By Bob Sommer
It would be easy to get the impression that the issue of Ron Paul’s past newsletter articles is little more than a dust-up over old news from another age and time. To hear Paul tell it, as he did in a recent interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger, the incendiary and racist articles that appeared in The Ron Paul Political Report and The Ron Paul Survival Report from the late 1970s through the mid-1990s were not only written by others but he had no knowledge of their content. Notably, he walked out of the CNN interview rather than respond to Borger’s questions about his role in the newsletter’s production.
The sheer quantity of these vile screeds is enough to make any reasonable person who's not infected by the paranoia and racist poison Paul's newsletters serve up question his credibility. The really scary thing is that in the current Republican campaign Paul has taken on the persona of a folk hero to young voters. He’s the “revolutionary” candidate, “challenging the status quo,” as he told CNN. Never has libertarianism looked so benign—such a clear-headed, answer-for-everything, simple solution to the mess Republicans have made with encouragement from their Tea-Party overlords and a dose of help from their co-dependent enablers among the Democrats. If nothing else, the libertarian credo is easily summarized: "You get yours and I'll get mine!"
College students can’t seem to get enough of Paul. Even Jon Stewart regularly touts his grandfatherly persona on The Daily Show, lauding the specious, oh-so-appealing notion that remaining true to your beliefs is somehow admirable no matter how misguided or just plain dangerous they may be.
The New Republic began challenging Paul’s articles back in the 1980s and in turn became a target of the newsletter. The current issue of TNR catalogues some of the most egregious excerpts and provides PDF links for all of them, as well as attributions for many. Reading through these articles it’s impossible to avoid concluding that Paul is either a liar regarding his culpability for this body of work or that he’s so ignorant of what his own newsletters were publishing that he shouldn't be running for dogcatcher. Either way, the idea that anyone believes he belongs in the White House should be enough to frighten the rest of us out of sleeping through the night until the election is over.
Here are a few nuggets from TNR of how Ron Paul really sees the world:
Here's the full article: http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/98883/ron-paul-incendiary-newsletters-exclusive
- An October 1990 edition of the Political Report ridicules black activists, led by Al Sharpton, for demonstrating at the Statue of Liberty in favor of renaming New York City after Martin Luther King. The newsletter suggests that “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,”and “Lazyopolis ” would be better alternatives—and says, “Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.”
- The July 1992 Ron Paul Political Report declares, “Jury verdicts, basketball games, and even music are enough to set off black rage, it seems,”
- The September 1994 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report states that “those who don’t commit sodomy, who don’t get blood a transfusion, and who don’t swap needles, are virtually assured of not getting AIDS unless they are deliberately infected by a malicious gay.”
- The January 1995 issue of the Survival Report—released just three months before the Oklahoma City bombing—cites an anti-government militia’s advice to other militias, including, “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”
- The October 1992 issue of the Political Report paraphrases an “ex-cop” who offers this strategy for protecting against “urban youth”: “If you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example).”
Caveat Iowa voters!