One of the other serious problems I have with Ron Paul is his embrace of some of the right’s looniest conspiracy theories. Talking Points Memo details one example, his claim that there is a plot to eliminate American sovereignty and form a single union with Canada and Mexico. On his 2008 campaign website, he said:
“NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system. Forget about controlling immigration under this scheme.”
And as TPM points out, even conservatives like George W. Bush and Rick Perry are all part of the conspiracy:
The NAFTA superhighway has long been a popular icon in conspiracy theory circles, much to the chagrin of various elected officials working on actual unrelated highway issues. Rick Perry caught a lot of heat over his attempt to build a Trans-Texas Corridor from critics who believed it was part of the grand plot, among them Ron Paul, who took to extremist Lew Rockwell’s site todenounce the effort. It got so bad that Perry had to deny the plot in an interview with right-wing news site Human Events in 2006.
“I’m trying to secure the southern border, so the idea that somehow or another that we’re going to create this big, tri-lateral connection between Canadians, the United States…we’re pretty independent in Texas,” Perry said.
Paul teamed up with other fringe legislators, most notably former Rep, Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA), to introduce legislation denouncing the nonexistent superhighway, even as both the Bush administration and the top ranking Republicans on the relevant transportation committees insisted there was no basis to the theory. Paul took their denials as further encouragement he was onto something and insisted that federal officials were using “secret funding” to advance the project.
The North American Union and NAFTA Superhighway are part of a theme for Paul, who often warns of shadowy efforts to give up US sovereignty to international authorities.
All of this is part of a long tradition among the paranoid American right. It’s pretty standard stuff for the John Birch Society and similar groups, who are forever telling us that the United Nations is going to take over the Untied States, take away their guns and do away with the Constitution and American currency. In fact, Paul appeared in a John Birch Society video making precisely those claims in 1998.
These are the same people who claimed that President Eisenhower was a Soviet agent, that Chinese troops were massing on the Mexican border to invade the United States, and any number of similarly crazy ideas. Remember all that nonsense about the backs of road signs supposedly containing codes that would tell U.N. troops how to invade and take over the country? Same people, same insanity. Never mind that the U.N. can’t do a damn thing without our permission because we have veto power in the security council and that they have no army; facts are unnecessary when pushing a crazy conspiracy theory.