So, Ron Paul is in some hot water over newsletters from twenty years ago. The newsletters are accused of being a wee bit…um…racist. Samples include:
- “Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
- “We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.”
- After the Los Angeles riots, one article in a newsletter claimed, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”
- One referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and who “seduced underage girls and boys.”
- Another referred to Barbara Jordan, a civil rights activist and congresswoman as “Barbara Morondon,” the “archetypical half-educated victimologist.”
And then there were the wacky conspiracy theories regarding stuff like gays and AIDs and so on. It does not help that some of the quotes were written as if they were by Paul, speaking about the things he fought against. There was advice on how to shoot young black men and dispose of the gun. These were not merely presented as being by someone who supported Paul-but they were written as if they were by Paul himself.
Back in 1996, when they were brought up, Paul waved the claims off as being taken out of context. The newsletters were sent out under Ron Paul’s name, and often had no bylines, which certainly would lead a reader to believe these are things Paul agreed to being sent out in his name.
Paul’s initial response, as noted, was to claim the commentary was being taken out of context. This seems unlikely. There really is not much of a “better” context for the above quotes. Later, he denounced the writings, and explained he had simply been so busy delivering babies, he did not have time to make sure the newsletter was expressing views that were representative of him.
Neither are particularly flattering portrayals of Paul. But what stood out to me this morning was a bit of CNN newsfootage where he is grilled about the newsletters. He points out that he denounced the content of the newsletters…but then states that he did not become aware of the them until about ten years ago (not true, as he addressed them in 1996), but without skipping a beat (or starting a new sentence) Paul states people have been asking him about this for twenty years. How does that work? There are reasonale explanations to my query-but they all make Paul look like the worst manager of his brand ever.
Paul may be telling the truth. Heck, I don’t doubt that he is not the actual author. And maybe he has no idea who the author was. To me, the big problem is that I cannot see how someone who would allow people to write under his name and not check out what was being written should be allowed near the Oval Office. If he cannot make sure a newsletter going out under his name isn’t making him look like a vile racist, why should I trust that he could oversee the country?