Or could it be that as a libertarian, he gives voice to causes and stands up for values that few other candidates believe in or espouse? Although he is a long-time politician, he is also outside the main stream on many key issues, and so, he is not only embraced as a political candidate but also as a champion of the people, an anti-establishment hero to be defended and backed with tenacity and zeal. It’s not every candidate who writes a book on “Revolution” and really means it. (Hey, when he talks about the need for revolutionary change, he’s speaking my language too.)
Or is it something else? Could it be that his positions are so extreme that it leaves his followers vulnerable and defensive? After all, when your candidate downplays the threat of radical Islam (even though its adherents probably surpass the adult population of America in number), when he chooses not to recognize the very real danger of a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran (despite all the blood currently on Iran’s hands), when one of his former senior aides, Eric Dondero, claims that Paul is anti-Israel, how can his supporters not be hyper-sensitive to criticism? (According to Dondero, while Paul is neither a racist nor an anti-Semite, he is “most certainly Anti-Israel, and Anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. . . . He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs.”)
I actually have no axe to grind when it comes to Ron Paul, nor do I have a dog in this fight. Is he really anti-Israel, or is there a solid answer to the charges against him? Are his foreign policies naïve, or does he really understand the nature of anti-American “blowback”? Are some of his radical monetary proposals the very thing we need, or is he arguing for changes that can never occur? Has he been wishy-washy on important social issues like homosexual activism, or does he really espouse conservative morality? And is he a man of trustworthy character, or is he being dishonest when he disavows knowledge of many of his past newsletters?
These are questions for others to answer, and despite the hostile comments that can be expected in response to this article, I am not hostile to Ron Paul. My question has to do with his followers.
Why are they so touchy? Or am I being unfair?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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