On The Nature Of Ron Paul’s Support

One of the stories that’s really circulating in the blogosphere right now is about Ron Paul’s ties to white power and Nazi groups. Here’s Ace of Spades HQ covering the Paul/Stormfront connection,

Ron Paul Poses With Stormfront Nazi Don Black & Son

…He is oddly reluctant to give up a mere $500 from the Nazi, isn’t he? This is of course the same Don Black who donated the $500 to Ron Paul before, which Paul has been so intent on keeping.

I should hope to God he gives that money back, or else, no, I’m not going to believe this is all just an alarming string of coincidences any longer.

…Trying to be Charitable… but I’ll note again that this is the guy who actively courts Truthers as supporters, appears on the talk show of psychologically warped conspiracy pornographer Alex Jones, says he just can’t do anything at all if a Stormfront newsletter links to his campaign page, etc.

The f*cking freak courts people like this. So yeah, I’m trying to give the benefit of the doubt here, but this is the company he keeps. Not the exclusive company, to be sure, but he doesn’t mind palling around with basket-case extremists and bug-eyed malcontents on either the extreme right or extreme left.

Here’s what you have to understand about Ron Paul: once you get beyond the anti-war libs who like him because he wants to leave Iraq immediately and a few mainstream conservatives with little “l” Libertarian leanings, his support is made up mostly of people who are on the fringes on politics. They’re anti-war paleocons, Big “L” libertarians, truthers, the North American Union crowd, and other people who are generally ignored by mainstream politicians.

Now, Ron Paul doesn’t always explicitly ask these people for their support, but he pays attention to them and doesn’t disown them, whether they want to kill all the Jews or think that the Illuminati ordered the CIA to pull off 9/11 to help merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

In other words, what Ron Paul is doing is tapping into an “untouchable” niche of American politics and his supporters are so grateful for the attention that they’re pouring money into his coffers, spamming polls for him, writing emails galore, etc.

That’s the advantage of Paul’s strategy: it has created a small, but incredibly enthusiastic group of supporters.

The disadvantage of that strategy is that because he has gone after those niche groups, he has made himself extremely unpalatable to mainstream Republicans. That means that his current level of support in the national polls, about 3%-4%, is probably much, much closer to a ceiling than a floor for him.

Maybe he can do a little better than that in some states, as long as he uses the loot he has acquired to run ads that don’t mention his kookier views and ties, but it’s impossible for him to win a national election.

So, the real question is: what’s next for Ron Paul after he drops out? He has said over and over again that he’s not going to run as a third party candidate, but you have to think he will try to use his support for something other than just another run at Congress. But, how does he keep his supporters together after he loses? How does he keep them motivated when ultimately he’s just tilting at windmills? Time will tell.

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