Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Supremes force B.C. taxpayers to pay $85 million | Main | New at the Standard »

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ron Paul’s military support, the paleo-conservative tradition and the charge of anti-Semitism

Is it possible that Ron Paul has received more military donations than all other Republican presidential candidates combined?

That’s the claim made today by the Paul campaign based on new data released by the Federal Election Commission.

Jonah Goldberg with NRO is sceptical. He has challenged the methodology of the FEC reports in the past.

Whether or not Paul leads his opponents in military support may be questionable, but it’s undeniable that Paul has considerable support among military personnel, which is remarkable given his opposition to the war in Iraq.

This military support for Paul may simply reflect disappointment and impatience with the perceived lack of success in Iraq, but it may also reflect the non-interventionist views of the American paleo-conservative tradition.

With his recent endorsement from The American Conservative magazine, the authoritative paleo-con voice, Paul now has a lock on this demographic...for better or worse.

The American Conservative was founded by Scott McConnell, Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos in 2002. Here’s what they believe.

Support from the controversial Buchanan and Taki will no doubt once again raise concerns that Paul is hostile to the interests of Israel.

Norman B. Podhoretz accused Buchanan of being “soft on Hitler.”

Buchanan, in response to allegations of anti-Semitism, wrote that "no true Christian can carry within his heart hatred for any of God's children... I am as aware as any other Christian that our Savior was Jewish, His mother was Jewish. The Apostles were Jewish. The first martyrs were Jewish...So no true Christian, in my judgment, can be an anti-Semite."

Taki has faced similar allegations, but says his more outrageous comments were intended only “to piss off politically correct journalists.”

You can judge Paul’s views on foreign policy for yourself, or read what Jews for Ron Paul advisor Walter Block has written here and here about Israel.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on February 3, 2008 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ron Paul’s military support, the paleo-conservative tradition and the charge of anti-Semitism:


It's numbers like these that make me terribly skeptical of the attempts by some to paint Paul as "anti-military."

I never understood that claim anyways. Why should military men and women prefer going to war than not? Why shouldn't they be "anti-war"? Why shouldn't they want a President who would have requested authorization from Congress, and a formal declaration of war (like it says in the Constitution)?

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-03 4:09:58 PM

Billary is going to bring home the US Forces soon after she's elected to the Big House.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-02-03 4:50:22 PM

Why should anyone be skeptical of a report that puts Dr. Paul on top? There is no question that the other candidates lead in contributions from corporations that benefit from war. It makes perfect sense that our troops would support the candidate that supports them and their families.

Posted by: David | 2008-02-03 5:11:56 PM

Not only has Ron Paul received more donations from the military, he has received more money from the military then all the other candidates COMBINED. I think that is saying something. Even if the major media outlets do not want to admit it.

Posted by: Travis | 2008-02-03 5:20:27 PM

"soft on Hitler"
Hello! We have Bush in the White House now with Hitlery, Mittler, and Insane McCain foaming at the mouth to follow in his footsteps. Have you ever checked the current American political and corporate ties to the Hitler regime? Maybe you should. It appears our military knows some things you don't... like maybe that Gitmo is a Haliburton project. America is not bad, our soldiers are not bad... but our politicians have gone over the edge. We need a real change--and that's why they are afraid to give Ron Paul equal time.

Posted by: Nancy | 2008-02-03 5:36:22 PM

We all have been living a nightmare. A vision D. Eisenhower warned of in his 1961 farewell address to the nation. In his address, Eisenhower warned of the corruption of our government, our society, and our culture by the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. It seems that as a nation, we have not listened. Eisenhower’s dire vision has become our reality. And from this fearful dream, this nation is waking. Our eyes are opening to the truth collectively for the first time. WE THE PEOPLE are finding that we have been subjugated, placated into ignorance and fear, lied to by the very people we have entrusted to preserve and protect our rights, liberties, and our constitution. Many will turn away in fear of truth and close their eyes once again. To open our eyes to this reality, is to also understand that we are all responsible for it as well. complacency and dependence upon the machine keeps THE PEOPLE in line because it is convenient and safe. We have sold our souls. We have as a nation let this happen to ourselves.
My heart breaks for the people of this nation. Our government wages war upon our freedoms, liberties, and our constitution. I watch our republic’s destruction, not to the sound of guns or bombs, but to the sound of thunderous applause of those held captive by terrified patriotic blindness, guided by the propaganda of fear, as we give our rights and even the lives of our fellow man for the profit of the corrupt. A fear that is erasing our great history of freedom and repeating itself 70 years later with another dictatorship of war, under the guise of homeland security and the protection of the people.
With love and openness, we can overcome ignorance and fear. It is our right as the people, and my duty as a United States MARINE written into our constitution by our founding fathers, entrusted to us, by the people, to ensure that our liberty, freedom, and the constitution never again become the subjugation of the corruption that we have wrought upon ourselves. We must take back our country, and give it to the people. So let us open our hearts, take responsibility, and make our HOPE become our reality. Lets begin REVOLUTION. His name

Dr. Ron Paul

Posted by: Tim Gallien SGT USMC | 2008-02-03 6:30:55 PM

Why should military support for Ron Paul surprize us? In my experience in the military there were very few who were happy about following the whims of politicians who were willing to drag them off to fight for causes that they could not understand. The day of the "dumb" trooper is long gone. Most of the men and women that I served with were well-educated and could tell whether the cause was worthwhile.

Some may argue that Afghanistan is an example of "forward defense". I am not so sure. Gate's musings that a small number of troops might be sent into Pakistans border areas make very anxious. As US troops are drawn further into Pakistan, the citizens of the country will turn increasingly against the US. The Iraq war is bankrupting the states and increasingly, US troops will recognise that as indicated by USMC SGT Gallien whose post appears above mine.

The "surge" may prove fruitful and I hope that it does but I do understand the other side of the argument and sympathise with it.

Posted by: DML | 2008-02-03 7:21:44 PM


Posted by: Marc | 2008-02-03 9:35:56 PM

This is a product of how these numbers are tracked - and how they're being input by Paul's campaign, presumably for this exact reason.

Of course, there's also the fact that these statements are entirely self-reported and, frankly, many of Paul's supporters are slightly deranged.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-02-03 11:33:07 PM

In any case, it doesn't matter too much at this point. The concern was that Paul might put all of that money to good use in New Hampshire or some early race and create a PR problem for the party. Clearly, that isn't going to happen now. He'll be lucky to get twenty-five convention delegates at this point.

And, if he does us a favour and runs third party, he'll probably take more votes from the Democrats than from us, especially if the nominee is Hillary.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-02-03 11:35:31 PM


Why are we still wasting bandwidth on this guy?

Posted by: deepblue | 2008-02-04 12:53:59 AM

It seems to me curious that the charges of anti-Semitism leveled against Buchanan and others in the paleo sphere like Raimondo rarely have anything to do with what these individuals say or do that would indicate bigotry or prejudice against Jews, but rather always deal only with what they say about the state of Israel or its relation with the United States.
It's important not to confuse criticism of the actions and policies of Israel or criticism of the US-Israel relationship with real anti-Semitism. To imply that any critique of Israel indicates a dislike for Jewish people as a class is fallacious and dishonest. Likewise, to define anti-Semitism to include an opposition to American aid to Israel and then to call opponents of aid to Israel anti-Semitic is embarrassingly absurd.
Opponents of Pat Buchanan’s views on aid and foreign policy should engage with his arguments, not try to stifle debate by chasing rival voices out of polite discourse with unsubstantiated claims of anti-Semitism as they are all-too-often wont to do. On the other hand, if it can be shown that these individuals do actually harbour some ill will towards Jews, then let that evidence be brought to light – so far, I’m unconvinced.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-02-04 1:02:45 AM

"Why are we still wasting bandwidth on this guy?"

Because it highlights an interesting divide between the conservative and libertarian traditions, as well as within the conservative movement itself. Libertarians and paleo-conservatives tend to favour Paul, while post-election Bush conservatives, and neo-conservatives tend not only to dislike Paul, but to positively despise and loathe him. This difference is, in my mind, very interesting and worth discussing.

Of course, it also promotes debate about liberty, this magazine's raison d'etre.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-04 1:22:50 AM

Okay, I'll bite. What's a paleo-conservative?

Posted by: Markalta | 2008-02-04 8:46:56 AM

The American Conservative magazine is to paleo-conservatism what National Review is to neo-conservatism. Here's their mission statement:


It's a good explaintation of what they're all about.

The primary disagreement between the two is on foreign policy.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-02-04 8:53:30 AM

The "military" is a great word for "journalists" of this age (i.e. those who write fiction as fact and report "news" gleened from interviewing one another).

Please recall that the only very visible and vocal General to become prominent in this 2008 election debate was the homosexual man who stood up in the "You Tube" debate (if my memory serves me) and asked some blithering "military" question about "Gays."

That man was a General in the California National Guard (i.e. the "Guard" and Reserve), which is a unique element of military force under direct control of the several State's Governors, rather than the federal government President (i.e. Commander in Chief), and as such is HIGHLY POLITICIZED and at the higest ranks, it is essentially state government employee cronies of the Governor. In the case of the self-described homosexual General, the Governor to have appointed him would have been either Gray Davis or Jerry Brown, two flaming Liberal Leftist politicians of the MOST devout ANTI-military variety.

So, VERY possibly the "military" donations to Ron Paul could well come from those kind of National Guard leftovers, who NEVER signed up to fight an actual WAR, but instead were a bunch of half-assed State Police "Troopers" (wannabes) who performed such famous duty as shooting and killing the four unarmed college students at Kent State College, back in the anti-VietNam War days.

The National Guard guys joined to perform non-military State-side duty, and they would VIGOROUSLY oppose the War on Terrorism which now regularly calls up units of the National Guard to go and actually fight a war in Iraq.

Also, the MARINE posting above could be a girl in Hillary's campaign staff. Note how much "military" experience and "Reporting" from "soldiers" has been proven false from our "main stream media."

No member of the U.S. military is conscripted, and it is a calumny to pretend that the presently serving military of America somehow oppose the mission of defeating (Islamofascist) Terrorism in the heart of the Middle East and worldwide.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2008-02-04 9:11:34 AM

Actually, it is very difficult to mention libertarianism and so called paleo-conservatism in the same sentence:
- Liberarians are for open borders, free trade, and globalization.
- Paleo-conservatives want for close the borders, protect American industry, and stop globalization.

(However, both share the desire for lower taxes, smaller government, and less foreign military interventions.)

Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2008-02-04 9:31:45 AM

Conservatives want our national borders respected and enforced for the benefit of those on either side of those borders.

Conservatives want government to stay to Hell out of private industry and private property and private lives of our citizens to the greatest extent possible, which is consistent with the LONG term (multi-multi generational) best interests of our citizens (which of course would take actual envronmental pollution and safe working conditions, etc. into account).

Conservatives want freedom for all the peoples of the world, and we understand that freedom grows abundantly in free capitalistic private property rights ensured peaceful democratic societies, which we hope to encourage and support (and help defend) through robust and "fair" international trade ("fair" would mean such things as; if you use slave labor from the re-education camps to make the crap you want to sell to us, well we say keep it and you can eat it, instead we'll trade with nations and people who respect the sanctity of all human life, not big screwed up Communist governments).

neo and paleo is probably cool stuff to talk about instead of discussing the reality of what made America a great nation, which was-is respect for all human life, given to us by our Creator. That is our true founding Conservative "culture" of this nation gathered from all the peoples and cultures of the world but based on the Judeo-Christian philosophy of Western Civilization.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2008-02-04 10:03:49 AM

In that case, Ron Paul would be more a Paleo-conservative - based on his own speeches.

Posted by: Marc | 2008-02-04 10:20:22 AM

...And McCain would be a: Libertarian/Liberal/Neocon/Democrat.

And the medias lovin it !
The Neocons too !

Like Jarowski says..."This difference is, in my mind, very interesting and worth discussing."

Don't you think ?

Posted by: Marc | 2008-02-04 10:54:16 AM

Speaking of Taki - he's just come out with a very enjoyable endorsement of Ron Paul: http://www.takimag.com/blogs/article/joining_the_revolution_an_endorsement_of_ron_paul

This sentence best represents paleo resentment towards the neoconservatives: "Paul gets his votes from the real Americans of the heartland and the most dynamic men of industry and the sciences—not from catamites like David Frum, the tubby Richard Perle, and John “2 pizzas” Podhoretz."

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-02-04 1:13:13 PM

Buchanan goes out of his way to defend former Nazis. Enough said. In any case he is a pro-union protectionist populist - therefore not a conservative.

The Paulines are nuts. Just plain nuts. And at worst Arabists and Moslem appeasers. Western Civilization is under attack by the Mad Mohammeds and they want us to stand by and wait until we act in defense - like after the next terrorist attack. Trading with them? Yeah, that worked well with China - a now fascist state.

You only need to look at how Jefferson dealt with our Barbary enemies to know how the founders would have really handled it.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-02-04 2:02:42 PM

Tim Gallien SGT USMC

Good to hear from you. I'm amazed that the US military is sworn to defend the constitution but are not "protected" by it. I'm amazed that US politicians are sworn to uphold the constitution and then bury it in a pile of legalese BS.
You're right Tim the country is broken. Time to put it back on track.

I like the comment above that RP supporters are deranged....must be a government dependent of some kind. Someone with something to lose in a society requiring self responsibility and self dependence.

Oh Boo Hoo Hoo...I'm soooo scared....Government please save meeee.

Posted by: JC | 2008-02-04 5:03:24 PM

from catamites like David Frum, the tubby Richard Perle, and John “2 pizzas” Podhoretz."

Shocking that Taki would, when picking out people opposed to Ron Paul to insult that he would randomly choose three Jews.

What are the chances?

Give me a break. There probably are some honourable (even if thoroughly misguided) supporters of Ron Paul, but most of his backing is coming from the depths of the fever swamps.

Watch - say something negative about Ron Paul and see how long it takes for someone to either:

a) Accuse you of being a Jew.
b) Claim that you're in the pay of the Jews.

As for Buchanan, an isolationist of the Father Couglin/America First school, it might just be a coincidence that he happened to praise Hitler, to denounce US involvement in the Second World War, and to have been the driving force behind President Reagan's visit to an SS cemetary, or perhaps there's something else at work.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-02-04 6:58:23 PM


Might it not be the case that Taki just chose three prominent neoconservatives to pick on?

I don't know whether or not Taki has beef with Jews, I haven't read enough of his stuff to know either way. He may well have some racial prejudices - plenty of paleos do - and the quote above certainly indicates that he has a less-than-PC perspective on homosexuality.

What I do know is that most influential neocons have been and continue to be primarily Jewish. Moreover this correlation is no mere coincidence: the most definitive intellectual history of the neoconservatives - Mark Gerson's "The Neoconservative Vision"- and the new one currently making buzz - Jacob Heilbrunn's "They Knew They Were Right" - both make big hay about the Jewishness of neoconservatism; one of the primary theses of the latter is that the Holocaust survivor psyche played a big part in the development of the first generation of neoconservatives. Of course, I shouldn't be understood as claiming that all neoconservatives are Jews - Zalmay Khalilzad, Francis Fukuyama (does he still count?), and Jeane Kirkpatrick are prominent gentile neocons who come to mind. But, if someone were to ask me: "quick, name some neocons", I probably wouldn't name Fukuyama, Khalilzad, or Kirkpatrick first, I'd likely name Irving Kristol, Bill Kristol, Doug Feith, David Brooks, Paul Wolfowitz, Nathan Podhoretz, and jPod, all of whom (I think) are Jewish, my guess is that most people's lists would be fairly similar (people, that is, who are smart and informed enough not to claim that Bush and Harper are neocons). Does that make me anti-Semitic, especially considering that I don't much care for neoconservatism? No, it just reflects the fact I mentioned before - most prominent neocons are in fact Jews. You asked accusingly "What are the chances?" - I respond that the chances that a rattling-off of a few neocons would result in an all Jewish list are pretty good.

I briefly looked up the incident you mentioned about Buchanan and Reagan's visit to the Bitburg cemetery - his writing the note saying "succumbing to the pressure of the Jews" and some other surrounding incidents are very odd and troubling. While there's plenty of context which is unprovided, Buchanan's defence that "it is utterly absurd to believe that something he writes on a piece of paper represents his views' frankly strikes me as itself absurd. If you want to make the case that Buchanan is anti-Semitic (which it seems you do), I applaud you for using this sort of evidence, not his non-support for US aid to Israel.

I'll also mention that I'm a young chap, I don't really remember the Buchanan of 2000 or before, I was never a reader of Taki's column in the Spectator etc. I've grown up in very PC times when talk about race even in the conservative media has been sterile, cautious, and limited which means that I may be completely desensitized to real racist views. All that is to say that I don't claim to know whether these guys have nasty prejudices or not. Regardless of that, I do have a problem with the Abe Foxmans of the world wildy accusing everyone (including Buchanan) with views they perceive to be "anti-Israel" of anti-Semitism. I think that's cheap, dirty, and dishonest.

Finally, on Ron Paul's support: exit polls in every caucus and primary so far have shown Ron Paul's largest group of votes coming from non-religious, 18-29, pro-abortion males. That doesn't seem to fit the profile of the sort of individuals who I imagine inhabit your "fever swamp" or the profile of your average American Conservative or Chronicles subscriber.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-02-05 12:15:57 AM

Conversely, Adam, say something positive about Paul and see how long it takes to be accused of being anti-Semitic. I think it would serve all sides to avoid insincere, politically motivated allegations of racism and bigotry.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-02-05 4:05:07 PM


Amazing how so many people support Dr. Paul and his logical thinking. I wonder if his low poll numbers are because of ignorant media deranged voters or foreign made digital voting machines.

Posted by: chris | 2008-02-24 6:39:28 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.