Ron Paul and the Paulistas: Populism and the Paranoid Style in American Politics

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Populist Broadsheets from 1880s-1890s

The Paulistas are out there and they’re angry. They’re mad about “corporatist” governance, the Federal Reserve and the war in Iraq. More than a few are truthers and they are quick to spring into action when Paul is mentioned in a a negative light. A few bloggers have experimented by posting entries with titles like “Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul” to see what would happen and, sure enough, the Paulistas come out of the woodwork. 

Paul’s policy proposals and certainly his style, are paranoid populist rather than libertarian. After all, what’s libertarian about restricting women’s reproductive rights and not allowing GLBT folks to serve openly? What’s libertarian about militarizing the border? Paul’s voting record on trade is not incredibly libertarian either.

In fact, when you strip away the libertarian polish, Paul emerges as an economic and political isolationist. Likewise, most of Paul’s supporters—the people who will actually vote for him—are right-wing populists 

Populism has held a few common theses for the past century or so. First, the emphasis of government action should be the “common man.” Second, government is out of touch with the common man (today, this sentiment often goes hand-in-hand with the notion that government is too large). Third, government is controlled by big business and either a specific special interest or cultural group (Jews, Catholics, etc.) or a coalition of special interests. Fourth, populists hold an idealized and nostalgic perception of the past. In essence, the Paulistas think government is run by a group of shadowy and unaccountable elites who place their pecuniary interests above what is best for the United States.

This is nothing new. Paul is simply the latest exponent of what Richard Hofstadter termed “The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1964)”. Writing over four decades ago, Hofstadter observed:

Perhaps the central situation conducive to the diffusion of the paranoid tendency is a confrontation of opposed interests which are (or are felt to be) totally irreconcilable, and thus by nature not susceptible to the normal political processes of bargain and compromise. The situation becomes worse when the representatives of a particular social interest—perhaps because of the very unrealistic and unrealizable nature of its demands—are shut out of the political process. Having no access to political bargaining or the making of decisions, they find their original conception that the world of power is sinister and malicious fully confirmed. They see only the consequences of power—and this through distorting lenses—and have no chance to observe its actual machinery.  

A distinguished historian has said that one of the most valuable things about history is that it teaches us how things do not happen. It is precisely this kind of awareness that the paranoid fails to develop. He has a special resistance of his own, of course, to developing such awareness, but circumstances often deprive him of exposure to events that might enlighten him—and in any case he resists enlightenment. 

In the United States, populism has a long track record of nativism, xenophobia, anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism. Today, this sort of explicit anti-Semitism is unacceptable in mainstream political discourse. But, as many readers of this blog recognize, anti-Semitism tends to be displayed in anti-Zionist or anti-Israel rhetoric. So, rather than saying “Jews have dual loyalties,” populists claim American supporters of Israel or so-called “Likudniks” put the interests of Israel ahead of the United States. 

During the New Hampshire Republican debates, Paul blamed U.S. foreign policy for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. While this clearly distanced him from the hardcore truthers (who variously believe that Bush, Zionists, or both were repsonsible for the attacks) these comments definitely endeared Paul to anti-Zionists. But as historian Efraim Karsh has pointed out, the radical Islamists seek to drive the United States out of the region for their own imperial aspirations: 

To intellectuals, foreign-policy experts, and politicians alike, ’empire’ and ‘imperialism’ are categories that apply exclusively to European powers and, more recently, to the United States. In this view of things, Muslims, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere, are merely objects—the long-suffering victims of the aggressive encroachments of others …This perspective dominated the widespread explanation of the 9/11 attacks as only a response to America’s (allegedly) arrogant and self-serving foreign policy, particularly with respect to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

While Paul is certainly not as crazy as Lyndon La Rouche, his followers remind me of the La Rouchies in their zealousness and ability to make themselves seem more numerous than they actually are. The La Rouchies accomplish this by publishing a lot of magazines and newspapers. The Paulistas utilize the Internet. For example, while Paul was polling between zero and two percent, he was overwhelmingly winning web-based assessments of the recent Republican debates. 

Thankfully Paul’s minions are a very small, if vocal, minority in the Republican Party. Paul has no chance of winning the Republican primary let alone the general election. So maybe we should cut the Paulistas some slack. As Hofstadter wrote, “We are all sufferers from history, but the paranoid is a double sufferer, since he is afflicted not only by the real world, with the rest of us, but by his fantasies as well.” 

 

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24 responses »

  1. Go Ron Paul! Go Ron Paul! God Bless Ron Paul! Ron Paul for President 2008!

    Ron Paul in CNN debate on June 5, 2007!

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor—he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.
    — Cicero: orator, statesman, political theorist, lawyer and philosopher of Ancient Rome.

    “In the time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” GEORGE ORWELL

  2. Ron Paul’s populism is the populism of Henry Ford and Lindbergh. It’s a typically small town paranoia about ‘furregners’ that looks for vast conspiracies beating down the little guy, usually involving Jews and international organizations. It attracts the same crossover crowds of the far right and far left who believe in black helicopters and that Sharon gives all the orders on Capitol Hill, even from his coma.

  3. Chris, it’s strange that you quote Orwell as he supported the struggle of liberal democracies against totalitarianism. Unlike Paul who wants Americans to bury their heads in the sand and pretend the Islamist threat will go away if we retreat from the Middle East.

    Paul is an isolationist and populist. Orwell was an internationalist and socialist. Big difference there…

    http://www.democratiya.com/review.asp?reviews_id=94
    “Orwell in Tribune” by George Orwell
    Review by Nick Cohen

    “Today, you don’t hear a single voice raised in protest about what al Qaeda is doing to Iraq or against the Muslim Brotherhood anywhere in the world. If anything the duplicity is worse than during Stalinism. Then, leftish intellectuals could pretend to themselves that the Soviet Union was progressive and at some level shared their values. By contrast, Islamism makes no secret of its contempt for the Left and for liberalism or its appropriation of Nazi conspiracy theory.

    From the Iranian Revolution onwards, the first task of radical Islam has been to persecute Muslim socialists, liberals and freethinkers.

    History is not repeating itself therefore, but taking a turn for the worse. Nevertheless, Orwell’s parting message from 1944 to English left-wing journalists and intellectuals remains as true then as now.

    Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for. Don’t imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the Soviet regime, or any other regime, and then suddenly return to mental decency. Once a whore, always a whore.'”

  4. So we have you labelling Paul a populist, while the people at DailyKos claim he wants to sell the people out to the same “pecuniary interests” you claim he opposes.

    You’re trying to fit a square peg in a round hole here. You can find a few sample positions to make it appear that Paul is a right-wing populist, but that’s just not enough. Paul is not Pat Buchanan, no matter how much you’d like him to be. Buchanan’s isolationism is fundamentally nationalist, and Paul just isn’t a nationalist.

    How about not telling libertarians who’s a libertarian and who isn’t, m’kay? On the abortion issue, Paul’s willingness to de-federalize the issue and live with the verdict of the individual states is about as much as we can expect from someone whose outlook is fundamentally pro-life. Please note that the Libertarian Party of America does not take a position on abortion, precisely because there’s a deep split on the issue even among libertarians.

    As for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I was disappointed in Paul’s answer to this question at the second debate. He began his answer by saying that he thought the policy was working, but then went on to say that he thought that gay service personnel should only be expelled if their behavior was disruptive – and that he would hold straight personnel to the same standard. Since that’s not actually the policy, he both supported the policy and expressed support for the opposite of the policy in the same answer. This was an uncharacteristically muddled answer for him so I’ll admit that I’m somewhat confused as to his actual position.

  5. By the way, European and American intervention in the Middle East created radical Islam, so it’s not completely unreasonable to believe that our withdrawal will kill radical Islam.

    The dominant political and social movements throughout the Middle East for most of the 20th century were secularizing, modernizing, and nationalistic. Where did those movements go? Why were they replaced by radical Islamic movements? Until we can answer those questions, I don’t think we can really design a Grand Strategy for the Middle East.

  6. “By the way, European and American intervention in the Middle East created radical Islam, so it’s not completely unreasonable to believe that our withdrawal will kill radical Islam.”

    Fluffy, have a look at the Karsh review linked above. Better yet, read the book. Maybe it will change your mind. Then again…

    “Contrary to most explanations popular in Middle Eastern Studies, then, Karsh does not see Islamism as a response to the domination of European imperialism or to the growing embrace of Western ideals and practices by Muslim societies. Rather, the early Muslim Brotherhood traced the societal breakdown in the Islamic world ‘to the disintegration of the first umma and the creation of the Umayyad and Abbasid empires, where the notion of Allah’s universal sovereignty succumbed to the reality of human kingship and hereditary rule in the most decadent and un-Islamic forms’ (p.110).

    Thus, just as the first umma included an enormously diverse number of peoples, the Islamists’ ‘vision of peace and harmony under the banner of Islam was a worldwide, transnational order’ (p.212). As the first umma was produced by Muhammad’s military triumphs, so this new transnational Islamic order would be ushered in by politically motivated violence…

    Beyond its historical merits, this latest work is a solid and studious refutation of the commonly held notion that the rise of Islamism is an historical reaction to European imperialism or that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East led to the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001. As Karsh writes, ‘Arab and Muslim anti-Americanism, have little to do with U.S. international behaviour or its Middle Eastern policy. America’s position as the pre-eminent world power blocks Arab and Islamic imperialist aspirations. As such, it is a natural target for aggression. Osama bin Laden’s … war is not against America per se, but is rather the most recent manifestation of the millenarian jihad for a universal Islamic empire (or umma)’ (p. 234).”

    Check it out…

  7. I’m a Paul supporter. I’d probably fit into the category of crazy far left. It seems difficult, given the recent examples of Cheney, Gonzales, and Scalia and friends, to deny that the Federal Government is open to abuse.

    The US is too large to comfortably accomodate its citizens. Seattle is too different from Mobile to be run by the same strong government. Under a limited Federal government each would have greater freedom to be themselves. I don’t see the Red and Blue staying together without a heck of a lot more distance between them.

    I’m sure Paul resonates with populists from the right. It also resonates with those that have been left with a bunker mentality and longing looks at Canada after the last few years.

    Bush has made a very good argument for the advantages of small government and a return to the Constitution. Paul is the only one with the intelligence and voting record to be believable.

  8. Fluffy writes:

    “So we have you labelling Paul a populist…”

    Take a look around. It is not only me. Here is a self-described “populist-conservative” blogger who supports Paul:

    http://www.thepoliticallife.com/

    And the Populist Party seems to be claiming him as one their own as well. A basic search on Google will turn up a lot of people who think Paul is a populist.

    “How about not telling libertarians who’s a libertarian and who isn’t, m’kay?”

    As far as leaving labeling to the labeled that’s not the way it works in this country or anywhere else to the best of my knowledge. If you call yourself a libertarian–let alone a Libertarian–and consistently vote against free trade, and reproductive rights and LGBT rights it is going to raise more than a few eyebrows.

  9. Cascadian writes:

    “I’m a Paul supporter. I’d probably fit into the category of crazy far left.”

    In the past I would have found it quite strange that a self-described “crazy far-leftist” would support Paul. But your comments are emblematic of a disturbing but predictable political phenomena, the convergence of the far left and far right. Disturbing because both display elements of what intellectual Richard Hofstadter termed “the paranoid style in American politics” but predictable given the weakness and marginalization of the political extremes in the United States.

    Some aspects of Paul that should raise the ire of genuine progressives: he was an anti-choice OB/GYN before getting into politics, is against immigration and immigrants’ rights and he has a very poor record on labor issues.

    There’s also the issue of his bigotry. I realize he has distanced themselves from some racist comments that appreared in his “Survivialist” newsletter but I think he is just trying to make himself more acceptable to the mainstream.

    “It seems difficult, given the recent examples of Cheney, Gonzales, and Scalia and friends, to deny that the Federal Government is open to abuse.”

    No argument with that. But the Federal government has been open to abuse since the time of the framers. Isn’t that why “The Federalist Papers” were written?

  10. So glad that I discovered this blog. And I think that the Hofstadter analysis (though he certainly had many faults) rings so true with the Paulists of the day (or Kucinichists, or those who supported Ned Lamont, etc…). The bending of the political spectrum so that the extreme left and extreme right have switched in many ways (particularly on the issues of isolationism and Zionism) is one of the more disturbing patterns of modern politics. The anger and despair of those who claim leftist politics these days only shows how intellectually bankrupt and inherently contradictory their perspectives actually are.

  11. Don’t you think that perhaps there are quite a few people who are simply disgusted with flip-flopping, finger-in-the-wind candidates, whose positions change with as much predictability and logic as television programming time-slots?

    Undoubtedly the world has changed quite a bit since the framers of the Constitution did their considerable amount of work, but I am confident that human nature has not changed as much as our technology.

    Modern political interests have adapted our political system to suit their convenience (surely you aren’t arguing that our political process is not largely “governed” by special interests/interest-blocks?), which is precisely what the framers sought to limit, second only to the limitations placed on those elected to govern. Following the law (i.e., Constitution and subsidiary laws) and the principles which underpin it is Mr. Paul’s primary message; is there any other candidate who would say the same?

    Just for the record, I’m a male, gay, libertarian, socially liberal, fiscal-conservative, college-educated, technologically-sophisticated American citizen (oops! fringe city!). No, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, alien abductions, am not a “gun nut” (though I do believe in the right to self-defense), yadda-yadda.

    And finally, what’s up with all the “if you’re not mainstream, you must be out there on the fringe?” (snicker snicker) crap? Honestly, I don’t think there’s a group more ineffectual and marginalized than mainstream voters these days. Look at all the position-shifting droids they have to choose from (don’t worry, whichever one you choose, they won’t actually *do* what they said they would…er…the last time they changed there position).

  12. First, thanks for stopping by. But I disagree with some of your claims. The interest in the candidates—at least on the Democratic side—rivals anything I’ve seen in a long time. Much, much, more interest than when Kerry was the nominee. On the Republican side, not so much…

    Second, the framers wrote a great deal about the influence of special interests, or what they called “factions.” But, like many pluralists, they felt that there were so many different interests in a country the size of the United States (thirteen colonies at that time) that no single one of these interests would be able to control the political system. Since the time of the framers, the system has only got larger and more complex, with more competing interests, not less. I really dislike Wikipedia but here is a basic definition of pluralism.

    I don’t think there is anything contemporary about this. Interests influenced the political process in the time of the framers, but they were different interests than the ones influencing the political process today. To hark back to a time when interests did not influence politics is a myth.

    Hamilton addresses this matter specifically in Federalist Nos. 9 and 10, especially No. 10.

    Quoting at length:

    “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good…

    It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good…

    The inference to which we are brought is, that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS…

    A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking…

    ***[T]he greater number of citizens and extent of territory which may be brought within the compass of republican than of democratic government; and it is this circumstance principally which renders factious combinations less to be dreaded in the former than in the latter. The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.***”

    Again, this is a very pluralist (in contrast to elite) way of looking at things. An elite perspective views the political process as controlled by some sort of nefarious cabal rather than the political process reflecting the outcome of competing interests groups or “factions.” You may disagree, but this the way the framers saw things, as Hamilton makes clear above.

  13. “And finally, what’s up with all the “if you’re not mainstream, you must be out there on the fringe?” (snicker snicker) crap? Honestly, I don’t think there’s a group more ineffectual and marginalized than mainstream voters these days. Look at all the position-shifting droids they have to choose from (don’t worry, whichever one you choose, they won’t actually *do* what they said they would…er…the last time they changed there position).”

    Who is snickering? Did you read the Hofstadter article?

    I think Clinton, Obama, McCain and Giuliani are all fairly close to the center. The first two are a bit to the left and the second two a bit to the right. So if you are a centrist, the front runners are not bad at all.

  14. Thank you for having me. 😉

    I think the interest on the Democratic side derives from a sense that–finally–there will be a chance to change things (though, based on the results of the majority’s Congressional performance so far, this seems misplaced). In addition, the leading candidates being a woman and a black man (both relatively young, “non-traditional” candidates) are capturing a lot of young people’s imaginations, coupled with media-savvy campaigns.

    Unfortunately, I don’t believe that their centrist positions are a result of political skill and diplomatic mindsets, so much as the recognition that one retains more flexibility if one remains “balanced.” None of the “major” candidates seem to be pushing a strong set of principles, which can be OK, but are not what many people feel this country needs right now.

    Regarding special interests: Of course your citation is correct and applicable, except that a funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century…the politicians found a way to make the pie bigger and bigger. Instead of special interests competing with each other to the extent that they effectively nullify each others’ influence, the result is a tacit agreement of “you can have yours, if I can have mine.”

    The people have been brainwashed into thinking that this is how the system is supposed to work, but I think that if any of the Founders were here today, they would be appalled at how their original vision has mutated into something so monstrous (in terms of size and complexity, and the subversion of the representative basis of it).

    I’m not going to argue about the issue of fringe support for Ron Paul or whether he qualifies as populist, because my feeling is that anyone who is not happy with the state of political affairs in this country right now simply has no choice but to gravitate toward the brightest light available. As a gay man, I don’t believe for one instant that either Obama or Hillary has my best interests at heart. I don’t trust their motives, their philosophies, their morphing policy positions, or anything else about them, for that matter. I don’t want to be at the whim of whoever is in office *this* term; I want my rights *as a citizen* protected, plain and simple. This depends on a popular mindset of what the role of government is in a free society, and an effective communication of this expectation to our elected representatives.

    While I don’t necessarily agree with every position Ron Paul has taken or will take, I believe that he means what he says, and trust that, if elected, he will continue to stand by his principles. There is no other “mainstream” candidate I would say that about, even jokingly.

    “Who is snickering?” The mainstream media, certainly. I don’t think they will be so dismissive in a couple of months, once people have a chance to hear Mr. Paul speak and express his views fully (oh, god, did you see Rudy’s “I am SO angry” blink during the SC debate when he demanded Paul apologize for his remark about 9/11? Hysterical.).

    I think what it all boils down to is an incompatible set of beliefs. Either the world is so complex that our government must be a huge morass of compromise and nannyism to protect us and nurture us, or that there are fundamental principles which are necessarily followed to ensure liberty and prosperity in a free country. You can’t really have it both ways: principles and compromise make unhappy bedfellows. So, in a sense, there really is a dichotomy between “believers” and “non-believers.”

    I think that you will agree that, above all, the Founding Fathers were all very pragmatic men, well-schooled and experienced in the history and practice of government and society. They were not naive utopianists. They also were neither wholly populists nor elitists (in the sense of aristocratic or meritocratic rule), but sought to forge a balance between principle and pragmatism, theory and practice, that would withstand a changing world and creeping corruption. I would place my money on them versus Hillary Obama or Rudy McRomney and day.

    (Good grief, sorry about the length!)

  15. Jay, no worries about the length…

    I think the interest in the Democratic candidates is not primarily about change but about winning the election. After all, that’s what all politicians aim to do, run and win. David Mayhew writes about this in Congress: The Electoral Connection.

    I disagree with your interpretation of the candidates’ centrism. To be clear, it is not in a candidate’s self-interest to appear centrist at this time given the division in the electorate and wishes of the various bases of the two parties. For example, it is in Clinton’s interest to say “Yes, I made a mistake, this war was a mistake” but she refuses to do it. Similarly, it is in Giuliani’s interest to say “Gun control is wrong for the United States” but he hasn’t. It would be so easy for these candidates to renounce their centrism and it would play really well with their respective bases but they are sticking with their positions.

    “the politicians found a way to make the pie bigger and bigger. Instead of special interests competing with each other to the extent that they effectively nullify each others’ influence, the result is a tacit agreement of “you can have yours, if I can have mine.”

    I suspect this was the case back then as well. There has always been a lot of back scratching in Congress, if you know what I mean. Have a look at David Grann’s “The Nihlists: If Only Congress Could Be Trult Partisan.”

    “I think that if any of the Founders were here today, they would be appalled at how their original vision has mutated into something so monstrous (in terms of size and complexity, and the subversion of the representative basis of it).”

    Actually, the Framers expected the country to grow in size and complexity and this was a good thing. They also expected the number of special interests or factions to increase, which was also a good thing. This is the pluralist vision.

    http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itsv/0606/ijse/janda.htm

    “The American model of democratic government, pluralist democracy, has a number of advantages over the majoritarian model, and these reflect the Founders’ vision for America. Pluralist democracy requires government power to be dispersed and authority to be decentralized. According to this model, democracy exists when government authority is divided among multiple centers of power that are open to interests of various groups—for example, labor v. management, farmers v. food stores, coal companies v. environmentalists. Groups like these compete against each other in a pluralistic society.”

    Take it easy and come back any time.

  16. Typo:

    David Grann’s “The Nihlists: If Only Congress Could Be Trult Partisan.”

    Should read:

    David Grann’s “The Nihlists: If Only Congress Could Be Truly Partisan.”

  17. As wonderful as Hofstadter was (particularly his Anti-intellectualism tomb), I’m hardly going to hold him as an authority in an election year of change a half a century later.

    You could have labeled Goldwater supporters similarly, but that would not have taken into account their effect on the political landscape for the following three decades.

    It’s short sighted to label anything small and idealistic as impossible or the tilting at quixotic windmills. Ideas have a life of their own. A reality supported by thinkers at least as astute as Hofstadter .

  18. Pingback: Is Ron Paul the Republican Ralph Nader? « The New Centrist

  19. Hi Centrist,
    I was curious who these Ron Paul supporting leftists are that you’re referring to. I just haven’t seen it, though I also have certainly not searched for it. It made me wonder if your suggestion was due to a simple conflation of anti-war sentiment with left sentiment? But I doubted that, since anti-war sentiment is not and has never been solely a left or progressive position. Could you point me to those leftists you’re referring to?

  20. “Cascadian’s” comment reflected traditional (non-Left) libertarianism — small government, and constitution-obsession.
    But Bill Weinberg, from ww4report.com, pointed to an article on the World Socialist Web Site which shows the usual suspect, CounterPunch, being one of the main sources of Left support for Ron Paul. the link is here: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jan2008/paul-j22.shtml
    The link you provided to the liberal blog referred to comments made on an Indymedia cite’s open publishing comments, which can’t be taken seriously as a source of Left opinion.
    I also tried the google search you recommended, and found a bunch of Left critiques of Ron Paul. From this short search, seems like the “left support for Ron Paul” claim is exaggerated. Seems his support is from other sections of people holding anti-war views. But this broad and heterogenous group shouldn’t be confused or conflated with leftists in general.

  21. I take people’s claims of political self-identification seriously. In other words, when Cascadian says he’s “crazy far left” I think he has some idea of what he means when refers to himself in this manner.

    As far as Paul goes, his support is coming from people with marginal political views. That includes people on the left and the right. I agree that the latter dominate. However, I’ve talked to many Kucinich supporters who would consider voting for Paul and if you do a bit of searching there are others on the lib-left who support him as well.

    Lastly, while you may not consider Indy or Counterpunch an accurate barometer of radical leftist opinion I will suggest to you that both of these infantile sites have far greater readerships than Bill’s WW4. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer Bill’s perspective to the vast majority of what’s out there on the rad-left but he is far and away a minority.

    You can read a discussion on this topic here:

    http://ww4report.com/node/5118

  22. Pingback: 100G « The New Centrist

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