Dana Goldstein has a nice piece in the Daily Beast today talking about the Ron Paul supporters and what a good many of them are up to now:
“Ever wonder what happened to Ron Paul’s grassroots supporters? They’re crashing town-hall meetings—often armed—and heating things up as Congress enters its last week of recess.”
It’s been a year-and-a-half since Ron Paul ended his fringe campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination, and of all the GOP candidates, including the eventual winner, Paul’s influence among his supporters seems to have grown. Ron Paul supporters have been in the forefront of health care opposition, sometimes showing up at town hall meetings – armed.
“One of Paul’s main arguments from the campaign, that much social spending is unconstitutional, has become a rallying cry of the Republican base… In part, Paul’s anti-federal ideology has gained traction because conservatives are incensed by President Obama’s ambitious—and expensive—domestic agenda, from health reform to the federal stimulus to bank bailouts. And in part, it’s because libertarian thinking is easier for mainstream Republicans to embrace on healthcare than it is on doing away with the Federal Reserve or ending American imperialism.”
Neither Paul’s congressional office or his nonprofit, The Campaign for Liberty have any direct contact with the armed protesters, and they seem to have no organization behind them other then their own loose-knit network.
“Some of Paul’s grassroots supporters have protested, armed, at health-care town-hall meetings. They are connected in a loose-knit, nationwide network of activists who believe the current federal government is largely illegitimate and unconstitutional. Some have ties to the “birther” movement, which believes—disregarding all evidence—that President Obama is not a natural-born American citizen.”
That sounds just a touch fringie, especially part about the current federal government being unconstitutional. I am also aware that many Ron Paul supporters claim to be atheists. Personally, as a non-believer, I have a hard time understanding how a fellow non-believer could follow and/or support a candidate who is quoted as saying the following:
“The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.”
There are so many things factually wrong with that paragraph that it might merit it’s own post. Suffice to say that there is very little difference between Ron Paul and other right-wing Christian Dominionists who would like to establish a Christian nation. If Obama had ever said anything approaching Paul’s statement, I would not have supported him. The only conclusion I can draw from my fellow atheists support of Ron Paul is that they think the system needs to be overthrown, and they aren’t particularly choosy about what replaces it, even if it’s Christian fascism.
To continue with the article:
“As he did on the campaign trail, Paul argues that inflation is the chief cause of rising health-care costs, and that the solution is tort reform and cutting taxes.”
What? Inflation is the cause of rising costs? With 50 million without health insurance, more being dropped every day, premiums increasing a four times the rate of inflation, how is tort reform and tax cuts going to help? Those are Paul’s answers to the health care crisis, tort reform and tax cuts, one wonders if he or his supporters even think there is a problem at all. That raises the question, why are they out there, and why are some of them armed? If not health care reform, what is it that they are really after?
Personally, I think they have all watched Zeitgeist too many times!