As a writer and journalist since 1992, I have written hundreds of articles, editorials and essays and thousands of words on hundreds of topics, but the one thing that connects each and every one is I own all those words. It does not matter if the words are wise, silly, entertaining or dull as a dish rag.
They are all my words and no matter how much distance time puts between me and my words, they’re never too far and never too distant for me to be held accountable for them.
The reality for every writer is we may forget what we’ve written, but as long as it is written down somewhere those words are never truly lost and once found, they are potentially capable of returning to bedevil us anew.
This is a reality Ron Paul would rather not face.
Paul’s appeal to voters isn’t lost on me. He seems like the perfect anti-politician. He’s not a pretty boy with polished teeth and a fussed over hairstyle and a meticulously managed media image. Paul is rumpled, short, not particularly photogenic or worried about tailoring his message to fit a particular focus group or demographic. What Paul is strong on his message of individual freedom, non-intervention in foreign affairs, not spending money on non-essential frills and pet projects
You can’t blame the Paulinistas for trying to frame the debate on their own terms on the issues they think are winning ones for them. Unfortunately for them (and Paul), he can’t run from his coziness with the racism he permitted to be published under his name.
Pile up enough of Paul’s hostility toward civil rights, his indifference to racist rants on a publication with his name on the title, and his refusal to distance himself from his ties to extremists like the John Birch Society and you can conclude once you get past the kindly, but slightly crazy old uncle act, if Ron Paul isn’t a bigot himself you couldn’t slide a piece of paper between him and those that are.
Claiming he never read the newsletters is an extraordinary admission to Paul’s lack of accountability and responsibility. If Ron Paul can’t be bothered to care about running a raggedy newsletter, why should anyone trust him to run the whole damn country?
Separating Ron Paul’s various explanations over the years about the newsletters is a laborious process, but it comes down to this: if you’re a publisher, you may not read everything that goes into your publication, but it stretches credulity to say you had no idea what was going in it, never read it, didn’t disavow the statements when they originally occurred. don’t know who wrote them and only disagreed with them after you decided to run for president.
Paul’s dilemma is once upon a time he seemed quite aware of what the content of his newsletters were as he explained in 1995 to CSPAN.
Along with that I also put out a political — type of business investment newsletter, sort of covered all these areas. And it covered a lot about what was going on in Washington and financial events, especially some of the monetary events since I had been especially interested in monetary policy, had been on the banking committee, and still very interested in, in that subject. That — this newsletter dealt with that.
That is a completely weak and inadequate explanation of the bigoted content of his newsletters. It’s also a reason to ask—no, DEMAND that Paul explain himself totally, fully and completely.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Ron Paul has tried since 2001 to disavow racist and incendiary language published in Texas newsletters that bore his name, denying he wrote them and even walking out of an interview on CNN Wednesday. But he vouched for the accuracy of the writings and admitted writing at least some of the passages when first asked about them in an interview in 1996.
Some issues of the newsletters included racist, anti-Israel or anti-gay comments, including a 1992 newsletter in which he said 95% of black men in Washington “are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
Paul told The Dallas Morning News in 1996 that the contents of his newsletters were accurate but needed to be taken in context. Wednesday, he told CNN he didn’t write the newsletters and didn’t know what was in them.
Paul, who leads polls in Iowa leading up to the caucuses there on Jan. 3, published a series of newsletters while he was out of Congress in the 1980s and 1990s called The Ron Paul Political Report, Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report and The Ron Paul Investment Letter.
In 1996, Paul told The Dallas Morning News that his comment about black men in Washington came while writing about a 1992 study by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank in Virginia.
Paul cited the study and wrote: “Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system,“These aren’t my figures,” Paul told the Morning News. “That is the assumption you can gather from the report.” I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
Nor did Paul dispute in 1996 his 1992 newsletter statement that said,”If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.”
Paul believes the Civil War was unnecessary. A better alternative would have been to buy the slaves instead.
Paul voted for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but says he would have voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act as he explains at the 4:20 mark during an interview with Chris Matthews.
On July 3, 2004, He cast the only vote against a bill commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Act as he explained in remarks from the floor of the House of Representatives. Taken from his own website, Paul is obviously proud of his opposition.
Ron Paul: Mr. Speaker, I rise to explain my objection to H.Res. 676. I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations. However, contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of H.Res. 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society. Federal bureaucrats and judges cannot read minds to see if actions are motivated by racism. Therefore, the only way the federal government could ensure an employer was not violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to ensure that the racial composition of a business’s workforce matched the racial composition of a bureaucrat or judge’s defined body of potential employees.
Thus, bureaucrats began forcing employers to hire by racial quota. Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife.
Of course, America has made great strides in race relations over the past forty years. However, this progress is due to changes in public attitudes and private efforts. Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, while I join the sponsors of H.Res. 676 in promoting racial harmony and individual liberty, the fact is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not accomplish these goals. Instead, this law unconstitutionally expanded federal power, thus reducing liberty. Furthermore, by prompting raced-based quotas, this law undermined efforts to achieve a color-blind society and increased racial strife. Therefore, I must oppose H.Res. 676.
Maybe there is a good explanation for Paul’s out of touch views on race, but I haven’t read or heard a good one yet. The 1964 Civil Rights Act made life easier for minorities and harder on racists, but Paul considers this to be a bad thing. I consider this makes him unelectable and unworthy to be seriously considered presidential material.
The Atlantic’s Ta-Neshi Coates isn’t buying the “Ron Paul is the Victim” rap either.
Racism, like all forms of bigotry, is what it claims to oppose–victimology. The bigot is never to blame. Always is he besieged–by gays and their radical agenda, by women and their miniskirts, by fleet-footed blacks. It is an ideology of “not my fault.” It is not Ron Paul’s fault that people with an NAACP view of the world would twist his words. It is not Ron Paul’s fault that his newsletter trafficked in racism. It is not Ron Paul’s fault that he allowed people to author that racism in his name. It is anonymous political aids and writers, who now cowardly refuse to own their words. There’s always someone else to blame–as long as it isn’t Ron Paul, if only because it never was Ron Paul.
Next: What’s actually in the Ron Paul newsletters and some strange comments from Paul about race.
- FACT CHECK: Ron Paul Personally Defended Racist Newsletters (thinkprogress.org)
- Media Suddenly Notice Ron Paul’s Decades of Racist Connections (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Ron Paul And Extremism: Discover It Again, For The First Time (mykeystrokes.com)
- Statement From Former Ron Paul Staffer Causes More Problems For Rep. (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Ron Paul, In 1996, ‘Did Not Deny’ Controversial Statement In Newsletter (huffingtonpost.com)