...What does this all mean? Does it mean Ron Paul is fronting for fascists? Does it mean he's a racist? Or is it something more complex, but equally disturbing?
Every presidential candidate attracts cranks, racists, kooks, conspiracy theorists, radicals of various stripes, and assorted fringe actors to their campaigns -- some more than others. Generally speaking, it's not worth paying a lot of attention to, because their numbers typically are quite small, and most of those involved are idiosyncratic -- that is, they only coincidentally reflect on the candidate themselves, if at all. They're irrelevant.
But people who track the activities of the far right -- the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Patriots/militiamen, "Freemen"/"constitutionalists", and anti-abortion, anti-tax, and anti-gay radicals -- do pay attention to how they vote: where their money and support goes, and why. It's important to track this because it's about watching who they empower, and who's empowering them, and to what extent this is occurring.
In the 1980s and early '90s, they tended to divide their votes among a menu of various fringe candidates (David Duke, Bo Gritz), mostly under the banner of the Populist Party, and "mainstream" third-party candidates like Ross Perot and Patrick Buchanan. A lot of them, however, abandoned third parties altogether after the 2000 election, when Buchanan betrayed them by choosing a black woman as his running mate -- and many of them simply began voting Republican...
...the far right has always been fond of tapping into threads of national discontent -- it's how they've survived all these years, really -- which is why they have made a living the past generation whipping up anti-government sentiment, exploiting the farm crisis, gun control, abortion, education, and a whole menu of other issues along the way. More recently, immigration has been their chief entree to the mainstream, and now they have jumped on the anti-Iraq war bandwagon.
Ron Paul's presidential candidacy has been the focal point for this, and it has been striking, not to mention disturbing, to observe the unanimity with which the far right has been coalescing behind Paul's candidacy. And the support (unlike that for either Buchanan or Perot) has not been merely avid, it's perfervid.
Virtually every far-right entity -- neo-Nazis, white supremacists, militias, constitutionalists, Minutemen, nativists, you name it -- that I've been monitoring for the past decade or more is lining up behind Paul. I've checked with other human-rights observers, and they're seeing the same thing. Ron Paul, rather quietly and under the radar, has managed to unite nearly the entire radical right behind him.
And it's not likely, even, that this is so much by design as by nature. It's a natural outgrowth of who Ron Paul is. Yet the scope of this coalescence of the far right is unprecedented. Certainly no other presidential candidate in my memory -- except perhaps the early George Wallace -- has energized and drawn the ardent support from the far right the way Ron Paui has...
So when I encounter progressives that tell me all walleyed that Ron Paul has the potential to really change things, I agree.
Work camps for all you immigrants and terra'ists, because the security industrial complex can be just nationalistic as hell, oligarchs running everything, and total destruction of the ability to project non-corporate American power anywhere in the world.
Oh yeah, and Blackwater/ DynCorp running the Pentagon and breaking the back of that commie New World Order United Nations.