Ron Paul is associating himself with a historical figure who spearheaded a plot to blow up the houses of Parliament — by very definition, a terrorist. ~Kay Steiger

First of all, it was Ron Paul supporters who decided on 5 November, which had far more to do with a stupid Brothers Wachowski movie than with Guy Fawkes Day proper.  Second, Guy Fawkes day has a good deal more to do with juvenile delinquency and fireworks today than with any reference to sectarianism or political violence.  Third, the date was largely irrelevant to the outpouring of popular support for Ron Paul.  Fourth, terrorism is actually the targeting of the civilian population with violence to achieve political ends.  The Gunpowder Plot, whatever else you might say about it, was an attempted assassination of the members of the government of the United Kingdom.  It had absolutely nothing to do with the bomb-throwing anarchism with which the movie associated it, but that’s a post for another day.  The conspirators in the Plot were targeting the leading members of government in what was seen to be the first strike in a pro-Catholic coup.  You might use many names for this, but terrorism is not really appropriate.

More to the point, the choice of 5 November by the organisers of the effort was a clear reference to the awful V for Vendetta movie, which pitted ridiculously campy “anarchists” against equally ridiculous “fascists.”  Most people would not normally object to anti-fascist resistance, nor would they go out of their way to defend the repression of religious minorities against which Fawkes was reacting.  Ms. Steiger refers to this as a “choice” by an antiwar candidate, when this was a grassroots effort that operated independently of the campaign.  It wasn’t as if Ron Paul said, “Let’s commemorate Guy Fawkes as a hero and use the day of the Gunpowder Plot as a rallying point.”  Everyone agrees that it was his supporters, quite separate from the campaign, who organised the effort and selected the date, being impressed by an unusually stupid comic book movie.  Whatever that says about them, it is not Ron Paul who made that choice.  As is often the case, some Ron Paul supporters have used poor judgement and brought controversy on what ought to be an otherwise major achievement of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.  That ought to be the end of it.

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