While we're airing dirty laundry, let me air some of Dondero's. He's a militarist. He literally believes "My military, right or wrong." If tomorrow, the military was tasked with rounding up Jews (or Muslims) and putting them all into concentration camps, Dondero would champion the process, so long as the U.S. military was doing the work. I asked him point blank if he believed that his allegiance to the military was more important than the libertarian aspects of his philosophy, and he said "yes." Make of that, what you will. (In the past, he's defended the door-to-door gun confiscations that occurred in New Orleans in 2006, whether the occupant was home, consented, or not. So much for Dondero's "libertarianism.")
As further proof that Dondero is totally unphilosophical, he started a group called "Libertarians for Guiliani" after the famous debate where Ron Paul stood up to Guiliani's bullying on the issue of foreign interventionism. Dondero took this group so seriously that he ended his minor friendship (my good-natured toleration of him) with me over my lack of willingness to mindlessly join it.
Dondero is a disgruntled former staffer of Paul's who was fired for disavowing Paul's noninterventionist stance on foreign policy. Later, after being fired, he threatened to run against Paul, before he realized he was delusional and didn't stand a snowball's chance in Haiti of beating Paul.
I know Dondero better than most people. I stayed at his house for about a month and a half in 2004, back before I knew what a militarist lunatic whackjob he was. At the time I only wondered how he could screw up the best job in the world: working for Ron Paul, the only elected libertarian. The more I learned about Dondero, the more I learned that his libertarianism was skin deep, but that his commitment to interventionism defines his whole personality.
How did Dondero wind up working for Paul? He testified against the draft, since he's in favor of an all-volunteer military. This was a noble thing to do in the 1980s, when Reagan was still putting people in prison for agitating against the draft. Since Dondero was a veteran, his testimony was seen as being especially legitimate. In spite of opposing the draft, Dondero loves all things having to do with the U.S. Military. ...He is a worshipper of military might.
A few years ago, I introduced Dondero to the most legitimate, libertarian arguments for foreign interventionism that he now has, by introducing him to R.J. Rummel's webpage. I regret doing so, because it legitimized his arguments in his own mind, without raising the standard of his arguments. Dondero believes 100% and in all cases that "the ends justify the means." Thus, he feels justified in using any tactics whatsoever to win an argument. Instead of the R.J. Rummel material refocusing Dondero's debate style so we could have a real argument, he clings to red herrings, straw man arguments, and ad-hominems that lack rhyme or reason. And he spends about half of every day online, plastering public fora with his insane rantings. (One reason many people suspect him of being a paid agent provocateur.)
I don't know precisely why he's like this. Perhaps he's a paid agent provocateur, as many in the libertarian movement have postulated. I do know that he has absolutely no standards of logic or reason whatsoever. If someone too soundly defeats his arguments, as Andrew Jacobs and Paulie Cannoli have done in the past, he resorts to insults and ad-hominems.
Now, is Dondero right about Paul? Many old people are uncomfortable around rap music and openly gay behavior. Ron Paul is probably no different (although I can't say, because I've never met the man, and Dondero is highly unreliable). But Ron Paul has the ideas that defeat institutionalized homophobia and institutionalized racism. Has Ron ever voted the wrong way in congress? Yes. When a vote came up for liberalizing the punishment standards for rape in DC, so that juries would stop acquiting rapists for fear of sentencing the wrong guy to a cruel and unusual punishment, that bill also would have legalized then-illegal anal sex or "sodomy." Paul voted "No." It's clear in hindsight that Paul voted the wrong way on that, and that James Peron was right to confront him about it, as some commenters have noted below.
However, the bill that Paul voted against was a mix of various subjects, a practice that deserves to be recognized as wrong, especially in the absence of a line-item veto. Did Paul fully understand what he was voting against, or was he simply voting against a complex bill with lots of different subject matter in it, that he didn't understand? When in doubt, it's best to vote no, and not be surprised later.
And to attack Paul for this when he's advanced the cause of individual liberty more than anyone else in the past 10 years? ...That's a profound mistake.
Paul is the ONLY candidate talking about ending the grotesque and mass-incarcerating war on (some) drugs. (A war which disproportionately imprisons poor minorities, btw.) He's also the only candidate talking about abolishing the grotesque and rights-violating BATFE or war on (some) guns. In short, Paul is the only candidate who believes in the Bill of Rights and its fourth amendment. For that, noone should consider voting for anyone else in the GOP primary.
Paul's also the only candidate talking about ending the debt enslavement of all Americans to the Federal Reserve. (Something Eric Dondero isn't smart enough to care about.)
Paul's also the only candidate talking about ending grotesque overspending (and bombing) on the part of the U.S. military (and its industrial complex).
For Dondero to betray his old boss, and America's best shot at electoral freedom over a personal vendetta is disgusting. But then, I think Dondero is a disgusting human being.
Since Dondero spoke about Paul's antiquated personal tastes, I feel turnabout is only fair play.
Direct quotes from Dondero:
"Women don't understand politics, and shouldn't be involved with politics."
(He said this when his wife, a chinese immigrant, was defending Mao Tse Tung, and Mao's policies, at Dondero's house, in 2004)
"Atlas Shrugged is my second favorite book, right after Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities'"
(Interesting. ...Too bad he didn't understand much of what he read.)
Also, regarding Dondero's character: For years he refused to take down a retracted quote from me on his webpage stating something to the effect that he was 'the best petitioner in the country.' (And why would this matter, even if it were true? Mercenary petition circulation is hardly an intellectual pursuit, in the form it currently stands. Dondero is a right-wing pseudo-libertarian political petitioner. He is not libertarian, and doesn't limit himself to working for libertarian causes. He gathers about 1/2 the petition signatures that a mercenary such as Russell Baggett collects on any given day.)
Here's a brief forum post I wrote regarding some of the problem areas of Dondero's thinking. All are free to repost it and quote from it:
Google "Eric Dondero a Real Life Master Shake" for a great essay on Dondero. I know in great detail what a scumbag and agent provocateur Eric Dondero is. Anyone from the media who wants a few entertaining true anecdotes about Eric Dondero is encouraged to call me. 312-730-4037 the insane rantings of Dondero shouldn't be taken too seriously.
1) His wife is a maoist, but Eric Dondero says that's OK, because "...Women shouldn't be involved with politics."
2) Ron Paul fired Dondero when Dondero started claiming at press-releases and public events that Paul had reversed his position, and favored the Iraq war. Paul had to yell at him and remind him "You work for me." (Not a lot of people have seen Paul this angry, which further points to how principled the man is.)
3) Dondero claimed to be friends with me at one point. (I had stayed at his house while putting the LP on the ballot in 2004 in TX because a LP-member friend of his, Scott Kohlhaas, had arranged that. After the very anti-war Badnarik got the nomination, Dondero went nuts and said he was now a "lifelong enemy of the LP.") I thought then that Dondero was not a good libertarian, because he was anti-libertarian in his foreign policy, but on most domestic issues, Dondero is somewhat libertarian. So I remained a friendly acquaintance of his. In 2007, when I refused to endorse his prima-facie fascist and idiotic group "Libertarians for Guiliani," I said "I hope this doesn't mean we still can't be friends." and he replied "Actually Jake, it does. No further contact necessary." He then hung up. I haven't spoken with him since, and good riddance!
4) Prior to ending the friendship, when I pointed out that I didn't need military protection at its current cost in lives and tax dollars, Dondero said "Who's going to protect you?" and I said "I'll protect myself. I'm a gun owner." Dondero then said "Gun guys can't protect the US!" (I'm not sure Dondero comprehends that former military and current reservists are also gun owners, and that no nation could ever invade and occupy a nation as well-armed as the USA. ...LOL.) This servile mindset of Dondero that we need a bloated military or we'll all be killed, is a weak and un-libertarian, not to mention un-American, mindset.
5) Dondero claims that foreign interventionism is libertarian, and that if you're not a foreign interventionist, you cannot be a libertarian. This makes him laughably wrong, and one doesn't really need to pay any attention to him after he makes this clear. In fact, only a few self-proclaimed libertarians are interventionist, such as Christopher Hitchens and R. J. Rummel.
6) Dondero claims that military men are all libertarian, because "anyone who hires a prostitute or uses drugs is a libertarian." Even without pointing out that sailors who use prostitutes aren't necessarily 100% of sailors, Dondero's argument is absurd. I guess that makes foreign dictators "libertarian," given the tales of decadence that I've heard while overseas (even though they put their own people to death for doing the same). I guess that Dondero can't understand the concept of "hypocrisy." (Which is funny, since it so often applies to him.)
7) Another amusing incident was when Scott Kohlhaas of the AK LP (a paid petitioner), Anthony Garcia of the TX LP (the 2004 TX LP petition coordinator), myself, and Eric Dondero were all out eating a mexican dinner. A program director of the liberal radio station, KPFT, Clay Smith struck up a conversation with Scott Kohlhaas and Anthony Garcia, because they had identified themselves as libertarians who disagreed with Eric Dondero. He offered to help them express the libertarian viewpoint on the radio. Dondero was so stupid and belligerent that instead of allow the men to exchange numbers, to the benefit of the libertarian message, he said "You guys don't understand! This guy is liberal scum! If he's going to be here, I'm not!" And he threw down his fork, and ran out of the restaurant without paying. As I've tried to make clear, Eric Dondero is quite a nutjob!
8) Interestingly, Eric Dondero is also a racist eugenicist. He stated to me at one point, in 2004, "Blacks aren't as smart as whites." I roundly criticized him for this, and he tried to justify it by referencing "The Bell Curve," by Charles Murray, a book I admittedly haven't read. Nonetheless, when I started pointing to examples of black men who were clearly smarter than Eric, he qualified his statement by claiming that "Overall, blacks are less intelligent, although there are some smart ones." (If that's not an exact quote, it's very close, and captures the sentiment, 100%.) Eric claims this view point, because his "second major passion, beyond politics," according to him, "is anthropology." His bookshelves are full of books about primitive man (I saw this when I was there in 2004). Now, reading books by Louis Leakey doesn't usually make someone a racist, ...unless they're like Eric Dondero, and they're scouring the texts for things that could possibly justify their self-superior view of existence. Part of this viewpoint comes from holding Theodore Roosevelt as a personal idol (T.R. was a racist eugenicist as well, if my memory serves me correctly).
So, if I'm faced with Ron Paul's version of the facts, or Dondero's version, I think I'll stick with Ron Paul's version. No offense to "The Real Life Master Shake!"