ makes to the institution of slavery in the long haul.

    I know these subjects reasonably well, but a blog post is not the best medium to write about them. It is enough for me to say that I am not embarrassed about anything that the Bible says about slavery, if it is not taken out of context.

    A presidential campaign, where you generally get to speak in 30 second sound bites, is a realm that makes it impossible to discuss these issues with any clarity. So naturally Ron Paul is getting in trouble for some of the things that either he or his associates have said.

  12. Mureen,

    I don’t know the answers to these questions, but they don’t have anything to do with Ron Paul. It is funny that you should change the subject like this.

    I deleted your post because 1) My daughter reads this blog; 2) Two of your accusations framed as questions (to your credit, your venom is bipartisan) are serious and outrageous enough that I can’t let them stay here. The Ninth Commandment is still in effect, and is particularly necessary in the Internet Age.

    You may try re-posting with the appropriate edits if you wish.

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