Thanks! I just reposted something off your page. Was that it, because I like that.
I must confess that I’m truly baffled by the level of support I’m seeing among my friends for presidential candidate Ron Paul. While the number of Paul fans in my circles is relatively small, he nonetheless enjoys the highest level of support from my LGBT-identified and equality-supporting friends out of all the non-LGBT-friendly candidates. In addition, the Ron Paul supporters I know tend to be passionately, often blindly, devoted to their candidate, steamrolling over any criticisms of Paul, no matter how legitimate, and simply dismissing out of hand those they cannot out-argue.
To many people, Ron Paul’s sound bites are very appealing. Smaller government. Individual liberty. Legalization of marijuana and other drugs. (Yes, I think this has a lot to do with the support Paul receives, especially among young people and college students.) Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that most supporters of Ron Paul stop there and either don’t dig any further or ignore the digging done by others. This alarms me, because Ron Paul’s record is very, very anti-gay.
On his best days, Ron Paul supports the so-called “states’ rights” position regarding marriage equality. On his worst, he has specifically bragged about his efforts to obstruct and attack LGBT people’s civil rights and gone out of his way to slander and mischaracterize LGBT people.
Setting aside the generally disturbing deployment of the “states’ rights” argument at all, given its shameful history as a justifier of slavery and Jim Crow laws in this country, I’d like to ask Mr. Paul (as well as those who profess to support both Ron Paul and LGBT equality) why LGBT couples should be the only Americans whose marriages are subject to the “states’ rights” standard. Why should only LGBT people, but not straight people, have to seek the approval of our state legislatures and/or citizenry in order to marry the people we love? Why should our marriages be the only ones that dissolve when we cross state lines? And why is this an acceptable state of affairs, especially given the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law to all American citizens?
“Yeah,” many of my Paul-supporting friends will say, “but that’s just your opinion.”
This brings up another point: the difference between opinion and fact. Maybe it’s just me, but in this era of false equivalency memes, it appears as though this distinction is being increasingly overlooked. A fact is something that is empirically true and can be supported by evidence, while an opinion is a belief that may or may not be backed up with some type of evidence, usually taking the form of a subjective statement that can be emotionally based or result from a person’s individual interpretation of a fact.
- FACT: Ron Paul’s presidential campaign issued a flyer that boasted about the candidate’s efforts to introduce legislation that would remove challenges to the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act from the federal court system.
- FACT: Ron Paul’s Iowa state director is Mike Heath, a long-term Christian-right activist who formerly served as the board chairman of an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group known as “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.”
- FACT: Ron Paul has a long history of racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic comments.
- FACT: As state above, Ron Paul supports the so-called “states’ rights” approach to marriage, but interestingly, only for LGBT couples.
- FACT: Ron Paul said, “If I were in Congress in 1996, I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress’ constitutional authority to define what official state documents other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a same-sex marriage license issued in another state.”
- FACT: Ron Paul opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, nonreligious employers.
Based on the above examples and so many others, there is no way one can honestly characterize Ron Paul’s past statements and record as anything other than anti-gay. Of course, LGBTs and supporters of LGBT equality, like all voters, can and should vote for whomever they choose. I am neither disputing that right nor attempting in any way to tell anyone how to vote. What I am saying, however, is that LGBT and pro-LGBT voters should at least acknowledge that a vote for a candidate like Ron Paul is a vote for someone who opposes their rights.
Progressives who are considering a move from the Democratic Party in order to support Ron Paul are out of their blessed gourds. Ron Paul is not your friend, progressives, no matter how non-interventionist, plaintive and wide-eyed he appears to be.
For the next several months, Ron Paul will continue to be a spoiler in the Republican primary campaign, lobbing crazy bombs from the fringes of the far right wing of the party without any chance whatsoever of actually winning the nomination, and even less of a shot at winning the White House in November.
But it doesn’t matter because winning isn’t his goal, regardless of the idealistic daydreaming of his most vocal supporters. He has no intention of becoming president, and he never has. His mission, beyond political masturbation, is to continue his sermon about the viability of a completely non-functioning ideology, libertarianism, while paying homage to the L. Ron Hubbard of politics, Ayn Rand.
Along the way, progressives have taken notice of Ron Paul’s positions on civil liberties and foreign policy. He’s a non-interventionist, he’s opposed to indefinite detention, he’s opposed to the use of predator drones, he voted against the PATRIOT Act, he’s against the war in Afghanistan, he’s opposed to wiretaps without warrants, and so forth. All are positions that progressives rightfully hold dear, including me. Therefore, Paul appears to be “to the left” of President Obama in these specific areas, and so, consequently, progressives have been abandoning support for the president (many of them were never supporters in the first place, going back to the chaotic 2008 primaries) and shifting their support to Ron Paul.
Unfortunately, Paul’s progressive supporters might not grasp that Paul’s libertarianism, while informing some of his seemingly progressive views on foreign policy and the like, carries with it a significant load of horrendous and unacceptable baggage. Before I proceed further, let me be clear: I’m not pushing for some kind of ideological purity test, but Paul’s views on a spectrum of other issues are so completely off the rails, especially relative to progressivism, that any progressive who’s supporting Paul is basically forsaking his or her values in lieu of a sliver of overlap on a liberal/libertarian Venn diagram. Paul is a physician, so I’ll employ a medical metaphor to explain. Imagine a surgeon attacking a cancerous tumor by firing a bazooka point-blank at the tumor. The surgeon might nail the tumor, but he’s going to blast away everything around it, killing the patient.
Not to be overly hyperbolic, but, if implemented at the presidential level, Ron Paul’s agenda on everything else besides the war and matters surrounding the treatment of accused terrorists are utterly destructive to progressive values, not to mention the well-being of the nation.
Based on statistics culled from the American Journal of Political Science and Common Space Score calculations from 1937 to 2002, Ron Paul has the most conservative record out of the entire roster of more than 3,000 Congress members from both chambers during that considerably long span of time. Put another way, Ron Paul is the most conservative member of Congress in modern history. Think of the most right-wing legislator you can come up with. Ron Paul is to that person’s right. Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Rick Santorum, Louie Gohmert — Ron Paul has them beat by miles. And it’s really no wonder. So, on that note, what about all of that aforementioned “horrendous libertarian baggage?”
Paul’s libertarianism is manifested in his desire to essentially subvert the functionality of the federal government. He wants to eliminate many cabinet level departments including the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.
This alone should be a deal breaker for progressives. But there are many, many more.
Paul is opposed to tax increases and government spending. In fact, he wants to roll back federal spending levels to 2000 levels. This would practically destroy the slow economic recovery and slide us into another depression.
Paul, in lockstep with other Republican presidential candidates, “supports new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, supports new tax cuts for corporations, supports ending Medicare as we know it, supports cuts to Social Security, supports the repeal of Dodd-Frank, opposes the Buffett rule, opposes ending tax breaks for Big Oil, and opposes ending tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas,” according to ThinkProgress.
Regarding his posture on foreign policy, while he appears to be sincere in his non-interventionism, it’s important to mention that Paul voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) just after September 11. This is the law that was often referenced by the Bush administration in defense of their most egregious trespasses. While not explicitly authorizing indefinite detention and eavesdropping without a warrant, the AUMF is cited by name in the controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as the basis for codifying indefinite detention and so forth. Ron Paul voted for this Pandora’s Box.
He also introduced a bill, HR 3076, which would have allowed President Bush to issue letters of marque and reprisal — to hire private bounty hunters tasked with apprehending members of al Qaeda “alive or dead.” We can only presume this would have included American-born al Qaeda member Anwar al-Awlaki.
The President of the United States is authorized to place a money bounty, drawn in his discretion from the $40,000,000,000 appropriated on September 14, 2001, in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorists Attacks on the United States or from private sources, for the capture, alive or dead, of Osama bin Laden or any other al Qaeda conspirator responsible for the act of air piracy upon the United States on September 11, 2001, under the authority of any letter of marque or reprisal issued under this Act.
The language is pretty clear. But feel free to take him at his word that he’s against this sort of thing — unaccountable private assassinations — even though he introduced legislation that would have done exactly that. Also notice how Paul used the very specific “act of war” language in the bill, putting him clearly on the record acknowledging the war on terrorism as a legitimate war.
In the domestic arena, all of his talk about personal liberty comes to an abrupt halt on the issue of abortion. Paul is staunchly pro-life and supports the criminalization of abortion — calling for the arrest of abortion doctors, presumably for murder.
Paul is quoted on his website: “There has to be a criminal penalty for the person that’s committing that crime. And I think that is the abortionist.”
For a self-proclaimed constitutionalist, Paul obviously doesn’t support privacy rights as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. And Paul would leave abortion laws and penalties up to the states. We all know how fair state-level crime and punishment can be, especially in death penalty states. Paraphrasing Barney Frank, Ron Paul wants to shrink government small enough to fit into your uterus. And this business of painting all doctors who perform legal and constitutionally-protected abortions as murderers and baby killers unintentionally serves to motivate militant wackaloons like Shelley Shannon and Scott Roeder.
Speaking of which, Ron Paul also interprets the 2nd Amendment to mean an unfettered right to bear arms.
Despite being lauded as a civil liberties hero, he supported the Defense of Marriage Act. He also co-sponsored the Marriage Protection Act, which beefed up DOMA and stopped judges from overturning the rule.
He’s against universal healthcare, which includes such progressive touchstones as single-payer health insurance and the public option.
Like so many other crackpots on the far-right, Ron Paul thinks global warming is a hoax and doesn’t support any regulation of industry to prevent pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
And finally, he has a long record of obvious racism. He voted against affirmative action, opposed the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, and distributed racist newsletters. What about his position against the Civil Rights Act? Again, libertarianism, like some extremist factions of Christianity and Islam, serves as a convenient excuse for bigotry. And that’s exactly what it is: bigotry. According to an item in the Huffington Post:
The Civil Rights Act repealed the notorious Jim Crow laws; forced schools, bathrooms and buses to desegregate; and banned employment discrimination. Although Paul was not around to weigh in on the landmark legislation at the time, he had the chance to cast a symbolic vote against it in 2004, when the House of Representatives took up a resolution “recognizing and honoring the 40th anniversary of congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Paul was the only member who voted “no.”
If this is the price tag for ending indefinite detention and decriminalizing narcotics, I don’t want any part of it.
In the final analysis, not every issue is weighted and prioritized equally. While I strongly disagree with the policy, ending drone strikes is not at the top of my priority list, and neither is indefinite detention or drug policy. Illegal wiretaps are higher, as is the influence of corporate money in politics. (By the way, Ron Paul accepts donations from corporations like all the rest, and many of his top contributors are defense contractors. Odd, since he’s a non-interventionist.) Yet none of these issues are as important to me as women’s rights, civil rights, campaign finance reform, the environment, financial reform, the economy, healthcare and ending the occupation of Iraq.
Therefore, I support the candidate who is most likely to achieve those priorities, move the nation, in general, in a more liberal direction, and I will continue to do so despite the areas where I disagree with President Obama.
To that point, I also understand the reality that no president has ever had a spotless record. How many civilians did FDR kill when firebombing Tokyo, or Truman when nuking Hiroshima/Nagasaki? Why did FDR indefinitely detain Japanese-Americans without charges? Why did Teddy Roosevelt write about the evolutionary superiority of white people? Why did Lincoln suspend habeas corpus when the Constitution explicitly enumerates the suspension of the writ as a congressional power under Article I? Etc, etc, etc.
American politics is about negotiation, compromise and the big picture. If we get too caught up in the sausage-making, everything seems ugly and no one is on our side. But when you’re thinking about which candidate you’d like to support, it’s important to look at the big picture in an almost historical sense, and ask yourself: 1) Who will move the nation closer, in general, to my values? And, 2) Who can actually achieve question #1?
Unlike President Obama, who is, in fact, slowly moving the nation to the left while rolling back Reaganomics despite deeply entrenched partisan attacks against his very American-ness, Ron Paul, if he’s ever elected president, would move the nation in a vastly more paleoconservative direction. His historically right-wing congressional record proves this. He might have a more non-interventionist foreign policy, sure — that is if he’s sincere about his intentions — but will he be able to actually achieve anything without a strong party coalition? Progressives might applaud Paul’s foreign policy, but the clapping would be brief and muted as Paul’s libertarian agenda would be totally indigestible.
In other words, and in the big picture, President Ron Paul would be a far-right conservative nightmare, leaving in his wake irreparable harm and a grotesque Brundlefly hellscape.
President Obama, on the other hand, is a politician who, while flawed like all the rest, has shown an aptitude to at least listen to and understand his opponents on the left. I’m convinced that if we make a strong enough case against administration policies we disagree with, there’s a solid shot at convincing the president to make a change. Ron Paul is completely immovable as evidenced by his continued opposition to the Civil Rights Act decades later. And no one on the left has a shot in hell at convincing him otherwise.
During Tuesday night’s New Hampshire Primary election coverage, Lawrence O’Donnell hilariously and saliently described Ron Paul as “not a candidate,” therefore Jon Huntsman was the realistic second place winner, though not technically since he placed third on paper. Likewise, Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum recently wrote that Ron Paul is a “crackpot.”
Naturally, they’re both correct. Times a thousand.
But a million Elvis fans can’t be wrong. Or can they? In other words, Ron Paul supporters are easily some of the most exuberant, die-hard, overzealous political activists around, and you’ll probably get a hearty sampling of that zealotry in the comments below this post. Nevertheless, the perpetual question about a movement like this is: how can so many people be so completely delusional?
The word “cult” is often employed in political contests, but seldom in recent history has it been more appropriate than when describing the so-called Ron Paul Revolution. Specifically, Ron Paul has no chance of winning the nomination (and he doesn’t really want to); if a miracle happens and he actually does win the nomination and, subsequently, the presidency, he has no chance to successfully govern; and his libertarianism is pure hocus-pocus science fiction, evidenced by the fact that it’s never been successfully implemented. Ever. But Ron Paul’s supporters don’t know it. Or, at least, none of them can describe a single instance in history when such a system has prospered without serious consequences and horrendous side-effects.
To paraphrase the underpants gnomes from South Park, the Ron Paul supporters’ plan for success is as follows:
Phase 1: Vote for Ron Paul.
Phase 2: ?????
Phase 3: Liberty!
At the risk of over-explaining the joke, the question marks represent the un-electability of Ron Paul. No matter how vocal and activated the fanboys might become between now and the would-be nomination of Mitt Romney, there aren’t enough votes. There is no conceivable path to the nomination, and an even narrower path to the White House. Why can’t he win anything? The aforementioned crackpot factor. During every general election cycle each party has a crackpot candidate. Ron Paul is the quadrennial Republican crackpot. (On the Democratic side there was Mike Gravel in 2008 and, this year, domestic terrorist Randall Terry.)
Perhaps Ron Paul is self-aware enough to realize this, but he sounds almost as delusional as his people.
“I’ve been electable. I’ve won 12 elections already,” he said on CBS. “It’s amazing that I do so much better than those other candidates that are all electable. They’re in fourth, fifth and sixth place and they’re electable. All of a sudden they say I’m not electable. I don’t know how that adds up.”
An eighth grade social studies student knows why this is a ridiculous line of reasoning. It’s significantly more achievable to be elected by a relatively homogeneous community of 100,000 voters than it is to be elected nationwide by 100 million. So the notion that he was elected 12 times in his congressional district is meaningless on the national stage.
For this and a variety of other reasons, very few people take Ron Paul seriously outside of his imaginary Galt’s Gulch cult compound. The reality is that our political system has remained relatively intact for 224 years because most people, despite their gretzing, are actually comfortable with the continuity it provides. If voters were as militantly anti-system as they claim to be in anecdotal conversations, they would elect more incumbents and fringy third-party challengers. Ron Paul would have a better shot if anti-system fantasy replaced comfy, complacent reality.
Only slightly better.
The election of Ron Paul is a minor conundrum compared with implementing his libertarian ideas. If we presuppose that he wins and then achieves any of his proposed changes to the system in the face of a divided electorate, few working coalitions and no party support in Congress, those policies would absolutely crush the economy and, ultimately, the very “liberty” which Ron Paul cultists repeat like hiccups in response to any challenges to their leader.
Despite an era when deregulated corporations and financial institutions pushed the world economy to the brink of another Great Depression, Ron Paul’s agenda would remove almost all restrictions on the market.
Certainly, rich white men would continue to prosper under the laissez-faire policies of a Ron Paul administration. Until the inevitable crash. More on that presently. But minorities and women would fall prey to free market discrimination and subjugation. While “liberty” is the calling card of a Ron Paul supporter, they don’t appear to understand how liberty would be denied to women and minorities.
Among other monikers, Ron Paul fancies himself a “constitutionalist,” but that strict adherence to the Constitution ends with the 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court, according to its explicit powers enumerated in Article III, decided that the 14th Amendment includes a right to privacy and, thus, the right for a woman to have an abortion. I fail to understand how constitutionalists and those who cling so dearly to the ideals of limited government and “liberty” can so casually and oppressively order strict government regulations dictating what occurs within the bodies of every woman of child-bearing age.
Furthermore, with the rolling back of the Civil Rights Act, entire sectors of the free market would be free to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender. At the state and local level, we would see an inevitable return of Jim Crow laws that allowed, among other things, poll taxes and neo-slavery, and so the growing American minority population would find itself trapped in a new American apartheid without any recourse for justice.
But, you know, “liberty!”
About that inevitable crash. Ron Paul would cut $1 trillion in spending from the budget in his first year. That’s not $1 trillion spread out over a number of years — he’s talking about $1 trillion in 2013 alone. Without robust consumer spending, low unemployment and high GDP, these cuts would lead to a massive and inextricably deep depression. And I mean inextricable. There wouldn’t be any means of escape since his subsequent budgets would continue to slash and burn everything in sight . Meanwhile, the aforementioned deregulated businesses — the ones that aren’t destroyed by the crash — would swoop in like vultures to exploit the disaster, and the divide between the super wealthy and everyone else would grow beyond comprehension.
Then again, pot and heroin would be legalized and the United States would wall ourselves off from the rest of the world — a policy that worked out really well in the 1930s. By the way, if you believe Ron Paul is anti-war, think again. Some of his top donors are defense contractors, he voted for the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorists, and he proposed HR 3076 which would have unleashed a government-financed private army of mercenaries and assassins to indiscriminately and unaccountably kill terrorists irrespective of nationality.
But, you know, “liberty!”
And Ron Paul cultists wonder why no one else takes their guy seriously.
See, Ron Paul isn’t a candidate. He’s a meme. Much like a popular YouTube video, Twitter hashtag or literary blog metaphor, if you’re aware of it, you’re savvy — you’re one of them. Ron Paul is a shibboleth for nihilistic hipsters. If you can work “Ron Paul” and “liberty!” into a tweet, you’re one of them. You’re anti-establishment. People who are devoted to Ron Paul appear to be more interested in the fantastical, fictitious idea of President Ron Paul than the realistic manifestation of President Ron Paul.
Nevertheless, this underpants gnome will soldier on as a spoiler, potentially weakening Mitt Romney’s efforts by emboldening the right flank against the moderate frontrunner who’s awkwardly struggling and desperately failing to appear more right-wing. And that’s fine with me, but don’t expect too many non-cultists to take Ron Paul seriously enough to win, much less govern.
An oldie but goodie: DAILY KOS
This time, let’s turn our attention from Paul’s words to his actions, and see how the congressman from Texas has, for the past quarter century, systematically built a support network for himself among the worst far-right crackpots, racists, and neo-Nazis in America.
THE STRANGE CASE OF LARRY PRATT
In 1996, presidential candidate Pat Buchanan got in hot water when the Center for Public Integrity revealed connections between Buchanan’s campaign co-chairman Larry Pratt and Pastor Pete Peters, a leader of the white supremacist Christian Identity movement. Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, had been a frequent guest at meetings and on radio and television programs hosted by Peters, who inveighed against “Talmudic filth” as Pratt looked on. On February 15, 1996, Pratt took a leave of absence from the Buchanan campaign, so as to avoid causing a “distraction.”
The very next day, reported the San Antonio Express-News on February 18, Ron Paul distributed a press release touting Pratt’s endorsement of Paul’s candidacy for the U.S. Congress. Pratt’s endorsement of Paul was anything but pro forma; the February 22, 1996 issue of Roll Call noted that Paul and Mike Gunn, a Republican candidate for Congress in Mississippi who had done some work for David Duke in the latter’s 1991 Louisiana gubernatorial campaign, were the only two candidates formally endorsed for office that year by Pratt’s organization. Paul’s opponent in the Republican primary, Rep. Greg Laughlin, called upon Paul to repudiate Pratt; Paul declined to do so, with his spokesman saying that Paul opposed racism but that “nothing has been proven against Mr. Pratt. He has denied it.” (Pratt’s enthusiasm for Paul continues to this day, as this quasi-endorsement of Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign makes clear.)
THE COMPANY RON PAUL KEEPS
Paul’s disinclination to separate himself from the Larry Pratts of the world is part of a pattern that over the last 20 years has seen him snuggling up to some extremely questionable characters on the far right fringe. Like, for example, secessionists, who gathered at a conference in April of 1995 to hear Paul speak about the ”once and future Republic of Texas.” Or the beady-eyed listeners of The Political Cesspool. It’s the unofficial radio program of theCouncil of Conservative Citizens—you know, the repainted White Citizens Council that got Trent Lott into a bit of trouble a few years ago. (Tune in tonight for their special program on “the disastrous Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education decision, one which ushered in an era of radical leftist ideology upon the American citizenry.”) Paul has been a guest on the program; you’ll find him listed under P, right above Prussian Blue, the white supremacist teenage singing duo.
Or the crazy-as-fuck John Birch Society, to which Paul is more than happy to grant the occasional interview and even speak at their dinners (the podcast, I am sorry to report, no longer seems to be available). In fact, Paul is the only member of Congress to receive aperfect 100 from the John Birch Society in its most recent member ratings.
THE KLAN’S MAN IN WASHINGTON
Like many members of Congress, the prolific Paul posts his speeches, columns, and statements on his House Web site. He allows anyone to republish and distribute them, and many do. For example, our old friends the Council of Conservative Citizens occasionally publish Paul in its newsletter, the Citizens Informer (warning: PDF). And then there’s David Duke, who can’t get enough of Ron Paul; you can find his columns on davidduke.com here and here and here andhere and here. If you’re more of a dead-tree fan, you can find Paul’s thoughts on foreign policy reprinted in the January 2007 issue of the National Times, a white supremacist newspaper that apparently gets distributed through the time-honored neo-Nazi method of throwing the thing onto unsuspecting people’s porches in the middle of the night and scurrying away.
For a real look inside the tiny, demented mind of the neo-Nazi, though, we need to go toStormfront. Stormfront is the oldest and largest white supremacist site on the World Wide Web; its discussion boards provide an unequaled opportunity for eavesdropping on the thoughts and plans of the racist underground in America and around the world. And you don’t have to visit for very long before one thing jumps out at you: they positively adore Ron Paul. (Please note that links in this paragraph go to a hate site and should probably be considered NSFW.) An “Is Ron Paul the One?” topic is currently stickied in Stormfront’s Newslinks & Articles forum;another active topic on Paul’s candidacy has received 446 posts and 12,040 pageviews since late March. A topic called “Ron Paul’s Race Problem” (hey, Wonkette musta read my diary!) was just started today and already has 17 replies. They’re busy little racists over there.
DOES ANY OF THIS STUFF REALLY MATTER?
Politicians can’t choose their supporters, after all. Isn’t it a bit unfair to tar Paul by association to these lunatics? No, it isn’t. This stuff matters because Paul makes so little effort to disassociate himself from the racist, anti-Semitic, crackpot groups that support him. Whether he shares these groups’ beliefs or not, the fact that he doesn’t care enough to do anything about them speaks volumes. I’ll wrap up by turning the floor over to Eric Dondero, a senior aid to Paul from 1997 to 2003, who had this to say in a blog comment in May:
Ron Paul has had some ties that are nothing to be proud of in the past to far-right groups. My former boss IS NOT AN ANTI-SEMITE. However, he is grossly inattentive in dealing with groups who are blatantly anti-Semitic.
…Whether they are using him to gain in credibility, or whether it’s just coincidence doesn’t matter much. It’s the image that counts. No doubt this will all come to haunt him in his race for the Presidency.
“At tonight’s Republican Presidential Debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, Texas Congressman Ron Paul charged that the United States has purposefully ensured that racism is the motivating factor of minorities being killed in combat at a disproportionately higher number than Whites.
While speaking on the topics of both Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as the plight of Blacks in the United States, at 31 minutes into the debate Rep. Paul stated;
“Minorities have an injustice in war, as well, because the minorities suffer more. Even with a draft, they suffered definitely more…”
The military draft ended in 1973, right after the end of American military involvement in Southeast Asia.
Dr. Paul’s reference to combat deaths in conjunction with a military draft, the most recent example would be that of the Vietnam War.
The Answer Is..
According to the Department of the Navy;
- The percentage of Black troops killed during the Vietnam War was 12.4%.
- The percentage of White troops killed during the same was 85.6%.
According to World-History.org;
- 88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were black.
- 34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms [Infantry, Tanks, Artillery].
- Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.”
Perhaps Ron Paul should look at how many African Americans die from POVERTY AND LACK OF MEDICAL CARE. Maybe he should look at how many cannot afford a good lawyer or a decent education. By his own logic, if Ron Paul wants to destroy these programs and make these issues worse then that makes him racist I suppose, right? The same way ending the “war on drugs” make him not racist. It’s nonsense. Ron Paul is a POLITICIAN. He knows what to feed his audience. Do you really think he address an audience with the same things he published for over 20 years in his newsletters? No! Ron Paul has extensive ties with bigots, and even his books have offensive writings. Some of which sound very much like his newsletters. He’s not racist, but he would go against the 14th amendment and end BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP? Get out of here! Ron Paul is damaged and I think he would indefinitely destroy any social progress we’ve made over the last 20 years. He breeds fear and hate, not unity or peace. I see right through his hypocrisy and lies. I do not support Ron Paul.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) turned his back to me. Why? Because I asked a question he really didn’t want to answer.
On Saturday night, during the first of the back-to-back New Hampshire debates, ABC News moderator George Stephanopoulos asked Rep. Ron Paul, who’d been running second in the New Hampshire polls before the first GOP presidential primary, about racist remarks that appeared in his newsletters during the 1980s and 1990s: “Can you…explain to everybody what happened there, how it was possible that those kind of comments went out under your name without you knowing about it?”
Paul said he did not write those passages, but he declined to explain how such swill had ended up in a newsletter bearing his name. He dismissed the 20-plus-year-old matter as “diverting the attention from most of the important issues.” But then he jumped back in time himself, saying, “You ought to ask me what my relationship is for racial relationships. And one of my heroes is Martin Luther King [Jr.] because he practiced the libertarian principle of peaceful resistance and peaceful civil disobedience.”
After the debate, I found Rand Paul in the Spin Room, where representatives of the candidates had gathered to explain to the gaggle of reporters why their particular man had won the debate and was now firmly on the path to victory. I asked him if he could point to any specific times in his life—as a child or young adult—when his father had expressed admiration for King. He replied:
Through the years, I’ve not only heard him say that, but that he has admiration for Gandhi. He has admiration for people who have led mass and nonviolent protests against government unjustness. There’s one quote I can remember him using, saying that ‘any unjust law is a law a majority passes upon a minority but doesn’t make binding on themselves.’ And that was the whole nature of segregation in the South… That’s something that’s been consistent through his career.
That was not so specific, but Rand Paul did at least note that his pop could cite MLK. (The real quote: “An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself.”)
“Yeah,” he replied, “he didn’t write that.”
“But how did that come to be?” I inquired.
This was when Rand Paul turned his back to me—and said, “Anybody else?”
“You’re turning your back on me,” I remarked. “Can you just explain? Is he responsible for that?”
“You’re not going to answer that question?”
Another reporter jumped in: ”Did you ever read the newsletters when you were growing up?”
“Anybody got any current events?” Paul said. “Are there a couple more current events? Then I got to go.”
His back was still toward me. I moved off to listen to pointless spin from others.
Though Sen. Paul had not displayed the best manners, I decided to give him another chance. After the second New Hampshire debate on Sunday morning, I saw him entering the Spin Room and trailed him to his designated spot. I first asked how he thought his father had done this morning. “He did great,” he said. Then I returned to the previous evening’s topic:
“Last night I asked you a question and you turned your back on me.”
“I’ll probably do the same.”
“Your father last night brought up the issue of Martin Luther King… He talked about history. Why won’t you talk about hte newsletter and say how—”
“If you want to talk about current events.”
“Your father talks about history all the time. Why can’t you talk about this newsletter.”
“Anybody else? Anybody else?”
“Why can’t you talk about who wrote this?”
“Asked and answered yesterday.”
“But you didn’t answer it. That’s the thing. Why can’t you answer this?”
Another reporter then interrupted: “What do you think of Romney?” Paul happily fielded that query: ”I think he did very well in the debate… I think he presents himself very well. He shows great leadership.”
Ron and Rand Paul truly do not want to talk about those newsletters. Is it conceivable that Ron Paul doesn’t know who wrote the garbage that appeared under his imprimatur—and helped him make money? Not really. This is a cover-up. They are stonewalling. And it appears the Pauls will do almost anything to avoid explaining the origins of these and other racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and conspiratorial claims.