Ron Paul is not a bad or evil man. He's just nutzo:
Whether [the 1993 World Trade Center bombing] was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.
Is he a racist? Maybe not. An insensitive bigot? Uh-huh:
"A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism" analyzes the Los Angeles riots of 1992: "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. ... What if the checks had never arrived? No doubt the blacks would have fully privatized the welfare state through continued looting. But they were paid off and the violence subsided."
Iowans, and to some extent residents of New Hampshire, appear to be ignoring the newsletters, fundraising letters, and personal statements of a man who has proven himself paranoid, a bigot, and someone who espouses fringe ideas like getting rid of the Fed and going back to the gold standard. He is not presidential material. He never has been.
You will never convince his supporters of this - people who continue to spin his outrageous, off the wall statements and claim that Paul possesses wisdom rather than demonstrating his foolhardiness on a daily basis. Why so many have become enamored of this gadfly is one of the great mysteries of the political season. Perhaps we can chalk it up to ignorance, self delusion, or maybe they simply share the candidate's bigoted, conspiratorial, and hateful world view.
In the end, historians and political scientists will probably point to the unsettled and dangerous times as the most logical reason for the rise of Ron Paul. The crisis facing America is fertile ground to grow crack pots and fringe players like him. Thus has it always been true in America. It certainly is so today.