Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ron Paul's letters

Thanks to a lack of an internet connection (which is now back after a switch to DSL), I didn't get around to writing the post on Ron Paul I had intended to. While I was waiting to get back on-line, Jamie Kirchick at TNR published an article taking a closer look at the Ron Paul political newsletters, finding them to be full of racism, right-wing conspiracies and other kookery.

Dave Neiwert and Ed Brayton have both written posts on the subject that cover it so I don't really feel compelled to add anything else (although I might write something eventually) but I will point out something I said in the comments of the first post about Paul at Orcinus last summer:

Re: racism as a form of collectivism

That's Paul rationalizing his racism through the prism of his libertarian ideology. It reminds me of "philosemitic" antisemites in the 19th century who believed that Jews would lose their "jewness" and become German if they were granted full citzenship. But that didn't happen and the "philosemites" became flat out antisemites. Paul is saying something similar, that once his libertarian dream-world comes into being "the market" will magically transform blacks from "collectivists" (read: communists) into humans with "sensible" opinions. This is the kind of typical "non racist" racism that you can find littered at a site like Stormfront.

I frequently surf Stormfront, and I frequently read threads started by white supremacists. That letter by Paul after the riots is white supremacy 101 ... which is of course why a neo-nazi holocaust denier liked it so much that he posted it to his website.In the Political Letter that was archived at Nizkor Paul asserts that it is rational to be afraid of black men because 95% of black males in major cities are criminal or semi-criminal and that only 5% of blacks hold "sensible" opinions.

...

Oh, and David Duke has endorsed Paul for president, and I suspect that Duke has probably read the rest of Paul's political letters. Letters which Paul refuses to release to the press.
The Kirchik article seems to confirm that suspicion about Duke (or at least indicate that it was highly probable):

While bashing [Martin Luther] King, the newsletters had kind words for the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. In a passage titled "The Duke's Victory," a newsletter celebrated Duke's 44 percent showing in the 1990 Louisiana Republican Senate primary. "Duke lost the election," it said, "but he scared the blazes out of the Establishment." In 1991, a newsletter asked, "Is David Duke's new prominence, despite his losing the gubernatorial election, good for anti-big government forces?" The conclusion was that "our priority should be to take the anti-government, anti-tax, anti-crime, anti-welfare loafers, anti-race privilege, anti-foreign meddling message of Duke, and enclose it in a more consistent package of freedom." Duke is now returning the favor, telling me that, while he will not formally endorse any candidate, he has made information about Ron Paul available on his website.
Given that the diarist Phenry at Daily Kos had already pointed out that the Ron Paul newsletter had been included by a neo-Nazi front group in a list of racialist organizations, it wasn't much of a stretch to guess that this sort of stuff was probably in the other letters. One point that I would correct from my comment is that it's not certain whether Paul or a ghostwriter wrote the particular letter I was alluding to, but given that racialist propaganda was going out in Paul's name for several decades it hardly makes much of a difference who wrote what.

17 comments:

wakeup2change said...

Can you please direct me to some other stories that you have written about the other Candidates and their rasist views. I know that Obama is the member of a church that you must be black to join. I have also heard that the Mormons in the past have believed that the only way a black man could get into heaven was to be a slave. I am sure there are letters and statements made by the rest of them as well. So when you get the time please post the titles of those stories.
Thank you so much.

Hume's Ghost said...

Let me get this straight. When I get the time, you want me to write something about the racist letters from other candidates that exist for sure in your own mind?

wakeup2change said...

No, that's not what I was saying at all. First, I didn't say that they had written any letters. I listed Obama's church and Romney's as well. Being a part of a group that excludes people or says bad things about them is as worth covering as Ron Paul's letters. Them more so, they are "top tier candidates". If you want to expose the race thing then look into all of them and see what you can find. But that is not what I was requesting. I wanted to know what other stories you had already written about the other Candidates bad decisions from the past or present. Are they all quilty of something of this nature or is it just Ron Paul. He is only one of several Candidates running for President and people can't just focus on one persons mistakes.

C2H50H said...

Change,

None of the other candidates has the pervasive and long-term entanglement with racism and racists that Ron Paul does.

They have plenty of other faults, but not that one.

Also, the church that Obama belongs is a "predominantly black church." (you can look it up, like here.) It's not exclusively black. If you are looking for a fault in Obama, look for something else.

As for giving equal time to all the negatives of all the candidates, I suggest you shop around blogs. If one blog were to dedicate itself to all the faults of all the candidates, it would surely never finish before the election.

Just keeping up with Giuliani would be a full-time job.

wakeup2change said...

C2H50H...
predominantly black? here is the churches link.....check it out
http://www.tucc.org/home.htm
does this not count for some reason?
Oh we do agree on something....keeping up with Rudy would be a full-time job

Hume's Ghost said...

'I wanted to know what other stories you had already written about the other Candidates bad decisions from the past or present.'

If I was aware of any other candidate having something remotely similar to this in their record I'd mention it. But I don't feel obliged to critique every candidate running in order to post something about any one in particular.

I've written something about Tancredo's nativism, Huckabee fundraising with a Christian Reconstructionist, John McCain pandering to the Religious Right, and Hillary Clinton signifying the aristocracization of American politics. That's about all I've written about the campaign that I can think of.

Hume's Ghost said...

I forgot ... I also said something about Romney's speech in Texas being a call for religious bigotry.

blakmira said...

Purposely slandering good, pure souls like Dr. Ron Paul just because you are fearful of their message of freedom, prosperity and civil liberties for people of all races and creeds is bad karma.

Heard the term "spiritual blowback"? Think about it.

C2H50H said...

Change,

Try reading the link I provided, which answers all your questions.

In short, no, what you provided means nothing.

You can still dislike Obama for other reasons, if you want to, but not for belonging to some church.

I do remember, H.G., when you criticized Romney for that -- but we all know that Romney didn't really mean what he said, any more than he's truly meant anything he's ever said, except that he wants people to vote for him.

Is bigotry really vile if it's insincere?

Hume's Ghost said...

Sure, yeah. If its practical consequences are still deleterious it doesn't really matter if its sincere or not.

"Slandering." You gotta love that. Paul allowed vile racist and homophobic extremist propaganda to be published in his name across 3 decades and I'm slandering him when I point this out because I hate his message of a freedom (which doesn't include room for the 14th amendment).

Jennifer said...

I was really disappointed to hear about those letters. I've been following Paul pretty closely because I liked his discussion of the Constitution and civil liberties. Whether or not he actually wrote those newsletter articles doesn't really matter, the fact they were published under his name is bad.

And for the other commenter, so what if Obama goes to a black church? He is black, after all. However, that doesn't mean people of other other ethnic backgrounds can't attend. And who CARES what church our candidates go to, we're not a theocracy (yet)!!! Enough about religion, already! Unless we're talking about Huckabee, in which case I'm sorry but someone who doesn't "accept" evolution because of his religious beliefs should never be president of the United States. In addition, I don't care about race or gender, either. Let's just elect someone who will actually do a good job in ending the Rovian partisanship of the past 7 years.

Anonymous said...

Hume's Ghost, I don't have the link to the news article, but I believe Stormfront (or some other white supremacist organisation) donated to Ron Paul & he had no qualms about it. That was two, maybe three weeks ago? Maybe you missed it? Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

Oh, here it is:

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hp_7eNYJJfvcUXW2po0M40ePbMeQD8TKRLCG0

Sheldon said...

H.G.
You are obviously trying to increase traffic to your blog, just post on Ron Paul and his bots come for you!! LOL

Good posts on Boortz by the way.
Take care.

Hume's Ghost said...

'Unless we're talking about Huckabee, in which case I'm sorry but someone who doesn't "accept" evolution because of his religious beliefs should never be president of the United States.'

Paul doesn't accept it, either; and also believes that church/state separation is imaginary and not in the constitution.

Regarding Paul's campaign, I agreee. There is a lot in his campaign that I admire (which is why I find it amusing when I'm accused of slandering Paul because I hate his message of freedom) and even in the debate last night he was saying things that I was glad he was there to say. But I find these letters inexcusable and I don't like seeing the issues I care about tied into the right-wing populist extremism that Paul traffics in (the NWO conspiracy stuff also troubles me a good deal.)

C2H50H said...

I've said this before at other blogs, but I'd like to point out again that the President doesn't make even a tiny fraction of the decisions in any administration. He sets policy, and he resolves disputes among his staff and the cabinet, he gives speeches, and he's the person on whose desk the buck stops.

We should be looking at people with an ability to pick good associates and keep them honest, who are rational and reasonably consistent in their dedication to the principles that matter (especially the rule of law), and who are careful in maintaining a policy we agree with.

Paul fails miserably, in my estimation, on the first score, but does pretty well in the rest. We've seen first-hand how a failure in the first skill can result in an unsuccessful presidency, so I'm not really interested in Paul. He'd make a good member for an ethics panel. President? Not so much.

Sheldon said...

H.G.,
I share your ambivalent sympathy with Ron Paul. On the one hand I think it is great that there is a Republican out there with an anti-war/interventionist message. I am quite pissed that he is getting dissed out of debates by Fox News.

On the other hand, I being an explicit leftist, abhore the political-economic libertarianism that Paul stands for. Markets won't take care of what the public sector needs to do.

Then there is the racism, and that ends it for me.