Thursday, December 27, 2007

FAQ: Ron Paul and his Racist Newsletter (Updated)

It looks like Ron Paul's infamous newsletter has been making another round in the blogosphere. You know, the ones that where Ron Paul rallies his battle cry against fleet-footed black people. This is most likely in response to Ron Paul's recent appearance on Meet the Press, where he opposes the Civil Rights Act and insists that Lincoln was a tyrant.

The Ron Paul supporters of the internet are quick to dismiss these claims, of course, insisting that the newsletter articles have been "debunked," and that there is no purpose to bringing them up again in the future. Don't believe them when they say that. Here's a basic summation of all the popular arguments used to defend Ron Paul, as well as the appropriate refutations.

Updated: TNR has recently uncovered a new batch of newsletters, including articles where Ron Paul is listed as Editor and Publisher. This is pretty damning.

1. The newsletter article was an isolated incident
2. Just because that newsletter Ron Paul has his name on that, doesn't mean that he was involved! (new)
3. This is a smear campaign! Your evidence is weak! Ron Paul is honest and infallible, and you can't trust anyone who says otherwise! (edited)
4. Those articles were a mainstream media hit piece! (edited)
5. Ron Paul has a solid record that stretches 30 years!
6. Ron Paul's voting record is proof that he isn't racist!
7. But if Ron Paul was really a racist, then why don't we see more of that in his interviews?
8. I demand audio/video evidence before I believe you! (new)
9. Didn't you read "Government and Racism," by Ron Paul?
10. But Ron Paul said that racism is bad! Doesn't that disprove that he wrote the newsletter?
11. Those article were written by a ghostwriter!
12. Didn't you read what he said in Texas Monthly?
13. You can't prove that Ron Paul even read that article!
14. Ron Paul was a full-time Congressman and Doctor, he didn't have time to work on that newsletter.
15. The article wasn't written in Ron Paul's language, and it sounds nothing like him!
16. But I have a newspaper article where the writer says that he believes Ron Paul!
17. Ron Paul has suggested Walter Williams as his running mate, and Walter Williams is black!
18. The Ghostwriter was already fired. Case closed! What more could you ask for?
19. What about the article from Free Market News? (new)
20. What about Ron Paul's official statement? (new)
21. What if Ron Paul is telling the truth? (new)
22. Is any of this relevant?
23. What about his appearence on CNN? Ron Paul claims to be incapable of racism! (new)
24. I have some photos/youtube videos of Ron Paul with black supporters! (new)
25. The signature was forged/other wear arguments (new)
26. What about the war on drugs? (New)

  1. The newsletter article was an isolated incident
    False. the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society."

  2. Just because that newsletter Ron Paul has his name on that, doesn't mean that he was involved! (new)
    This is an evasion tactic. This is not open to debate. Ron Paul himself has accepted moral responsibility for the content of the newsletter. His signature appears on the solicitation letter. If you don't think that he should be held responsible for it, then you're going to need to take that up with him, and not with us.

  3. This is a smear campaign! Your evidence is weak! Ron Paul is honest and infallible, and you can't trust anyone who says otherwise! (edited)
    The best evidence against Ron Paul comes from Ron Paul himself. Can we trust Ron Paul? This story first broke out in 1996, when Ron Paul was mounting a huge election to return to congress. What exactly was Ron Paul saying back then? Reason.com did some digging through Lexis-Nexus, and found the following publications:
    • May 22, 1996 Dallas Morning News
    • May 23, 1996, Houston Chronicle
    • May 23, 1996, Austin American-Statesman
    • May 26, 1996 Washington Post
    • July 25, 1996, Houston Chronicle
    • July 25, 1996, Dallas Morning News
    • July 29, 1996, Roll Call
    • Aug. 13, 1996, Houston Chronicle
    • Sept. 26, 1996, Austin American-Statesman
    • Sept. 30, 1996, San Antonio Express-News
    • Oct. 11, 1996, Houston Chronicle
    • Oct. 11, 1996, Austin American-Statesman
    Excerpts can be found on their website. I have also provided direct links to the 5/23/96 Houston Chronicle and the November 1996 Austin Chronicle. The common theme among these articles is that Ron Paul never once denies writing for the newsletter, and insists that he's been quoted out of context. For instance, the Dallas Morning News reports that:
    Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation.
    That's a very odd statement to make if you had absolutely no involvement with the newsletter in question. Although Ron Paul supporters will insist that he already denied the story, the ghostwriter invention didn't happen for another five years. Ron Paul was either lying in 1996, or he was lying in 2001. Either way, Ron Paul is a proven liar.

    But here's the problem. It's easy to explain why Ron Paul would lie in 2001, denying responsibility for something that he would later regret. But how do you explain why he would lie in 1996, claiming responsibility for something that he disagreed with and which he didn't do? There has never been anything resembling a decent explanation for this. Most Ron Paul supporters will respond by pretending that these reports don't exist. Don't let them get away with that.

  4. This is all a mainstream media hit piece! (edited)
    Many Ron Paul supporters insist that the above list of articles can't be trusted. This is another evasion tactic. Not even Ron Paul claims that he was misquoted or represented inaccurately during this era, so again, you're going to have to take it up with him. Moreover, we have over a dozen citations from 1996 that showing him defending the content, and not a single citation to the contrary. You can't just cry "hit piece!" and "mainstream media conspiracy!!!" just because the media prints something you don't like. Yes, they're critical of Ron Paul, but this is material that warrants criticism.

    Some people have attempted to discredit James Kirchick. David Boaz of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, doesn't seem to be buying it. He recognizes this as a basic ad hominem attack, and writes the following:
    Mutterings about the past mistakes of the New Republic or the ideological agenda of author James Kirchick are beside the point. Maybe Bob Woodward didn’t like Quakers; the corruption he uncovered in the Nixon administration was still a fact, and that’s all that mattered. Ron Paul’s most visible defenders have denounced Kirchick as a “pimply-faced youth”—so much for their previous enthusiasm about all the young people sleeping on floors for the Paul campaign—and a neoconservative. But they have not denied the facts he reported. Those words appeared in newsletters under his name. And, notably, they have not dared to defend or even quote the actual words that Kirchick reported. Even those who vociferously defend Ron Paul and viciously denounce Kirchick, perhaps even those who wrote the words originally, are apparently unwilling to quote and defend the actual words that appeared over Ron Paul’s signature.
  5. Ron Paul has a solid record that stretches 30 years!
    30 years of what? Again, Ron Paul refuses to release his archives from that time period. But Ron Paul's record has never been squeaky clean. Even the libertarians at Cato thought otherwise, and that was before the recent newsletter scandal. David Boaz writes:

    And so it’s understandable that over the past few months a lot of people have been asking why writers at the Cato Institute seemed to display a lack of interest in or enthusiasm for the Paul campaign. Well, now you know. We had never seen the newsletters that have recently come to light, and I for one was surprised at just how vile they turned out to be. But we knew the company Ron Paul had been keeping, and we feared that they would have tied him to some reprehensible ideas far from the principles we hold.

    However, let's assume for a moment that this claim is true. Would that prove his innocence? No. You can't un-ring a bell, and you can't un-write a newsletter. It would be like trying to refute the fact that Dick Cheney shot his friend in the face, by pointing out the number of people who Dick Cheney hasn't shot in the face. Logic doesn't work that way. Even if Ron Paul never writes another racist statement in the future, that wouldn't change the fact that he has written racist statements in the past. Thanks to Kirchick's research, we now know that these articles were more far reaching we initially suspected. This was not an isolated incident, this was a clear pattern of behavior. One that Ron Paul made no effort to address.

  6. Ron Paul's voting record is proof that he isn't racist!
    This is another claim we hear a lot. Unfortunately, the people who make this claim never follow up on it, by citing specific examples. Ron Paul was against the Civil Rights Act, against the Voting Rights Act, and he has voted in favor of voter suppression. How does that prove that he isn't racist?

  7. But if Ron Paul was really a racist, then why don't we see more of that in his interviews?
    People who are racist aren't necessarily going to admit to it in public. There's a reason why Ku Klux Klan is known for wearing hood, and why white supremacist organizations have rules against being outed. In most cases, people aren't even aren't even aware of their own racism. So when overt signs of racism does break through the social stigma, you know you're just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Just look at what happened to George Allen and Trent Lott. You can't prove that George Allen knew the meaning of the word "macaca," but that doesn't mean that you can't use that against him.

    Ron Paul, like most other politicians, will say different things to different people. Look at his recent
    flip flop on evolution. If Ron Paul can't even admit to being against evolution during the debates, then why would anyone expect him to be express overt racism without even being provoked? The newsletter was written while Ron Paul was working as a private physician, and distributed to private subscribers. Apparently, running as a presidential candidate has forced him to become a bit more cautious.

  8. I demand audio/video evidence before I believe you! (new)
    This is a ridiculous request. Ron Paul's newsletter archive was written in two decades ago, long before people have had video cameras on their cell phones. He didn't re-enter the public eye until this past year, well after the George Allen and Trent Lott scandals. Since then, the political climate has gotten a lot more sensitive on the subject of race, and Ron Paul has had more than enough time to adapt

    Here's the question, though: Why is video/audio evidence required? After all, I might not have any video footage of Ron Paul going to the bathroom, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't go. Courts typically don't require you to provide video/audio evidence to convict someone, because you're not going to find any the vast majority of the time, no matter how guilty the person may be. No, the main goal here isn't to be reasonable, but to be unreasonable. To move the goalpost so far that it's nearly impossible to reach. It's annoying, but the fact that they have to rely on such cheap tactics reveals the underlying weakness in their argument. It's an act of desperation. They know their case looks bad, so they're grasping at straws. Don't let them get away with that.

    But if you really want video evidence, then I suggest you check out Ron Paul's recent ad on immigration, where he vows "No visas for students from ‘terrorist nations." Personally, I think that that the idea of labeling an entire nation as being "terrorists" to be pretty darn racist. Even Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com, who vehemently defended Ron Paul in the past, still found this ad to be "disgraceful."


  9. Didn't you read "Government and Racism," by Ron Paul?
    Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist.
    This article is frequently brought up in an attempt to "debunk" the newsletter piece. However, there is nothing in the piece that actually refutes the newsletter. In fact, his current writings and his newsletter writings are completely complimentary to one another. In the above writing, Ron Paul is writing in defense of Don Imus. Ron Paul also makes the same argument, nearly word for word, in a 2002 article where he defends Trent Lott.

  10. But Ron Paul said that racism is bad! Doesn't that disprove that he wrote the newsletter?
    Yes, but when Ron Paul criticizes racism, he is defines "racism" as "promoting diversity." This is not the same form of racism that Ron Paul himself is being accused of. Therefore, his statement only supports the accusation.

    Remember, when Ron Paul was asked for comment in the 1996 Houston Chronicle piece, he claimed that he opposed racism, and then went on to defend the newsletter article anyway. Apparently, when Ron Paul claims to oppose "racism," his narrow definition of "racism" doesn't include the newsletter in question. Making the statement irrelevant.

    As David Neiwert explains, "This is, in fact, just a repackaging of a libertarian argument that multiculturalism is the 'new racism' -- part of a larger right-wing attack on multiculturalism. This is, of course, sheer Newspeak: depicting a social milieu that simultaneously respects everyone's heritage -- that is to say, the antithesis of racism -- as racist is simply up-is-down, Bizarro Universe thinking."

  11. Those article were written by a ghostwriter!
    This is something we hear a lot, but the evidence doesn't support it. For instance, let's take a look at the LA Riots piece. First, the article makes frequent references in the first person, talking about Ron Paul's personal experiences, and even makes references to previous articles on the subject of race. Second, the article makes reference to "expert Burt Blumert." Blumert is a coin dealer, as well as a close, personal friend of Ron Paul.

    Since the Kirchick piece came out, the story has gotten even more damning (see scans.). For instance, on the same page where Ron Paul accuses Martin Luther King of seducing "underage girls and boys," he also makes a reference to how his wife Carol and his grandchildren wishes the reader to have a Merry Christmas. There is no break in character. In his letter asking for solicitations, Ron Paul refers to his personal expertise as a medical doctor, and signs the letter with his own signature. He also uncovered articles where Ron Paul is listed as Editor.

    Perhaps the best example comes from the January 1991 edition, where Ron Paul writes that:
    In 1988 when I ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket, I was berated for hours by LP members because I had refused to vote, while in Congress, for a Martin Luther King national holiday.
    Why in the world would the writer bring this specific incident up, unless it actually happened to him, and unless he was still bitter over the experience? And who else could this experience have happened to, other than Ron Paul?

    However, even if these pieces were written by a ghostwriter, it still wouldn't matter. The point is that Ron Paul signed off on them and never offered a retraction, which suggests that at the very least, he would have agreed with them.

  12. Didn't you read what he said in Texas Monthly?
    The following text appeared in a 2001 edition of Texas Monthly:

    When I ask him why, he pauses for a moment, then says, "I could never say this in the campaign, but those words weren't really written by me. It wasn't my language at all. Other people help me with my newsletter as I travel around. I think the one on Barbara Jordan was the saddest thing, because Barbara and I served together and actually she was a delightful lady." Paul says that item ended up there because "we wanted to do something on affirmative action, and it ended up in the newsletter and became personalized. I never personalize anything."

    His reasons for keeping this a secret are harder to understand: "They were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them . . . I actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesn't come from me directly, but they campaign aides said that's too confusing. 'It appeared in your letter and your name was on that letter and therefore you have to live with it.'" It is a measure of his stubbornness, determination, and ultimately his contrarian nature that, until this surprising volte-face in our interview, he had never shared this secret. It seems, in retrospect, that it would have been far, far easier to have told the truth at the time.

    Ron Paul's 2001 version of events sounds very heart-felt. Unfortunately, his story doesn't mesh with past events. Here is what Ron Paul was saying five years earlier, in a 1996 edition of the Austin Chronicle:
    In one 1992 article, Paul labeled the illustrious congresswoman Barbara Jordan, now deceased, a "moron" and "fraud" whose accomplishments depended on her race and sex. Paul now explains that he's been wronged -- his "academic, tongue-in-cheek" opinions have been stripped of their context. But when the Victoria Advocate requested the entire copy of the newsletter, promising to publish its entirety, he refused that too.
    For the record, Barbara Jordan passed away earlier in that very same year. Ron Paul's story for the Texas Monthly may sound sympathetic, but it isn't supported by past events. If he's felt any regret over his comments, then it doesn't seem to show here.

  13. You can't prove that Ron Paul even read that article!
    We've established that the newsletter went out under Ron Paul's name, with Ron Paul's permission. At some point, we need to assume a basic level of competency for Ron Paul over his own name. If we can't assume competence, then why in the world should we elect this man as president? We also can't "prove" that George Allen knew the real meaning of the word "macaca," but that doesn't mean that we can't use that against him.

    The narrative in the newsletter postings are highly personal and specific to Ron Paul, and even if we believed that they were written by a ghostwriter, it would be hard to believe that Ron Paul and the ghostwriter had absolutely no contact. Furthermore, in order to accept Ron Paul's story, we would have to believe that none of the readers ever phoned in to complain or cancel their subscriptions. That no one on the staff ever notified Ron Paul of what was going on. That none of Ron Paul's friends or family members ever notified Ron Paul about what was going on. Out of over 7,000 readers, not one of them would have a direct line to Ron Paul.

    Moreover, we would have to ignore the numerous news articles from 1996, when the story was brought to Ron Paul's attention by the popular media. The Ron Paul supporters can attempt to rationalize the time frame pre-1996, by pleading ignorance. And they can attempt to rationalize the time frame post-2001, when Ron Paul first began to deny the story. But how do the rationalize the time period from 1996-2001, when Ron Paul was aware of the situation, and still chose to defend the newsletter? Well... they can't.

  14. Ron Paul was a full-time Congressman and Doctor, he didn't have time to work on that newsletter.
    The first part is false. Ron Paul left congress in 1985 and returned to congress in 1997. The second part is irrelevant. Having a full-time job is not the same thing as having a full-proof alibi. We're talking about an 8-page newsletter that would have been distributed once a month. Even if Ron Paul was working 60 hours a week, that would still give him 15 hours per day to work on a newsletter. It would take him roughly ten minutes once a month to read an 8-page newsletter. Yet somehow, he can't manage to find the time for it?

    Ron Paul's official website proudly boasts that, "Congressman Paul introduces numerous pieces of substantive legislation each year, probably more than any single member of Congress." Since 1997, Ron Paul has written 350 pieces of legislation, and that he has voted over 7000 times. Yet we're supposed to believe that as a civilian, Ron Paul can't find the time to write one 8-page article? That as a civilian, Ron Paul can't even find the time to even read his own 8-page newsletter?

    This literally does not add up. 350 pieces of legislation over 10 years translates into three pieces per month. Does Ron Paul hire a ghostwriter to write his legislation as well? Will he start using that excuse when his legislation proves unpopular? Where exactly will it end? Again, at some point, we need to assume a basic level of competence.

  15. The article wasn't written in Ron Paul's language, and it sounds nothing like him!
    This is another claim we hear a lot. Not because his supporters actually believe it, but because Ron Paul himself has said it, and his supporters are good at parroting. Ask them what they mean by Ron Paul's "his language." They won't answer. This isn't a claim that can be objectively verified or disproven. However, I have written out specific examples to doubt Ron Paul's story.

    This is an also example of begging the question. If this article sounds nothing like Ron Paul, then what would sound like Ron Paul? The answer there is, "Whatever we personally approve of."

  16. But I have a newspaper article where the writer says that he believes Ron Paul!
    Appeal to authority fallacy. The newspaper in question could be wrong. Don't just tell us that people believe Ron Paul, give the reasons behind their opinion, and give us something that we can decide on or verify on our own. Moreover, these newspapers were likely printed prior to the Kirchick piece, which suggests that the newsletter articles that we had were not an isolated incident.

  17. Ron Paul has suggested Walter Williams as his running mate, and Walter Williams is black!
    This is a modern variant of the classic "I can't be a racist, some of my best friends are black!" argument. Having a black friend doesn't disprove accusations of racism, any more than having a female wife would disprove accusations of misogyny. Being racist doesn't mean that you hate all black people. Being racist simply means that you are being unfair to black people as a general rule. There's a difference.

    This is another evasion tactic. It doesn't disprove the fact that Ron Paul wrote that newsletter. Quite the contrary. Here's an excerpt from the original text:
    Indeed, it is shocking to consider the uniformity of opinion among blacks in this country. Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty, and the end of welfare and affirmative action. I know many who fall into this group personally and they deserve credit--not as representatives of a racial group, but as decent people. They are, however, outnumbered.
    The fact that Ron Paul has a few black friends doesn't disprove the fact that he authored the newsletter, because it the author of the piece had a few black friends as well.

  18. The Ghostwriter was already fired. Case closed! What more could you ask for?
    We hear this one a lot, but we never hear any first hand evidence or links supporting it. If you want to convince us that the supposed ghostwriter was fired in direct response to these articles, then cite some evidence, and not some general appeal to the "rumor mill." Better yet, give us a name, and some way of verifying the claim.

    In fact, if we're to believe Ron Paul's statements in his Wolf Blitzer interview, than a firing would have been impossible. Ron Paul claims that he had no idea what was being printed in his name. Ron Paul claimed that, "I don't know any of their names. I absolutely honestly do not know who wrote those things," and "A lot of the things you just read, I wouldn't have recognized them." It's pretty hard to fire someone who you don't know over something that you didn't know about. And that's assuming that there even is a ghostwriter, which we still have absolutely no evidence of.

    So if Ron Paul didn't fire the supposed "ghostwriter," then who did he fire? If Ron Paul honestly didn't approve of the newsletter content, then someone's head ought to have rolled over this. If it isn't Ron Paul, and it isn't the writer, then who? How about the Publisher? The Economist reports that the newsletter was "published by M&M Graphics and Advertising, a company run by Mr Paul's longtime congressional campaign manager Mark Elam—which Mr Elam himself confirms." Elam's company was in charge of double checking the newsletter before it went to print, yet he apparently never notified Ron Paul about the content. Fortunately, Elam is still involved with Ron Paul's official campaign, and is currently listed on their contact page.

    Okay. Then what about Jean McIver, the subscription manager? Surely, she would be familiar with the material that she was selling, right? And if the racist articles were really a fluke, and then at least a few subscribers would have called in to complain, right? So was Jean McIver fired?Nope. It turns out that Jean McIver wasn't fired in 1996, when the story first came to light. In fact, it turns out that James McIver is currently being listed on the official campaign website as the "Texas Field Coordinator." Lew Moore, National Campaign Manager, writes even gave her a special mention in the official campaign blog.

    Another update: James Kirchick finds newsletters where Ron Paul is listed as Editor and Publisher, thus making him directly responsible for the content.



  19. What about the article from Free Market News? (new)
    The Free Market News Network article doesn't really offer any new arguments. It makes a lot of unverifiable claims from a lot of unnamed sources with flimsy excuses -- most of which have already been addressed on DailyKos. For instance, it cites the fact that the newsletter headquarters were "60 miles away" from Ron Paul's office, as though 60 miles is an insurmountable distance for your monthly newsletter, and as if there was no such thing as fax machines, telephones, and overnight delivery.

    The article claims that Ron Paul was upset when he heard about the comments, but it doesn't explain the lack of a retraction, nor does it explain his 1996 response in the popular press. Even if Ron Paul didn't read the newsletter himself -- which is ridiculous -- there are thousands of people who did. Moreover, once again, these articles weren't simply one or two examples slipping through the cracks. They stretch over the course of decades. There is no excuse.

  20. What about Ron Paul's official statement? (new)
    What about it? The official statement comes over a decade too late, and it doesn't really refute anything. Ron Paul says once again that it was a ghostwriter, but he fails to explain how how he could be completely incompetent in running his own newsletter, nor does he explain his initial response to the scandal in the first five years after the story first became public.

  21. What if Ron Paul is telling the truth? (new)
    In his official statement, Ron Paul claims that "For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name." If you can't hold Ron Paul accountable for his racism, then you should at least hold him responsible for gross incompetence. Otherwise, you're not taking moral responsibility. You can't say, "I take full responsibility for this, but please don't use it against me!" It doesn't work like that. Either you take responsibility, or you don't.

    If Ron Paul can't even run an 8-page monthly newsletter, then how does he expect to run an entire country, or even an entire war? If he can't even read 8-pages that goes out under his own name once a month, then how can he expect to read through thousands of pages worth of intelligence reports and legislation? If he can't even hire the right people to write under his name, then how can he expect to hire the right people to run his cabinet?

    At some point, Ron Paul needs to stop making excuses, and start focusing on his strengths. What are they? This isn't a question of what you like about him, or what you agree with him on, it's a question on what he's actually shown he can do.

  22. Is any of this relevant? (new)
    Many Ron Paul supporters insist that this matter isn't relevant, because even if Ron Paul is a blatant racist, it still wouldn't matter, because it's not like Ron Paul would be able to issue legislation to promote his racist agenda. I disagree. I think that Ron Paul's views on racism is entirely relevant. More importantly, Ron Paul himself thinks that his views on racism are relevant.

    On his website, Ron Paul cites his stance on racism as one of the major issues that he intends to campaign on, and one of the major reasons why you should vote for him. Ron Paul is arrogant enough to believe that he understands the problem and the solution for racism better than the civil rights activists who actually fought and sacrificed for change. But Ron Paul can't even handle the blatant racism that goes on in his own office in his own name in plain sight of thousands of subscribers -- how in the world does he expect to deal with the far more subtle forms of racism that permeate throughout society? It would be like trusting Britney Spears's mom to write a book on motherhood.

  23. What about his appearence on CNN? Ron Paul claims to be incapable of racism!
    I think this picture pretty much sums it up. No one is "incapable" of racism. A person who believes in liberty should be capable of just about anything. Ron Paul is basing his argument on an impossible premise, which shows that he is either lying, or he is completely in denial. In fact, not only is Ron Paul in denial, but he blatantly contradicts himself a little while later by making several references to "the blacks," using the exact same language that Blitzer cited from his newsletter. Ron Paul can't even go two minutes without completely contradicting himself.

    Ron Paul refers to himself as an anti-racist. An anti-racist is like an anti-hero. He has different motivations from the traditional racist, but in the end, he fulfills the same basic purpose, and the traditional racist can count on him to get the job done.

  24. I have some photos/youtube videos of Ron Paul with black supporters!
    Yeah, so? Do you have any idea how racially condescending this argument actually is? Oh hey, Ron Paul managed to stand next to a black person without lynching him. That proves that he isn't a racist and that he had no involvement in his own newsletter, personal details and signature be damned. If Ted Bundy can have female groupies despite being a murderer, then Ron Paul can have minority groupies despite being a racist. Sorry, but you can't undo decades worth of racism with a few snapshots It's not that simple.

    Related articles on this subject can be found here, here, and here.

  25. The signature was forged/other wear arguments
    Dude, just give it up. I think that Sultan Knish did a great job this one, by visiting the Ron Paul Forums and chronicling the character arc of a single poster, a senior member by the name of DaronWestbrooke. Westbrooke starts off by freaking out over the Ron Paul story, and demanding some comeback lines he can use.

    Eventually, Daron decides to start from the assumption that there's a conspiracy at work, and then moves on to try to invent one. He concludes that since the smoking gun here is Ron Paul's own signature, then the best solution would be to spread the rumor that the signature has been forged, even though Ron Paul himself has never made this claim. In the most telling line, Daron states that "All we got now is the signatures, but the points is to repeat it over and over. we can make that thought reality."

    In other words, even though the statement isn't true, it can be made true through sheer force of repetition. This is a tactic that they've used before. The same goes for their "the ghostwriter was already fired" meme, which was repeated so often that even many of Ron Paul's critics began to believe it as accepted reality, even Ron Paul's most recent statements make that meme impossible. And it also goes for the "the newsletters were already debunked, so we don't have to go through them any further meme."

    The goal isn't to come up with an explanation that sounds plausible. The goal is to come up with an explanation that you can repeat, ad naseum, over and over again, until eventually it becomes so accepted that it no longer requires explanation. This is common among Ron Paul's supporters, who are too far invested and too alienated from their from friends to give up now. Daron's only crime is that he decided to say out loud what everyone else was already thinking. Even Daron acknowledges that the explanation is bullshit, but he doesn't see any other alternative. So the next time you debate this subject with a hardcore supporter, please keep this in mind.

    Not surprisingly, the thread now requires a password to read, although you can still try to find it on google cache.

  26. What about the war on drugs? (New)
    Irrelevant. Ron Paul doesn't oppose the war on drugs because it's racist, he opposes it because he opposes everything. The war on drugs could be the most racially equitable program in the history of Earth, and Ron Paul would still oppose it, because it isn't mentioned in the constitution. Some people will try to argue, "But if Ron Paul was a racist, he would support the war on drugs!" This is a faulty syllogism. If the underlying premise were true, then we would have to conclude that Stormfront isn't racist either. Is anyone going to argue that Stormfront isn't racist?

    But if you want further proof, then check out Ron Paul's solicitation letter. Page one. Hey look, Ron Paul opposed the war on drugs even then. So his current opposition proves nothing, since it doesn't contradict the newsletter in the least.
Conclusion: So there you have it, an in-depth refutation to the most common talking points. Spread the word, and tell your friends.

Additional Links:
Angry White Man, by James Kirchick of TNR.
Newsletter Clipping, and More Newsletter Clippings, by James Kirchick of TNR.
Paul's Blowback, by Matt Welch of Reason
"Old News"? "Rehashed for Over a Decade"? by Matt Welch of Reason
5/23/96 Houston Chronicle Article
November 1996 Austin Chronicle Article, plus Sidebar.
Ron Paul in his Own Words, by Paul Henry
Black People Love Us

Link to this article

16 comments:

Eric Dondero said...

To correct the record:

1. I was not fired. Anyone who claims so is engaging in slander.

2. It's a documented fact that Lew Rockwell ghostwrote that quote as he ghostwrites much of Ron Paul's stuff. This was reported by the media in Ron Paul's 1996 Congressional campaign. Lew even owned up to it. For a while there, Lew and Ron weren't on speaking terms over it.

I cannot believe there's any rumors about this at all. It's a fact. Someone just needs to ask Rockwell himself. He'll tell you the truth.

Ron will, as well.

Sean said...

Maybe you should take it up with your former boss Eric?

From a Reason magazine interview with Ron Paul (http://www.reason.com/blog/show/120338.html):

Reason: Your former staffer Eric Dondero is challenging you for your House seat in 2008.

Paul: He's a disgruntled former employee who was fired.

Anonymous said...

eric dondero claims he wasn't fired. i certainly don't want to slander him, but someone else once wrote :

As another former Ron Paul staffer, who worked in the same office with Eric. I can tell you definitely. Eric was fired because he never came to work. When he did come to work, he slept on a nasty couch which we burned after he left.

Eric is a digruntled former employee that developed many bad habits over the years and numero uno was slothfullness.


and dondero replied:

Yes, the poster above is correct. I did sleep on a couch in my office from time to time.

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/120338.html


and Dr. Paul said he fired dondero on national tv. if he really slandered your good name (well, your name) this should be a great chance to hurt him, and show he can not be trusted. if you don't use this opportunity, we can only assume is because you really were fired.

FuckRonPaul said...

Why doesn't Ron Paul just release the name of the ghostwriter and put the issue to rest?

Oh, that's right - because he's a weasel.

Anonymous said...

I do not want to be linked to this blog. How do I get unlinked?

By the way, via the rumor mill, I heard that Eric Dondero is the author of the offensive articles.

Ron Lawl said...

It's hard to unlink someone who posts as anonymous.

And "I heard via the rumor mill" doesn't add much to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

You should really try to get someone else to donate and scan in the rest of the survivalist papers.

Fred Mann said...

Ron Paul mentions Walter Williams, A BLACK MAN, as a potential running mate in a recent Washington Post interview. Don't forget to add this to your FAQ...

Anonymous said...

While I agree with most of your points, for #13 your estimate of 40 hours is very very very low for a full-time OB/GYN, especially back then. A lot of doctors worked triple digit hours back then.
Even today the average workweek for an OB/GYN is 61 hours.
That said, I think he knew exactly what was in those newsletters, and probably wrote them himself. But his overworked and never saw it excuse is somewhat more plausible if he was juggling congress and 60 hour workweeks.

Bort said...

Well, at least the summary makes some cogent points and shows some attempt at objectivity regarding this cloudy issue. I do believe that the facts of what happened are readily available, but this is a blog, and there is no point in just listing the facts. There is justifiably a lot of emotion surrounding these important issues, and we all have to swim through the muck in order to get at the truth. Realistically, we will all make our own, personal, conclusions. On the important points in the conclusion of this post, I notice a pattern of cleverly worded innuendo that takes the scant information (facts)provided in the post and spins them into one person's opinion. I'm happy to see this discussion taking place, because the question of whether or not Ron Paul is a racist is hugely important. There are a lot of supporters and I would think we all deserve clear answers to these questions in order to continue our support. Those of you who have already made up your minds to not support Dr. Paul are not going to be swayed regardless of the outcome of this 'controversy'. I still can't see through this smokescreen, and I'm definitely rooting for Dr. Paul, but if it turns out that the man is the racist psychopath that so many of you seem to think he is, I will most certainly not continue my support for him, nor will the vast majority of those currently in his camp. The sad fact is that the alternatives are much, much worse...

theclamsman said...

Great piece.

This seems to be escaping most media, but the New York Times also ran a blurb about Paul's newsletters in 1996, when Paul's opponent Greg Laughlin got ahold of the newsletter with the Barbara Jordan remarks. Note the very last sentence of the article, where Paul all but admits to writing the remarks.

---

New York Times
TEXAS

Past Statements Haunt a Candidate

Ron Paul was largely a name from the past, a former Congressman and
onetime Presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, until he upset one of the Republican Party's prized Democratic defectors, Representative Greg Laughlin, in the Texas primary elections in April. Now Mr. Paul is back in the limelight, and his past refuses to go away.

Mr. Paul's opponent has revealed a 1992 copy of a newsletter he
published in which he called the former Representative Barbara Jordan, a Democratic icon, "a fraud."

"Everything about her, from her imitation British accent to her
supposed expertise in law, to her distinguished career in public service, is made up," Mr. Paul wrote. He also said that Ms. Jordan, who died last January, was "the archetypical half-educated victimologist, yet her race
and sex protect her from criticism."

Mr. Paul's Democratic rival for the seat in the 14th District, which runs from the Gulf Coast south of Houston to near Austin, Charles Morris, pounced on the item, demanding the release of all back issues of the newsletter, "The Ron Paul Political Report."

The newsletter, which Mr. Paul began about 1985, has claimed more than 7,000 subscribers; Mr. Paul said releasing it and other writings over his 20 years of political activity was "impractical."

As for his remarks about Ms. Jordan, who was black, Mr. Paul said he was laying out a philosophical difference.

---

Found at this link, but probably easily found in the NYT archives.

FormerPaulite said...

I was a Ron Paul supporter. I am not one anymore. At the very worst, he himself is a racist and wrote the letters. At best, he is protecting his racist friend who wrote them, probably because he or she still works for the campaign. I posted my concerns on Ron Paul Forums and you know what happened? I was attacked, called names, ridiculed, and then BANNED by the administrator FOR LIFE, just for criticizing the campaign. I guess that proves all this stuff is the truth, but none of his supporters can own up to it, except a select few, including myself. I feel extremely betrayed, but I guess I should've known better. Doesn't mean I stop supporting his views on foreign policy, restoration of civil liberties, or some of his ideas on monetary policy, but I no longer support the individual.

FuckRonPaul said...

I find it hard to believe that Ron Paul is so incompetent that he has no idea who wrote his own newsletter.

Ron Paul might not be a racist, but his policies are, shall we say, racist-friendly.

His opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, for example, is one which is shard by racists everywhere.

This newsletter is going to follow Ron Paul like a stench until he says who the writer is.

Ron Lawl said...

Thanks for the tip, Clammy.

To FormerPaulite: It's amazing how the Ron Paul supporters don't seem to realize that simply spouting "He denied it, I believe him, end of discussion" will only work on already converted -- and sometimes not even then. And they wonder why their numbers aren't growing.

Anonymous said...

Ok so now we know who the Ghost Writer is, and we know it wasn't Ron Paul. It's amazing how the media licked the feet of an arrogant, abortion friendly, gay friendly, cousin marrying cross dresser and all you guys had is some articles and a whole lot of speculation? wow, can we say we need to get our priorities in order?

Pfffft. <--A direct quote from Rush Limbaugh, this morning.

maur said...

Well, I'll say I'm impressed at how thorough this article is... O_O

Although I detect some syllogisms of your own, for the most part you took a fairly rational approach to your assertions.

"Does Ron Paul hire a ghostwriter to write his legislation as well?"

I'll also admit this sardonic criticism was pretty funny. There was something else that made me laugh out loud but I lost it.

Cutting to the chase: I'm (still) a Ron Paul supporter and came across this in my meanderings. Surprised but curious to see what updates have arisen in this controversy.

As far as I can tell the point to this whole issue is to prove that Paul is a racist?

Well I've read all your points and even read some of those newsletters, and I, personally, am still not convinced. I'm willing to bite that maybe he didn't know the specific person for the specific piece, but he doesn't want to sell out any of his (racist?) friends. I think the most likely scenario is as Former described it, "At best, he is protecting his racist friend who wrote them."

So if you want to fault him for that, ok. I'm willing to concede that maybe Paul is TOO tolerant.

I'm not sure why Former no longer supports Paul because of the actions of some, but it is truly unfortunate that Paul (and all movements?) attract a fanatical element. The fact that they would ban someone over an objection is preposterous. These people are a disservice to the movement and apparently are completely oblivious to how hypocritical they are being by contradicting the very principles they purportedly promote (freedom of speech).

I understand your position, and I'm not blind to the rabid/fanatical Paul defense legion. Assuming this post gets approved or goes through, I guess my question is, why all this animosity towards Paul? Let's assume the best case I mentioned above, is he really any more flawed than any other human or Presidential candidate for that matter?