Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The essential quality of a free economy is that it cannot be planned. It leaves the solution of problems to the inspiration of the individuals in the untrammeled population. When something approaching a free economy has existed, it has always worked better than the schemes of any planners.”     Thomas H. Barber

January 8, 2008

Who Wrote the Ron Paul Survival Report? Will He Do the Honorable Thing and Step Forward?

by tarran

On the eve of the New Hampshire primary a staffer made allegations accusing Ron Paul of consorting and collaborating with racists. The first hint came with this interview on the Tucker Carlson show:

This was followed by an article published today:

Angry White Man: The bigoted past of Ron Paul. by James Kirchick

The thesis of the article is:

the newsletters I saw all had one thing in common: They were published under a banner containing Paul’s name, and the articles (except for one special edition of a newsletter that contained the byline of another writer) seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him–and reflected his views. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing–but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.

Excerpts from the newsletter may be found here

Ron Paul’s campaign released a statement disowning much of the racist/homophobic content here:

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – In response to an article published by The New Republic, Ron Paul issued the following statement:
“The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.
“In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person’s character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‘I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.’
“This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It’s once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.
“When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”

While it is clear to me that Ron Paul did not write these newsletters, someone close to him did. The writing style is completely different from that of Ron Paul. Moreover, it is clear to me that the author views himself to be in the midst of an apocalyptic culture war. Based on Ron Paul’s easygoing reaction to support from with strippers and marijuana growers, it is clear to me that Ron Paul does not share this view.

The big question is, who wrote these letters? Ron Paul is, either out of shame or friendship, keeping the name(s) a secret. While there is a sort of honor to keeping a confidence regardless of the personal consequences, Ron Paul is risking taking the winds out of the sails of his movement at a critical juncture by doing so. I firmly believe that Ron Paul, while a gentlemen and a man of honor, is yet again the victim of extremely poor judgment of the character of his associates. His employment of Eric Dondero, his long association with Gary North all speak to this.

The time has come for the author of the newsletters, whoever he is, to step forward and take the heat. This author used Ron Paul’s name to advance his cultural agenda rather than Ron Paul’s economic agenda. The time has come for him to take responsibility for his actions and to publicly explain how these articles ended up with Ron Paul’s name on them. If Ron Paul approved of them, then fine, Ron Paul will justifiably suffer the consequences. But if, as I suspect, the author was taking advantage of the good doctor, honor demands that he set the record straight.

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67 Comments

  1. Jamie Kirchick (author of the New Republic story):

    “I don’t think Ron Paul is a homophobe; I’m just cynical and enjoy getting supporters of political candidates riled up. If you were a Giuliani guy I’d have called him a fascist.”

    http://gays-for-ron.blogspot.com/2008/01/jamie-kirchick-i-dont-think-ron-paul-is.html

    Comment by The Truth — January 8, 2008 @ 3:07 pm
  2. Not to be dismissive of something that is politically relevant, but this story’s been circulating for the last year or so at least…it’s hardly earth-shaking and many Paul supporters were well aware of it, myself included. It was one of the things that put me off Ron Paul originally but I’ve heard him discuss racism often enough and discuss why he doesn’t accept race-based legislation (because it’s the ultimate form of collectivism) to believe he’s not about to try and impose a white supremist state if he gets elected or back racist laws (well, apart from restricted immigration, which as far as I can tell just about every other candidate in the race backs too).

    The question we have to ask ourselves when determining whether he’s viable candidate is not whether we agree with Ron Paul’s personal opinions about other ethnic groups or religions (because regardless of what we’d like to believe just about everyone harbors their irrational or unfair prejudices…which includes pretty much all the other presidential candidates in this race), the question is what does Ron Paul plan to do if he gets elected? If he plans to push legislation that discriminates against those groups, that attempts to impose collectivism, then obviously he should be opposed, the same as any other statist should be opposed. If he plans to push legislation that supports individual freedom and property rights for all individuals regardless of who they are (and based on his legislative record, I believe he does) then it doesn’t really matter whether he’s a bigot because he’s still advocating the right things when it comes to the law. Ron Paul’s a politician, not a messiah, and all that really matters about him is how he intends to vote when he’s in office, not whether we think he holds the perfect beliefs in his personal life.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 3:15 pm
  3. I found this on the web:
    TNR has a long and checkered history of pro-fascism, pro-communism, and pro-new dealism. Founded to promote the rotten progessive movement of militarism, central banking, income taxation, centralization, and regulation of business, it naturally hates and fears the Ron Paul Revolution. The mag is also famous for having published a slew of entirely made-up articles by Stephen Glass, which it passed off as non-fiction. Through the 1950s it was an important magazine, of sigificant if baleful influence, but it long ago declined in circulation and significance, like all DC deadtree ops. Long close to Beltway libertarians, for whom its politically correct left-neoconism is fine and dandy, TNR once published a cover story literally comparing Ross Perot to Adolf Hitler when he was running for president. That is the publication’s style–hysterical smears aimed at political enemies.

    Comment by Diana — January 8, 2008 @ 3:41 pm
  4. We need a Forensic linguist :o
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensic_linguistics

    Comment by uhm — January 8, 2008 @ 4:04 pm
  5. Diana,

    Attacking the source isn’t a valid defense for Ron Paul on this issue. The basic details from TNR are accurate…those comments were made by a publication bearing Ron Paul’s name and he allowed it to happen. Anyone who bothered to study the candidate knew about this stuff a long time ago. If you want to make a valid defense of the candidate then you’re best off focusing on why the comments aren’t indicative of his platform and defending the issues he supports. You’re not going to win anybody over by trying to blame the messenger.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 4:22 pm
  6. Ron Paul is one of two current repubs in the race that attended the Morgan State University – All-American Presidential Forum. Why didn’t Romney, McCain, Guiliani, or Thompson attend???

    Perhaps its because they didn’t feel that attending a primarily black forum would advance their cause??? If RP was racist he had nothing to lose by not attending since all the so-called front runners did not.

    View for yourself;

    http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/special/forums/video.html

    Comment by Amy — January 8, 2008 @ 4:22 pm
  7. Amy,

    What forums he attended are irrelevant. What is relevant is who he’s protecting and why.

    Someone made some pretty disgusting vicious racist statements and they were published under Ron Paul’s name. If it was me, I never would’ve let it be published in the first place, but that’s water under the bridge now.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 4:33 pm
  8. tarran,

    The Gary North association is one that hasn’t been talked about before. North is a goldbug, but he’s also a religious nut.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 4:34 pm
  9. That is the publication’s style–hysterical smears aimed at political enemies.

    Diana— SPOT ON!

    This hysteria pulled on the first night of the Primaries speaks loudly of an establishment scared.
    This is so old , so old, campaign smearing… this is why people are voting for Ron Paul. Enough already. Any one who would give credence to this blurb while foregoing the rest of the other characters ‘sins’ is so illiterate. Thankfully the majority of the RP base is a foundation of the intelligent elite as one news source called it..iRONically the Tehran Times newspaper

    Comment by Amy — January 8, 2008 @ 4:38 pm
  10. tarran,

    Ron Paul is, either out of shame or friendship, keeping the name(s) a secret. While there is a sort of honor to keeping a confidence regardless of the personal consequences, Ron Paul is risking taking the winds out of the sails of his movement at a critical juncture by doing so. I firmly believe that Ron Paul, while a gentlemen and a man of honor, is yet again the victim of extremely poor judgment of the character of his associates. His employment of Eric Dondero, his long association with Gary North all speak to this.

    These lapses of judgment should be enough to disqualify him from the presidency. We’ve had too many guys doing “a heck of a job” in government lately.

    Comment by Kevin — January 8, 2008 @ 4:56 pm
  11. Doug,

    “What forums he attended are irrelevant. What is relevant is who he’s protecting and why.”

    No, what’s relevant is how he intends to vote if he gets into office. That’s it. The whole “what does he really believe in his private life?” debate is one of the most pointless exercises in politics. Doesn’t matter if the man’s a Buddhist, a Nazi, or Jesus Christ himself…all that matters in regards to a politician is his voting record and what agenda he plans to push (and, of course, his willingness to forego illegal activity). This idea that a politician must somehow be a person immune to human imperfections is a load of horseshit peddled by people looking for a cult leader or journalists looking to fill a byline. Ron Paul may very well be a racist in his personal life (same as a great number of people I’ve known from all political ideologies) but as long as he isn’t planning to vote like one he’s as libertarian as the next guy. His voting record pretty clearly bears that out.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 5:07 pm
  12. “What forums he attended are irrelevant.”

    The irony of you tossing out that line after spending an inordinate amount of time bitching about Stormfront isn’t lost on me either. :)

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 5:13 pm
  13. Yeah, I’d really like to know who was the ghostwriter. Does anyone have a good analysis of the Ron Paul Newsletter. Can they see the contrasting styles. It does seem like the offensive findings were from the same person or people subscribing to the same ideas. It’s very different from Paul’s personal beliefs which despite what UCrawford says are important to many people.

    It’s a mark of good character to live a good life. It’s also a mark of good character to tolerate the shortcomings of others. Part of the reason why Dr. Paul has appeal is his integrity and character. While people can give him the benefit of the doubt, we also like to find out what went wrong with that Newsletter.

    If he will not reveal the person, he has to accept the fact that he will have to take moral responsibility for those words and also pay the heavy political price for them as well.

    Comment by TanGeng — January 8, 2008 @ 5:21 pm
  14. Diana,

    What you are doing is making an ad-hominem attack. Regardless of The New Republic’s sins, the question that matters is whether or not the charges are accurate.

    Certainly some of the charges are bogus. For example, just because one believes the civil war was unjustified does not make one a supporter or apologist for slavery.

    However, the words are there. Ron Paul has admitted that they went out under his name and has stated that he ‘bears moral responsibility’ for them.

    Certainly the charges were timed in an attempt to sabotage Ron Paul’s popularity with independents (although I think it was calculated to encourage indecisive independents to vote for Obama rather than solely being intended to torpedo Ron Paul – I don’t think the New Republic fears a Ron Paul candidacy).

    However, the matter remains. A person close to Ron Paul wrote a bunch of newsletters which used racially prejudicial language. Ron Paul exercised some degree of editorial control over the newsletter somewhere on the continuum between benign neglect to micromanagement. If Ron Paul wishes to retain his ability to inspire the loyalty of tens of thousands of supporters, his precise involvement must come into the open.

    Ron Paul is perfectly within his rights to stone-wall. However, in doing so he is risking the destruction of his movement. The author or authors can free Ron Paul of his dilemma by coming forward and facing the music.

    Comment by tarran — January 8, 2008 @ 5:27 pm
  15. TanGeng,

    I didn’t say that whether or not Ron Paul is a racist isn’t important to many people. I’m saying that it shouldn’t be as long as his personal preferences aren’t indicative of the policy agenda he plans to pursue. We’re not asking the guy to marry into our family, we’re asking him to fill an office that’s had a long and inglorious history of being filled by morons and tyrants who’ve tried to represent themselves as being better than the average man while supporting horrific policy. As long as the policy is correct, why should anyone care what Ron Paul’s personal opinions are?

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 5:30 pm
  16. Crawford,

    I think the valid question is why anyone would allow such vile filth to be published under their name.

    If I ever got to the point in my life (and frankly I hope I don’t) where something called the “Doug Mataconis Papers” would be worthy of publication, you can be sure I would make sure that nutjobs, racists, and anti-Semites, weren’t appropriating my good name.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 7:06 pm
  17. Crawford,

    The whole “what does he really believe in his private life?” debate is one of the most pointless exercises in politics

    On this point I’ve got to disagree. If a candidate for political office believes that a particular class of human beings is inferior, or if he believes that a nation whose entire existence was founded on enslaving a particular class of humans beings is legitimate, if he believes that, well, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pedophile, or, quite honestly, if he allows such nonsense to be published under his name.

    Then, yes, it is a legitimate political issue.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 7:17 pm
  18. Doug… where have you been for the past year? This is old news that has been refuted…debunked, and resurrected for what.. to distract us??? Arguing for the sake of arguing… typical attorney BS…

    Spend sometime researching and not playing what if!!

    Comment by Amy — January 8, 2008 @ 7:54 pm
  19. Doug,

    “If a candidate for political office believes that a particular class of human beings is inferior, or if he believes that a nation whose entire existence was founded on enslaving a particular class of humans beings is legitimate, if he believes that, well, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pedophile, or, quite honestly, if he allows such nonsense to be published under his name. Then, yes, it is a legitimate political issue.”

    Sure, if he’s a big government conservative or a socialist or a fascist or runs on a platform where he’s arguing for increasing the power of the state to somehow regulate our lives, it’s a legitimate concern whether or not he’s a racist. If, however, he’s somebody arguing against government intervening in our lives and is pushing to scale back government authority to dictate terms, then his personal preferences are largely irrelevant because he’s less likely to attempt to use the force of law to impose his personal preferences on us. Frankly, I’m more worried about the guy arguing for increased powers for himself who claims not to be a racist than the guy arguing that that government should be made less powerful who holds some less savory beliefs…especially one with a voting record like Ron Paul’s.

    As for what Ron Paul believes, he’s consistently voted along the lines of his platform, so by all means please identify his racist positions for me out of:

    a) drug legalization,
    b) non-interventionism,
    c) the gold standard,
    d) downsizing government,
    e) free speech,
    f) property rights,
    g) free trade

    I’d spot you immigration (since it’s the only obvious departure in his platform from a pro-freedom stance) but since just about every other major candidate holds the same position I’d consider that a wash.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 8:02 pm
  20. Crawford,

    I don’t care if he’s a big government guy or not, any person who believes in any of the inane ideas that racists do is not worthy of consideration.

    Individual liberty means that all people are treated as individuals, not members of a particular race or religion.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 8:05 pm
  21. Amy,

    The question is why Ron Paul would allow bulls**it like this to be published under his name.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 8:06 pm
  22. UCrawford,

    My take on this fiasco is that it calls into question Ron Paul’s judgment about people. Ron Paul has had as staffers working for him Gary North and Eric Dondero. For months these two facts have made me reluctant to cast a vote for Ron Paul in any general election.

    It would be one thing if they worked for him for a few months and then he ditched them, but to the contrary, his employment of them lasted for years.

    History is full of stories of leaders with great ideas brought down by subordinates who were corrupt or prone to misdemeanors.

    I am not worried about Ron Paul’s policies. I am worried about the policies that would be implemented by his cabinet. The process by which these newsletters were produced and how he handled personnel decisions will be quite illuminating. Certainly they are an appropriate subject for a prospective voter or supporter to look into in deciding wether to extend or withdraw support.

    Comment by tarran — January 8, 2008 @ 8:09 pm
  23. “I think the valid question is why anyone would allow such vile filth to be published under their name.”

    Only if you believe that Ron Paul intends to deviate from his stated policy positions or that his policy positions are racist or are meant to further a racist agenda at the expense of individual freedom. Otherwise, it’s not a valid question at all.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 8:14 pm
  24. Crawford,

    I think tarran sums it up when he says this:

    I am not worried about Ron Paul’s policies. I am worried about the policies that would be implemented by his cabinet. The process by which these newsletters were produced and how he handled personnel decisions will be quite illuminating. Certainly they are an appropriate subject for a prospective voter or supporter to look into in deciding wether to extend or withdraw support.

    Quite honestly, given tonight’s results in New Hampshire, we are beyond the point where discussions of who Ron Paul would appoint to his cabinet are relevant.

    Nonetheless, for someone who believes in the philosophy of freedom, nonsense like this would certainly seem to be a turn-off.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 8:19 pm
  25. tarran,

    I take your meaning on that and I share some of your concerns about Ron Paul’s questionable judgment of people who work for him. However, since he’ll be following arguably one of the worst judges of character ever to sit in the White House (who got to work with a compliant Congress) and since I consider pretty much every other candidate’s core platform to be just about the polar opposite of what I’d like to see in office (meaning we don’t necessarily want them to be competent about picking out people who can advance their agendas) I’d be okay if Ron Paul ran a basically incompetent White House where nothing got done at all. Worst case scenario he’d simply veto most of what came across his desk from Congress and do not much else…absent a competent libertarian government a paralyzed government isn’t a particularly scary thing for me considering what’s preceded it.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 8:22 pm
  26. Doug,

    “Nonetheless, for someone who believes in the philosophy of freedom, nonsense like this would certainly seem to be a turn-off.”

    Everybody’s got skeletons. If there’s a perfect politician who ever held office, I’ve yet to read about them and even if Paul turned out to be a racist, he’s hardly alone in the GOP these days…even among the “mainstream”…and it doesn’t change the validity of the issues in his platform. Show me a libertarian candidate with credentials equal to or better than Ron Paul who’s carrying less baggage and I’ll consider switching my vote. Otherwise, he’s still the lesser of all evils in this race.

    As for the NH primary results, I’m not a Paulestinian so I never pinned all my hopes on the idea that he’d win. He’s helped change the tone of the debates somewhat, though, so his campaign has exceeded my expectations and I’ll still be casting my ballot for him in the Kansas caucus.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 8:36 pm
  27. Doug,

    “I don’t care if he’s a big government guy or not, any person who believes in any of the inane ideas that racists do is not worthy of consideration.”

    I’m no fan of racism, but I’m also not naive enough to believe that it’s only a small minority of people who hold irrational or horrible prejudices in this world (most are just better about covering it up). Also, just because they’re wrong on some issues in their lives doesn’t make them wrong on every issue and when you exclude them from the debate based on the few issues you disagree with them on then you lose the benefits they might bring to the table as well. As you’ve seen, I’m more than happy to raise the bullshit flag whenever somebody trots out an insanely stupid position and tear into them, but I also recognize that even the most blatant idiot is capable of bringing up valid points every once in awhile. Dismissing the racists out of hand simply because they have some beliefs that you happen to disagree with really isn’t much different from what they do to the people they despise. It’s wrong when they do it, and it’s not really much better when you do it…both are demonstrations of collectivist thinking.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 8, 2008 @ 8:52 pm
  28. Crawford,

    Looking at this from the standpoint of someone who believes that all individuals are equal in the sense that they are entitled to the same rights, and that distinctions based on race, ethnicity, skin color, religion, or any other arbitrary characteristic are inherently irrational and anti-libertarian, I can honestly say the following….

    One cannot be a racist (or a white nationalist or whatever one chooses to call oneself) and a libertarian at the same time.

    The two philosophies are inherently inconsistent.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 8:58 pm
  29. Crawford,

    Everybody’s got skeletons. If there’s a perfect politician who ever held office, I’ve yet to read about them and even if Paul turned out to be a racist, he’s hardly alone in the GOP these days…even among the “mainstream”…and it doesn’t change the validity of the issues in his platform. Show me a libertarian candidate with credentials equal to or better than Ron Paul who’s carrying less baggage and I’ll consider switching my vote. Otherwise, he’s still the lesser of all evils in this race.

    Yes, but the true believers would have us believe that Ron Paul is the libertarian Messiah.

    There is no room in my universe for racists.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 8, 2008 @ 9:00 pm
  30. Doug,

    “One cannot be a racist (or a white nationalist or whatever one chooses to call oneself) and a libertarian at the same time”

    You’re blurring the lines between personal preference and policy arguments. Just because one is a bigot does not automatically mean one must support white nationalism or separatism. A person can very easily be a racist while supporting a libertarian ideology, the same as a person (such as myself) could be an atheist but still support the freedom to practice religion (despite the fact that I often look down on extremely religious people, perhaps somewhat unfairly). Just because an individual holds such views does not automatically mean they intend to forcibly impose them on everybody else. My point with Ron Paul was that if he’s a racist, it’s not really that important as long as he’s not making racism a cornerstone of the political philosophy he’s advocating or attempting to use government to impose a racist philosophy on us (which he isn’t).

    “There is no room in my universe for racists.”

    All my life I’ve heard racists say the same sort of thing about the minorities/groups/etc that they hate. I didn’t agree with it when they said it and I don’t agree with it when you say it. If you don’t want to affiliate with racists and don’t respect their views, that’s of course your prerogative in a free society. But don’t delude yourself into thinking that you’re not adhering to the same sort of collectivism that they are when you make comments like that. You’ve certainly at times taken policy positions that are incompatible with libertarian ideology (creation of Israel, interventionist foreign policy), yet they don’t automatically disqualify you from being classified as a libertarian. You should be mindful of that before setting yourself up as the decider of who qualifies as a libertarian.

    “but the true believers would have us believe that Ron Paul is the libertarian Messiah.”

    It’s always been my opinion that people who look for messiahs among politicians are mentally ill. Their hero worship of Ron Paul has nothing to do with why I support Ron Paul so I’ve never really treated their rhetoric seriously.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 2:35 am
  31. Crawford,

    People can believe whatever they want, what I am saying is this:

    1. You cannot be a libertarian and racists (or “white nationlist” or whatever name one chooses) at the same time. Racism is based on the idea that there is such a thing as a collective and collective rights. Libertarians are by nature individualists — distinctions such as race, gender, and ethnicity are irrelevant concepts. If someone believes that one group of people is inherently superior or inferior then any claim to believe individual rights at the same time is fraudulent.

    2. While racists have the right to believe what ever they want, I have the right not to associate myself with them. I would find it hard to be friends with someone who held such views, and impossible to be part of a political movement with them.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 9, 2008 @ 6:42 am
  32. Doug agreed absolutely no room for a racist in libertarian policies– they contradict; when these two co-exist, it becomes a different ideology.

    The question being asked today is why this wasn’t dealt with before. It has been addressed and
    responsibility has been taken. Yes the real question was how it was allowed to go to print in the first place. Perhaps the good Dr. placed too much faith in his campaign help, just as he is doing now with volunteer support all over the country. It’s called blind faith, not a bad trait, but most certainly not a trait an attorney would have.

    Ron Paul’s weakness is he is too nice for politics. I think he should hang out to dry the people behind this (then and now). Eric Dondero et al would be my first suspect. This guy is a loon and I wouldn’t be surprised if his name is all over it.

    Comment by Amy — January 9, 2008 @ 7:16 am
  33. I had been aware of SOME of this a year ago. What I did not know was how much of it existed. There seem to be quotes covering years, not just a single quote from 1996. My admiration for Ron Paul is tinged by the awareness that he was negligent in allowing a newsletter IN HIS NAME (or more than one newsletter) to be published with statements he says he does not approve of.

    I think that perhaps the anarchists and left-libertarians who warned about the danger of pinning our hopes on Dr. Paul were right. I took their criticism seriously and didn’t dismiss it like some Paul supporters have.

    Perhaps we need to (metaphorically) swallow hard and take the longer, more difficult, but ultimately correct road to liberty.

    Comment by Tom G — January 9, 2008 @ 7:17 am
  34. Amazing. We now live in a world where a Neocon racist like Jamie Kirchick, who’s little more than a child, can crap on the most decent man in American politics and no one sees the double standard.

    Comment by JD — January 9, 2008 @ 8:00 am
  35. Doug,

    I’m sorry but I think you’re missing my point here in regards to racism and libertarianism.

    People, all people, harbor prejudices of some sort or another, some based on rational reasons, some not…it’s how we’re wired. We can’t always control the prejudices we have, but what we can control is how we choose to act on them. Just because a person considers an ethnic group, say African-Americans for example, to be inferior to him personally does not necessarily mean that he also feels African-Americans should be statutorily discriminated against or that slavery should be reimposed since that potentially opens the floodgates for him to be discriminated against down the road. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that the same hypothetical racist wouldn’t be willing to argue in favor of African-Americans’ rights when they’re infringed on, since rights we give to other people are ultimately rights we give to ourselves. There are people who are capable of keeping their personal dislikes of other collective groups (which also includes religions, political ideologies, cultural upbringing or any other grouping you care to name) separate from their policy arguments. I know because I’ve met people who fit that description. Being a racist while being somebody who supports individual rights may make that person a hypocrite, but it’s not impossible for that person to be both because any form of libertarianism that advocates anything short of anarcho-capitalism is going to contain similar hypocrisies or ideological inconsistencies.

    “I would find it hard to be friends with someone who held such views, and impossible to be part of a political movement with them.”

    Again, I’ve heard the same comment from racists regarding their opinions on ethnic minorities. There are a lot of people in the world that I don’t like (“truthers” and religious zealots being particular sore spots). Doesn’t mean that because I have differences with those people on some issues that I’m incapable of finding consensus with them on all issues, nor does my cooperation with them in some situations mean that I believe in all the same things that they do. The willingness and ability to work with others despite personal differences is a strength in a free society, not a weakness. And besides, despite what the pundits like to say, racial prejudices (even deeply seated ones) can be overcome…they’re not actually viral or DNA-encoded into us. People can occasionally be convinced to change their beliefs, most often when we forego demonizing them for those beliefs.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 8:21 am
  36. Crawford,

    Scratch a racist, and you’ll find a collectivist, its that simple. If you believe that your neighbor is inferior to you because they’re black, or Jewish, or gay, then you are unlikely to think they’re entitled to the same rights you are.

    And I think there’s a difference between me saying that I don’t want to associate with people because of the ideas they profess and someone else saying they don’t want to associate with me because I’m not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestent.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 9, 2008 @ 8:23 am
  37. Doug,

    “If you believe that your neighbor is inferior to you because they’re black, or Jewish, or gay, then you are unlikely to think they’re entitled to the same rights you are.”

    I’ve met enough of them to know that people who both harbor racial prejudices and support individual rights aren’t mythical. Nor are they particularly uncommon. Those ideologies may be in conflict but neither automatically excludes the person who holds one of those belief systems from also holding the other. Being a racist may make you a hypocrite and a rather compromised libertarian, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t a libertarian.

    “And I think there’s a difference between me saying that I don’t want to associate with people because of the ideas they profess and someone else saying they don’t want to associate with me because I’m not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestent.”

    Not really. Racism is a manifestation of cultural upbringing…in their own way racists are their own ethnic society same as Jews or Muslims or Catholics are. They see themselves as part of a collective group and based on your comments about excluding them so do you.

    I see that you’re attempting to use ethnicity vs. personal choice as the dividing line here on when discrimination’s okay, and I understand where you’re coming from, but that line’s a lot blurrier than you’re making it out to be.

    http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SA/en/display/341

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 8:40 am
  38. Crawford,

    Racism is a manifestation of cultural upbringing…in their own way racists are their own ethnic society same as Jews or Muslims or Catholics are. They see themselves as part of a collective group and based on your comments about excluding them so do you.

    So racists can’t help being racists ?

    I don’t buy it.

    Men are rational beings and, either willfully or through willful ignorance, they can choose to believe or disbelieve something. Someone who believes that The Protocols of The Elders of Zion or true, that blacks are inferior, or that the Holocaust never happened made the conscious choice to believe in those things. They aren’t getting a free pass from because they’re merely mimicking what Daddy believed in.

    And, no, I don’t think of myself as part of a collective. I am an individual, and I do my best to treat others that way. I don’t judge them based on irrelevant characteristics like race or gender, but I do judge them based on the ideas they hold.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 9, 2008 @ 8:56 am
  39. Doug,

    “So racists can’t help being racists?”

    Racists generally can’t help the environment in which they’re raised, which is where racism is usually instilled. Whether or not they’re able to overcome the prejudices that were instilled in them is debatable but irrelevant…only actions matter. As long as their political positions aren’t attempting to impose their personal preferences on anyone else, then it is possible for them to be both racist and libertarian (although they’d still be hypocrites) and there’s not really a justification for automatically throwing out all of their positions based on personal dislike for some of their positions.

    “And, no, I don’t think of myself as part of a collective.”

    Your earlier comment contradicts that:

    “There is no room in my universe for racists.”

    Everyone is part of some sort of collective group, whether by birth, genetics, culture or choice. Libertarianism is not about having no ties to anyone else or being a single entity, it’s about not allowing others to impose their preferred collectivism on you or anyone else through force or coercive means.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 9:12 am
  40. A Four-Step Argument Against Voting for Ron Paul…

    After the newsletter revelations, I can no longer vote for Ron Paul (barring unforeseen events), particularly from a libertarian interest point of view.

    The argument against supporting Ron Paul is quite simple, really- and applies even if he was a…..

    Trackback by Publius Endures — January 9, 2008 @ 10:17 am
  41. Wasn’t going to jump in, but here I go anyway. You can be an individualist and still recognize that people (including individualists) identify with collectives, and often build who they are around this.

    Bye.

    Comment by Kent — January 9, 2008 @ 1:03 pm
  42. Kent,

    Agreed. You summed up what I was trying to say very clearly and concisely…good comment.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 1:07 pm
  43. What if the person who wrote it is dead? They can’t exactly come forward. Ron must have a gooood reason for not saying who it is. A reason bigger than his candidacy. It’s so cinematic!

    Comment by think — January 9, 2008 @ 1:37 pm
  44. Based on comments from other libertarian bloggers who claim to know who this person is, it’s seems that the individual in question is very much alive.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 9, 2008 @ 1:41 pm
  45. Seriously, who really cares about the identity of the author? We all seem to be in agreement that Ron Paul didn’t write the article, and this appears to be a situation where Paul simply isn’t interested in throwing the author under the bus to appease the press and pundits. The only legitimate questions here are a) whether or not Ron Paul shares the author’s beliefs, b) is this a damning indictment of Ron Paul’s judgment (both of people and in crisis management), and c) does this change whether or not we plan to vote for him? Beyond that, the identity of the author is pretty much unimportant except to people who know the people who just want to see somebody get nailed…which doesn’t really help anything.

    My answers on those questions would be a) not likely, b) yes, and c) no, because all of the other candidates have baggage that is equally bad or worse.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 2:47 pm
  46. Crawford,

    Well it’s important for the reason tarran mentioned — because someone is letting RP take the blame for something he didn’t write.

    Second, if the rumors about who this person is that I’ve been reading today are true, then this is all going to result in a discussion about whether the Paleocons have too much influence over libertianism.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 9, 2008 @ 2:52 pm
  47. Doug,

    “Well it’s important for the reason tarran mentioned — because someone is letting RP take the blame for something he didn’t write.”

    That would be Ron Paul’s issue to sort out and his cross to bear if he doesn’t. It’s not really of importance to voters or anyone outside of Ron Paul’s inner circle, frankly.

    “Second, if the rumors about who this person is that I’ve been reading today are true, then this is all going to result in a discussion about whether the Paleocons have too much influence over libertarianism.”

    I think it’s rather dangerous and intellectually dishonest to start mucking around in gossip-mongering. As for the paleocons’ influence on libertarians, that may be an issue for the LP (who are about as dysfunctional a mess as you’re ever going to see) but since I’m pretty set on my own core beliefs, don’t tend to be swayed by arguments presented by libertarians that go against those core beliefs (like foreign interventionism or isolationism, for example), don’t care much what the LP does, and consider myself and most libertarians pretty sharp people I’m not too worried about us being hijacked by a shady group like the Republicans were by the neocons. From what I’ve seen most libertarians tend to be naturally skeptical, ideologically informed, and combatively inquisitive…we make piss-poor candidates for cult members, unlike a lot of conservatives.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 3:06 pm
  48. Crawford,

    I’ve specifically refrained from mentioning any names here or elsewhere. I don’t know myself, and the people who do know aren’t saying anything right now.

    The thing about the Paleocons is that it’s rather confusing to me how the same people who supported Pat Buchanan in 1996 now support Ron Paul — and they haven’t changed their minds on anything.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 9, 2008 @ 3:09 pm
  49. Re: What does it matter if Ron Paul is a racist, as long as he’s a Libertarian?

    Ans: The problem is, he wasn’t up-front about it. He could have *maybe* gotten away with a hypothetical “Yes, dark-skinned people creep me out, but I know and accept they have rights too, it’s just a personal failing on my part.” position, if only he said it from the get-go but I could never support him if he actually believed all those things written that TNR accuses him of, and then pretended to be a tolerant person who views racism as equivilent to collectivism. I would no longer be able to trust his views on other issues like the Fed, and the WoD/T. Note: This only applies if we find out these are Dr. Paul’s beliefs, as long as there is sufficient evidence to suggest that someone else wrote this, then there is no problem.

    Re: Does this show poor judgement of character and does it rise to such a degree that Ron Paul should be disqualified as POTUS?

    Ans: Yes it shows him to be a poor judge of character, although friendship is not employment. therefore, I would say that the association/friendship with Gary North is not the same as employing Eric Dondero. (employing Eric Dondero was a much worse lapse of judgement even if you accept the premise that Gary North is crazier.)

    It doesn’t cross the line of disqualificaiton, but I sure would like to see a list of cabinent and secretarial appointments before election day.

    Re: Does TNR’s lack of objectivty /trust matter?
    Ans: Yes, since we are only seeing selected quotes, it’s fair to suppose that there is some degree of out-of-context presentation, given TNR’s past reputation. The best thing Ron Paul could do now is release those particular issues so at least we aren’t dealing with half-quotes.

    Finally, don’t think the primary is over for Ron Paul just yet. A big-money shoot-for-the-moon-on-Feb-5th play was not in the Ron Paul playbook when he started this race but it is a real possibity now that he has $20 million in the bank.

    It may not work, but unless Ron pulls a win (and some serious delegate numbers) in MI, SC or NV This is his only real remaining chance.

    He *might* be able to win if he runs as an independent, but he’ll have zero chance as a Libertarian, Constitution, or other recognized minor party (except maybe the Green party where the wasted-vote argument would work in his favor: “What? You mean a vote for Ron Paul (GRN) would really be a vote against Hillary and would ensure Hillary’s loss to the Republican? – Heck yeah!”, said the Republican activist.)

    He would only be dragged down by that other party’s baggage, whatever it is. Ron Paul would be much better served by having his party be all about his message.

    Finally, I think this whole incident shuts out Walter Williams for Veep (but not Thomas Sowell) some of the things Mr. Williams says about Mrs. Williams on the various radio programs I’ve heard him on would lead to the both of them being labeled sexist. ;)

    Later.

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 9, 2008 @ 3:21 pm
  50. Doug,

    “The thing about the Paleocons is that it’s rather confusing to me how the same people who supported Pat Buchanan in 1996 now support Ron Paul — and they haven’t changed their minds on anything.”

    I suspect because there’s some common ground issues in Ron Paul’s platform that none of the other GOP candidates support. Buchanan has been something of an isolationist (such as when he claimed we were wrong to enter WWII), so perhaps his followers support Paul because he’s the closest thing to an isolationist in the race (although he’s actually a non-interventionist). The nativists support him because of his consistent support of border restrictions (most of the other GOP candidates waver), the anti-Semites support him because he wants to cut funding to Israel…Ron Paul has a lot of views that appeal to a rather diverse following that aren’t being represented anywhere else in the mainstream so it’s not really surprising that he picks up the support of a lot of fringe elements even though his overall platform is incompatible with many of theirs’.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 3:30 pm
  51. Doug,

    “I’ve specifically refrained from mentioning any names here or elsewhere.”

    I know you have and I wasn’t trying to accuse you of doing otherwise, I’m just saying it’s a bad idea for us to even start going down that road. The damage from the articles is done and it’s really just an issue for Ron Paul to sort out. How he handles the situation is somewhat relevant to whether we choose to vote for him but the actual identity of the author isn’t really important to anyone except Ron Paul’s inner circle. He’s chosen the route he plans to go with this crisis so we should make our judgments and decisions about how it affects our support for him and simply move on.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 3:35 pm
  52. Hey guys,

    um, maybe you ought to really pick apart what TNR says before jumping all over the Hate-Ron-Paul wagon.

    I just went to the TNR site, and downloaded the “kind words for David Duke” .pdf (entirely at random) and read it and lo and behold there were not any kind words for David Duke or his philosophy. There was some analysis of the recent election, and what others said & thought, but no words of praise or condemnation from the author (whoever he is)

    Until you have read each link, and asked yourself exactly what is inherently racist about it, I would withhold judgement.

    Later.

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 9, 2008 @ 3:40 pm
  53. Kevin,

    You might want to check out this link and the PDF document linked therein:

    http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/01/09/quot-the-duke-s-quot-campaign-advice.aspx

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 9, 2008 @ 3:46 pm
  54. think, the person who wrote it is probably alive and well.

    http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?item.1297.1

    Comment by uhm — January 9, 2008 @ 3:52 pm
  55. Part of the Paleocon attraction to Ron Paul is probably their hate for globalization. The immigration issue is tied to globalization but neither party is going to deal with it. Blaming the victims on both sides of the issue makes me sick.

    Comment by uhm — January 9, 2008 @ 4:07 pm
  56. well, because it’s a scan, I can’t cut and paste. I will transcribe it here.

    The Duke’s Victory
        David Duke received 44% of the vote in the Senate primary race in Louisiana, 60% of the white vote and 9% of the black vote!. This totaled 100,000 more votes than the current governor when he won.

        Duke lost the election, but he scared the blazes out of the Establishment. If the official Republican hadn’t been ordered to drop out, he might have won. Certainly there would have been a run-off.

        Duke’s platform called for tax cuts, no quotas, no affirmative action, no welfare, and no busing. “Tonight, we concede the election”, he said. “But we will never concede our fight for equal rights for all Americans.”

    To many voters, this seems like just plain good sense. Duke carried baggage from his past, but the voters were willing to overlook that. and if he had been afforded the forgiveness an ex-communist gets, he might have won.

        Liberals like Richard Cohen of the Washington Post say he got so many votes because Louisianians were rascists and ignorant. Baloney.

        David Broder, also of the Post and equally liberal, writing on an entirely different subject , had it right: “No one wants to talk about [race] publicly, but if you ask any campaign consulltant of pollster privately, you can confirm the sad reality that a great many working-class and middle-class white Americans are far less hostile to the rich and their tax breaks than they are to the poor and minorities with their welfare and affirmative action programs.”

    Liberals are notoriously blind to the sociological effects of their own programs. David Duke was hurt by his past. How many more Dukes are there waiting in the wings without such a taint.

    This is the very first piece of evidence that TNR trots out for us. Can someone please point out a single kind word for Duke? or a single racist thought or word. I don’t see it.

    I suspect that each link will be likewise lacking (except for the previously released LA riots BS)

    later,

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 9, 2008 @ 4:13 pm
  57. I think TNR overblew the David Duke stuff, but I have to agree with them about the Martin Luther King articles. It was a poorly researched hate piece and the author came off as an ignorant reactionary.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 9, 2008 @ 4:48 pm
  58. Forced integration was a proper step to take against states that forced segregation. If federalism allows states to abuse their power like that, I would do without federalism. The courts were right in Brown vs. Board of Education. The only reason I don’t like the Civil Right Acts is that it lacked sunset clauses on all the positive rights for a sub-group of the population that it started enforcing.

    I can see enforcing them in the short run, but a long term enforcement of positive rights of any faction is instituting racism or collectivism.

    Comment by TanGeng — January 9, 2008 @ 9:27 pm
  59. Here is the second piece of evidence TNR wants us to think is somehow dark and racist. But when you read it, it’s clear that the author is quoting the FBI, and liberal media sources for these allegations against Dr. King.

        From a Libertarian standpoint, forced integration is no better than forced segregation – both are evil.

    “Dr.” King
        So now even the establishment press admits that Martin Luther King plagiarized his PhD dissertation, his academic articles, his speeches, and his sermons.

        He was also a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.

        King, the FBI files show, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys. The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy revealed before his death that King had made a pass at him many years before.

        And we are supposed to honor this “Christian minister” and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on a par with George Washington?

        Congratulations to Arizona! Who could doubt that the result would be exactly the same if the other 49 states could also vote on a holiday for this affirmtive-action saint?

    Can someone please tell me what is racist about this? Where’s the beef? I know calling Dr. King a commie sympathizer is a little below the belt, but it’s hardly racism.

    I think I could probably go through all their examples and find similar out-of-context BS but I don’t really have time. Just because TNR alleges that it’s racist, that doesn’t make it racist.

    Even if Dr. Paul wrote this (which I doubt, because on-line text analyzers show significant differences between the writing style of these items, and other items which we know were written by Dr. Paul) there is no racism here.

    Nowhere in this short article is Dr. King ridiculed or demeaned. Not for his skin color, nor for his ideas of equality. Certain “facts” are repeated without regard to their accuracy. (relying upon an FBI file is a little dicey for a Libertarian, but it’s hardly racist.) But no tie-in is ever made to Dr. King’s race or ancestry.

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 10, 2008 @ 12:10 am
  60. Murray Rothbard wrote it. If you don’t believe me, go back and read his work. Look at his writing style.

    Everyone on the inside knows it’s Murray Rothbard but no one will say it because Ron Paul’s campaign is all about the message; exposing Rothbard as a bigot would hurt the message more than it would help Paul.

    Comment by The Answer — January 10, 2008 @ 9:39 pm
  61. Kevin,

    The King story was racist because the pedophile allegations were unsubstantiated by facts yet the letter writer felt compelled to disseminate them to grind an axe against Dr. King’s movement (a movement that Ron Paul supported). The FBI report did not have any evidence that Martin Luther King engaged in those activities so it was libel for the newsletter to claim them as fact. It was a hit piece, it was wrong, and in case you’ve missed today’s news Ron Paul has condemned it as such.

    You can argue over whether Ron Paul is responsible for what somebody else wrote in his newsletter, but there’s no real case for defending the King letter or the letters about the L.A. riots. They were racist and unacceptable in a libertarian publication.

    Answer,

    That’s one of the least believable allegations I’ve heard. Unless you’ve got information that proves the identity of the author conclusively or have more solid evidence than what you’ve presented you really ought to quit tossing out off-the-wall speculation. Frankly I’d find it more likely that you were the author of those letters than Murray Rothbard.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 10, 2008 @ 11:34 pm
  62. Ucrawford,

    The King Story may have libelous, but where is the racism? You, yourself ascribe a motive “the letter writer felt compelled to disseminate them to grind an axe against Dr. King’s movement” (emphasis mine) which I don’t get from the article. There is no criticism of Dr. King’s movement or ideas, the only criticism is ad hominem (and as such, is wrong – I 100% agree.)

    That sorry ad hominem attack is used to discredit, not Dr. King’s message peace and equality but, setting up a new federal holiday in honor of Dr. King.

    The only reason that anyone is calling this “racist”, is because Dr. King is black. If this were anyone else that charge would not be made. That is, itself, a form of racism.

    And I am not sure that a private newsletter need meet the standards of libel that a public newspaper does, but I could be wrong on that, but IANAL.

    Later.

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 11, 2008 @ 10:06 am
  63. Kevin,

    “There is no criticism of Dr. King’s movement or ideas, the only criticism is ad hominem”

    I see where you’re coming from but the ad hominum attack was designed to undermine King’s credibility to lead such a movement and by extension attacked those aspects of the civil rights movement led by Dr. King. You didn’t see these guys going out of their way to blast Barry Goldwater (a libertarian icon whose approach was far more checkered because he excused, however grudgingly, states that statutorily discriminated against minorities’ rights)…they targeted the high-profile black guy. And the comments about blacks being docile after the 1992 riots after they got their welfare checks indicated that this was not a mindset isolated to one topic in this newsletter. One article of this sort may be nothing more than an anomaly…more than that over an extended period of time represents a disturbing pattern.

    Ron Paul’s vehement condemnation of these letters and the beliefs they push also speaks against your point and renders this something of a moot argument.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 11, 2008 @ 10:23 am
  64. I don’t care if it’s believable to you. People who knew Murray know exactly how believable it is. Just because his little protégés have cleaned up his legacy doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Murray had some great ideas but he also had some real zingers. His contemporaries routinely had to edit out racist comments from his minor works.

    Comment by The Answer — January 11, 2008 @ 11:35 am
  65. UCrawford,

    Ron Paul’s vehement condemnation of these letters and the beliefs they push also speaks against your point and renders this something of a moot argument.

    Not at all, they can be objectionable without being racist. Just because Ron Paul condems the newsletter doesn’t mean he is doing so because he views them as racist.

    One article of this sort may be nothing more than an anomaly…more than that over an extended period of time represents a disturbing pattern

    Yes, I think the article about the LA riots is the one article, and all the rest are smoke and mirrors. I haven’t been through 100% of them yet, but 100% of the ones I have been through fall waaaaay short of being racist.

    This is a lot like arresting Martha Stewart for insider stock trading, and then only charging / convicting her of ancillary charge “lying to the FBI”. In this case there is one substantial charge (the LA riot excerpt) and all the rest are smoke and mirrors and simply added to make the whole mass look bigger than it really is.

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 11, 2008 @ 2:08 pm
  66. Kevin,

    I respect where you’re coming from on this but I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.

    I agree with you about the Martha Stewart analogy on some of it (because allegations of racism often are overblown or inaccurate), but I think we both drew very different meanings from those articles and since it doesn’t actually change my intention to vote for Ron Paul I don’t think it’s going to be productive for us to go back and forth on an issue that’s really subjective.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 11, 2008 @ 2:21 pm
  67. Answer,

    “Murray had some great ideas but he also had some real zingers. His contemporaries routinely had to edit out racist comments from his minor works.”

    That may or may not be true, and if evidence surfaces that proves that beyond a reasonable doubt I’ll admit I was wrong, but the speculation over the author’s identity is a blatant witch hunt until a) the author comes forward or b) somebody with first hand knowledge of the author’s identity comes foward. All that’s going to happen until that point is a lot of people are going to get their names and reputations unjustly smeared and libertarians are going to end up looking petty and stupid. And that’s not going to help anybody.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 11, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

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