Paul's Blowback

A quick round-up of reaction to the New Republic's cache of Ron Paul's awful and embarrassing "Ron Paul" newsletters (which Nick Gillespie commented on here, and Dave Weigel hustled a terse Paul response to here).

Lew Rockwell:

TNR has a long and checkered history of pro-fascism, pro-communism, and pro-new dealism. Founded to promote the rotten progessive movement of militarism, central banking, income taxation, centralization, and regulation of business, it naturally hates and fears the Ron Paul Revolution. The mag is also famous for having published a slew of entirely made-up articles by Stephen Glass, which it passed off as non-fiction. Through the 1950s it was an important magazine, of sigificant if baleful influence, but it long ago declined in circulation and significance, like all DC deadtree ops. Long close to Beltway libertarians, for whom its politically correct left-neoconism is fine and dandy, TNR once published a cover story literally comparing Ross Perot to Adolf Hitler when he was running for president. That is the publication's style--hysterical smears aimed at political enemies.

David Harsanyi:

The end of Ron Paul? For me, it is. Not the principles, but the man. Sure, Paul has experienced tremendous grassroots support and I've been very sympathetic to a lot of his strong Constitution-based rhetoric. But if even a slither of the quotes in this New Republic article by James Kirchick are accurate, I'm not sure how mainstream libertarians can absolve him.

David Bernstein:

I give Paul the benefit of the doubt on this one, and assume that some right-wing cranks paid him to use him name on their newsletters, and he didn't actually read the newsletters carefully if at all, much less write them. That shows very poor judgment, but is a lot less damning than if he did read, write, or edit these newsletters.

[A]s Kirchik in TNR notes, there are really two disparate groups to whom the limited-government message appeals: philosophical libertarians (which consists of a tiny percentage of Americans, but something like 10% are at least inclined toward a general libertarian perspective), and those who hold a deep grudge against the federal government based on a range of nutty conspiracy theories, ranging from old chestnuts like a freemason conspiracy, a Council on Foreign Relations/Bildeberger conspiracy, or a conspiracy to strip the U.S. of its sovereignty in favor of world government; to variations on old anti-Semitic themes (ranging from domination by Zionist conspirators to domination by Jewish bankers led by the Rothchilds to domination by Jews in Hollywood); to newer racist theories; to novel conspiracy theories about 9/11, the pharmaceutical industry, etc.

Mainstream libertarian groups like Cato and Reason have nothing to do with the latter types, but other self-proclaimed libertarian groups, like the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, play footsie with them. (I recently turned down an invitation to do a book review for an academic journal published by LVMI because I don't want my name associated with the Institute.) Paul himself seems to have made a career of straddling the line between respectable libertarian sentiment and conspiracy-mongering nuttiness, receiving support and accolades from both sides.

But now that he wants to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, he can't get away with it anymore.

Ryan Sager:

I truly don't understand the Paulites defense that Ron Paul bears no responsibility for any of this … just because. (Read the comments to the article — as usual for the Paul brigades, they're unhinged.)

At least Andrew Sullivan may be waking up to the fact that the Ron Paul "revolution" is a front for something much uglier than opposition to the Iraq war and defense of the Constitution.

Chuck Demastus William Flax:

The fact that our Neo-Cons have an army of would-be Sancho Panzas in the media, propagandizing America with slogans and half-truths, does not make their absurdity more valid. Nor should it make it more palatable.

But, oh how they vent their hatred on Dr. Paul.

Ann Althouse:

Look, I said it on Bloggingheads: The things Ron Paul has been saying made me suspect that his libertarianism was a cover for racism.

Orinn Judd:

A philosophy that is so entirely dependent on love of the self can't help but be plagued by hatred of the other.

Andrew Sullivan:

They are a repellent series of tracts, full of truly appalling bigotry. They certainly seem to have no echoes in his current campaign, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken seriously [...]

I don't know enough about the arrangements behind these pamphlets to tell if this is a plausible defense or not. But there is a simple way to address this: Paul needs to say not only that he did not pen these excrescences, he needs to explain how his name was on them and disown them completely. [...] If there is some other agenda lurking beneath all this, we deserve to know. It's up to Ron Paul now to clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the past.

Andrew Sullivan again, after the Paul response:

I'm very glad to hear it. Taking moral responsibility is the right thing to do. But I should say I think less of Ron Paul after reading this article than I did before. Much less.

Ken Layne:

The anti-war/hippie embrace of Dr. Congressman Ron Paul is one of the absolute strangest things to ever happen in politics.

Rand Simberg:

I'm willing to believe that he wasn't the author, and even that he didn't endorse the newsletter, but I find it troubling that he let this stuff go out under his own name for so long. The fact that he now takes "moral responsibility" for it now is nice, I guess, but it really makes one question his judgment. And his campaign continues to attract many unsavory elements of American politics, including 911 "Truthers," who he seems to unwilling to denounce.

Michael Goldfarb:

Dr. Paul isn't just kooky, he's deranged. [...] [T]here is no plausible explanation that might insulate Paul from the fallout.

Matthew Yglesias:

I think Ron Paul's responses as given to Dave Weigel and now issued in a press release are reasonably reasonable. If you're a pro-life, anti-war, anti-immigration, libertarian I don't really see anything here that would make you suddenly embrace John McCain as a preferable presidential candidate. Meanwhile, it shouldn't really be surprising to see a link between a libertarian politician and white supremacists. The main constituency for Barry Goldwater's message was white supremacists, after all. 

Arnold Kling:

I think this is a very important moment for libertarians.

Me? I'm tempted to agree with the latter, but I'm not so sure, at least not in the same way in which I've heard pre-emptive anxiety for months from libertarians, who all seemed to be holding their breath waiting for this day to come. My personal preference for limited government (and limited thinking about government) really has never had anything to do with revisiting Civil War history, hatin' on uppity urban blacks and going all purple-faced about political correctness, real or imagined. And I can guar-an-tee that the general (and significant) trend toward political independence, don't-tread-on-meism, and especially a full-throated embrace of live-and-let live freedom, tolerance, and choice-driven exploration among people younger than me has bugger-all to do with Fear of a Black Planet. The source for freedom's popularity is not, and probably never will be, located in the mouth or heart or rancid old newsletters of any politician.

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  • ||

    The main constituency for Barry Goldwater's message was white supremacists, after all.



    Bull shit.

  • huh||

    Should we know who more than two or three of these people are?

  • ||

    "Meanwhile, it shouldn't really be surprising to see a link between a libertarian politician and white supremacists. The main constituency for Barry Goldwater's message was white supremacists, after all.

    Says the guy that gets the vapors and soils himself just reading the title of Jonah Goldberg's new book.

  • The Truth||

    Jamie Kirchick (author of the New Republic story):

    "I don't think Ron Paul is a homophobe; I'm just cynical and enjoy getting supporters of political candidates riled up. If you were a Giuliani guy I'd have called him a fascist."

    http://gays-for-ron.blogspot.com/2008/01/jamie-kirchick-i-dont-think-ron-paul-is.html

  • Roger L. Simon||

    Having been a marxist most of my life, my problem with libertarianism (as with marxism) is that it is an all-encompassing idea. In the real world, as with most theories, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

    Paul is an ideologue who thinks it works all the time. Ideologues, to justify their position, often have strange bedfellows. Who knows whether Paul wrote those newsletters, but they went out under his name for over ten years and are filled with horrendous bigoted horseshit. Anyone who comes within two inches of it and him is anathema. We're past "isms" here and into the land of basic morality.

  • ||

    David Bernstein wrote:
    [...]but other self-proclaimed libertarian groups, like the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, play footsie with them [conspiracy theory nuts, racists, et cetera].

    I find these allegations totally without merit or foundation. I visit the Ludwig von Mises Institute's website regularly and have not ever, ever, seen or read anything that could incline a sane person to believe their bloggers and writers are the kind of people he describes. This is nothing more than mean innuendo.

    Andrew Sullivan again, after the Paul response:

    I'm very glad to hear it. Taking moral responsibility is the right thing to do. But I should say I think less of Ron Paul after reading this article than I did before. Much less.


    Even when the author of the article is a self-proclaimed liar. Good for Sullivan...

    Who cares, anyway?

  • TLB||

    Looks like MattW missed one. I'm not going to defend some of the obviously not-taken-out-of-context things, but I will point out a few problems with the James Kirchick article. Perhaps someone can tell us what we knew in 1990. Perhaps someone can also tell us where are the scans so we can decide for ourselves, and whether we should trust the hacks at TNR to put things in their proper context. Perhaps just the tiniest bit of skepticism about this article might be warranted.

  • KirchickLover||

    Jamie Kirchick: "I don't think Ron Paul is a homophobe; I'm just cynical"

  • OB||

    I assumed you posted just a portion of Lew Rockwell's response to this story, so I clicked on the link, and found ... nothing else. Rockwell's response to this story is just to call The New Republic a bad magazine. Um, that's not much of a defense.

  • ||

    Only The Mentally Minuscule Take Words Out Of Context To Bend Them To Their Preconceived Paradigm.

    If you refuse to look at the actions of a man for temperance of judgment then you truly castrate you mind and make it easy to arrive at wrong conclusion.

    The weak minded are easily led by the bridle of emotion.

    Racism is not consistent with the philosophy expressed by Ron Paul. He has rebutted these accusations from the same distortions in previous days.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate that I would trust with my money and my family's safety.

    I Vote For Virtue; I Vote For Ron Paul !!!

  • Neu Mejican||

    Paul's position is basically that he wrote the newsletters he stands by and someone else wrote the stuff he has disowned.

    It's the same response you get from a 5 year-old: "I didn't do it, my hand did..."

    The stuff at Lew Rockwell is less extreme but certainly gives me doubts about Paul's world view.

  • ||

    this is all crap they used two months ago...Ron Paul doesn't have those beleifs and he didn't write that stuff...did Dondero write all the racist crap...adn isn't he a neo-con....honestly this stuff is only credible to th eaboslute dumbest ron paul supporters...whats more racist....ron paul or the drug war? ron paul or the regressive SS program?....and all teh bad guys support the racist stuff and Ron paul is fighting for freedom for ALL individuals ...pretty simple.

  • Neu Mejican||

    To be clear...
    Paul probably did not write the most offensive words...but he did show the lack of judgment to allow others to speak for him...others that were clearly not the kind of people I would want speaking for me.

    Makes me wonder about the cabinet president Paul would put together.

  • ||

    Who knows whether Paul wrote those newsletters, but they went out under his name for over ten years and are filled with horrendous bigoted horse[deleted].

    It is not as if the papers were republished for 10 years, Roger. They were published 10 years ago, forgotten as they deserved, and only resurfaced because of one reporter's disingenuity and dishonesty.

    Ideologues, to justify their position, often have strange bedfellows.

    Really?? Even if their beliefs are INCONSISTENT with the philosophical principles of said man? Paul's libertarianism is incongruent with the racist propaganda that some try to pin on him.

  • ||

    "A philosophy that is so entirely dependent on love of the self can't help but be plagued by hatred of the other."

    How does the love of one person at all imply the hatred of another person?

  • ||

    I assumed you posted just a portion of Lew Rockwell's response to this story, so I clicked on the link, and found ... nothing else. Rockwell's response to this story is just to call The New Republic a bad magazine. Um, that's not much of a defense.


    LINK AGAIN. It is not like there is a poster at Lewrockwell.com, 24/7, just to fulfill YOUR needs.

  • charlie||

    How can people take Matt Yglesias seriously when he writes things like: "The main constituency for Barry Goldwater's message was white supremacists, after all. "

    Really? The same Barry Goldwater that Hillary Clinton says she campaigned for in 1964? Are we to assume that means Clinton was a white supremacist?

  • ||

    Ok, moron internet media, go back, research Ron Paul's speeches during his 10 terms in congress and what you'll find are speeches praising Rosa Parks, MLK, Ghandi and Muhammed Ali.

    If he's a racist, he's doing a very poor job during his congressional record.

    Ron Paul is at heart an economist. When he talks about the war, he doesn't talk so much about the loss of american lives. He talks about the wasteful money being spent as the reason to get out.

    He believes going to the root cause of things to stamp it out. Terrorism? Stop pissing off the terrorists by not occupying their countries.

    Racism in america?
    Eliminate income tax, lower taxes, make a stronger economy, therefore if you are economically prosperous, why in the world would you care about race? Racism is rooted in economic inequality. Poor whites vs. Poor blacks. Eliminate economic inequality and preferential treatment (or the perception of) for one race over another and you eliminate racism.

  • ||

    So Lew Rockwell is threatening to sue James Kirchick to defend his good name, huh? Then why in the hell won't Lew, Burt Blumert, Gary North, or any of the others who likely know who wrote those toxic newsletters defend the good name of Dr. Ron Paul and come forward with that information?

  • ||

    From Lewrockwell.com:

    "The Drudge Report is no longer linking to the Kirchick hit piece. I guess Matt Drudge has realized that it doesn't even meet the National Enquirer level of believability and has decided to disassociate himself from such a trashy piece. FOX News won't even link to it!"

  • ||

    Let me get this straight. No one has ever heard Ron Paul in 10 congressional terms utter one racist or bigoted comment, however; in prose, he was prolific in doing so?

    Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

  • ||

    "Ryan Sager:

    I truly don't understand the Paulites defense that Ron Paul bears no responsibility for any of this … just because. (Read the comments to the article - as usual for the Paul brigades, they're unhinged.)

    At least Andrew Sullivan may be waking up to the fact that the Ron Paul "revolution" is a front for something much uglier than opposition to the Iraq war and defense of the Constitution."


    I think that last bit about ugliness is downright ridiculous.

    And I think that if there's anything to learn from the continued enthusiasm of the Paul Brigades, it's that America is starving for someone who will defend the principles of the Constitution.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, I think it's Tom DiLorenzo who is threatening to sue Kirchik, because apparently DiLorenzo studies all aspects of the history of secession, including secessionist movements in the North, and because of that has been labelled a White Supremacist and Neo-Confederate in Kirchik's article.

  • ||

    People forget that Paul is a Paulitician at the end of the day.

  • ||

    Andrew, who cares about that guy?? Why focus on irrelevant things? This is nothing more than mean-spirited muckraking. That's all.

  • ||

    I hope everyone realizes that George Bush and Lefty Morris were the first to bring these newsletters forward. Remember George Bush is all about slamming McCain and spreading rumors about him saying he had a mistress, and he was gay and a whole host of other things. Part of the agenda of people like this is to destroy peoples rights. Especially political opponents. I would not put anything past a hack writing these comments to use against Ron Paul. After all it's easy to tell by the votes in congress that the only one following the constitution is Ron Paul. Everyone who is attracted to Ron Paul on the internet have researched this fact and agree that he has been saying the same thing for 30 years.

    Ron Paul believes in bottom up/Free Market, Freedom of Speech, etc. He has denounced collectivism, racism, and group rights.

    I have heard about this story since early in the campaign and I had the same reaction that many people do when they first hear about it. But when you look at things in prospective from all sides I believe you will conclude the same.

  • ||

    I like the idea of secession and militias. I don't like the idea of racist militias and secession in the name of slavery.

    I've always thought that leading a militia and cult would be very badass and cool. I also wanted to start a street gang in manhattan but realized that yuppies dont like guns, drugs, or women.

  • Neu Mejican||

    But when you look at things in prospective from all sides I believe you will conclude the same.

    That Ron Paul lacks the judgment and people skills to be president?

  • ||

    That Ron Paul lacks the judgment and people skills to be president?

    Are you serious?

  • ||

    Reason Magazine should start a militia and clean up the streets of DC with some vigalante justice, libertarian style!

  • ||

    "Andrew, who cares about that guy?? Why focus on irrelevant things? This is nothing more than mean-spirited muckraking. That's all."

    B.S. This is not irrelevant, Francisco. The newsletters exist; pointing them out, as well as their noxious contents, is not "mean-spirited muckraking." I agree that Kerchick personally is an asshat, and his article was written with malice, but that doesn't mean that what he says was written in the newsletters is not true. They're posted in PDF on the TNR website.

    If Dr. Paul is being accused of being a "racist" because of stuff written by other people, it behooves that person to come forward and to take the blame for it, even as Paul already takes the blame for being a very absent landlord. And it pisses me off that all Lew is doing is trying to slam Kerchick, and TNR, instead of coming clean with what he knows, so it would clear Paul of being the actual writer.

  • SIV||

    Ceasar,

    Thanks for beating me to denounce the Yglesias quote.Those folks beef is with individual liberty, accusations of racism are just a tool.

  • Michael McDonnough||

    If you got a better man in mind to be President of the United States than Ron Paul just spit it out and then we can start vetting this issue.

    What motivates people to smear a person that is the champion for freedom, liberty, and sound money and free markets and for a turn away from militarism and corporatism is what interest me.

    What is their motivation? That is what is suspect not Ron Paul for some rehashed crap dug from the cellar of previously trodden history.

  • ||

    From Brad:

    "Only The Mentally Minuscule Take Words Out Of Context To Bend Them To Their Preconceived Paradigm.

    If you refuse to look at the actions of a man for temperance of judgment then you truly castrate you mind and make it easy to arrive at wrong conclusion.

    The weak minded are easily led by the bridle of emotion.

    Racism is not consistent with the philosophy expressed by Ron Paul. He has rebutted these accusations from the same distortions in previous days.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate that I would trust with my money and my family's safety."

    Well put!

  • ||

    Andrew - it makes one wonder whether Rockwell was the author of those pieces. He couldn't very well disavow them in that case.

    Nick

  • Gene Berkman||

    I have seen Ron Paul speak publicly on a number of occassions between 1981 and 1995, and I have worked in both his 1988 campaign and this campaign, and seen no evidence that he is a bigot.

    In Congress, he often votes against Republican law and order issues, with only a handful of Black Caucus members joining him in voting no.

    Ann Althouse thinks Ron Paul's talk of less government is code for racism, suspecting that he would hold racist views as "an old person who grew up in the South." In fact, Ron Paul grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, well known as a center for abolitionist agitation in the 1850's. I think Ann Althouse has some prejudice to answer for.

  • Greg Murphy||

    So, let me get this straight...

    because of some questionable material from a questionable source, which material is totally incongruent with 30 years of prolific writing and speaking thus calling into question its authenticity, people are ready to elevate their noses, turn away from Ron Paul, and...

    what, support one of the other candidates, who lie so frequently no one even seems to care anymore, and who will continue us on a sure path to collectivist destruction?

    The poor little darlings, who are so morally pure, purer than the driven snow, their little self-righteous sensibilities are hurt. Aawwhh!! Ron Paul isn't abolutely perfect, just like they are; he's actually human just like the rest of us normal people.

    That's what turned me off with the Libertarian Party years ago; it seemed like a big circle-jerk wherein everyone was attempting to prove he or she was the most philosophically pure.

    What a bunch of shitheads! GROW UP !!!

    If you're waiting for the one man to arrive who is absolutely pure and without spot or blemish, no matter how tangential or unconnected a suspected blemish might be, your man will finally arrive at the second coming of Christ.

  • ||

    Michael Goldfarb:

    Dr. Paul isn't just kooky, he's deranged. [...] [T]here is no plausible explanation that might insulate Paul from the fallout.

    What a shock! This guy writes for the Weekly Standard. And he employs both the juvenile name-calling and a little miss-direction, so characteristic of the Standard in its war coverage. And it's Paul's non-intervention that the Standard and FOX won't tolerate. What might insulate Paul from the fallout is not what's important. What is important is if Dr Paul was the author, and he wasn't.

  • ||

    "The anti-war/hippie embrace of Dr. Congressman Ron Paul is one of the absolute strangest things to ever happen in politics."

    Ken Layne's usually right on, but c'mon!

    Ronald Reagan in the White House?!

    ...and what about Jerry Brown's antics while he was governor of California?!

    Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Governor's Mansion?!

    Jesse "The Body" Venura--Governor of Minnesotta?! ...who's next Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka?!

    And are we just going to ignore the Kennedys?!

    ...anti-war embrace of Ron Paul one of the absolute strangest? Nah!

  • ||

    I love the Orrin Judd quote.

    "A philosophy that is so entirely dependent on love of the self can't help but be plagued by hatred of the other."

    It sounds like a villain in an Ayn Rand novel. How trite and misguided.

  • VM||

    "Ron Paul is at heart an economist"

    gak!

  • OB||

    "LINK AGAIN. It is not like there is a poster at Lewrockwell.com, 24/7, just to fulfill YOUR needs."

    Francisco Torres, okay, but I clicked again and there is still nothing there except Rockwell calling TNR a bad magazine. And I don't see how Rockwell's post fulfilled anyone's needs. It was a waste of precious internet space.

    Do YOU feel better about Ron Paul's newsletters because Lew Rockwell said some mean things about TNR? Did it fulfill your needs?

    "It is not as if the papers were republished for 10 years, Roger. They were published 10 years ago, forgotten as they deserved, and only resurfaced because of one reporter's disingenuity and dishonesty."

    Hmmm. Some of the TNR stuff Lew Rockwell complains about is over 10 years old and probably not reprinted. The Stephen Glass affair is from when, 1996-1998? Ancient history. So are you going to condemn Rockwell for "disingenuity and dishonesty" too?

  • ||

    "A philosophy that is so entirely dependent on love of the self can't help but be plagued by hatred of the other."

    Actually:

    A philosophy that is so entirely dependent on hatred of the self can't help but be plagued by hatred of the other.

  • ||

    Hey above posters

    Don't you get the gist of the article. It isn't about what the author thinks of Ron Paul, or even what libertarians think of Ron Paul, not everyone believes he had anything to do with the newsletter, but your blinded if you can't see that this will affect his campaign negatively and substantially with the rest of the voting public. that's the point. You're attacking Reason.com and libertarians for addressing or discussing what others have written, but the truth is it's something that needs discussed not dismissed. You're missing the bigger picture. i support Paul because his views of governance intersect with my own, not because his Ghandi or something, don't let your cult of personality get in the way of the fact that this is an election and while this isn't a big deal to you, others are going to make it a big deal and other voters will see it as a big deal.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Francisco Torres,

    Yes.
    Paul does not have the people skills or judgment to be president...even if he is closer on both counts than many of his opponents.

    That is my serious opinion of him.

  • Sam Grove||

    "A philosophy that is so entirely dependent on love of the self can't help but be plagued by hatred of the other."

    Spoken like a true (insert insulting descriptive).

    It is collectivism that promotes other hatred, that's one of the main tools to gather adherents to the cause. It appeals to tribal instincts through dehumanization of 'strangers' and portraying them as a threat to 'our side'.

    Individualism requires judging others by their behavior rather than by group membership.

  • ||

    Per Yglasias on Goldwater--Goldwater was consistently attacked by George Lincoln Rockwell and his American Nazis as "the Kosher Conservative." I remember film of a scuffle between Goldwater supporters and American Nazis at a '64 campaign event.

    Let's not rewrite history.

  • NP||

    What an ass-kisser Lew Rockwell is. This guy has the nerve to post that nonsense after looking at the bile that just appeared today (if he bothered to look at it at all)? Amazing.

  • Web Smith||

    It's a little strange, don't you think, how the press jumps on things that would discredit Paul after he starts to build up steam. If you look up the owners of the New Republic, you will find wealthy members of a right wing think tank. The problem is that you don't have time to look up all of these things and all of the interpersonal relationships between the owners of the media conglomerates.

    The News Corporation that owns FOXNews has been thoroughly embarrassed by Ron Paul supporters who caused the GOP to withdraw support of FOX' NH debates. Rupert has a lot of money and controls a lot of media not only of his own but through his relationships. If you are a small conglomerate like the one that the New Republic belongs to, get on Rupert's bad side and he will crush you just by killing your distribution channels.

    Look for Rupert to get Ron Paul back.

  • ||

    Judd's remark is ironic considering he is for Mexican immigration in part because he hates black people.

  • ||

    Sometimes things become crystal clear. At the moment, the clarity is astounding.

    One of the few truly humble and kind men in American politics was just shit on by the same narcissistic mindsets that created and maintain the slaughterhouses in Iraq and elsewhere. Now they're crowing about how large their turd is.

    I see some people on this board who are so intimated by the size of the Neocon turd that they're afraid that their turd can't compete so they'll just take their turd and go home. Some are even taking their turn to throw a turd at a man they claimed to back until about five minutes ago.

    Hopefully, there's some Principle and Reason left in America. By the rigged NH count, it's at about 7%.

  • Ken Hagler||

    Regarding references to Ghandi and cults of personality (not to pick on Shane here, I've been seeing the same sort of stuff in all these threads):

    I really think people need to look a bit closer at what Ghandi was writing about black people when he lived in South Africa.

    Nobody's perfect. Not even Ghandi.

  • LarryA||

    "A philosophy that is so entirely dependent on love of the self can't help but be plagued by hatred of the other."

    "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    The only way I can protect my right to live the way I want to, is to protect your right to live the way I may not want you to.

    If Ron Paul hates blacks, why is he the only candidate that wants to get black men out of prison?

  • ||

    Lew Rockwell, attack that messenger! You go, girl!

  • ||

    Also have a look at Gandhi's opinions about Israel and Zionism in general. He got it right.

  • ||

    It's amazing, the same people who are into those conspiracy theories about somebody who went to school with somebody who's father was in business with somebody who once was seen at a hotel owned by somebody who said something at a CFR meeting, are so quick to apologize for Paul about his own newsletter and whine about "guilt by association". hypocrites.

  • ||

    Ron Paul is a perfect example of what Christ said about what would happen to good, principaled people in the latter days. The people of darkness will say good people/things are evil and evil things/people are good.
    It is simply a sign of the times. The ONLY way that the Constitution will be saved is by good men like Ron Paul and thousands of others to be willing to take the attacks of evil people and move on in courage KNOWING that God will bless those who seek to rerstore His inspired Constitution.

    Some history to give perspective:

    In the American Revolution, about 33% of the people were loyalists/torries, about 33% were too "busy" to care, and 33% were for independence. Of the latter group less than 10% were directly involved in the revelutionary war. That translates to less than 5% of people who paid the price for our liberties. The doers, not the talkers.

    Given these historical facts, the RPO Revolution is doing great.

  • ||

    "so quick to apologize for Paul about his own newsletter and whine about "guilt by association".

    Ron Paul has backed no policies that have killed literally millions of innocents.

    It's more amazing how people can so easily be apologists for mass murderers.

  • ||

    Funny its OK to say you want to bomb bomb bomb iran, that palestinians are animals, that musilms are crazy and we need to start wwIII with them, but some guy who wants to restore the constitution is a 'nazi'.

    its also funny that the publisher of TNR is an ethonocentric zionist - like Alan Dershowitz, is a blatent hypocrite to be labeling anyone 'racist'.

    People still fall for this crap? That's the amazing thing.

  • ||

    Orinn Judd writes: "A philosophy that is so entirely dependent on love of the self can't help but be plagued by hatred of the other."

    "Look to the mote in thine own eye ... "

    Every political philosophy is dependent on self-love. In order to believe that your prescriptions for the circumstances of the world should be made to apply to anybody but yourself evinces an appalling belief in your own values, judgment and critical skills. People try to acquit themselves of this particular charge by invoking some external standard; for example, conservatives often try to dodge it by claiming to follow traditions bigger than themselves, but somehow that strikes me as a dodge; even abdication of choice is a choice, isn't it? I think that as people in the politically active classes, we're all guilty.

    Part of what I love about libertarianism (and I do mean love; just confessing a bias here) is that to me, it represents a compromise: "You don't try to make me fit your peculiar view of things, and I won't try to make you fit mine." Is it a criminal kind of self-love to believe that I have as much right to myself as someone else does to themselves? Is that arrogant?

    I don't think so. Or if it is, it's a form of arrogance that I'll happily accept over the kind it takes to believe that your version of culture - for that's what liberals and conservatives are ultimately trafficking in - is so self-evidently superior that it ought to be forced on all.

  • R C Dean||

    Having been a marxist most of my life, my problem with libertarianism (as with marxism) is that it is an all-encompassing idea. In the real world, as with most theories, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

    Not following, Roger. Libertarianism is not anarchism, it is minarchism. Libertarians basically hold that government should be as small as possible, limited to a relative handful of functions in society. It admits that not every situation can be handled by the free market, and that the free market itself requires a government support infrastructure (property rights, dispute resolution, etc.).

    The opponents of libertarianism tend to see state intervention as the solution to everything, and never bring themselves to admit when state intervention has failed. In my mind, the Total State is the ideology. Libertarians can be dogmatic individually, but as a school of thought it pretty much has a built-in limiting principles.

  • ||

    Paul has a lot of well deserved egg on his face (BTW I'm for Fred as the best of the available choices) but I have to comment on this in the TNR piece:

    "According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with "'civil rights,' quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda." It also denounced "the media" for believing that "America's number one need is an unlimited white checking account for underclass blacks."

    The above from Paul (or in his name)is intemperate and controversial stuff, but there are some elements of truth in the above, as opposed to the more genuinely offensive rot documented. However, I think libertarians or republicans should be careful to disavow everything TNR cited and accept the PC labeling of all of these positions as "racist".

    Why? Tell me what is racist about this alternate, more measured statement of the underlying point (my rephrase):
    "Quotas and entitlements, the resulting entitlement mentality, the cult of victimhood, and the efforts to discourage inner city blacks from taking responsibility have had a corrosive influence, tending to infantilize this segment of society. The fact spoiled children throw tantrums when they don't get their way should be unsurprising, yet pointing out this fact can get one reflexively labeled a racist in today's PC climate."

    I don't think most libertarians would fundamentally disagree. So, despite the inflammatory rhetoric of Paul's version, don't be so ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The critique is certainly controversial, but don't be too ready to let the other side smear whole areas of discussion with the R-word.

  • ||

    I have to say that I now consider myself a libertarian-conservative (classical liberal) rather than a pure libertarian these days.
    Why?
    Even among minarchist as opposed to anarchocapitalists, there is a curious and sometimes infuriating blindspot -- people who value principle and the power of ideas routinely place all of their bets on the discipline of the market (even where it is not very free), while ignoring the actual *ideas* held by those actors in the marketplace.

    Case in point: wide open immigration might work in a truly free market (no choice but to assimilate WRT the fundamentals) but the fact is we *do* still have a welfare state and we *do* have elections -- therefore the values of those coming in is vitally important.

    In this regard I think pure libertarianism makes the same mistake as Marxism in viewing everything (everyone else in society) as merely cogs in an economic machine.

    It's more complicated than that.

    Immigrants have their own values and become voters who can use elections to further disrupt the vaunted market. For some reason that feedback loop is too often ignored.

  • ||

    newscaper,

    wide open immigration might work in a truly free market (no choice but to assimilate WRT the fundamentals) but the fact is we *do* still have a welfare state and we *do* have elections -- therefore the values of those coming in is vitally important. In this regard I think pure libertarianism makes the same mistake as Marxism in viewing everything (everyone else in society) as merely cogs in an economic machine.

    Hey, I'm not immune to that argument. Yeah, I'd be worried if I thought a huge influx of new religious voters were going to elect the Pope president.

    Still, there's a question of ethics at stake here. To allow free movement of business and finance capital but not of labor (a form of capital, the only form that most participants in the modern economy possess) -- to my eye, that looks a lot like a policy favoring some individuals' economic rights over others'. We have been accused in the past of selling out genuine free-market philosophy; that is, of yoking the rhetoric of liberty to the desires of corrupt, established interests. Can you conscience that?

    I agree that if we want a "liberal democracy" to stay both liberal (in the classical sense) and a democracy, then we have to ensure a liberal populace. However, at the same time, I strongly believe that we need to put more thought into the philosophical implications of free trade and immigration, and we need a more complex and even-handed policy solution than those being proposed by our leading conservative thinkers today.

  • ||

    "...to my eye, that looks a lot like a policy favoring some individuals' economic rights over others'."

    FWIW I am NOT a protectionist, but I must ask the question "Are we going to act like citizenship actually means something at all?" Its supposed to be a balance, benefits of membership in exchange for a fundamental loyalty to the group. Or, put another way, libertarianism has to balance individual "liberty" with individual responsibility/accountability.

    Also, FWIW, that's why I'd prefer a path to real citizenship rather than guest workers as permanent 2nd class citizens. IMO *that* is a recipe for a long simmering problem (see Germany and the Turks). But anything that smacks of "amnesty" to deal with illegals already here is a non-starter if we don't physically secure the border to block the inevitable wave hoping for the next amnesty by another name.

    Being a purist on the subject of open immigration (even to the point of mooting the legal/illegal distinction as some do) and chalking that up as a "win" for liberty while ignoring the entangled issues of a welfare state and elections (with only a pulse required for the franchise, unlike in the days of the Founders) is IMO, nuts.

    The analogy I make when discussing the fallacy of wholeheartedly endorsing narrow libertarian gains without regard to the real world of other entangled issues, is to point at the late 80s S&L crisis. There, deregulation (a win, in isolation) caused a debacle since it was done without also dropping FSLIC, causing that market to not be self-regulating after all.

    I realize there is the whole "can't get there from here" problem, that we have to resist the trap of not being able to improve anything until we can solve everything, that we have to avoid the do nothing trap suggested by "The perfect is the enemy of the good" -- but the fact is an out-of-balance "good" can sometimes do harm.

    Another example (assuming one accepts the need for police and for some matters to need to be criminal rather than civil law, admittedly another discussion): legalizing marijuana would cause horrible problems on the roads if DUI laws (hell, FAA flight regs) weren't also rewritten to have an allowable limit on THC, and for some sort of easy "breathalyzer" to be developed, rather than having a free for all then court action only after people have been killed.

  • ||

    newscaper,

    You're right that "wholeheartedly endorsing narrow libertarian gains" without regard for the consequences of specific cases could easily result in the sort of disaster that could bankrupt the movement as a whole (something far-and-away worse than a candidate's dubious past associations coming to light).

    The argument I'm making is that in some pundits' thinking, narrow and uneven application of "libertarian" or free-market principles are already the accepted prescriptions for enough issues, and that even absent S&L-scale disasters, the stigma of these has already done (and continues to do) active harm to the movement's claim to be even-handedly anti-state.

    Re: immigration. I'm more concerned with consistency than with one position or another. I'm happy to ditch the idea of allowing immigrant labor in America -- if we ditch associated free trade agreements as well.

    I think what this discussion is ultimately less about immigration than it is about the friction between principle and pragmatism (which can't exactly be irreconcilable if only because they require one another in order to mean anything themselves). You're an intelligent commenter, though, and you raise issues too sticky to dismiss; I suspect I'd get a lot out of discussing immigration policy specifically with you.

  • ||

    "You're an intelligent commenter, though, and you raise issues too sticky to dismiss."

    Thank *you* :)

    Because they usually are dismissed out of hand when I bring them up, as if I were speaking Sanskrit.

    As to more discussion, I may be around here some more. I actually had a subscription to Reason for about 10 years before letting it lapse a while back -- having a young kid meant the mags piled up unread. Believe it or not, I also subscribed to Liberty for several years, and was a dues paying LP member in the early/mid 80s. The only LP candidate I ever voted for was Harry Browne because I was to concerned about not letting a Democrat get in (his year the Dems fell sufficiently behind at the last for me to vote my druthers.)

    See you around.

  • ||

    Two last bits :)

    "...narrow and uneven application of "libertarian" or free-market principles are already the accepted prescriptions for enough issues, and that ... the stigma of these has already done (and continues to do) active harm to the movement's..."

    A lesser example might be the frustrations caused by partial deregulation of telecoms WRT advances in broadband. Apples-to-apples competition is still inadequate to fully propel improvements (the continued local monopolies among other issues), so we're stuck in the awkward middle, not getting the full benefits of true competition, and as consumers, neither getting the benefits (gasp!) of much better access & bandwidth that many in Japan, SoKo and West Europe get in some cases from *greater* regulation. So "deregulation" gets a bad rap.


    "I think what this discussion is ultimately less about immigration than it is about the friction between principle and pragmatism (which can't exactly be irreconcilable if only because they require one another in order to mean anything themselves)."

    I'm not talking about putting "pragmatism" before (instead of) principle as such, no dichotomy, but rather that the often very complex interactions of principle(s) in the real world require much greater care in their application than idealists have patience for (however correct they may be "in principle").

    IOW, this $hit's *complicated*. :)

  • Ken Hagler||

    Personally, I'm in favor of citizenship meaning as much as it did in the 19th century, before the anti-American concept of "illegal" immigration existed.

  • ||

    I began hearing Ron Paul's name on KHNC in the 1990's. (after he ran in 1988) This station is Fundy Christian and they would link their version of Libertarianism with mainstream Libertarianism, which I could not get my mind around.

    I also noted an increase in people from that slant involved in Colorado Libertarian Politics in the last election cycle and it concerned me. From wanting to sue the government for mercury in vaccines to the whole immigration debate and black helicopters mixed in for good measure, I knew it didn't bode well for the party. But what can you say? No conspiracy theories? I just shake my head and try to do my best to accomodate their voices in the conversation.

    /Who would have thunk it? Freedom is popular with many people, a lot of them you don't agree with.

    //All I can say is I like freedom too and Ron Paul is the only choice out there to get me more freedom, not less.

  • ||

    "Personally, I'm in favor of citizenship meaning as much as it did in the 19th century, before the anti-American concept of "illegal" immigration existed."

    Me too, Ken -- along with the 19th century expectation to pull your own weight, and the 19th century more purely republican form of picking our elected officials. Oh, and the 19th century expectation of assimilation to essential american ideals, language & culture.

    I think one of the problems, specifically wrt Mexico, is its adjacency by land. In the 19th century, coming to America represented much more of a commitment, a joining up if you will, fostered by the fact that for the vast majority that ocean trip was literally a one way ticket. But Mexico is too close, the distance doesn't have the same effect.

    I actually think legal immigration should be a good bit *easier*. I know that immigrants produce as well as consume. Also, FWIW, I don't think most Mexican illegals come here just to milk the social services nor that those who do are particularly nefarious -- Hell, they're being rational because we're stupid enough to give them away to people who never pain into the system. They'd be fools *not* to take what is freely given to them.

    The problem is that in the 21st as opposed to 19th centuries, we have a welfare state, rampant multiculturalism undercutting what there was of the proverbial melting pot, and a more democratic system heading toward drivers licenses for illegals coupled with "motor voter" laws.

  • ||

    It's over for Ron Paul in politics. He won't finish any higher than 5th in a primary and he should probably just retire from Congress. Whether or not he wrote the stuff in the letters is irrelevant. He allowed it to be written in something with his name on it. He should have been more aware or had someone else who was. The fact that nobody close to him told him what was being put in the letters is unbelievable. He takes donations from white supremacists, he goes on Alex Jones' show every month, and the people who support his campaign are from the fringes of society. Ron Paul consistently surrounds himself with whackjobs. It's not too much of a stretch to believe that he's one himself.

  • Barry Liberty||

    Ron Paul stands up to the Jews so they try and destroy. Ron Paul should be proud of speaking the truth in those newsletters. The Ron Paul revolution has one real theme, bringing America back to its constitutional roots as a White American nation.

  • Tom Walls||

    Barry Liberty, if you were real, you'd be a piece of crap.

  • Lester Hunt||

    You got that right!

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