A libertarian I follow just compared Ron Paul to Jackie Robinson. Yeah, that’s how stupid libertarians are.
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ entire piece on Ron Paul’s infamous racist and anti-Semitic newsletters is well worth reading; he brings together quotes from the newsletters, Paul’s one-time public defense of those quotes, and then Paul’s more recent attempts to distance himself from those quotes.
But if you don’t have the five minutes, here’s what I take to be the centrally important paragraphs, especially given the unusual (and unusually prominent) brand of Ron Paul fanaticism that seems unwilling to even entertain the idea that Paul might hold (or might ever have held) racist beliefs or opinions:
Racism, like all forms of bigotry, is what it claims to oppose—victimology. The bigot is never to blame. Always is he besieged—by gays and their radical agenda, by women and their miniskirts, by fleet-footed blacks. It is an ideology of “not my fault.” It is not Ron Paul’s fault that people with an NAACP view of the world would twist his words. It is not Ron Paul’s fault that his newsletter trafficked in racism. It is not Ron Paul’s fault that he allowed people to author that racism in his name. It is anonymous political aids and writers, who now cowardly refuse to own their words. There’s always someone else to blame—as long as it isn’t Ron Paul, if only because it never was Ron Paul.
This is not a particular tragedy for black people. The kind of racism which Paul trafficked is neither innovative nor original. Even his denials recall the obfuscations of Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens. But some pity should be reserved for the young and disgruntled, for those who dimly perceive that something is wrong in this country, for those who are earnestly appalled by the madness of our criminal justice policy, for those who have watched a steady erosion of our civil liberties, and have seen their concerns met with an appalling silence on the national stage. That their champion should be, virtually by default, a man of mixed motives and selective courage, is sad.
Some people will continue to attempt to explain all of this away — they’ll continue to suggest that libertarians, unlike normal human beings, simply can’t be racist — but I think it’s increasingly difficult to either explain it or ignore it. When you write things or allow other people to write things in your name, those things stick around rather than vanish after some amount of time. When those things are racist and anti-Semitic, with a dash of conspiracy theory thrown in too, then they definitely stick around.
Reading anything by libertarians reminds me of how they are a bunch of over-privileged people with the mindset of teenagers who think they can live independently from everyone else in some fantasy world where the free market will clear everything.
I’ve become absolutely fascinated by the number of arguments I’ve seen recently about Ron Paul and racism. It doesn’t much matter to me if Ron Paul espouses racist ideas or has simply associated himself with people who do. But what amazes me is the lengths to which some people will go to defend Paul against any statement that doesn’t simply and straightforwardly crow about his many obvious virtues.
But my favorite argument of them all (here, here, and here, for example) is the one that says Ron Paul can’t hold any racist beliefs because he’s a libertarian and libertarianism is inherently an anti-racist philosophy insofar as it discourages any thinking about groups and only focuses on individuals (and their rights).
To see why this is nonsense, consider the following statements:
- Leaders of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union or any of its Eastern European satellite states couldn’t possibly have owned private property because they were all committed Marxists and Marxism is inherently opposed to private ownership.
- Throughout history, Christians have always been forgiving to one another and have always treated all human beings with the respect befitting their dignity because the Christian Bible teaches that forgiveness is one of the highest human virtues and that all human beings, as the beloved children of God, are brothers and sisters.
I could go on and on with these, but I’ll stop with just two. The logic in each one is delightful, except that we all know the statements are false.
Holding a particular philosophy, religion, or doctrine does not mean that a person necessarily follows its every tenet, or even its central one. People are notoriously bad about applying their beliefs consistently.
Here’s my post on this subject (which Alex selectively quotes above.)
Ron Paul supporters need to register/change to the Republican party. I am NOT a Republican, I am a Libertarian and Ron Paul is the only candidate that I (and many others) seriously think has a chance to take on Obama. He wants to legalize drugs, gay marriage, minimize Federal government power, increase states rights, end the Fed, and end the War. About the states rights, remember that is it easier to influence governors and mayors than presidents and vice presidents. If you want serious change, vote Ron Paul.
Guys please reblog this! It’s incredibly important.
Actually… Ron Paul doesn’t support Gay Marriage. Check your facts.
He’s also a racist. And he wants to “legalize” drugs (all drugs) for the sake of “liberty,” not because our drug war is costly, harmful to minorities (and other countries and our economy), and to keep people out of jail needlessly.
ALso, when are we going to realize that the President doesn’t write law, Congress does.
No, it’s true that the president doesn’t write law but by your logic, we shouldn’t vote for president at all. Also, he has said many times before (look it up on Youtube) that people should marry whomever they please and that government should not dictate who somebody should marry. Personal liberty is a great reason to legalize drugs and he has also said several times that it will be hugely beneficial to our economy and get people out of jail who don’t deserve to be in jail. Have you even listened to a Ron Paul interview?
How in the world did I say we shouldn’t vote for President? It’s a pretty damn important position, but we also need to temper our expectations and see that they won’t magically do everything they promised just because they were elected. It takes congress actually getting something done for the President to factor into law making.
Let’s just let these quotes speak for themselves: “Government is totally unnecessary for gay marriage laws.” (May 2011); “No need for Marriage Amendment; DOMA is enough.” (Sep 2007)
Yeah, I actually have, and the entire time I wanted to vomit. He has a one sentaence economic policy: “Blame the Fed.” It makes me wonder if he actually knows what the Fed is/does.
It’s funny that he said that he supports a lot of things, but his voting record says the exact opposite.
Let’s list a few OTHER things Ron Paul is for/against, se we can fairly judge him as a candidate:
- Completely anti-choice. Says abortion in all cases is wrong and that is is murder. “(Human) Life begins at contraception.”
- Amendment’s Mr. Paul is against: 16th,
- Pro-Gold Standard (because that worked out sooooo well last time)
- Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
- Has a 38% rating by the Human Rights Campaign
- Voted NO on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation. (Jul 2009)
- Voted NO on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes. (Apr 2009)
- Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006)
- Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. (Apr 2011)
- Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009)
- Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jan 2007)(Contrary to what he has said on wanting to end such subsidies, so he is a confirmed liar, LIKE EVERY OTHER POLITICAN)
- Rated 0% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
- Signed the No Climate Tax Pledge by AFP. (Nov 2010)
- No EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. (Jan 2011) (We like to call that a contradiction.)
- Supported tax incentives for US-based alternatives. (Sep 2010), BUT he has voted against Tax insentives everytime. (So, he’s a hypocrite)
I must say that Ron Paul is the one of the least crazy GOP candidiates right now, but let’s not pretend he is something he isn’t. Also, I’m not saying Obama, or any other Democrat, isn’t a hypocrite, or a liar (or what ever.) All politicans lie, but actions speak louder than rhetoric.
Not to pile on, but it’s not true you must be registered in a certain party to vote in a primary. It’s only true in some states. Check your local laws and regulations.
except the parts he doesn’t like. (Ron Paul never has liked the 14th Amendment.)
Is it really fair to demand consistency from a guy who claims to be anti-racist but also published magazines (not just one) talking about how primal and uncivilized African-Americans were?