Ron Paul is persona non grata among establishment Republicans and other party loyalists — including and especially those in the mainstream “conservative” media.
On its face, the very idea that any self-professed lover of liberty should have anything but the utmost respect and admiration for Paul strikes us as a paradox of the first order. After all, to hear Republicans tell it, liberty consists in just those things — “limited government,” personal and fiscal responsibility, the U.S. Constitution, etc. — of which Paul has proven himself as adamant and impassioned a proponent as any. And yet, these very same Republicans deride him as a “nut,” a “fraud,” and, in some instances, a “racist,” an “anti-Semite,” and even an America-hater. Paul, they say, is no real conservative, for he befriends 9/11 “truthers” and “neo-Nazis.”
Occasionally, Paul’s GOP detractors suspend their efforts to assassinate his character by speaking to the substance of his positions on the issues. However, no sooner do they suspend their campaign of besmirching his person than one fallacy gives way to another as the ad hominem attack is replaced by the straw man fallacy. Whether through inadvertence or a genuine lack of understanding, it is never Paul’s actual views that they engage but their blatant misrepresentations of them.
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Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. (Photo)