When All You Have Are Symbols, Symbols Matter

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Should the racist Paul newsletters be ignored in light of the fact that Paul, if elected, would end a racist drug war? Will Wilkinson observes:

One obvious difficulty with this line of reasoning is that Ron Paul will never be elected President of the United States, and has about as much chance of ending the drug war as I do. He is little more than a symbol for a set of ideas—ideas his complicity with racism has tainted in many people's minds, whose prospects he may have damaged. I want to end the war on drugs, therefore I'd rather people not associate that idea with Ron Paul.

I'm guilty of pro-Wilkinson bias, but that seems exactly right to me.

Read the whole thing (especially if you are going to comment in the bloodbath sure to follow).

NEXT: The Brilliance of the Clintons, Cont'd

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  1. “The message matters, not the man. Go, Ron Paul!”

    vs.

    “The man has tainted / will taint the message.”

    Repeat several hundred times.

  2. The reason editors must have an ongoing bet on who gets the most comments each day.

    And this is cheating!

  3. It’s extremely disappointing that some of Paul’s associates were racist. Oh well, maybe in another 3 or 4 decades we can try this again.

  4. like his anti science message?

    like his message when he cosponsored DOMA?

  5. de stijl,

    You forgot the rambling diatribes against “cannibalism” and the smug satisfaction oozing from the confirmation bias ejaculations of the token liberals.

  6. Kerry, you have now become the Instapundit of Reason: linking gratuitously to your parter.

  7. Yes, this individual(Ron Paul) must be sacrificed for the good of the movement. Isn’t that what libertarianism is all about?

  8. “One of the embarrassments of the American libertarian movement is its failure to sufficiently acknowledge how collective bias against blacks, women, gays, immigrants etc. deprives blacks, women, gays, immigrants, etc. of their freedom.”

    I think this is an interesting assertion.

  9. Should the racist Paul newsletters be ignored in light of the fact that Paul, if elected, would end a racist drug war?

    No. They should be ignored cuz Dr Paul didn’t author them.

    Also, note that: “Austin TX NAACP President Nelson Linder, who has known Ron Paul for 20 years, unequivocally dismissed charges that the Congressman was a racist…”

    http://tinyurl.com/28g7p9

  10. Oh, yeah – I totally forgot cosmo vs. paleo!

  11. Read the whole thing (especially if you are going to comment in the bloodbath sure to follow).

    Heh.

    Wait, you were serious? Let me laugh harder.

  12. Episiarch: not quite there yet, she still needs to start promoting products and include an Amazon referral link in the post

  13. Episiarch: not quite there yet, she still needs to start promoting products and include an Amazon referral link in the post

    Don’t forget doing podcasts with Will sponsored by Volvo with links to “unusual” bands!

  14. “While we at Reason would like to see Ron Paul elected, we feel the need to repeatedly and loudly denounce him so as to minimize the impact of the newsletter controversy on our reputation.”

    -seems closer to the truth

  15. There are two questions I have to ask myself about Ron Paul.

    Question 1: Are the newsletters so bad that I won’t advocate for his candidacy to friends, family and the general public?

    Answer: Yes.

    Question 2: Are the newsletters so bad that I won’t vote for him?

    Answer: Probably–it depends on what he did when he found out who wrote them. …and I do not believe that he doesn’t know who wrote them.

    P.S. What is this “taint” that I keep hearing about?

  16. LOL, “when all you have are symbols?”!!!?!?!?!?!?

    That sickens me. When all is said and done we’ll know who the real libertarians are, the ones who are actually willing to support and vote for substance when the rest of the world is drooling at the mouth begging for more from the telescreen. You can join the retard brigade in electing the warmongers, I will never cease my support for the just and the right.

  17. I want to end the war on drugs, therefore I’d rather people not associate that idea with Ron Paul.

    Yeah, because that whole “ending the war on drugs” thing was going so well before Ron Paul showed up.

    If there’s an association that’s making it harder to end the drug war, it’s not that with Dr Paul, it’s with those dirty smelly hippies…and that association isn’t going to be gone for a long, long time. Plus, I don’t see all you upstanding cosmotarians anxious to throw Timothy Leary and Kinky Friedman under the bus.

  18. Just curious: Kerry, is the title of your post a “Lion in Winter” reference, or do I need more coffee?

  19. I’m guilty of pro-Wilkinson bias, but that seems exactly right to me.

    Insert obligatory Shilling-for-big-Wilkinson joke here.

  20. still voting for Ron Paul.

    Something about being the lesser of 6 evils.

  21. And when was the last time you even fucking heard of libertarianism in the MSM before Ron Paul? Yay for telescreen retards…

  22. I’d pay a shilling for a big Wilkinson.

  23. He is little more than a symbol for a set of ideas-ideas his complicity with racism has tainted in many people’s minds, whose prospects he may have damaged.

    I’d be interested in knowing in whose mind Paul has tainted those ideas, given that he’s done more to gain them popular support in the last 6 months than Cato has done since it’s founding.

    In any event, considering that the Cato carrion-eaters are obviously circling the remnants of the Paul campaign in the hopes inheriting the support Paul has generated, after throwing him under the bus, tainting those ideas might be a very good thing indeed.

    I’m all for limited government, low taxes, legalizing victimless crimes, and reduction of regulation.

    However, I have no desire to put the country in the hands of people who are contemptious of the very concept of country, the future in the hands of those with no stake in the future, and my freedom in the hands of those with a habit of pulling unheard of “rights” out their asses that just coincidently support their particular and peculiar hobby-horses.

    If Ron Paul can win his movement some support, good on him. If the alternative is letting the movement fall into the hands of the likes of Cato, smothering the baby in the cradle might well be the greatest service he can render to the movement.

  24. for fuck’s sake folks!

    we’ve lost thousands of American lives and wasted a trillion+ taxpayer dollars on a war in Iraq… we’re beating the drums to go to war with Iran (and then Pakistan, and then…)… the value of the dollar is going down the shitter… we’re throwing pot smokers in jail… the size and scope of the Federal government is expanding exponentially… we’ve got the PATRIOT act and soon the REAL ID card…

    and yet we engage in a pissing contest about who can be more outraged about some asinine comments that appeared in a few newsletters 15-20 years ago that Ron Paul may or may not have written or known who wrote and/or edited and/or…

    come on, Reason! for fuck’s sake…!

  25. As crimethink alludes, Ron Paul could

    a) eat a baby live on the Situation Room

    OR

    b) produce a letter of recommendation signed by Christ, Buddha and Mohammed

    and the War on Drugs would go on.

    So you are asking me to compare two situations where there is 0 chance of the War on Drugs ending: a situation where Ron Paul is associated with the idea, and a situation where he isn’t associated with the idea.

    Exactly how am I to choose between the two zeroes?

    Shouldn’t I want to choose the zero that lets me have fun heckling Rudy Giuliani at campaign events, and dancing on the grave of the Republican party when those motherfuckers get the ass reaming they deserve in November?

  26. Ther isn’t a lot I disagree with in Will Wilkinson’s post. This though, I disagree with vehemently.

    Government attempts to guarantee the worth of our liberties by recognizing positive rights to a minimum income or certain services like health care often (but not always) undermine the framework of market and civil institutions most likely to enhance liberty over the long run, and should be limited. [my emphasis]

    Maybe I’m just an unfeeling jerk, lacking in any compassion for my fellow man, but i don’t perceive these as rights. Not minimal income, not minimal health care, not sufficient food, adequate shelter or basic clothing are rights. They are necessities, yes, but by calling then rights you obligate other cicizens, through the government, to guarantee them. If they become accepted as “rights” then we can expect to spend the next century defining minimal, sufficient, adequate, and basic.

    Yes, it would be wonderful if all people had all these things guaranteed. It would be nice if practical transportation were thrown in as well. A pony for everyone!

  27. The NAACP sticks up for Ron Paul, yet you fucking hacks try to distance yourself from the man so Eric Dondero doesn’t bother you anymore. Ron Paul has done more for this “movement” than Reason, CATO, and The Agitator combined. Stuff your magazine up your ass.

    http://www.drudge.com/news/102967/naacp-official-pauls-not-racist
    NAACP Official: Paul’s Not Racist

    Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, who has known Ron Paul for 20 years, unequivocally dismissed charges that the Congressman was a racist in light of recent smear attempts, and said the reason for him being attacked was that he was a threat to the establishment.

  28. The hypothetical President Paul would not end the War on Drugs — only the federal War on Drugs.

    RICO and the Coast Guard and block grants and such notwithstanding, the WonD consists mostly of state & local undertakings, and Paul, as a radical neoconfederalist, would as a matter of policy not interfere with such efforts. Indeed, there’s no evidence to suggest that he wouldn’t eagerly embrace them.

  29. I’m with Lost_in_Translation, still voting for Paul, tho my enthusiasm has been dimmed.

  30. How silly to completely disassociate yourself with someone because some of their associates have some horrid views. I’ve had friends and relatives who were bigoted. All of them were great people in general. I certainly didn’t put up with their bigoted attitudes and made if very clear I did not approve of them, but I also didn’t shun them as if I was perfect and flawless either.

  31. J sub D: Um he’s saying that recognizing those as rights erode the market framework and cause less freedom in the long run.

  32. Shouldn’t I want to choose the zero that lets me have fun heckling Rudy Giuliani at campaign events, and dancing on the grave of the Republican party when those motherfuckers get the ass reaming they deserve in November?

    I admire your sense of priorities.

  33. Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, who has known Ron Paul for 20 years, unequivocally dismissed charges that the Congressman was a racist in light of recent smear attempts, and said the reason for him being attacked was that he was a threat to the establishment.

    And that’s a story you can be pretty damn sure is never going to appear above the fold at Hit & Run!

  34. Jezus H. Kee-hrist.

    Memo to Reason: Ron Paul is not the enemy.
    Memo to Cato: Lew Rockwell is not the enemy.
    Memo to Lew Rockwell: Cato is not the enemy.

  35. One of the embarrassments of the American libertarian movement is its failure to sufficiently acknowledge how collective bias against blacks, women, gays, immigrants etc. deprives blacks, women, gays, immigrants, etc. of their freedom.

    Enough with the cosmofaggotry, you commies are givin’ up the decoder rings now. Find a new fad.

  36. Its nice to see the Libertarians all throw Dr Paul under the bus the the MSM has done, Are you people really that diluted? These were written by someone else when Dr. Paul wasnt even in politics. The first time in my lifetime libertarianism is at the forefront of politics and you people try to slader him worse than the Rockerfeller media types, Truly PATHETIC!!

  37. From his first appearance on Leno

    “I am a flawed candidate, but the message is not flawed. And the message is what people are responding to.”

  38. I admire your sense of priorities.

    As opposed to what?

    The people associated with the Bush Presidency and the people seeking to inherit Bush’s mantle within the Republican party are the most loathsome individuals to come to power in American politics in my lifetime.

    We will probably never end the Drug War, no matter how many articles about no-knock raids gone wrong that Radley posts.

    But we CAN help the Republican party burn itself to the ground, and hopefully destroy the careers and reputations of many of the scum who hitched themselves to Bush’s wagon.

    Why isn’t that a good thing? It would seem to be a wonderful example of morality in action.

  39. Why are we talking about the newsletters without addressing the fact that the New Republic released a new batch of them today? They are far more damning than the originals — they show Paul’s name and Rockwell’s name in the “editor” line. They show that the letters were terrible far before the 1990-94 window. They show that things were written in the first person that NO ONE else would have written for him in the first person.

    Anyone who wants to sweep this shit under the carpet in the name of pragmatism is wrong.

    For what it’s worth, I will still vote for him, but I have stopped all other support. I won’t crucify him for his sins, but I am not getting my name tangled up with his.

  40. “And that’s a story you can be pretty damn sure is never going to appear above the fold at Hit & Run!”

    Nor will they link to this audio interview of him commenting on RP…

    http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_08_29_linder.mp3

  41. RICO and the Coast Guard and block grants and such notwithstanding, the WonD consists mostly of state & local undertakings,

    Yeah, but an awful lot of state & local undertakings are funded by RICO and block grants. Every small town has a federally-funded SWAT team from which they’ve built a self-funding forfeiture operation. I guess they could use state funding and state laws to do the same things, but not all of them would.

  42. What a lame article by Will Wilkinson.
    Nothing new about it and totally uninspired. Why is there a post about it over at Reason? I’m guessing that either Kerry Howley knows this guy personally or she has yet to weigh in on the Paul Newsletters issue and this was a good opportunity for a late entry.

  43. Plus, I don’t see all you upstanding cosmotarians anxious to throw Timothy Leary and Kinky Friedman under the bus.

    Where’s the bus? I’ll throw both of them under the bus, no problem. Kinky is as libertarian as any other Texas Democrat, which is to say not very. Leary? Another relic of the sixties that should have died back then so the boomers could have another martyr and continue to pretend they’re the only generation that’s ever been relevant.

    And if Will or Kerry or anybody else doesn’t want the message of Ending the Drug War associated with Ron Paul, step the fuck up and be a more effective spokesperson for the idea. I don’t see anybody outside of the regular libertarian think-tank crowd paying much attention, Will. Obviously, what y’all are doing isn’t reaching people, yet Ron Paul is.

  44. Lew Rockwell IS the enemy. Conspiracy theories ARE the enemy. All of the same people that keep talking about how important Paul is to the message are the same people who use his campaign as a vehicle for all their wacky views.

    You don’t have to believe in the dangers of CFR, NWO, “Rockefeller types,” etc. to believe in the message of liberty. But the Rockwell-style “paleos” DO — those theories are the basis of their worldview.

    That group of supporters are just as damaging to Paul as the “MSM.” THEY are the reason he isn’t taken seriously, and HE has used those people for his political gains for decades.

  45. “RICO and the Coast Guard and block grants and such notwithstanding, the WonD consists mostly of state & local undertakings, and Paul, as a radical neoconfederalist, would as a matter of policy not interfere with such efforts. Indeed, there’s no evidence to suggest that he wouldn’t eagerly embrace them.”

    There’s plenty of evidence. He’s talked about the evils and insanity of prohibition itself. Come on. This is just false.

  46. Ron Paul, through his profitable, base-building newsletters, has actively spread and reinforced racist ideas,

    This is laughable. Does Wilkinson really think that people who were not already racists became such because of reading a few racist slurs spread out over four years?

    I believe that the liberty most worth caring about is positive liberty-the ability effectively to enact one’s plans, to achieve ones ends. In my judgment, a regime of strong negative rights is the best guarantee of positive liberty.

    When I hear someone talking about “positive liberty” I instinctively check for my wallet, but at least Wilkinson arrives at the right political position, though perhaps for the wrong reasons, which are…

    But this is really an empirical question about what really does maximize individuals’ chances of formulating and realizing meaningful projects and lives.

    That is a pleasant-sounding but awful in practice basis for a society. Free people are bound to disagree about what constitutes a meaningful project or a good life. I support a regime of enforcing bare “negative liberties” because such a system can maintain a stable political order in the midst of profound societal changes. Wedding your government to a positive moral philosophy means your government is going to fall apart once a new moral philosophy takes over.

  47. Memo to Reason: Ron Paul is not the enemy.
    Memo to Cato: Lew Rockwell is not the enemy.
    Memo to Lew Rockwell: Cato is not the enemy.

    You forgot the one about how Reason is not the enemy.

  48. What percentage of republican primary voters will ever hear of these newsletters? And what % of them will change their views on Paul — on the left how many leftists considering Paul / supporting Paul will go back to thinking libertarians like to eat leftist Chilean babies like Uncle Milty?

    My thought is not many at all — newsletters or no newsletters Paul still ends of raising all the money and getting 5-10% in most primaries — overall the net benefit of Paul is overwhelming positive — I’d prefer a more urbane / cosmo candidate (Gary Johnson) and have zero respect for Lew Rockwell and his crew but I’ll take Paul and all his baggage without batting an eye over the impotent hacks at Cato.

    When will Cato apologize for all the scumbag politicians its invited into its doors over the years while have zero effect on the national debate and on Congress? If Cato published a racist newsletter 20 year ago would anyone even notice?

  49. crimethink: TNR posted letters today that are from long before 1990. There should be a post about those letters — FAR more damning than the original batch.

  50. Anthony Gregory — You’re absolutely right. Most damage in the WOD is FEDERAL. Sounds like nonsense to me….

  51. Howley’s argument boils down to an assertion that people running for office with little or no chance of winning should be supported only if they are absolutely simon-pure, but implicitly that it is OK to support candidates who are electable even if they pursue policies that are highly illiberal. Libertarians who supported George Bush, who dragged the U.S. into aggressive war in Iraq and elsewhere, who has taken domestic spying and surveillance to new heights, and who has upped the War on Drugs to include pain doctors, medical marijuana, and athletes taking steroids, have done more to discredit libertarianism than any old newletters ever did.

  52. What a lame article by Will Wilkinson.

    To paraphrase Mark Twain – Sir, you repeat yourself!

  53. Fluffy, chill. When I wrote “I admire your sense of priorities” it was because I admire your sense of priorities.

    I’m not so sure what to make of Ron Paul, but it doesn’t really matter what I think of Ron Paul, and “heckling Rudy Giuliani at campaign events, and dancing on the grave of the Republican party when those motherfuckers get the ass reaming they deserve in November” would be a beautiful thing.

  54. The people associated with the Bush Presidency and the people seeking to inherit Bush’s mantle within the Republican party are the most loathsome individuals to come to power in American politics in my lifetime.

    Fluffy,

    You write well for a 6-7 year old.
    Above grade level definitely.

  55. I’m guessing that either Kerry Howley knows this guy personally

    I think you could say that:

    Howley is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she received a B.A. in philosophy and English. She lives in Washington D.C. with her partner Will Wilkinson.

  56. like his message when he cosponsored DOMA?

    He corresponded with Domo? Is he the one who tells them to kill the kittens for God?

  57. DemRep… those new “scandalous selections” from the newsletter are even weaker than the originals.

    it further proves that the only “offensive” material appeared during that very short early 1990s period. the attributions of Ron Paul as editor and/or publisher are all from 1988. interesting that he has no such evidence from 1990 forward.

    the other stuff might be “thought-provoking” and or “kooky” depending on your point of view, but hardly objectionable… supported Pat Buchanan for president? defending Bobby Fischer? calls BATF agents “jackbooted thugs?” (anyone around here remember Waco?) mentions “black helicopters”?

    who gives a fuck? all he is trying to do is scare liberals/Dems from crossing over to vote for Ron Paul in MI primary today (note timing of TNR’s post).

    I personally hope he fails. I wonder if Reason gives a shit anymore.

  58. There, thanks crimethink
    It probably would have occurred to me later after repondering “But why would she have a pro-Wilkinson bias?”

  59. If I’m understanding Wilkinson correctly, he thinks that while it would be nice if the government were smaller and less oppressive, that concern isn’t nearly as crucial as the necessity of making sure that everyone is thinking nice thoughts about one another in general and libertarians in particular.

  60. @Anthony Gregory:

    Every prepared writing by Paul specifically references the “federal” war on drugs.

    Brain first, then keyboard.

  61. crimethink: TNR posted letters today that are from long before 1990. There should be a post about those letters — FAR more damning than the original batch.

    There is one from December 1989. Otherwise nothing remotely “offensive” from “long beofre 1990”. Please explain how this is “FAR more damning…”

  62. Dudes, go read some Rights Theory before getting all bent out of shape. “Positive rights” and “negative rights” is pretty standard terminology.

    You might want to argue that positive rights don’t exist, but you’re going against a very old strain in Western Thought–back to the Thomists or earlier.

    And yeah, if you won’t want to be taken as a bunch of race war sympathizers and kooks, you might want to clean house. The reason the media hasn’t picked up on this yet is because Ron Paul still falls in the “dingbat lunatic” range.

    And from the comments above about how he’s “steadily gaining support”, it looks like his followers have a similar grasp on reality….

  63. Reinmoose,

    If I understand my “attached” friends correctly, such an arrangement would be equally likely to result in an anti-Wilkinson bias.

    But it hasn’t (yet), so it’s all good.

  64. I have an anti-Wilkinson bias now, too, and I didn’t even have to “partner” with him to aqcuire it.

    Reading that article is about all it takes.

  65. KipEsquire,

    Paul is running for President, you know the executive branch of the Federal Government.

    KipEsquire is a lawyer who doesn’t practice, an investment banker who does no deals, an academic who doesn’t teach, and a policy wonk who belongs to no think tank. He’s 41 and lives in NYC.

    You seem to have a lot of time on your hands.
    I suggest you read some history of the drug war.
    The feds wrote “model legislation” that was rubber stamped by the States. I would prefer we end the WoDs by some method other than threatening to withhold Federal Highway funds.

  66. You might want to argue that positive rights don’t exist, but you’re going against a very old strain in Western Thought–back to the Thomists or earlier.

    When I argue against divine-right monarchies, I’m arguing against an even older strain. So? There’s a lot of awful stuff in Western thought; let’s not endeavor to polish all the turds in that collection, mm-kay?

    Anyway, the reason for my wariness of “positive liberty” is that it’s often used as a stalking horse for disguising socialism as libertarianism. It’s been tainted by negative associations, you might say.

  67. In my 5:30pm post, I was referring to partnerships/marriages/significant-othertudes, etc, in general. I don’t know Kerry or Will personally, and don’t travel in the cool people circuit either.

  68. jaded — to me, the damning part of the letters today was that it put RP’s fingerprints on them. Also, the idea that it was just a “small” selection of letters from 1990-94 must be abandoned.

  69. Slightly OT:

    Advice to Reason staffers — When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, government bureaucracies often try other strategies with dead horses, including the following:
    1. Buying a stronger whip.
    2. Changing riders.
    3. Saying things like “This is the way we always have ridden this horse.”
    4. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
    5. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.
    6. Appointing a committee to study the dead horse.
    7. Waiting for the horse’s condition to improve from this temporary downturn.
    8. Providing additional training to increase riding ability.
    9. Passing legislation declaring “This horse is not dead.”
    10. Blaming the horse’s parents.
    11. Acquiring additional dead horses for increased speed.
    12. Declaring that “No horse is too dead to beat.”
    13. Providing additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.
    14. Commissioning a study to see if private contractors can ride it cheaper.
    15. Removing all obstacles in the dead horse’s path.
    16. Taking bids for a state-of-the art dead horse.
    17. Declaring the horse is “better, faster and cheaper” dead.
    18. Revising the performance requirements for horses.
    19. Saying the horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.
    20. Raising taxes (any excuse will do).

    And if all else fails:

    21. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position

  70. i hate when political science degree-toting will wilkinson-types spout off about “positive” and “negative” liberties. liberty is an amoral idea, but people who have liberty tend to view their liberty as a positive. any restriction of that liberty would be seen as a negative.

    there’s no positive and negative liberty… just liberty. cut the bullshit.

    an aside: i thought about pulling my rp stickers off my car because i was worried about getting keyed or something by someone who thought i was a racist. then i thought that was a small and hollow gesture felt like it showed a lack of principle. however, i had second thoughts after the dude out front of a bar saw me pull up – stickers and all – and immediately ask me, drunkenly, if i was a racist or an anti-semite… maybe i should’ve taken the stickers off. but all that did was open up communication on other topics.

    “are you a racist?” no.
    “ron paul’s a racist!” no, he isn’t… other people wrote those things, he’s addressed this before.
    “you’re a f-cking anti-semite!” is it anti-semitic to withdraw funding from arab nations who would like to wipe out israel?
    “do you want to be on the gold standard?” i’d like to be on some standard.
    “you’re f-cking crazy!” yeah! i’m crazy because i believe in freedom!

    he almost punched me.

    but in not backing away from my support of an alleged racist/anti-semite/homophobe, i was able to create a more critical conversation – with a drunken asshole who probly didn’t listen – about important things. does it matter how this guy or other people viewed me because of my stickers if i was able to make this guy and his onlookers think about what i was saying regarding larger issues?

    if you withdraw support because you actually believe ron paul and his followers/friends are racist, fine… but if you’re worried about how you’ll be viewed by continuing to support ron paul, ask yourself if there’s anything in your chest.

  71. @SIV:

    Ron Paul’s supporters incorrectly label him a libertarian. What’s wrong with demonstrating why they’re mistaken?

    And notice the word “unemployed” appears nowhere on my blog. So much for the sophomoric ad hominem.

    I repeat: Brain first, then keyboard.

  72. Why are we talking about the newsletters without addressing the fact that the New Republic released a new batch of them today? They are far more damning than the originals — they show Paul’s name and Rockwell’s name in the “editor” line. They show that the letters were terrible far before the 1990-94 window. They show that things were written in the first person that NO ONE else would have written for him in the first person.

    Are you talking about these? Because they don’t show that at all. The bigoted stuff is still limited to the years 1989-94, and the masthead listing Paul as the editor appeared in the Investment Letter, a different publication. I’m not sure what you’re referring to with the first-person comment.

    I didn’t buy the argument that Kirchick’s original story was “old news”: For all it’s flaws, it did demonstrate that the problems existed in more than just two isolated issues of the newsletter. But I don’t see anything in this new batch that advances the story past where it was when Kirchick’s original article appeared.

  73. J sub D: Um he’s saying that recognizing those as rights erode the market framework and cause less freedom in the long run.

    I misinterpreted it as referring to them as rights. A reread, shows otherwise. IOW, I stand corrected.

  74. Also, Kirchick has a smirking blog post up today claiming that his article has caused everyone except die-hard racists and idiots to abandon Ron Paul. He even claims that most of the Reason staff has “denounced” him, which I wouldn’t really agree with. Toned down their level of support, voiced disappointment, even aggravation with, yes; denounced, no.

  75. Ron Paul’s supporters incorrectly label him a libertarian.

    If you’re using the definition of libertarianism I think you’re using, that’s a damn good reason to vote for him, right there!

  76. Ron Paul’s supporters incorrectly label him a libertarian. What’s wrong with demonstrating why they’re mistaken?

    Kip, what would federal politician Ron Paul have to do to earn libertarian credentials on the drug war? Promise to force the states to legalize drugs?

    And yes, you may have heard of a few cases of states trying to liberalize their drug laws and being stymied by the feds. Having a president who “merely” supported ending the federal war on drugs would allow those states to do the right thing, would it not?

  77. Ron Paul’s supporters incorrectly label him a libertarian. What’s wrong with demonstrating why they’re mistaken?

    Arguable, but you certainly fail to do so.

    And notice the word “unemployed” appears nowhere on my blog. So much for the sophomoric ad hominem.

    It doesn’t appear in my comment either dickhead.

    You might try taking your own advice on the “brain first” thing.

  78. One of the embarrassments of the American libertarian movement is its failure to sufficiently acknowledge how collective bias against blacks, women, gays, immigrants etc. deprives blacks, women, gays, immigrants, etc. of their freedom.

    A libertarian would view this through the following lens:

    (1) The primary business of libertarians is restraining the scope and power of the state. With respect to bias against blacks, women, etc., this has been achieved, and indeed we now see the state exerting its power on their behalf and discriminating against white males. No embarrassment there.

    (2) To the extent libertarian philosophy deals in what happens in civil society, that zone where citizens are free to be themselves, libertarians are generally opposed to the government trying to change racial attitudes with the heel of a jackboot.

    This is embarrassing only if you believe racism so abhorrent that it should be illegal in your private life, and that the state should pursue racism into every nook and cranny of society to stamp it out. I suppose reasonable people can disagree on this.

  79. hoo boy. I assume we’re talking about what Ron Paul wants to do, as opposed what he would actually accomplish. Ron Paul would never end the drug war, even if he were instated as president tomorrow.

  80. This is embarrassing only if you believe racism so abhorrent that it should be illegal in your private life, and that the state should pursue racism into every nook and cranny of society to stamp it out. I suppose reasonable people can disagree on this.

    well put. freedom is the freedom to be racist, ignorant, an asshole… we seem to be giving free rein to the last group while ignoring the rights freedom confers on the other two groups.

  81. I think I’ve lost track about what we’re supposed to be arguing about here.

    The newsletters suck. They’re embarrassing. So embarrassing that some libertarians don’t want to be personally associated with Ron Paul anymore…

    So what’s to argue about? We’re talking about some pretty personal preferences here… Are these Ron Paul supporters still pissed off because some of us don’t want to support Ron Paul anymore?! Get over it already!

    What’s next? …do we all have to root for your favorite football team?!

    Ron Paul’s an embarrassment to a lot of libertarians. So what? It was never about Ron Paul for most of us anyway. Jeez.

  82. That’s not true. I asked Lew once if he felt there were conspiracies on the order described by JBS/Gary Allen/Antony Sutton etc. he gave a very reasoned answer – that no, he didn’t believe there was one smoke-filled back room somewhere, but that there were certainly corporate interests who get the government to enrich them at the expense of the people’s liberty and tax dollars.

    You can’t deny that certain banks get rich off lending money to the military-industrial complex, participating in govt.-guaranteed loans and so on.

    ADM proclaims that “we feed the world” but hides the fact that they fleece taxpayers. Not exactly a conspiracy, but subterfuge of a very high order.

    You don’t have to believe in the dangers of CFR, NWO, “Rockefeller types,” etc. to believe in the message of liberty. But the Rockwell-style “paleos” DO — those theories are the basis of their worldview.

  83. Crimethink, please pick up a good book on European history and check when the “Divine Right of Kings” stuff was promulgated as opposed to when the Thomists wrote. Former, 17th century. Latter, 14th and 15th centuries.

    Now if you want to argue that the 14th century was later than the 17th century, please go ahead.

    (Proof #246 that libertarians have no knowledge of history.)

  84. Ken Schultz,

    Wilkinson went way beyond not supporting Dr. Paul; he insulted all who continue to do so:

    If you think the government should do nothing but stay out of the way, but you are indifferent to racism and people who publish racist newsletters for financial and political gain, then it is not unreasonable to conclude either that you don’t really care about other people’s liberty, or think racism has nothing to do with it. In either case, you would be wrong.

    And thus the battle was joined.

  85. The final line of my comment is not part of the quote…I think something’s up with the blog software.

  86. Ron Paul’s an embarrassment to a lot of libertarians. So what? It was never about Ron Paul for most of us anyway. Jeez.

    the reason why i, as a continued ron paul supporter, am still pressing the issue is because i don’t know how others can consider a man who has done more for libertarianism – good or bad, he raised its profile – than anyone in modernity, an “embarrassment”… especially after receiving consistent high praise or, at least, interest from reason staff.

  87. grumpy thomist,

    If you want to argue that every strain of Western thought at the time of the Thomists was perfect and pure and should not be questioned, go right ahead. For your sake, I hope you’re not a heretic or receiving interest on invested money.

  88. do we all have to root for your favorite football team?!

    No, you don’t. But, so long as the Cosmotarians keep rubbing RP’s nose in it, there will be others who find that annoying and who will respond.

  89. ……failure to sufficiently acknowledge how collective bias against blacks, women, gays, immigrants etc. deprives blacks, women, gays, immigrants, etc. of their freedom.

    Apparently Wilkinson went to public school in the US and nobody mentioned that that teh government that he expects to step in and resolve the race problem is EXACTLY the same government that enacted each and every racist and sexist law that deprived minorities, women, gays, & blacks of their freedom.

    I noticed Will left out the Asians. Is that cuz discrimination doesn’t screw with their freedom?

  90. In my opinion, it is the responsibility of decent people concerned with liberty to at least denounce, if not actively work to tear down, the racist beliefs and norms that enable liberty-killing structural discrimination.

    I find that to be an interesting proposition – if one is truly free, is not one free to be a racist? Or is freedom of expression reserved only to those who share Wilkinson’s views, and working towards Wilkinson’s ends?

    Cosmo-libertarianism – Socialist Ends by Free-Market Means!

  91. The only thing racism has to do with liberty is the liberty to be a racist.

  92. Cosmotarianism: Parking Vespas in the handicap spot at Trader Joe’s since 1996. Take that, police state!

  93. Fluffy, grumpy, and Kip are going at it in the comments section of Wilkinson’s post. Sort of a H&R version of the Instalanche, I guess. I wonder if it’s intentional…

    “Honey, I’m going to link to your blog post, so don’t be surprised if some angry, pro-Paul, perverted posters start showing up.”

  94. The people associated with the Bush Presidency and the people seeking to inherit Bush’s mantle within the Republican party are the most loathsome individuals to come to power in American politics in my lifetime.

    No, they are merely the most loathsome to come to power in my children’s lifetime. However, I see your Republicans and raise you St Hill, elected to the NY Senate within the last ten years.

    Course, you might b

  95. I hope nobody thinks I’m rubbing anybody’s face in anything, but I’m sympathetic to the suggestion that it’s not entirely unlibertarian to oppose racial discrimination by private parties.

    No, I’m not saying the government should step in and force employers who don’t want to hire black people to do so; I’m saying that even if we woke up in Libertopia tomorrow, I’d denounce bigots and racists even if they were private parties. …you can put stupidity on that list too.

    As it applies to racism, I’m not sure people who are only familiar with libertarianism by way of Ron Paul and his newsletters can appreciate those nuances. Is it possible to say that without making Ron Paul’s supporters feel like I’m rubbing their faces in something?

  96. “If you think the government should do nothing but stay out of the way, but you are indifferent to racism and people who publish racist newsletters for financial and political gain, then it is not unreasonable to conclude either that you don’t really care about other people’s liberty, or think racism has nothing to do with it. In either case, you would be wrong.”

    I think that’s similar to what I said.

  97. *sigh*. What I’m saying is that “positive rights” and “negative rights” have been talked about as being part of Western ideas for a very, very long time. (Many of the roots go back to the canonists.) If you want to throw out “positive rights” you really should go back and learn exactly how the original definition was put together and how that definition has changed over time so that you know what you are getting rid of. AND how your concept of “negative rights”, if you get rid of “positive rights” will probably take on the flavour of the latter over time. The line between “positive rights” and “negative rights” has never been as clear-cut as modern theorists like to think, nor have the definitions been as fixed as people might like. Concepts change over time. I have no doubt but that “libertarianism” will be radically different in 500 years from now, all the while its practioners will be patting themselves on the back and claiming how close they are to the original doctrines. The concept of “freedom” will change. The concept of “state” and “government” will change–in fact, we’re seeing it already in the unification of the EU and other trading blocks .

  98. What is the biggest obstacle to Ron Paul getting elected?

    The same obstacle the the LP has to deal with.

    Electability.

    Will’s argument about electability has frustrated libertarians for a long time.
    Why, if we had a vote for everytime someone had said: “but you’ll never get elected/you don’t have a chance”, we’d be in charge by now.

  99. If this is all about insubstantial symbology, then it doesn’t matter at all about the newsletters. All that matters is the accusations. We have become the Demopublicans, demanding human sacrifice everytime someone utters the word “racist”. You don’t need newsletters to tar yourself a racist, all you need are friends that abandon you.

    Last week the leader of local county GOP asked me about the newsletters. He had a look of concern on his face. I said “he didn’t write them and he has publicly denied writing them”. His look of concern instantly changed to relief. That’s all it took to erase the smear. It’s disgusting how the beltway cosmotards keep beating this.

    p.s. “Taint”: Slang for perineum, that area between yoru poo and spoo. ‘Taint your ass and ‘taint your scrote!

  100. “You don’t need newsletters to tar yourself a racist, all you need are friends that abandon you.”

    You’re right of course. Racist newsletters aren’t absolutely necessary. …but if you want to tar yourself a racist, they do seem to come in handy.

  101. “One obvious difficulty with this line of reasoning is that Ron Paul will never be elected President of the United States, and has about as much chance of ending the drug war as I do.”

    Really? What are you polling nationally? Arm-chair quarterbacks are a dime a dozen.

  102. Do you really think you wrote a well presented article? Or was it all tongue and cheek just to get people to respond to a shit piece of what?? Certainly you can not call this journalism? What a waste of time and space…

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