Ron Paul

Adam Kokesh Has Had Enough of "Ron Paul Inc."


Tampa – At one point during the Ron Paul Revolution there was no bigger advocate for the advancement of the Texas congressman than Adam Kokesh. He was the poster boy for disaffected military veterans and agitated twenty-somethings who gravitated to Paul's unique blend of paleoconservativism and libertarianism. Kokesh organized Veterans for Ron Paul, donated an estimated $1,000 to the campaign, led marches, and even ran for Congress in New Mexico in 2010.  He was Mr. Ron Paul for President.

Sitting backstage at the unofficial Ron Paul Festival at the Florida State Fairgounds in a tight "Liberty" t-shirt Kokesh tells me that's all over.

"I am not a Ron Paul supporter anymore," said Kokesh while waiting for a band to go on.

"I support his message, love the man but there was a point that turned for me back in January and if anything I should have been more upfront about it sooner. I used to be able to say no matter how much money or support you invested in him he would use it as effectively as you would to forward the message, advance the cause. I can't say that anymore," he said.

Kokesh referred to the Paul political organization as "Ron Paul Inc." and said he was attempting to transition over to "Rand Paul Inc.," something he is not thrilled about.

"I like Rand but he's not one of us. He's not a voluntaryist like his father. He's an ally and a principled conservative."

Is Rand a libertarian?

"No, absolutely not," said Kokesh.

Ron is though, right?

"Absolutely," he answered.

What about Gary Johnson?

"In the intellectual sense but not in the philosophical sense," he said.

According to various Paul fan sites Kokesh was banned from the official Paul campaign event at the Sun Dome. Kokesh poo-pooed the rally, noting all the empty seats at a venue that was smaller than the one used for a similar rally in 2008. When reached by phone, Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton declined to comment on these claims but did say, "We respect Adam's service but he's a very troubled young man. We just hope he can get his life together."

Kokesh didn't want to talk about his relationship with the campaign but had harsh words for Benton. "If [Benton] wants a career as a political operative, that's fine," he said, "but nobody that donated to Ron Paul for the right reasons, because they believe in the message, is going to give money to anything that Jesse Benton has his name on."

Though disaffected with the Paul campaign, Kokesh said he plans to stay active in electoral politics.

"I feel like I am behind the curve of the movement. I had an unhealthy emotional attachment to the campaign, to the idea of the Ron Paul presidency and what he represented. I let it affect my decisions in a negative way," he said.

*Author's note: An earlier version of this post said that Kokesh was having a beer during this interview. He was not. 

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  1. Unfortunately this guy is a lot like the hardest core Hillary supporters in 2008. They feel betrayed that the candidate didn’t fight to the end even once it became clear it was over.

    I understand the desire to see the guy go over the falls in a barrel just to fuck with people. Mitt deserved to be fucked with. But Ron didn’t see it that way. And now it’s over, dude.

    1. Ron Paul should fight for whatever he wants to fight for. I think the main concern of people is honesty. Did the Ron Paul campaign spend most of the year raising money for a Rand Paul 2016 campaign while telling the contributors that it was for a Ron Paul 2012 campign, when as Kokesh correctly points out, those two people have radically different philosophies?

      1. Radically different philosophies??? Rand is just playing the game Ron refused to play. There is ZERO evidence that there is any difference between the two of them on the major issues.

  2. My fav Kokesh moment was him doing the robot at that memorial (Lincoln?) right before he was tackled by park police for dancing. I’m going to miss that crazy sonofabitch. RIP, bro.

    1. He’s not dead.

      1. just playing along w/ the whole “dead to the movement” thing the official RP event had going.

  3. Get some drinks in Adam Kokesh and he says some things which I could see the Paul campaign wanting to distance themselves from.

    1. I’m not super-familiar with Kokesh, but I’ve run across him here and there, and my gut feeling is it doesn’t take drinks to get Kokesh to say things that a mainstream political campaign would want to distance themselves from.

  4. He is right, though. The Ron Paul movement has become about everything Paul but the message.

    1. Dr. Paul has spawned a veritable cottage industry of professional concern trolls like perhaps nobody else in the history of American politics has.

    2. Bullshit.

      Ron Paul got the audit the FED bill passed in the house.

      That is the message writ large.

    3. That’s not Ron Paul’s doing, that’s the people in the movement. Most people need someone to idolize to keep them motivated, and it’s good for Ron Paul that he didn’t take advantage of that as many other idols in history have.

      Kokesh is spot-on about Jesse Benton, though. Terri Schiavo would have been a more competent campaign person.

  5. Ron and Rand are awesome. A vast majority of his supporters are not. They are the conspiratorial types that only hurt us during the election, and going forward.

  6. It’s been quite awhile since I started to feel this was about building an e-mail list for future Ron Paul Inc. endeavors and less about running a successful campaign. Nothing wrong with “if the country is worth saving, it is worth saving at a profit” but this became a bit too money grubby like a hundred conservative outfits that provide a good living for a handful of operatives.

  7. Adam has been all about Adam for quite a long time now. He really should look in the mirror before shitting on everyone around Paul.

    1. Everyone around Paul lost two consecutive campaigns by wide margins despite tens of millions of dollars in donations. That’s not shit, that’s fact.

  8. “Troubled young man” = politician-speak for “don’t take anything that crazy deluded punk says seriously”

  9. “I feel like I am behind the curve of the movement. I had an unhealthy emotional attachment to the campaign, to the idea of the Ron Paul presidency and what he represented. I let it affect my decisions in a negative way,”

    Sour grapes are sour.

    This snot nosed brat needs to fucking grow up. Political change does not happen overnight.

    Pick yourself up dust yourself off and get back in there kid.

  10. There is something of an Onionesque vibe abbout this piece which makes me think of its thematic parallel: “Hardcore Death Metal Fan Thinks Nobody Hardcore Enough Anymore” ….”Fuck that shit man, they all sold out and went soft…” he complains, “for a while the Nordic Death scene was still keeping things alive, but now its all been co opted” “I heard cannibal corpse on a sitcom man…it was like a sign that it was over” Feeling let down for lack of an obscure counterculture to identify with, he’s considering a revival of past things he was the only True Fan of. “Im thinking of getting back into hair metal of the 80s… that was real, became fake, ….but I totally think its getting real again.” He said, revealing his collection of Stryper, Dokken, and Man’oWar tshirts.

    1. THIS. Kokesh fell in love with Ron and then found him ‘cheating’ with Rand and others; feels spurned and throws a tantrum.

  11. Kokesh appears to find the good to be the enemy of the perfect.

    I’ll take any increase in our freedom, because it’s good. We’ve got a long way to go before the state is too small to protect our liberty. In fact, I’d say the government is so big and involved in way too much, so it’s mere size and the taxes to pay for it, are a huge burden and reduce our liberty to keep the fruits of our labor.

    1. I find Voltaire’s maxim to be hugely important to understand, so I’m sympathetic to what you’re saying, but I feel your description of Kokesh applies to a large number of libertarians and especially posters here.

  12. Adam Kokesh is a grade A douchebag. He personally berated me when I asked him why he had Alex Jones on his show.

    There are a lot of verified stories of his douchiness.. taking credit for things he never did, stealing other peoples girlfriends. Kokesh should be shunned from the liberty movement.

    1. If he was able to steal other people’s girlfriends, the those people don’t want those girlfriends.

      It’s just kind of how it works.

      1. I hope this is a joke, because it sounds back asswards. Those girlfriends don’t want those people is what you wanted, at least they don’t want them in any capacity but as their emasculated creatures.

        Kokesh sounds like a bi-polar German abstract expressionist painter with a foot long dong.

        1. Probably works both ways. You’re better off without a girlfriend who’ll bolt on you for a mangy wreck like this guy.

          See, everybody’s happy!


  14. Somebody said something negative about Ron Paul and look at all these shiny new commenters…


    1. You forgot the “Get off my lawn whippersnappers” part.

  15. Is any one hear for bringing the troops home,for ending the wars, closing costly bases all over the world, auditing the feds, repealing of ACA NDAA, no more bank bailout, and more. If so it does not matter who delivers the message. what matters is what you believe is right and wrong. It just so happens Ron Paul is the one that opened so many peoples hearts to what is going on.
    This Kokesh is selfish, he has to much anger in him, that can be dangerous to any political party.

  16. Kokesh always reacts this way when something he’s involved in seems like it’s not going as well as he had expected. He disowns it, blames everyone else for his disappointment to deflect, and always winds up acting like he’s better than everyone he used to call “friend” or “ally”.

    It’s unfortunate and I can’t blame the Paul campaign from wanting to distance from him. Just because he’s disappointed and thinks to take it out on the people who also spent a lot of their time and dedication to work on it, too.

    Ron Paul doesn’t believe he’s going to win anymore and doesn’t want people to get their hopes up, but he is telling supporters to make a ruckus. He want his supporters to show the GOP that the Liberty Movement won’t stop haunting them and opposing them until the establishment fades out of existence.

  17. Adam Kokesh doesn’t display the worlds most amazing critical thinking skills when it comes to what are commonly referred to as “conspiracy theories”. He doesn’t seem to have what I would call a realistic idea of human social structures or psychological commonalities. If you look up the phrase “Messiah Complex” in an encyclpedia, there will certainly be a big ol’ picture of his mug.

    Having said all that, he’s essentially correct about all of the above points he makes about the ethics of the 2012 Paul campaign and the fundraising. Jesse Benton is a troubled young man, and not in the good-intention style of Kokesh. Contrasting someone with Benton is a wonderful way to make that person look really, really good. That may be the best explanation as to why Ron Paul has kept Benton so close by his side.

  18. Rand Paul appears to be liked by all those republicans I know who could never support Ron Paul, but yet have been grudgingly agreeing with him. Like it or not, come 2016, it will be Rand Paul 2016. I think Adam and I will have to “suck it up” and either get behind Rand Paul come 2016, or if we want, go deep inside the DNC to start “Jefferson Democrats” for liberty. I am sorely tempted to become a “Jefferson Democrat” in 2016. That may be the way to go forward to advancing liberty. Obviously the LP is a failed “liberty advancing strategy”. Infiltrating the 2-party duopoly seems the best course of action for freedom at this time.

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