It’s amazing to me how Reason can continue to attack the only libertarian to run for President in a major party since possibly the 1800s. As for Lew Rockwell, I’ve been reading his site for years and I have never read one racist word.
I just hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it amazes me how many people / corporations are afraid of Ron Paul. I can’t understand why Reason (and CATO) continues to bad mouth the best chance this country has to get back on the right track.
They must be afraid of something! All the more reason to support him.
“The head of the Austin NAACP also came out and condemned the charges of racism. He said that he’s known Ron Paul for over 20 years, and that he’s confident that Paul is no racist.”
Hey, the exact same comment was posted on our website a week ago. Of course you deleted Nelson Linder’s follow-on remarks that this scandal was only happening because Ron Paul was a “threat to the establishment” and that he made the remarks while doing an interview on Alex Jones’ radio show, not on the Austin NAACP website or in any official capacity as NAACP president. Nor does the national organization (or his own Austin branch) officially endorse that view as far as I can tell…which makes it little more than a personal opinion proffered by a man who apparently trucks with conspiracy theorists.
Look, it’s become painfully clear that Ron Paul is not QUITE a “libertarian” as most other libertarians understand the term.
Even before this whole mess about old newsletters, there were libertarians and anarchists who objected to supporting him, and they turned out to be fairly prescient.
Ron supports a very limited FEDERAL government and budget; but at the same time, he apparently supports any amount of STATE intervention into your personal or economic life that a state legislature will approve. He has made that clear on numerous occasions.
I know he’s running for President and not Governor, but I can no longer say I whole-heartedly support him, and I can understand why others fear that he may hurt the libertarian cause.
Frank N Stein |
January 16th, 2008 at 1:52 pm
It’s called the 10th amendment to the Constitution, and Ron Paul is merely saying what everyone should when running for federal office: those things the Constitution does not grant the federal government power to do, is left to the States and/or the People. A federal government which obeys the Constitution is no guarantee that every state will become libertarian. Without the current federal intervention in social/economic issues, I’d wager most states would become less authoritarian than they are now, and some (NY, CA) would become worse. There’s no magic button that will stop people from trying to use political power to control your life, unfortunately. But smearing Ron Paul, when he’s the only candidate who understands and is willing to address federal encroachment in our lives, is making the perfect the enemy of the good.
Michael Costello |
January 16th, 2008 at 1:58 pm
Well reported, but irrelevant and a way to distract from more meaningful and pressing issues facing every one of us. It is a racy article (forgive me) and it is well written, but it is still irrelevant to the mans current positions and merit as a proponent of a constitutionally limited government.
When I come down to reach a conclusion on matters though, I rationally still choose to believe in my fellow supporters of the candidate, be they white, brown, painted, masked or otherwise racially identifiable in deciding based on my assessment made by listening to the candidates words and positions currently espoused, and observing the interactions of him in debate and reviewing his actual voting record and sponsored legislation.
I’m by no means in total agreement with Paul, (on abortion and immigration we do not agree) but name me one who has done better to support the cause of liberty as a movement lately. I respect the journalism and am not casting doubt on the integrity of the journalists, I am however casting doubt on their judgement as to whether and how this issue deserves the attention it is getting.
The reformed Bob Barr was responsible for a certain amount of idiotic rhetoric during the Clinton Impeachment proceedings, as well as a misguided opinion on the drug war, and he is now a cozily welcomed leader (apparently) in the Libertarian party.
Pat Buchanan’s positions were routinely pilloried as being racist ones by those who support the status-quo.
Are we to require beatific saintly Objectivist / Rationalist / Libertarian bona-fides be vetted for each and all candidates? Are we going to be honest with ourselves and realize that NO candidate, NO human-being for that matter can reasonably be expected to be immune from attacks of this nature, even if the dirt didn’t exist it would likely be manufactured.
In my opinion and (thankfully for some I’m sure in closing) the stakes are too high for this (relatively) ancient and already accounted for issue to taint the movement that Paul’s supporters have created and kept alive so admirably.
January 16th, 2008 at 2:08 pm
This is a horrible piece by a group of so called libertarians…who have harbored an ax to grind with Rockwell and the late Rothbard for years. Smears and Lies and it is a shame Radley has taken up with these despicable people.
if you’re relying on the “mainstream media” for your news coverage, I can understand the source of your opinion about Ron Paul and the newsletters, produced by ghostwriters (apparently without any oversight by Dr. Paul) after he had left politics and returned to his ob/gyn practice full-time.
“News” of the newsletters was released on the day of the New Hampshire primary by a supporter of Rudy Guiliani, working for an avowedly liberal magazine, in a transparent attempt to harm Dr. Paul’s campaign. (“News” is in quotation marks because the newsletters had been “old news” in Dr. Paul’s district for years, and despite them, his constituents saw fit to return him to office for 10 terms in the House of Representatives.)
You may also want to do a Google search for “Ron Paul” and “NAACP.” That search will lead you to radio interviews with Austin, Texas NAACP President Nelson Linder. As a black person who has known Ron Paul for 20 years. Mr. Linder is presumably in a good position to know whether or not Dr. Paul is a bigot. Mr. Linder refutes claims that Dr. Paul is a racist, and says he’s being attacked because he’s a threat to the establishment. This really IS news, but this story has received zero coverage in the “mainstream” media.
It may also interest you to know that Dr. Paul seems to have more support from minorities than any other republican candidate (also a legitimate news story, also unreported by the “mainstream” media.) (I apologize for not having a citation for this, other than an interview with Dr. Paul on CNN. And you seem to believe he’s lying about the newsletters, so you may choose to believe he’s lying about everything else.)
As a longtime supporter of his, I’m also disappointed that Dr. Paul didn’t respond more forcefully to this character assassination. But that just doesn’t seem to be his style. As a libertarian who practices what he preaches, Dr. Paul really doesn’t care what you think! He believes that your thoughts and opinions are your business, and you have a right to them…no matter how ugly or disagreeable they may be to him or anyone else. I think this is probably why he hasn’t “outed” the ghostwriters who worked on those newsletters (if he even knows who they are). He thinks they’re entitled to their opinions. Why? Because freedom of speech and freedom of thought are the cornerstone of our political system. Dr. Paul is the only Constitutional candidate in the race…and the First Amendment protects the rights of figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X or Al Sharpton just as much as it protects the rights of anyone spouting racist or bigoted nonsense. You can’t get one without the other.
As a veteran of a number of political campaigns, I wish Dr. Paul had been more “politically correct” in his response. I wish there had been more “mainstream” coverage of the fact that Dr. Paul thinks economist Walter Williams (who, by the way, is black) would make a great running mate. Or the fact that he always votes against awarding Congressional Medals of Freedom (because such an expenditure is not authorized by the Constitution) but when Rosa Parks was nominated for one, he offered to chip in money from his own pocket so the taxpayers didn’t have to foot the bill. (None of his colleagues took him up on his offer, and instead raided the Treasury (i.e., your pocketbook).
Unfortunately, the American electorate has been sufficiently dumbed down that it merely takes an accusation of racism to destroy a candidate. But again, that’s just not who Ron Paul is. He’s the Anti-Romney. He’s non-slick and non-calculating. He’s essentially a freedom-loving policy wonk who wants to strip power from an out-of-control, financially and morally bankrupt federal bureaucracy and return it to the individual American citizen.
It’s tragic to think that the American electorate is so easily manipulated, and that political correctness has run amok to the extent that we can’t even have an honest dialog about racism in politics and society…in this of all years.
And finally, from his website, http://www.ronpaul2008.com, here’s his statement on racism: “A nation that once prided itself on a sense of rugged individualism has become uncomfortably obsessed with racial group identities.
The collectivist mindset is at the heart of racism.
Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry. Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart, and we cannot change people’s hearts by passing more laws and regulations.
It is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. Government “benevolence” crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility among us.
Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called “diversity” actually perpetuate racism.
The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence – not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.
In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty.”
Sounds like a bunch of hurt feelers amongst those in the movement, feelings hurt 2 decades ago. Quote: “Carol Moore, a left-libertarian activist who opposed Rothbard, Rockwell, and Paul at the late 1980s Libertarian conventions that led to the paleo split, theorizes that the defeat made THEM bitter.”
Wait, here’s one of THEM now, “…Cato Institute President Ed Crane told reason he recalls a conversation from some time in the late 1980s in which Paul claimed… blah, blah, he killed black babies, blah, blah.” No, that’s not how that sentence ended. But without evidence given, nor confirmation a conversation even took place it might as well as been. Anyway, it’s the CATO prez speaking so we gotta include it. Anyone else thinks this sentence belongs in an article declared, “A great piece of reporting”?
Eugene Flynn |
January 16th, 2008 at 2:50 pm
I’d say it’s not quite smearing that Tom G is engaged in, but you’re right Frank; Ron Paul is the only candidate who understands how the federal government was designed to work. In the end, I agree with the reason piece. Ron Paul needs to address this more fully. Letting it smolder instead of letting in some air and letting it go ahead and burn is going to create a lot more problems than it could ever “solve”.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Ron Paul’s ideas (well, except for immigration, where I think he’s completely wrong) or that the man’s racist…but I do think he’s terrible about ferreting out who’s a help to what he wants to get accomplished and who holds him back and that he has a tendency to let his message get hijacked by people with their own agendas. I think that’s enough of a reason to come out against him as president or for libertarians to distance themselves for him in this race. But I am a big fan of him as a Congressman (where his weaknesses aren’t quite so damning) and I hope he continues on in that capacity. I believe that the government and Americans in general are certainly better off with him as a Congressman than without him.
Gosh, you should come over to our site to be a participant in the Paulestinian Drinking Game :)
Attempting to excuse what Ron Paul did or didn’t do by claiming that other candidates are just as bad or worse is not a valid defense for Ron Paul, it’s a fallacy. He made a series of mistakes and he’s done a horrible job of dealing with them…that’s got nothing to do with anybody but him.
I know that. But something to think about:
1) Why attack Ron Paul and only Ron Paul? There must be a hidden agenda.
2) Why is this site turning into a political Libertarian attack squad instead of sticking to what “made it famous”, which is coverage of militarization of police?
I don’t attempt to excuse anything. It’s a simple concept called being fair. If your answer is “we’ll attack other candidates once we are good and satisfied with the attack on Ron Paul and associates”, then I’ll guess that this will never move past the “attack Ron Paul and associates” stage, which confirms a hidden agenda.
I’m satisfied that Ron Paul isn’t a racist. What I don’t know is how much he might have known about who wrote such things. I personally don’t care, considering it was over 10+ years ago, and that he might not even remember. I have a hard time remembering what I had for dinner last week. I have a sharp memory when it comes to my work, but other things fall by the wayside. Isn’t it possible that the same is happening here? Or is your memory perfect of all things in your life over the past 10+ years?
And using name calling (inferring that I’m a Paulestinian) is childish. Why can’t arguments/debates stay in the realm of data? We’re not on a playground in 4th grade. I would hope that chronological adults are also emotional adults, but I know I’m wrong a lot of times on that. It always devolves into more name calling and always proves my point that you can’t reason with a person who won’t deal only with data.
We’re at an impasse, so this will just be food for thought for everyone.
I assume the reason that so many libertarians and libertarian-leaning persons are critical of Ron Paul and do not harp incessantly on the other candidates… is that they, and their politically like-minded associates, have ALREADY determined that they despise the politics of, and have no intention of voting for, the other candidates. Why waste time railing about Giuliani or Clinton or Huckabee when I, and everyone I know with a similar political orientation, would probably never vote for any of them under any circumstances?
Additionally, by labeling himself a libertarian and a devotee of Austrian economics, Paul has styled himself as a representative of a certain political philosophy. The result is that others who self-identify as followers of that political philosophy may naturally have an interest in how that candidate comports himself, and the views that he actually holds. If Paul represents libertarianism to the wider public, then I’m interested in what the wider public thinks about libertarianism through what they ascribe to Paul. I may also be interested in vocally distancing myself from a self-styled libertarian with odious personal views or political programs.
“What I don’t know is how much he might have known about who wrote such things. I personally don’t care, considering it was over 10+ years ago, and that he might not even remember.”
I’m less concerned about who wrote the individual articles than with who Ron Paul put in charge of the newsletter and who had editorial authority over it. While I can certainly understand if smaller details (such as individual writers for each article) are forgotten I find it extremely unlikely that he doesn’t remember who ran it for him, considering the amount of revenue it generated for him personally, and I find it disingenuous that a candidate running on a platform of integrity and distrust of government would expect us to merely take his word for it…especially if the person who edited the newsletter is still working for him in a prominent capacity.
As for why libertarians attack Ron Paul and not other candidates I suspect it’s because we just take it as read that the other candidates are bad and we’re interested in discussing the one that’s most relevant to us and whether we should support him. Whatever the tone, articles about Ron Paul are about Ron Paul, not the other candidates and attempting to deflect blame from him by pointing at nasty things about them is not a valid defense.
Frank N Stein brings up a good point (perhaps unwittingly). Paul is not, or at least does not argue on the basis of, a truly principled libertarianism. He’s a “Constitutionalist,” and even worse, a Constitutionalist who cares more about the powers “reserved to the States” under the 10th amendments, than those powers “reserved… to the people.” Although I appreciate the extent to which the federal government operates as an obstruction to personal liberty, I have no particular desire to trade certain genuinely libertarian positions (the right to an abortion) which happen to be safeguarded by the federal government for a regime in which States are given tremendous power to infringe on the reproductive (and of course, under the Paul regime, many other forms of) liberty
Frank N Stein |
January 16th, 2008 at 4:45 pm
Philosophically I am a libertarian. But give me a strict constitutionalist over a mushy socialist any day of the week. When I have to worry only about the state government oppressing me, it will be the happiest day of my life.
As I pointed out on Wendy McElroy´s forum, it wouldn´t be difficult to respond to these letters. The lack of a appropriate response from Paul´s campaign is disturbing, as well the childish response of several of his supporters.
And I´m more sensitive to racism and bigotry than most Americans.
I like Pat Buchanan, I like Ron Paul, and I like Lew Rockwell. That are all good people. Pat and Lew have been called racists and anti-semitic before. Neither one of them are. I still haven’t seen posted the full articles…rather than picking out the most horrible sounding stuff out of content and then adding your own comments about how horrible and awful they are. Why don’t you “great reporters” post the whole thing and let people decide for themselves…so they don’t have your editorializing to guide them. Why don’t you “great reporters” tell us who wrote those articles and who tipped you off about them…I know it wasn’t Lew by the way. There are some rumors that they were written by a former disgruntled employer of Paul’s who just happens to be running against him for congress! But you pathetic excuses for human beings are more interested in slandering a good man like Paul because he thinks we should keep illegals out. LOL. You guys are horrible.
Since when does libertarian require turning a blind eye to the various savage acts that made up the LA Riots. Radley was probably a bit too young to remember, but it was a wake up call to normal Americans. In the 90s our Alamo was Ruby Ridge and Waco, not some pot bust or poker game gone bad. Quit worrying so much about equality; it’s a free country. People can hate whoever they want.
The folks at reason.com always write well and this article is no different. I’ve long thought that Reason was like a breath of fresh air on the internet. Now the site carries the aroma of a Michelle Malkin Hot Fart.
I guess every news org has it’s price. I at least hope that Reason was paid well for their services.
It’s often said that presidential politics is deciding between the lesser of two evils. I suppose the same can be said for deciding between Ron Paul and the rest of the candidates, both republican and democrat. How then can one consider Ron Paul to be the greater evil in this equation? How about the fact that most of the other candidates voted to authorize an illegal war? Is that not a greater farce than the printing of ideas regardless of the content? Perhaps when put in perspective Ron Paul is the lesser evil when compared to most politicians we will encounter. Good luck holding your breath waiting for the next presidential candidate to introduce “the cause” to the masses.
John C Jackson |
January 18th, 2008 at 12:52 am
Maybe my definition of libertarianism is too narrow but to me ( and Ron Paul even says this) it is philosophy of individualism. PERIOD. The LA Riots may have been pretty “savage” but they were acts committed by individuals. And please don’t say that only “the blacks” mob or riot. In the perfect South of Lew Rockwell, Jeff Tucker, and all those guys- it was perfectly acceptable ( and possibly still would be) for gangs/mobs of inbred white idiots to riot and murder people because of their race. It was also acceptable for police officers to do the same.
Ron Paul has said that we even have to treat TERRORISTS ( meaning those mostly Middle Eastern Muslim fellows) as individuals only and bring individual justice. Even though it could be said that those guys could be “identified by the color or their skin” and other characteristics. But some of his “supporters” have no problem making bigoted generalizations about all blacks or all gays. Interesting. Of course, those weren’t Ron’s words. But apparently a large % of RP’s “supporters” don’t support Ron Paul as much as they worship Lew Rockwell. If Lew Rockwell or Murray Rothbard said it, please don’t insult their Gods. ROn Paul supporters must now be racial collectivists. if not, we are “neocons.”
As has been covered many times in many places Lew Rockwell celebrated the beating of Rodney King. He and Rothbard also supported police dealing out “punishment.” How LIBERTARIAN of them. Sounds like they LOVED State Power as long as it served their interests. You know like beating “the blacks” or lynching them to “keep the social order.”
My friends and family are not racists, so I just don’t have the experience to understand the perspective that libertarianism and Ron Paul would benefit from being associated with racists. But acccording to many rapid Lew Rockwell cultists ( I say that because they worship LRC but dont care too much about Ron Paul really. They never started crying over the newsletters until their man Lew was implicated) on the ronpaulforums and other places- “the anti-war left” is much more in agreement with the LRC/LVMI crowd that the “corporatist neocons” of reason and Cato. Really? I don’t know too many anti-war leftist neo-confederate racists. If anything young anti-war people are more likely to be turned OFF by racism.
And that was a point made by reason. Ron Paul’s current success ( though perhaps it was jump started by the old newsletter donors) is fueled more by young anti-war folks, not racist “populists.” All you “populists” are probably HURTING Ron Paul and his campaign by working to turnoff “normal” decent people- those people who don’t scapegoat others ( hey Ron Paul always says he doesnt believing in scapegoating immigrants or others!) and are tolerant.
The political pandering of 15-20 years ago is disturbing, but could have been addressed and swiftly taken care of. The Damage is not coming from the newsletters, reason, Cato, or any number of longtime libertarians ( according to the LRC cultists of course, all normal libertarians are pro-war neocons who are being paidoff by big business, other campaigns, and “Isreali bankers”). It is coming from the blind defenders who show such ignorance and nuttiness in their response. It comes from places like LRC where the response is to attack the messengers and not address the substance of anything. It is to call people disturbing names.
I actually DO support ROn Paul. That’s why I wanted this stuff dealt with. All these articles are in agreement that Ron Paul did not write the newsletters. Hmm, Ron Paul supporters ( real ones anyway) should be HAPPY. Good, the Ron paul today who talks about individualism and civil liberties did not write those disgusting collectivist pieces. Who did? Lew rockwell? Oh yeah? Maybe there is a proper way to address this.
But NO, the response is “TNR and that homosexual blah blha blha, leftists, commies, reason necons, blah blah blah, Cato has an agenda they support Rudy and are funded by Jewish bankers, blah blahblha, what that wasnt racist?. real libertarians are christians who believe in slavery, the white social order, defending white women’s honor with lynchings, beating black protesters, murdering those Jew comsymps who tried to help those n***** vote,etc blah blah fed, blah blah, necons, blah blah, radley nick and boaz only care about smoking pot and sex, and so on. homos. Being paid by Fox News. Its a conspiracy!”
As a ROn Paul supporter, when/if the campaign implodes I will NOT blame Cato, Reason, or any decent people like Radley Balko. I will blame the nutjobs who perverted a decent message (I disagree with RP on a couple things, but if one chooses to engage in politics, you take the closest thing) and drove away the potential normal voters. You know, people against the War and for the Constitution, but are still moderately sane and don’t fetishize the Confederacy.
If anything, this ordeal has made me have even more respect for the reason and Cato folks and the work they do in support of liberty and tolerance.
John C Jackson…you are spouting nothing but lies. If you are not please link me to these so called views of Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul. Link me something in their own words and writing with their names on it. Cato and Reason have disgraced themselves. They are a joke.
Justin discusses some of what was actually written in that news letter here. Did you even bother to read them or are you just jumping on the bandwagon too because you don’t like Rockwell and Ron Paul. http://www.takimag.com/site/article/why_the_beltway_libertarians_are_trying_to_smear_ron_paul/
Mises Institute >>>> Cata
Why back an imitation when you can back the real thing. Liberty that is.
“I know that. But something to think about:
1) Why attack Ron Paul and only Ron Paul? There must be a hidden agenda.”
Yes, the Martians controlling Radley’s connection to the Kochtopus have sent the Church of Scientology a meo saying it’s time for the Illuminati to shut down the “Paul Operation,” which, as you know, has been a “black flag” operation by the CIA from the start.
Michael Costello |
January 21st, 2008 at 11:17 am
It is obviously an agenda, and when can you actually call a spade a spade? It’s shoveling dirt right now, it’s denying access to debates, It’s supporting tyrrany either through strategic inaction or outright disinformation. I suppose you’re more comfortable playing the card of calling a person a “Tin Foil Hatter” than admitting that there is something organized in the fishiness, and that that organization is maliciously and selfishly serving the interests of the status quo political realities in the country.
What interests do you serve by your disingenuous twittering on about how delusional the entirety of a candidates positions are, really? Are you really serving the cause of limited government and individual liberty by belittling those that espouse an opinion based on the evidence of our age? Gulf of Tonkin(let’s have a war), Iran – Contra(let’s fund a war in a client-state), Billions or Trillions of money vanishing in Iraq (it’s not organized malice it’s incompetence?), nothing to see here JAZZHANDS! ;)