Rand Paul Staffer Former Member of League of the South

Of late, I have been writing about the League of the South. My interest has been in the connections between that group and the Institute on the Constitution via IOTC founder Michael Peroutka. Peroutka is a member, supporter and according to one source, a board member of the League of the South (update: Peroutka is a board member as announced at the most recent League conference).

Of much wider interest is the disclosure that a member of Sen. Rand Paul’s staff is a former member of the League. The story by Alana Goodman begins:

A close aide [Jack Hunter] to Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) who co-wrote the senator’s 2011 book spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist, raising questions about whether Paul will be able to transcend the same fringe-figure associations that dogged his father’s political career.

From my point of view as a social psychology teacher, I can understand the interest in Paul’s associates. In making attributions about the social behavior of others, most people are quick to make judgments using only a little bit of information. In the absence of sufficient data, people use what they have. First impressions are made this way, and while they may be unfair, those impressions are often durable.

In making attributions about political figures, voters are at a real disadvantage.  We are quite distant from the person and thus look for clues about the person’s character and beliefs. Consistency is one factor people intuitively use to make attributions. We expect that politicians have certain consistent beliefs, and that they associate with those who also share those beliefs. Furthermore, most people expect that staff members of a politician are especially committed to the politicians beliefs and perhaps are even drawn to politician because of ideological similarity. And so, when it is discovered that a staffer or endorser (e.g., father Ron Paul’s endorsement by Phil Kayser) has offensive views or views at odds with the stated position of the politician, that revelation rightly draws interest.

In light of the Jack Hunter disclosures, League of the South president Michael Hill told white nationalist website Occidental Dissent:

As President of The League of the South, I’d like to thank Rand Paul, the GOP, Salon, and all the other cultural, social, economic, and political organs that are helping us separate the proverbial men from the boys. To wit, you are helping us destroy any “middle ground” to which the timid can retreat for safety. Soon, those like Mr. Hunter will learn that there’s no place in the GOP for Southerners who wish to remain . . . Southerners. Just so there’s no chance that you’ll confuse The League with the GOP or any other “conservative” group, here’s what we stand for: The survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people. And by “the Southern people,” we mean White Southerners who are not afraid to stand for the people of their race and region. In other words, we understand what it is to be an historic “nation”–a specific people with a unique culture living on a particular piece of land. And, God willing, we shall one day have a name and place among the nations of the earth.

Given statements like that, it is understandable that the public makes an attribution of white nationalism to people who belong to the League.

 

  • Tom Van Dyke

    Soon, those like Mr. Hunter will learn that there’s no place in the GOP for Southerners who wish to remain . . . Southerners.

    Quite an endorsement for the Republican Party then, next time a lefty plays the race card. Which will be in about three…two..one…

    • JCF

      …says the righty playing the race card.

      • Tom Van Dyke

        Nice try, my lefty brother, but that makes no sense.

        “Soon, those like Mr. Hunter will learn that there’s no place in the GOP for Southerners who wish to remain . . . Southerners. …And by “the Southern people,” we mean White Southerners who are not afraid to stand for the people of their race and region. ”

        Dude went white racist, said there was no place in the GOP for them. My comment was entirely logical; your retort is not.

        • Proctor S. Burress

          Do kind sir not drive on interstate highways and two lane country roads OR operate farm machinery while on your present meds.

  • Tom Van Dyke

    Soon, those like Mr. Hunter will learn that there’s no place in the GOP for Southerners who wish to remain . . . Southerners.

    Quite an endorsement for the Republican Party then, next time a lefty plays the race card. Which will be in about three…two..one…

    • JCF

      …says the righty playing the race card.

  • Patrocles

    I haven’ understood what’s the problem with white nationalism in a country which has a lot of black nationalists, Latino nationalists etc. as well. Isn’ t such a pluralism the normal state of affairs in a multi-national state?

    • ken

      There is a difference between “pride” and “nationalism.” While there is certainly a great deal of “black pride”, “Latino pride” etc I wouldn’t agree that there is “a lot” of nationalism among those groups. The distinction I’m making is that nationalism tends to be more of an isolationist policy. Where as pride is more about recognizing the cultural and historical aspects of your race, ethnicity, religion, gender, orientation etc.

      Now assuming your question is more about pride rather than nationalism. Why do you think the ideas of “black pride”, “latino/latina pride”, etc events came about in the US?

  • Patrocles

    Ken,

    your ideas seem to ground on the distinction between equality (being acknowledged, respected etc.) vs. liberty (being allowed to live alone).

    As for equality, you might admit that there’s something like “white pride” and that it’s a reaction to the negative stereotypes directed against white “rednecks”, white “populists” etc. (spread by Hollywood movies etc.). Insofar it is not unjustified and it’s not really different from black pride, gay pride etc. (I suppose that some whites have become oversensitive and that some white lobbyists are intentionally dramatizing the insults and offenses. But that’s hardly different from black or gay movements, too.)

    As for liberty, I fear that we won’t come together. That’s because I am a sentimental continental European. My romantic idea of America is a place where dissenting European communities can flee to, in order to be left alone and living according their own value systems. Which means that liberty (as being left alone), isolation, secession etc. are, to me, part of the American Dream. (Heck, the United States are the result of a secession!)

    • ken

      “As for equality, you might admit that there’s something like “white pride” and that it’s a reaction to the negative stereotypes directed against white “rednecks”, white “populists” etc. (spread by Hollywood movies etc.).”

      I disagree that there have ever been any pervasive negative stereotypes about “white people”. Certainly not in the same manner that there have been about other minority groups. For generations there were also forms of institutional discrimination, i.e. politicians, business and military leaders, sports heroes were all white men, schools predominately taught about white history (the founding fathers, famous military leaders etc). Basically, for centuries the US was run by white men and the culture reflected that often to the exclusion of minorities. Minority pride grew as a counter to that to simply say “we can accomplish things too”, “we are as good as you”, “be proud of who you are”. This is why there has never been a need for “white pride’. Every day is ‘white pride day” in the US.

  • Zoe Brain

    They’re not southerners.

    I’m from Australia. We’re southerners. We used to have a “White Australia” policy. We grew out of it.

    • Boo

      Direction is relative. Maybe you’ve been northerners all along…. think about it…

  • Zoe Brain

    They’re not southerners.

    I’m from Australia. We’re southerners. We used to have a “White Australia” policy. We grew out of it.

  • Proctor S. Burress

    Do kind sir not drive on interstate highways and two lane country roads OR operate farm machinery while on your present meds.


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