Memo To Ron Paul: Come Clean For Your Own Sake, And The Sake Of Libertyby Doug Mataconis
Jacob Sullum has an article up at Reason telling Ron Paul what he needs to do about the newsletter story:
If I thought Ron Paul might be president in 2009, I’d have to admit that his newsletter negligence raises questions about his judgment and about the people he’d choose to advise him. But since the value of the Paul campaign lies in promoting the libertarian ideals of limited government, individual freedom, and tolerance, the real problem is that the newsletters contradict this message.
On CNN Paul emphasized that racist libertarian is an oxymoron, since libertarians judge people as individuals. He should follow through on that point by identifying the author(s) of the race-baiting material and repudiating not just the sentiments it represents but the poisonous, self-defeating strategy of building an anti-collectivist movement on group hatred.
And Sullum is absolutely correct.
At this point, the newsletter story is not going to have any impact on the campaign mostly because the campaign is going nowhere, but it will have an impact on how the general public perceives the cause for liberty. The sad truth of the matter is that the cause has not been helped by some of the events that have surrounded the campaign — the association with Stormfront, appearing repeatedly on Alex Jones’s radio program, and supporters who have acted boorishly to put it mildly — creating the, false, impression that libertarian ideas are racist and intolerant would only make the situation worse.