I was thinking out loud this morning about Ron Paul. We hear he’s an extreme-to-the-right Constitutionalist who believes many things that resonate with the younger crowd, with neo-conservatives who think guns and no-taxes will make our country great again. He preaches a return to the Gold Standard and a policy of isolationist practice that keeps our country and our military out of other countries’ business. He also thinks there’s a coming race war; that we should abolish Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and many other government programs, along with most – if not all – the regulatory bodies in place today.
I can see how these ideas gain traction. Honestly, some of it sounds good to me. I don’t think we should be messing about in other countries like we do. I think having guns is important. I don’t like the government sticking it’s nose in my business, telling me what to do and how to do it at every opportunity.
When you hear those portions of his position, you could easily “tune out” the rest of what Congressman Paul has been equally vocal and consistent about that doesn’t sound very good. People tend to be walking conundrums. They carry with them and espouse openly, things that are in direct conflict with other things they believe and espouse. Why should Ron Paul be any different?
Ron Paul has been a prolific pamphleteer over time. I know many of you out there are my age or thereabouts. I remember reading the Ron Paul Freedom Report back in the late 1980’s. There’s been something in print from Ron Paul since around 1976. If you’ve ever come across those newsletters in their fresh hey day, they made quite an impact in four to eight pages of printed paper.
Like I said, there’s a lot to like in Ron Paul’s messages, especially with people who are somewhat libertarian in their beliefs of small government, free markets, Constitutional liberties and relatively strict interpretations of those documents. I admit, as a younger man of my mid twenties, idealistic, full of piss and vinegar, wanting to take on the world, a lot of what Ron Paul had to say sparked my earnest desire to start a revolution and get this country back on track.
Then I read a little more carefully. I started to read more critically, because there were things in what he had to say that caused me to frown as well. It was obvious there was anger there. This was anger that wasn’t the simple fire-in-the-belly distrust of governmental authority. No, it was the kind of anger that breeds nothing more than simple hate. Hate of others who are different.
There are some things you can’t excuse. In this country, you are allowed to believe what you wish, but that doesn’t mean you should advocate things that are destructive of the intent of our Constitutional documents; especially if you campaign on the strict adherence and love of that Constitution. Like Ron Paul says he does.
I’ve done some research on Mr. Paul. I also remember reading his newsletters in their day. I read four of them in one sitting once at a dentist’s office in 1988. I continued to run across them from time to time up until around 1994. By that time, I could no longer bring myself to the task. There was just too much of an undercurrent of scorn, hate and bigotry – and it showed in some of the screed that passed for argument in the form of “The Ron Paul Freedom Report” and later, “The Ron Paul Security Report.”
You can believe, if you like, that Ron Paul wrote none of that. You can believe it was ghost written by Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard then inserted into the Ron Paul Reports if you wish. You can even believe that Congressman Paul had no idea what was printed in the Ron Paul Freedom Report or the Ron Paul Security Report, or any of the other names Ron Paul published his newsletter under. It might all even be true.
I don’t buy it. Here’s a guy, campaigning on ethics, honesty and integrity; a guy who talks about being responsible for yourself and what does he do? He sounds like a Peter Gabriel fan, “I don’t remember, I don’t recall, I got no memory of anything at all,” in that newsletter. Then his story changes. “I recall there were about eight or ten sentences of ‘bad stuff’ in there. I admit, I should have paid more attention, I take responsibility for that.” Are you shitting me? That’s the best you can do?
For a guy who stands on personal ethics and responsibility for one’s actions, there’s a lot of ‘gray’ area in his responses in this regard – including getting all pissy and walking out of a CNN interview when pressed on it. The word hypocrisy means you tell people they should act a certain way and then fail to do it yourself. Ron Paul is a hypocrite in this matter, and that should color everything else you read or hear from him.
Let me change tracks a bit. There is a CNN report written by one David Frum. In it, he mentions that one of the “answers” given for the anti-semitic, bigoted and homophobic screed in his newsletters (which he didn’t write they are quick to claim) is that it was only a strategic gambit to ‘capture’ a bloc of voters and capitalize on the middle class white man’s fear by inciting his nascent hatred of the Other. It isn’t stated exactly like that, but hey, we’re talking truth and honesty, integrity and responsibility here, let’s call a spade a spade – and I’m not talking some bigoted ethnic epithet here, I’m sticking with a cards metaphor. I’ll leave the screed to those who believe in it.
At the end of this, I’ll provide a list of the links I perused to get here from there. Rest assured, I am not asking you to take my word for it. You should know by now that I expect you to check up on me and find out for yourself. Moving on…
There are plenty of issues with all the information being sold here. We have a candidate who has managed over the DECADES to acquire a very loyal and dedicated following, slowly growing his base a little more each year. It is based on these newsletters. It has His Name on them and they actively solicit in them, as well in direct solicitations for donations, for supporting Ron Paul and his efforts on “our” behalf.
There are strong and clear indications that most of this loyal following does not give any credence to the claims against Congressman Paul. They simply aren’t interested in hearing anything that casts Mr. Paul negatively. Calling him on his shit does nothing more than make them extremely angry, jumping to defense without thinking if there might be some truth to the accusations leveled against Congressman Paul.
As importantly, the majority of his staunch followers have never had the privilege to read these newsletters in their entirety. If they do, they act as apologists: He didn’t write those things; he’s got integrity; he’s consistently fought for his beliefs; he’s principled and he’s not a racist. He doesn’t talk like that on videos and in person. Period.
You know, he is consistent. He does appear to act in a principled manner, according to his beliefs and his views of the world. Why else would he staunchly defend the gold standard, isolationism, gun rights, no taxes, smaller government, opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the right of the South to Secede for over thirty years?
I add to this list: he staunchly engaged in a consistent campaign of bigoted, anti-semitic and homophobic rhetoric in this same period of time. It’s in his newsletter. It’s reported by folks that have had dealings with him over long periods of time. You can read his newsletters since 1999 – most of which are floating around the Internet in their entirety – for yourself to see if that undercurrent I saw is still there.
I’m betting it is. It might not be as direct and obvious as before, but I’m willing to bet you won’t have to look too hard – if you’re willing to read critically. I’m willing to be wrong on this, because, I believe people can change. I don’t think I can put any faith in Mr. Paul’s capacity to change his views. We’re talking about a guy who’s consistently and repeatedly acted in the same manner for over thirty years.
If the claim is: Mr. Paul is principled and consistent in his approach, then the whole package of consistent behavior and view would have to back that up, right? I believe it does. This includes the stuff that belies his claim of integrity, honesty and principle when it comes to strict interpretation of the Constitution and supporting documents.
That’s the conundrum I was talking about earlier. People will say things that they believe in, and then defend something else they believe, even when it contradicts their own beliefs and opinion on an issue. In this case, Mr. Paul, in defending his integrity and consistently principled behavior, opts out of taking responsibility for his own remarks, or for his rubber stamp of approval of them by appelling his name to the newsletter in which they appeared. These things also put a tarnish on his claim to defend a strict interpretation of the Constitution, because that document is predicated on the precept that All Men Are Created Equal. That’s, to put it simply, hypocrisy of a sort that should make all Paul supporters who truly believe in integrity and personal responsibility run for the door. But I’m betting they won’t.
I have said this before and I stand by it: I like some of what Ron Paul promotes – not the way he promotes it and not where he wants to actually go with it. I like some of what he has to say. I also note that I cannot vote for only a part of a man; only the things I like to hear. I have to understand – and so does everyone else – that when I vote for the man, I vote for the whole package. For this reason, the peccadilloes, the foibles, flaws and failings are just as important – if not more so – than the things of which I approve.
If you look at a candidate and like one or two planks in his or her campaign, but the rest of them are rotten to the core, then no matter how carefully you tread, that whole platform will come crashing down when the weight of scrutiny is placed upon it. It’s not just slick metaphor as political punditry. It’s simple truth.
I mean, we’re talking about a guy who talks about the Skull and Bones as a cabal; believes that the Oklahoma City Bombing was an “inside job;” believes that if we go back to the gold standard, cut taxes to zero on businesses and make people provide their own health insurance and retirement plans, we can restore this nation back to greatness in the best of libertarian ideals. Ignore the dead, dying and squandered lives of the disenfranchised along the way, they should have worked hard, saved their money and spent what they did more wisely.
In the end and at the end of the day, it’s about a certain level of balance. I appreciate consistent behavior and I appreciate and respect people that act in accordance with their principles. I also recognize that there are some really bad people out there and in history that were consistent and acted in accordance with their principles. Just because a person is principled, stands on them and is consistent in their defense doesn’t mean they’re a good candidate for President.
I’ll offer that if Ron Paul didn’t write that crap, didn’t really read his own newsletter before publishing and only found out about it after 10 years history down the road, then why in the HELL would we want someone this lazy, lacking in personal integrity and unethically motivated to engage racism as nothing more than political demagoguery in the Office of the President of the United States? Is that better than if he is a closet bigot? It speaks to a level of gross negligence and incompetence that is belied by his education, passion and consistent behavior on all other accounts
No matter which way you wish to view it, either conclusion is a de facto Vote No for Paul. He’s either an ethnic and sexual bigot or he’s plain incompetent as a publisher, guilty of gross malfeasance in the conductance of his duties as the Man who’s Name is on the Newsletter. Neither conclusion from the evidence is satisfactory; I encourage you to examine it from any point of view and draw another conclusion that paints him in a positive light – if you can. I couldn’t figure out how to do it.
In closing, it is my honest opinion, which I will not contradict and will consistently defend in lieu of convincing evidence otherwise, that Congressman Ron Paul is not a good candidate for President. Check out the links and find out on your own – or you’ll just have to take my word for it. Hey, it works for the Ron Paul supporters.
This is the only link I specifically mention.
A video interview from “way back” in the time I was talking about in my readings. Worth watching for either side of this discussion.
Typical political demagoguery? He indicates he wrote these things. It could be implied, he’s also had his purse stolen. That’s how he knows how “fleet” a black robber is, apparently.
Gold protects the citizen – at least those who can afford to own it…
Straight into the “lion’s den” and if you’re going to do research on lions, you should get as close as possible – but avoid being eaten. As a former zookeeper, I felt qualified to enter.
Another pro Paul site. You have to be Joni Mitchell and look at both sides.
Asking for answers from Paul and Paul’s responses over time from two perspectives.
Another take on Paul’s “apologetics” regarding the now notorious ‘racist’ comments.
A list of videos. Supportive (?) of Ron Paul. I guess it depends on what you take from them.
I think this pretty much sums up my conclusions as well. It also allows you to see for yourself – which I think is important.
In his own words? A collection of photos of letters/pages from Ron Paul (allegedly.)
I didn’t write that stuff. I didn’t even know it was in there. Who’s signature is that at the bottom Mr. Paul?
Is it just me, or is there corroboration of someone who can’t keep the story straight over time?
More stuff he considers political demagoguery, didn’t write and knows nothing about…
A lot of times things stick, because they’re true. If it were isolated and a one time thing, maybe we could ignore it. Those of us who do value honesty and integrity don’t waffle when called on it.
It’s not a few isolated thinkers and reviewers that see Mr. Paul’s strengths – and weaknesses.
Those who support, won’t read, don’t care to and won’t compare differing views with theirs – at least that’s the message I got here. I can’t offer any more than that I’ve had several very passionate discussions with Paul supporters and they aren’t much better at dialogue than what I see in other argumentative types who think getting louder is winning.
A history of “political demagoguery?” Or could that whole consistent behavior thing he touts as a strength also be his weakness?
No good research should ignore the Wikipedia if available. Now I’m pretty sure Ron Paul didn’t write this and I’m willing to be he doesn’t know what’s in here, either. This deserves noting:“In 1996, Paul told The Dallas Morning News that the newsletters were accurate but needed to be taken in context. In 2001, he told the Texas Monthly that his campaign staff told him not to say others had written what was in the newsletters because it was "too confusing". In December 2011, on CNN, Paul, who was a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist when not in political office or running for office, said that he only read the newsletters "on occasion", did not write them, and disavowed the racist comments in them.”
Normally, most of us web literate tend to expect good research should be placed in the wiki or quickly corrected – if not hotly contested – when factual errors occur. Now please note that, Paul is consistent in his refusal to accept Congressional perks, benefits and has vowed not to receive his congressional pension. I did say he has loyal supporters and this is part of the reason why. He is consistent and does have principles, some of which are quite laudable.
Another interesting point of view that considers, “What if the writers weren’t Paul and weren’t really racist?”
This one also indicates: Either he’s lying or he’s completely incompetent. I ask: Which of the two do you want for President?
You have to admit, he can argue pretty well. This argument is how the minority also have rights and is being used to protect the wealthy “minority.” In so doing, it voids the argument of the responsibility of the government to ensure the minorities are in possession of the same rights as the majority. I guess it all depends on how you view it, doesn’t it?
This letter is approved by Congressman Ron Paul, integrity and ethics and selling FEAR oh my!
This is more Ron Paul’s style. Though it lacks the racially charged and bigoted screed, it is still emotively evocative and is designed to “charge” up his supporters – you know, good, honest, hardworking Americans who don’t freeload, aren’t power mongers or government apparatchiks devoted to the OWG (One World Government.) It’s admittedly somewhat appealing to many Middle Class Americans (and I’m sure the Upper Middle Class as well) who are taught to scorn the poor freeloaders and the even richer power mongers in corporate fascistic seats of government, finance and policy. It’s what attracted me in the first place.
Again, you make your own conclusions. I only present to you what I feel is salient information, opinion and analysis of Mr. Paul’s history of publication, his responses to thorny questions, and ask that you form your own opinion based on that.
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