Supporters of maverick presidential candidate Ron Paul are posting messages of support for their candidate on the Occupy Iowa Facebook page while promising to target the other presidential candidates running for president, including the Democratic Party. While these dirty campaign tricks don’t appear to be directly linked to the official Ron Paul campaign, one message of support for Ron Paul includes an appeal to phone others urging them to vote for Ron Paul.
Strangely, while Occupy Iowa uses a flag that looks like some sort of Communist revolutionary movement flag, the candidate that many in Occupy Iowa support, Ron Paul, isn’t even that liberal politically. For example, he’s very anti-union, meaning that he opposes the higher wages, better job safety and working conditions standards, retirement benefits, health care benefits, and job protections that union jobs bring. On his main campaign website, Ron Paul makes it clear that he’s a champion of Right-To-Work laws, which keep union memberships low in many Southern states, keeping wages historically low in many of these states. In addition, Right-To-Work laws are supported by many big corporate lobby organizations. For people who claim to support the “99%” it seems strange that they support a candidate whose views represent those of some corporate organizations who want to actually lower wages and job benefits for most Americans workers.
Ron Paul also proclaims himself to be the “most conservative” of the candidates running for president as well, rather than being a progressive or liberal of any sort. But, he takes extremist views on many issues including foreign policy such as opposing American involvement with the NATO peace actions in Afghanistan. It was however, extremism from Afghanistan and the Taliban giving home to al Qaeda terrorists that led to the 9/11 attacks in the United States. It seems incredibly naive politically to oppose police actions by Western states to prevent further actions of terrorism and to allow the Taliban extremists to brutalize the people of Afghanistan, especially the women, where legally sanctioned public floggings and other human rights abuse flourish. Many young women in Afghanistan consider their lives so bad that set themselves on fire as a protest to shame a sick religious society that has arranged marriages and other terrible oppression of women.
Ron Paul also has a legacy of sending some racist messages as well, including the outrageous claim that, “I think that we can assume that 95 percent of the black men in that city(Washington, D.C.) are semi-criminal or entirely criminal” and also the absurd claim that, “Racial violence will fill our cities (because) mostly black welfare recipients will feel justified in stealing from mostly white haves”. And Ron Paul takes similar tough views on immigration reform as well, besides being solidly pro-gun and anti-abortion views. Yet, a bunch of the young people who are part of Occupy Iowa, and so politically naive that they support this candidate who is an opposed to almost anything that involves either common sense or moderation.
Likely, Ron Paul won’t be winning the Iowa caucuses tomorrow. His coalition of Occupy Iowa supporters, some disaffected Democrats, and some Republican Party extremists is just too unstable of a coalition of voters to count on, where most more traditional Republicans will likely vote for a more traditional and credible Republican candidate. And it’s also disturbing that Occupy Iowa has caused disruptions for other campaigns as well as the Democratic Party, when so many people in Occupy Iowa identify so closely with candidate Ron Paul. This comes very close to illegal dirty tricks and major election violations. Further, there are news reports that hundreds of Occupy supporters are coming into the state just to disrupt the Caucus events tomorrow, which would be a form of illegal intimidation of voters, which violates both state and federal law. The courts never looked kindly on events where the Ku Klux Klan intimidated voters in the early ’60’s. Occupy intimidation of voters is not likely to be viewed much better by the courts today.
Unfortunately, it looks very likely that Occupy Iowa as well as some other Occupy supporters could make major news from Iowa tomorrow. But, for all the wrong reasons.