Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ron Paul and Race

It saddens me to have to write this. Earlier this year, I endorsed Ron Paul for President. Now that he has risen in the polls and taken the lead in Iowa, his campaign has come under more scrutiny and has been buffeted by negative attacks from both main stream media and neo-con talk radio. A recent column in the Wall Street Journal grossly distorted Congressman Paul's views on foreign policy (a more accurate view can be gleaned here).

But, the most concerning attack is one resurrected from his campaign four years ago when the New Republic reported on newsletters (links to the actual newsletters are in the New Republic piece) published under his name in the late 1980's and early 1990's that included racist and anti-Semitic views. Four years ago, Congressman Paul addressed these newsletters stating that he did not write them, disavowed their content, and that he should have been more careful and provided more oversight to what was being published under his name. In a recent interview with Gloria Borger, he was clearly annoyed at having to address this again when he has answered these questions before.

The question is, are his answers satisfactory? Does Ron Paul harbor racism or was he ignorant of the garbage that was being published under his name while he was out of Congress and practicing obstetrics? I think it is safe to say that the answer is yes, his answers are satisfactory and he was ignorant of what was being published under his name. Nothing in Congressman Paul's public career suggests support for policies that are racist or anti-Semitic. In the 198o's he defended Israel when they bombed an Iraqi nuclear plant, even though members of his own party were critical of the action (at the time, Iraq was an ally of the U.S. against Iran). He has been consistently opposed to the drug war and cites as part of his opposition that African-Americans are disproportionately incarcerated. Similarly, he changed his view (the man who never changes his views) on capital punishment and now opposes it because it is disproportionately applied to African-Americans. I think it is pretty clear from his record that Ron Paul is not a racist and didn't write those newsletters. In fact, because of his positions on the drug war and capital punishment, Ron Paul actually polls better with minority voters than any of the other GOP candidates.

It is ridiculous to have to state the obvious about a man dedicated to equality, liberty and peace. But I will state it anyway - the newsletters are nonsense, he didn't write them and they don't reflect his views in any way. The truth is out there and expanded upon in more detail in the Daily Paul. I stand by my endorsement of Congressman Ron Paul for President of the United States as he represents our best hope for real change.

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