Friday, December 23, 2011

The case of Ron Paul and the bigoted libertarians

Seems that Ron Paul has some serious baggage in his background, that has been known for years.  That in the past he published a political newsletter which routinely printed, under his name, bigoted screeds that include saying all black (afro-american) people are criminals, and such things like advice from a supposed ex-cop to carry a gun with you at all times to protect yourself from black criminals, but not any old gun but an unregistered gun bought from an unregistered dealer so the gun can't be traced to you and you can easily wipe the gun clean and dispose of it if needed.  Seems like some of the most horrid sort of race bating bigoted idiocy you can think of, completely illegal advice, and going out in a newsletter with Ron Paul's name on it.

Now that Ron Paul is a front-runner the allegations have resurfaced - and Ron Paul is denying responsibility for the bigoted stuff that was published in his newsletter, the one with his name at the top.  Supposedly Conservatives/Libertarians are all about personal responsibility being the law of the land, but maybe personal responsibility doesn't extend to when you want to later run for high political office?

That is - Ron Paul portrays himself as a real deal dyed in the wool conservative.  Which should mean he practices personal responsibility.  Hence, it's his personal responsibility for what got published under his name, right?  So why does he deny responsibility?  Maybe he's a real deal dyed in the wool hypocrite instead?

Anyway ... there's a couple things I came across to help understand the issue better.

Ron Paul and Libertarianism's Dirty Secret -- Pandering to Racist "Rednecks" to Get Ahead:  The idea is that there are several brands of libertarians.  Some of them, such as Ron Paul, are truly bigots or else they're pandering to the bigots to get votes.  Some of them see the conservative rural bigots as their base, and say what that base wants to hear.  Just to get votes.

The Alternet piece includes this 1995 interview with Ron Paul that includes an explanation of the newsletter issue.  It was recorded between the two periods he was a congressman.  In this video he sounds very reasonable, especially considering it was a softball interview by C-SPAN.  It also sounds a bit hypocritical in that he says he believes in term limits, and had left congress in 1984 so he could return to real life, that he wasn't seeking after power, but he's now again been in congress for a long time, has gathered positions of power, and is seeking the Presidency. 

The other thing is this report on Rachel Maddow's show last night calling this the skeleton in Ron Paul's closet

Last thing is a video on youtube from 2008 with Ron Paul making several interesting statements about unequal treatment of minorities and especially focusing on the drug laws that end up imprisoning black people disproportionately to drug use or drug law violations.  The youtube posting it titled about Ron Paul being caught saying racist stuff on tape.  My listening to this - heck - it doesn't sound racist to me.  Instead it sounds like a stand on principles that people should be treated equally, etc, etc.  It's clear from the information in the latter part of that video, that in 2008 the issue of these newsletters had come up then and he had faced these criticisms before.

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