by Thomas B. Edsall
(The Huffington Post)
Through no fault of his own, Rep. Ron Paul's anti-globalist, anti-government campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has become a magnet in neo-Nazi networks, pulling in activists and supporters from the fringe white nationalist community where anti-Semitism, anti-black and anti-immigrant views are commonplace.
In some cases, these internet-based activists acknowledge that even though the Paul campaign does not have a racist or anti-Semitic agenda, it can serve as a vehicle to find sympathizers and to recruit new loyalists drawn to the Republican congressman's opposition to international trade agreements, federal police authority and to the income tax.
Such web-based organizations as Stormfront (motto: "White Pride, World Wide"), Vanguard News Network ("No Jews. Just Right.") and the Nationalist Coalition ("working to create the relationships that will lay the foundation for the White community that is necessary to our survival") have become sources of support for Paul's bid for the Republican nomination, and in some cases have set up separate Ron Paul discussion groups.
The Paul campaign dismissed the pro-Paul activities among these groups. "We don't know who these people are," said Jesse Benton, Paul's communications director. Their support has "nothing to do with Ron Paul, and what he stands for....His message of freedom, peace and prosperity - that's why people support him."
Paul has not made racist or anti-Semitic appeals to the controversial organizations and their members. Instead, their support is based on Paul's libertarian opposition to government generally, including the IRS and the powers granted to the federal government under the Patriot Act - views that are shared by many on the conservative fringe of the spectrum.
In the 2000 campaign, Patrick J. ("Pat") Buchanan appealed to many similar individuals and organizations. Buchanan had a history of expressing views that were often interpreted as anti-Semitic.
Writing on the Vanguard News Network, "White Will" argued that "folks, get involved in the Ron Paul 'revolution' and work with political activists in your communities who are attracted to his anti-globalist message.... Most of you would be surprised at how many good people can be exposed to a, let's say, 'pro-majority' message among the remarkable groundswell of fed up, mostly White Ron Paul supporters -- many, early on, from the 9/11 truth movement. They are finding their backbones as they are exposed to more and more hidden truths, especially about the hidden hand of Jewry behind every foul venture."
Among those backing Paul this year is John J. Ubele, the National Coalition's Operations Manager. In an emailed reply to an inquiry, Ubele said, "I know that Ron Paul is not a white separatist or a white nationalist. However, he is the most honest and responsible of all the presidential candidates and that is why I support his candidacy."
The National Coalition is one of a number of splinter groups that formed after the death of William Luther Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries, and founder of the now fractured National Alliance. The Turner Diaries were considered crucial to the thinking of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
On a Stormfront discussion thread on the Paul Campaign - "The Ron Paul Revolution" -- one contributor wrote in:
"Not standing up for Ron Paul against the un-American Jewish media and neo-cons who will do anything to stop his nomination is like not standing up to the efforts to force integration, to encourage mass non-White immigration, or to the attack on the USS Liberty."
"Ron Paul is NOT a White Nationalist. His Libertarian policies will also conflict with National Socialism, something that a good number of Stormfront members support. However, he is the least toxic candidate by leaps and bounds," wrote a contributor identified as "Concerned Human."
A minority of the contributors to white nationalist web sites insist on rigid adherence to their racial views. "Anything less than ALL is NOTHING. If anythings priority is not 100% the survival of the White Race, than it is a problem and not a solution. Ron Paul's priority is not 100% the survival of the white race, so he is an enemy and a burden just as much as any jew," wrote "comJo, Pan-Aryan Insurgent."
The white nationalist and anti-Semitic support flowing to the Paul campaign reflects one of the difficulties facing candidates who do not fall into the midstream: that often their views on less controversial subjects like trade and the power of the federal government to take property through eminent domain also appeal to extremist groups.