Thursday, December 22, 2011

Poor Ron Paul

Boo hoo hoo. He's at the top of his campaign, he's probably the best among the current leaders of the GOP, and he has no prayer of getting the nomination. And if somehow he did he'd have no chance of winning. He'd be utterly destroyed. Here's why:

He disavows the racist pieces in his newsletter, but won't disavow the likely author, Lew Rockwell, with whom he has a continued association. Imagine Barack Obama raising this issue with Paul during a debate. What would Paul do, stomp off?

Meanwhile, Walter Block argues that if one doesn't support Ron Paul, one isn't a libertarian. David Friedman does a nice job of dissecting this. (Thanks, Knud!)

Since Ron Paul really is not a libertarian, why would one's libertarian credentials hang on supporting him anyway?

Postscript: I note that Wolf Blitzer seems to think Gloria Borger was just doing tough, hard-hitting journalism. Actually all she does is ask the same stupid question over and over until Paul gets mad and storms off. And now Newt Gingrich follows up with the "hardhitting" question: "how much money did you make from the newsletters?" (A lot less than you took from Fannie Mae, Newt.)

Bah! Are public discussions no longer capable of following lines of reasoning? Since Paul denies knowing who wrote the newsletters, ask how big his staff was and who was on it. Ask who was in charge of editorial decisions. Or if this is too hard, why not just Google "Who wrote the Ron Paul newsletters" and read this.

If someone really wants to, it shouldn't be hard to show that Ron Paul really does maintain connections with racist, homophobic, anti-American scoundrels.

Dr. Steele,

Here's my take on this. Ron Paul probably didn't write nor read most of the articles that contain racism and homophobia, and I doubt Paul is a racist and homophobe.

As to who wrote these, or who authorized them, I'm positive that Lew Rockwell is responsible. Though I don't think he is a racist either, he is an anarchist, and considers anyone who believes in government solutions to be not just an ignorant dumbass, but a danger and a threat.

Ron Paul still has my support, but I knew eventually his anarchist ties would come out. His admiration for Murray Rothbard and his association with Rockwell indicate that Paul is probably a closet anarchist.

If you look at the newsletters, almost every criticism that contains racism or homophobia is directed at government involvement. The criticism of MLK Jr. is largly about his socialism. Same with the LGBT movement.

Unfortunately, instead of a thoughtful critique, the newsletters advance in typical Rockwellian fashion and blast away with absurd fallacious reasonings, supported by few facts.

I believe this is why Paul originally stated that the newsletters were taken out of context. I don't believe Paul or Rockwell are racist or homophobic, but they were willing to appeal to those tendencies amongst their readers in order to advance their anarchist agenda.

If you look back at Paul's past, he has mellowed out quite a bit since his possible anarchism. And he has been one of the best advocates for liberty and peace and freemarkets since 9/11 and the recession. I agree with you that we need a strong libertarian candidate, and unfortunately, Ron Paul is not that candidate because of his associations with these extreme bigots.

This isn't really a defense of Paul, it is just my opinion. And as an aside, it would be nice if the media would probe Obama with these kinds of questions concerning his connection with Jeremiah Wright, or any of the other extreme people with which he has had associations.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Mike. I largely agree with you, except on the the subject of Lew Rockwell. In addition to writing racist material (the newsletters) Rockwell has surrounded himself with racists (e.g. Walter Block and Hans Hoppe) and has sought association with racist organizations (e.g. Thomas Flemming's Rockford Institute). I've had firsthand experience with Block and with the LvMI-RI alliance. While I've never heard Rockwell express an opinion on race, I did watch as he remained silent and utterly unperturbed when Fleming was spouting white supremist nonsense.

I've never met Paul, but my impression is that he's simply not careful about the company he keeps.

If he can't keep a publishing firm of a half dozen people under control, how would he do as President of the United States?
Having read the newsletters in detail I have to disagree with Mr. McDonald. He says that the bigoted remarks was "directed at government involvement." I am sorry, but that is not true. The bulk of such remarks were not so directed.

And some of the "government involvement" was part of paranoid, delusions about plots such as the supposed government/gay cover-up of the truth about AIDS and how it is spread almost exclusively by "malicious gays."

The comments about race wars and blacks were not criticisms of government but pandering to racist stereotypes. The "government" there was the absurd claim that blacks will be rioting but will then stop so they can all go cash their welfare checks. If that is supposed to be a critique of government it fails. It is merely another bigoted stereotype that Rockwell was promoting.
Thanks for your comment. I have not read the newsletters in their entirety, only excerpts. I do know firsthand that Rockwellites include racists and bigots, and whether the newsletter rants were couched so as to always be able to fall back on the claim that it's really the government involvement that's really the problem is beside the point. I've seen the same kind of couching of arguments in a KKK newsletter. The statements remain racist.
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