The other day, Tim Faust posted to facebook an article from Vice Magazine about some new, old news. Did you know that Ron Paul used to have lots of various publications printed under his name? And did you know that these publications used to be filled with awful, racist screeds attacking Martin Luther King Jr and black people in general?
Well, you would totally know that if you had read the Rice Thresher Backpage in January 2008. Because I totally wrote about it then. (pdf: thresher backpage ron paul racist)
So many great quotes were published under Ron Paul’s name. One of my favorites was about how Dr. King was “not only a world-class adulterer” but “also seduced underage girls and boys.”
The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy revealed before his death that King had made a pass at him many years before.
And we are supposed to honor this “Christian minister” and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?”
George Washington owned slaves.
But anyways, letting such (assumedly non-satirical) language be published in one’s own newsletter should probably disqualify someone from running for president for one of three reasons. As Mobutu Sese Seko states in “RON PAUL: REACTIONARY RACIST LEPRECHAUN”
There’s no way Paul could have been ignorant of the content in an 8-12 page newsletters published under his name for over ten years. Paul supporters face three losing propositions:
-He lacks the competency to control content published under his own name for over a decade, and is thus unfit to lead a country.
-He doesn’t believe these things but considers them a useful political tool to motivate racist whites, which makes him fit to be a GOP candidate, but too obvious about it to win.
-He’s actually a racist, which makes him unfit to be a human being.
These are some pretty hard hits against Ron Paul, but Ron Paul supporters don’t fall easily.
For example, when I wrote about Ron Paul’s racist newsletters, I did so on the satirical Backpage. But that didn’t stop Ron Paul supporters from writing letters expressing their indignation about such awful reporting in the not-news section.
To the editor:
I was surprised when I found an entire page in the latest Thresher devoted to attacking my favorite presidential candidate (“Backpage,” Jan. 18). Published were some grainy photos intended to attack the character of Dr. Ron Paul, a ten-term congressman.
If the author spent more than two minutes researching the subject, he would know that someone else had written the texts in question, yet Paul still took moral responsibility for not keeping tabs over the content. This issue was discussed and buried as irrelevant over a decade ago, but is now being dug up as the only way to attack a man who has gained the grass-roots support of millions across the country.
I suppose I should be proud to support a candidate whose biggest flaw is what someone else wrote decades ago, who has the largest number of contributions from blacks among all the Republicans, who consistently has spoken against all forms of institutionalized discrimination.
The larger problem is the journalistic dishonesty on the part of the editors. Yellow journalism labeled as satire still serves to exploit and sensationalize. Knowingly publishing false statements using the name of Rice University is a violation of the trust placed in the editors by the student body. In addition, attacking the many students who support Paul, implicitly accusing them of “racism by proxy,” should not be allowed to stand.
If our newspaper editors want to print personal attacks, let them do it under their own names, not under the banner of the university.
Of course, it was irrelevant a decade ago because Ron Paul wasn’t running for president a decade ago. And, despite magically turning pointing out racism into a crime worse than actual racism… well… as Tim Faust responded to Alice Townes: “Gurrrrrl, you don’t *need* to be clever when the source material is so rich.”
If you want to see the real racist, look in the mirror!
One can at least try to respect the intellectual consistency if the articles were about Gerrymandering problems that arise out of the Voting Rights Act, or unintended consequences of legislating racial integration, or funny third thing. But when there is a pattern of ad hominem attacks on civil rights leaders, and black people in general, well, I don’t need to think of a way to end this sentence.
Then again, as the letter asserted, “I suppose I should be proud to support a candidate whose biggest flaw is what someone else wrote decades ago.” But as Seko asserts, this is the least of Paul’s issues. Paul may express some positions appealing to many voters, beyond the insanity of deflationary gold standard policies or entirely eliminating the Federal Reserve. But his justification for these positions isn’t exactly the same as voters’.
Liberals cheer his opposition to America’s wars, but his isn’t a moral choice so much as it is an echo of George Washington’s injunction against “foreign entanglements.” Further, while Ronald isn’t down with wars that cost money and expand federal power, he’s totally fine with the government making a buck from other people’s wars: He was the only member of congress to vote against the Darfur Divestment Act, which proposed the radical idea of prohibiting the American government from investing in businesses fueling a fucking genocide.
Of course, this justification leads to crazy votes and policies about which casual Paul supporters don’t really know and serious supporters don’t really advertise.
Independents sick of the government’s invasions of privacy celebrate Paul’s veneration of the Constitution, but that veneration is as convenient as Bush and Obama’s. Paul has repeatedly submitted the “We the People Act” to Congress, whose provisions remove Supreme Court review of First Amendment cases. If a state chose to criminalize being Muslim, citizens would have no federal redress. If a state chose to criminalize birth control, the penumbras of individual protections of privacy as explicated by William O. Douglas would disappear.
But nobody wants to hear that stuff. Government non-interference is sexy when it’s sold to you as, “Ron Paul opposes the War on Drugs.” What isn’t mentioned is that he has no problem with the concept of 50 individual state wars on drugs, and deregulating evidently stops when it comes to uterine production—he’s OK withvoting for federal partial birth abortion bans, for instance.
The way to fix the 21st century is to return to the values and socioeconomic order of the 14th. After you gut the FDA, you can even literally bring back the plague, which shouldn’t affect the rich people in Congress. They’ll be able to afford all the colloidal silver they can drink.
Now, the super Paul supporters will just claim that this is out of some severe adherence to the plain language of the Constitution, as if that justifies the effects. But Paul doesn’t even like the Constitution. He likes his own crazy imaginary version of the Constitution:
His Constitution would also be a lot slimmer. He subscribes to the notion that the Fourteenth, Sixteenth, andSeventeenth amendments are invalid or must be repealed. So long, income tax, but also so long to voting for senators yourselves. And if you don’t like foreign brown people, Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act means you won’t have to share a dinner table with them for their last meal before they join 10 million other human beings in railcars, calling at all points south.
And in my view, the Constitution should have an extra amendment that forces the states to enforce the calling of “shotgun” when sitting in a car.
Of course, none of this is news. Ron Paul has had these political positions for a while. But opposing the drug war or supporting legalization of marijuana fit better into headlines than the underlying policies that lead to them.
But as the Republican primary continues, with primary voters more fickle than a gaggle of high school girls over the latest school hottie, Ron Paul has been the Justin Beiber with nearly religious support from a tight group of dedicated fans.
So these proclaimed buried issues are going to be readdressed on the national stage. And the world needs to know that I already did that in 2008 in the made-up joke section of a small college newspaper.