Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke
As the Jan. 3 Iowa Caucus nears and Texas Rep. Ron Paul continues to hold second place in the Republican presidential primary polls, more information and analysis emerges about his radical ideas and connections. Adele Stan has a good piece on AlterNet on Paul's long history with the scary Christian Reconstructionists and now an Oct. 2008 video of Paul keynoting the John Birch Society's 50th Anniversary Celebration has emerged (see more below). Few remember that the one of the most admired intellectual conservative Republicans in modern history - William F. Buckley - fought with the John Birch Society and got them kicked out of the Republican Party. But in 2010, the Republican 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference was co-sponsored by the Birchers.
And as if Ron Paul hasn’t been linked enough to right wing extremists, on his blog FrumForum today, Dec. 30, David Frum - a former special assistant to President George W. Bush who describes himself as "socially conservative; yet, I believe that my lesbian niece and my gay grandchild should have the full protection of the law and live as free Americans enjoying every aspect of our society with no prejudices and/or restrictions - reports that Paul just got David Duke's endorsement:
This week, the former KKK Grand Wizard telephoned into the radio show hosted by Stormfront founder Don Black to announce his support, and the two men had the following conversation.
Ron Paul was a hot topic this week on the talk radio show hosted by prominent white supremacist Don Black and his son Derek. Mr. Black said he received Mr. Paul's controversial newsletters when they were first published about two decades ago and described how the publications were perceived by members of the white supremacist movement. Former KKK Grand Wizard and Louisiana Congressman David Duke also phoned in to explain why he's voting for Mr. Paul.
"Everybody, all of us back in the 80?s and 90?s, felt Ron Paul was, you know, unusual in that he had actually been a Congressman, that he was one of us and now, of course, that he has this broad demographic-broad base of support," Mr. Black said on his broadcast yesterday.
Mr. Black is a former Klansman and member of the American Nazi Party who founded the "white nationalist" website Stormfront in 1995. He donated to Mr. Paul in 2007 and has been photographed with the candidate. Mr. Paul has vocal supporters in Stormfront's online forum.
When the talk show host said he doesn't think Ron Paul is "currently" a white nationalist, Duke responded:
Again, I go back to that, you know, traditional topic that I always talk about, you know, the powers of international Zionism-a power in banking, a power in media, a power in government influence, in campaign finance-a power that's, you know, hurting the values of this country on behalf of Israel," Mr. Duke said. "So, I would vote for Ron Paul at this moment because he's one of the few candidates who have policies in this regard and this realm that I wholeheartedly support, and that's why I'd vote for him."
Frum sums it up this way:
A politician isn't answerable for the antics of every one of his supporters. But there's surely a reason, isn't there, that racists, anti-Semites, 9/11 Truthers, and Holocaust deniers are so strongly attracted to the Paul campaign. They hear something. They continue to hear it too, no matter how firmly Ron Paul's more mainstream supporters clamp their hands over their own ears.
And that’s key. It’s one thing for the Republican Party to deal with the fiscal and socially conservative absolutists in the Tea Party. But it’s another thing for the once venerable Grand Old Party to essentially be taken down by extremists who talk about freedom, individual rights and the US Constitution in a way that seduces young liberals but is really based in the right wing extremist positions of old.
Frankly, I miss the Republican Party of conservative William F. Buckley and “liberal” Nelson Rockefeller – arguing with them in my head often made my thinking and positions stronger and more clear. That was the point of good political debate and discourse – which I did with the Left, too, BTW, when the men of SDS and the college campus Maoist clique called me a “bourgeois Women’s Libber!”So while my jaw drops at some of the incredible flagrant lies and inaccuracies delivered with such arrogant abandon by some of the Tea Party social conservative Republican candidates – I am horrified by how Ron Paul’s message has become a tabla rosa for anyone who loves the idea of individual liberty but hasn’t a clue as to how Paul really intends to enforce his ideas if elected.
Here's the appreciative press release from the JBS's for Paul's appearance:
Congressman Ron Paul endorses The John Birch Society; congratulates Society in its 50th year
APPLETON, WIS. -- April 4, 2008 -- Congressman Ron Paul has endorsed The John Birch Society in a statement received from his office this week. His statement also congratulates the Society on being "a great patriotic organization" now in its 50th year.
John McManus, president of JBS, responded, "We graciously accept Dr. Paul's endorsement. He continues to demonstrate what an elected official should be doing ... obeying the Constitution. We thank him for his continuous commitment to protect the freedoms of all Americans. There's a reason why he consistently rates toward the top of the Freedom Index, our Congressional scorecard rating legislators' votes published twice a year in The New American magazine."
Dr. Paul stated, "The John Birch Society is a great patriotic organization featuring an educational program solidly based on constitutional principles. I congratulate the Society in this, its 50th year. I wish them continued success and endorse their untiring efforts to foster 'less government, more responsibility ... and with God's help ... a better world.'"
Dr. Paul has also agreed to be the keynote speaker at the Society's 50th anniversary celebration, Oct. 2-5, in Appleton.
Now in its 50th year, the John Birch Society, headquartered in Appleton, Wis., is dedicated to restoring and preserving freedom under the U.S. Constitution. Members come from all walks of life and are active throughout the 50 states on local, regional and national issues. United by a strong belief in personal freedom and limited government, plus a sense of duty, members have played a continuous, pivotal role in halting legislation and federal policies that threaten the independence of our country and the freedom of American citizens. Visit www.JBS.org for more information and see why JBS continues to fulfill its founder’s vision of "less government, more responsibility, and ... with God’s help ... a better world."
Public Relations Manager
The John Birch Society
Here's an excerpt from the New American about that speech:
Ron Paul at the 50th Anniversary of the John Birch Society from Frank on Vimeo.
Dr. Paul made evident his affection for the JBS by stating at the outset, “I am delighted to help celebrate this birthday.” And when he moved on to talk about his first successful campaign for Congress in 1976, he said, “I’m sure there are people in this room who probably helped me in that campaign, because I know that so many of you have over the years.” He then described his first press conference at the Capitol Hill Club, during which an antagonist from Houston asked him, “Mr. Paul, are you a member of the John Birch Society? Have you ever been a member of the John Birch Society?”
Dr. Paul recalled his response: “No, I am not a member of the John Birch Society but many members of the John Birch Society are friends of mine and they have been very helpful in my campaign.”
In reviewing his 2008 presidential campaign, Dr. Paul stated that he was reluctant to run in the primaries, despite being urged by many to do so, because he did not feel that enough preparatory work had been done. But he was surprised to see the response at the rallies, especially from the young people. He gave credit to the JBS for keeping alive the freedom fight through its programs to educate and motivate the American people. He went on to point out that the JBS had planted a lot of seeds over the years and that his presidential campaign was able to tap into the sentiment that sprouted from those efforts.
(Crossposted at LGBT POV)