Much of what people find objectionable about presidential candidate Ron Paul isn’t his policies or principles; it’s his followers.
You can agree or disagree with his views on the economy (abolish the Fed), foreign policy (non-interventionism), or trade (open it up). And you may or may not be bothered by the racist and anti-Semitic columns that appeared in the early ‘90s in newsletters that bear his name. Dr. Paul claims not to have read the objectionable articles, and not to have held racist or anti-Semitic views, telling the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that anti-Semitism would be “a betrayal of my own intellectual heritage.”
Ron Paul’s worst liability is his followers, who are increasingly hostile to all those who don't believe Dr. Paul has the cure to what ails America. They come from various political persuasions, age groups and socio-economic classes. But what they seem to have in common, and what sets them apart from other candidates’ followers, is their propensity for nastiness, condescension and self-righteousness.
Take, for example, a Paul supporter who called into CSPAN to denounce Iowa radio host Simon Conway as a "Jewish Zionist" who is "pushing for another war for Israel:"
Or Paul’s more high-profile supporter, 9/11 “truther” Alex Jones, who projects his own “truther” attitudes onto Paul, even though Paul himself doesn’t think that 9/11 was an inside job. In a recent thread on Jones’ site, PrisonPlanet.com, Paul supporters debate whether or not Paul has let the truthers down, and the shrewd calculation from Paul to avoid talking about it until he gets into the White House (emphasis mine):
January 2nd, 2012 at 10:41 am
Ron Paul cannot speak out on such issues at this time. He has stated in the past that government investigations are a hoax. He will no doubt allow a real investigation into 9/11 and release the evidence which the government is hiding which is all we ask.
Ron Paul will bring the treasonous criminals to justice.
January 2nd, 2012 at 10:52 am
Ron Paul has NOT betrayed the 9-11 Truth movement. He simply stated that he has not had the time to look at it and there are many other issues on his plate he needs to focus on……like campaigning and voting against tyrannical legislation (NDAA, etc.)
prisoner number six says:
January 2, 2012 at 11:06 am
Ron Paul has not displayed cowardice in regard to what he believes really happened on 9/11. He has plainly stated that he has enough on his plate trying to win the contest in Iowa. The strategy of his opponents has been and continues to be to portray RP as a loon. Taking their bait and dragging in the “911 conspiracy theories” would be to fall into a trap. There are too many zombie voters that would need to be awakened and educated on this issue before they would understand reality...RP is showing good tactical judgement in letting the “events of 9/11? subject stay on the back burner for now.
And, most recently, Paul supporters have created an attack ad against presidential candidate and former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman for being, well, the former Ambassador to China, for speaking fluent Mandarin and, according to Leon Wolf at RedState.com, for adopting "...a little Chinese girl who was abandoned in a market."
It should be noted that, in the case of the above video, it was posted to YouTube by the a group called NHLiberty4Paul. They have only posted this one video, and it is possible that the video was planted to make Paul look bad.
Most Americans don’t object to fluency in Chinese or the adoption of unwanted children. However, the overwhelming nastiness displayed by Ron Paul’s supporters is alienating to many voters. The video may not be from a Paul supporter, but it fits a ever growing set of facts to which people would not doubt it comes from a supporter. The more vitriolic and irrational the Paul supporter becomes, the more independent voters will look in another direction.
That is Ron Paul's biggest problem.