David of Orcinus has a very detailed must read post about Ron Paul (emphasis mine):
A more important point, though, that’s overlooked in all this is that Ron Paul has made a career out of transmitting extremist beliefs, particularly far-right conspiracy theories about a looming “New World Order,” into the mainstream of public discourse by reframing and repackaging them for wider consumption, mostly by studiously avoiding the more noxious and often racist elements of those beliefs. Along the way, he has built a long record of appearing before and lending the credibility of his office to a whole array of truly noxious organizations, and has a loyal following built in no small part on members of those groups.
And it’s equally important to understand that he hasn’t changed his beliefs appreciably in the interim. Most of his positions today — including his opposition to the Iraq war — are built on this same shoddy foundation of far-right conspiracism and extremist belief systems, particularly long-debunked theories about the “New World Order,” the Federal Reserve and our monetary system, the IRS, and the education system.
David goes on to discuss issues of racism, conspiracy theories, and the very good reasons why Ron Paul is not a top tier candidate. Where I think Paul is the most dangerous is in his transmission of truly extremist ideas into the mainstream (emphasis mine):
What Paul never explained was that one of the primary sources for this information about black crime came from Jared Taylor, the pseudo-academic racist whose magazine American Renaissance was at the time embarked on a long series of tirades on the subject (the June 1992 issue was primarily devoted to the subject; the statistic claiming that 85 percent of black men in D.C. have been arrested appears in the August issue), the culmination of which was Taylor’s later book, The Color of Crime, which made similarly unsupportable claims about blacks.
This sort of unspoken dalliance — an uncredited transmission of ideas, as it were — takes place all the time with far-right politicos like Ron Paul. It’s one of the reasons to be concerned about any traction they may actually gain within the mainstream.
This makes you wonder about some of the talking points in the current immigration debate.
Ron Paul is an attractive candidate to some because of the way he cuts party lines with his stance on Iraq, and that unmistakable libertarian mystique that never seems to find a willing host to be put into practice. However the man’s good points cannot and should not overshadow his role as a pusher for far-right/racist/fascist positions.
what is unmistakably, ineluctably true about Ron Paul is that he is an extremist: a conspiracy theorist, a fear-monger, and an outright nutcase when it comes to monetary, tax, and education policy. The more believers and sympathizers he gathers, the worse off the rest of us will be.
The left should no more make a political alliance with Ron Paul than with Dick Cheney. And the right should be looking for a better candidate. Even given the current field, one shouldn’t be too hard to find.
“Its about respect and integrity, attack the idea not the man.”
His association with rightwing extremist groups tells you everything about the man AND his ideas.
This is why Ron Paul is not a good candidate. Linking to the constitution or arguing that he has good positions on some domestic issues misses the point entirely. Ron Paul doesn’t just associate with rightwing extremist groups, he helps them sell their badly damaged goods to America.