R-love-ution

As if U.S. electoral politics didn’t depress me enough, I somehow found myself reading the entire New Republic article on presidential candidate Ron Paul, a fave of large chunks of the antiwar movement. Here are some of the gems that appeared in newsletters bearing the name of that hipster pinup (seriously: you can’t swing a six pack of PBR without hitting a scenester holding forth on the Ron Paul Revolution, man):

Take, for instance, a special issue of the Ron Paul Political Report, published in June 1992, dedicated to explaining the Los Angeles riots of that year. “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began,” read one typical passage. According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with “‘civil rights,’ quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda.” […]

This “Special Issue on Racial Terrorism” was hardly the first time one of Paul’s publications had raised these topics. As early as December 1989, a section of his Investment Letter, titled “What To Expect for the 1990s,” predicted that “Racial Violence Will Fill Our Cities” because “mostly black welfare recipients will feel justified in stealing from mostly white ‘haves.'” Two months later, a newsletter warned of “The Coming Race War,” and, in November 1990, an item advised readers, “If you live in a major city, and can leave, do so. If not, but you can have a rural retreat, for investment and refuge, buy it.” In June 1991, an entry on racial disturbances in Washington, DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood was titled, “Animals Take Over the D.C. Zoo.” “This is only the first skirmish in the race war of the 1990s,” the newsletter predicted. In an October 1992 item about urban crime, the newsletter’s author — presumably Paul — wrote, “I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming.”

Ugh. And even though the author of the article admits that these newsletters are both hard to find — meaning many who now support him may not know of them — and probably not written by Paul himself, it’s not like these sentiments — and others I didn’t quote about queers, Jews, etc. — aren’t present in the politics he’s not afraid to openly proclaim, albeit in coded form: his rantings about protecting U.S. sovereignty, his brutal anti-immigrant rhetoric, his endorsing of pro-Confederacy screeds, his fulminations about the New World Order.

It’s more than a little disconcerting that the only candidate in the presidential race that inspires any sort of passion, that is leading the R-love-ution, as his people call it, is openly a fascist.

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2 thoughts on “R-love-ution

  1. Because he’s antiwar. And not antiwar, as it often gets called in the U.S., because he’s opposed to the Iraq war, but because he’s against all “offensive” wars, and even uses some of the language of the antiwar left — imperialism, aggression, and the like.

    Before posting, I thought about changing that part, but since the paleo-right is increasingly its presence in antiwar movement (the well organized, but particularly the more informal), I think it’s a fair characterization. It’s true that organized groups on the left — the Trot cults, activist groups, etc. — officially either oppose or barely tolerate the Paul movement, but in my observations and in those of others I’ve talked to, a not insignificant number of individuals from those groups are actually supporting Paul, attending his rallies and such. The following doesn’t mean much to me, but it seems to be a good barometer: Chomsky hates Paul, while Cockburn has openly agitated for him to run as an independent.

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