Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The New Republic on Ron Paul and his views as expressed in his newletters

Updated below

After the Scott Thomas Beauchamp affair I really hate to say anything positive about the New Republic, but since they agrees with me on Ron Paul I guess I will have too.

There are a number of people who if I ran into them in the course of everyday life I am sure that I would probably think, "Wow, this guy/girl is frickin smart" that for some reason support Ron Paul. (example- Becky) I just don't understand their thinking. Most of them seem to zoom in on one aspect of the phenomena that is Dr. Paul - His anti-war view, his support for the gold standard, his pro-life stance, and ignore everything else. Looking at the whole picture Ron Paul isn't nearly the staunch American he initially appears. He is a racist (or allows racists to use his newsletters to propagate their views, he believes we should have left the European Jews to the Nazis, his economic principle are unworkable (in my uneducated opinion), he is anti-gay, and really in his heart of hearts I think he hates America. There that's how I feel about him.

In a recent article called "Angry White Man" The New Republic examines the complete run of Ron Paul's various newsletters and finds a lot of support for my views. The money quote is below:

From his newsletters, however, a different picture of Paul emerges--that of someone who is either himself deeply embittered or, for a long time, allowed others to write bitterly on his behalf. His adversaries are often described in harsh terms: Barbara Jordan is called "Barbara Morondon," Eleanor Holmes Norton is a "black pinko," Donna Shalala is a "short lesbian," Ron Brown is a "racial victimologist," and Roberta Achtenberg, the first openly gay public official confirmed by the United States Senate, is a "far-left, normal-hating lesbian activist." Maybe such outbursts mean Ron Paul really is a straight-talker. Or maybe they just mean he is a man filled with hate.


Paul's newsletters have carried different titles over the years--Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report--but they generally seem to have been published on a monthly basis since at least 1978. (Paul, an OB-GYN and former U.S. Army surgeon, was first elected to Congress in 1976.) During some periods, the newsletters were published by the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education, a non-profit Paul founded in 1976; at other times, they were published by Ron Paul & Associates, a now-defunct entity in which Paul owned a minority stake, according to his campaign spokesman. The Freedom Report claimed to have over 100,000 readers in 1984. At one point, Ron Paul & Associates also put out a monthly publication called The Ron Paul Investment Letter.


The Freedom Report's online archives only go back to 1999,


Finding the pre-1999 newsletters was no easy task, but I was able to track many of them down at the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Of course, with few bylines, it is difficult to know whether any particular article was written by Paul himself. Some of the earlier newsletters are signed by him, though the vast majority of the editions I saw contain no bylines at all. Complicating matters, many of the unbylined newsletters were written in the first-person, implying that Paul was the author.

But, whoever actually wrote them, 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.

I know it's worthless to try and convince any Ron Paul supporter that their hero isn't the "Only man who can save America" but at least I tried.

Update: A number of other people have written about this today and Paul defenders have pointed out the following on other sites:

When I asked Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign spokesman, about the newsletters, he said that, over the years, Paul had granted "various levels of approval" to what appeared in his publications--ranging from "no approval" to instances where he "actually wrote it himself." After I read Benton some of the more offensive passages, he said, "A lot of [the newsletters] he did not see. Most of the incendiary stuff, no." He added that he was surprised to hear about the insults hurled at Martin Luther King, because "Ron thinks Martin Luther King is a hero."


reason: Do you have any response to The New Republic's article about your newsletters?

Ron Paul: All it is--it's old stuff. It's all been rehashed. It's all political stuff.

reason: Why don't you release all the old letters?

Paul: I don't even have copies of them, because it's ancient history.

reason: Do you stand by what appears in the letters? Did you write these...?

Paul: No. I've discussed all of that in the past. It's just old news.

reason: Did the New Republic talk to you before they ran it?

Paul: No, I never talked to them.

reason: What do you think of Martin Luther King?

Paul: Martin Luther King is one of my heroes because he believed in nonviolence and that's a libertarian principle. Rosa Parks is the same way. Gandhi, I admire. Because they're willing to take on the government, they were willing to take on bad laws. So I believe in civil disobedience if you understand the consequences. Martin Luther King was a great person because he did that and he changed America for the better because of that.

reason: You didn't write the derogatory things about him in the letter?

Paul: No.

So in other words even though the articles were published in newsletters bear Dr. Paul's name, and owned and operated by organizations affiliated with Dr. Paul (or owned directly by Dr. Paul) he was never really aware of what was written or the views his contributors held.

To that I say BULLSHIT!!!!!

Maybe Ron Paul never personally wrote those words, or even held those beliefs, although I find that to border on the impossible, but he certainly never repudiated them and there is a general rule in life that if you lay down with dogs you get fleas. Seriously if you look back through my the comments here if someone makes an out of line statement I crack down on it as soon as I am aware of it. On other sites where I comment if someone is making ignorant bigoted statements I call them on it. I expect the same from a man who wants to be President.

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