Not In Defense of Ron Paul
Jamie Kirchick's devastating article on the occluded history of the Ron Paul Freedom/Political/Survival Report is rebounding all over the web. I published a complementary digest of some of the Paul Report's most egregious quotes at PJM, which got linked at … Read More
Jamie Kirchick's devastating article on the occluded history of the Ron Paul Freedom/Political/Survival Report is rebounding all over the web. I published a complementary digest of some of the Paul Report's most egregious quotes at PJM, which got linked at Drudge, within a few minutes got more traffic than probably everything I've ever written combined, and several hundred comments, mostly from pissed off Paulites.
I think it's worth taking a moment to put all this in context and say why it's important. When the initial controversy over donations to Paul from white nationalist groups first surfaced, I defended him, largely on the grounds that, from what I could tell, there was no evidence that Paul himself harbored any sympathy for racism or anti-Semitism. That analysis turns out to have been badly wrong. The evidence that Paul has spent decades trading in virtually every historic trope of racism, anti-Semitism, anti-gay bigotry, and conspiracy theorizing, is so overwhelming as to beggar any further defense or denial on Paul's behalf. (The Paul campaign claims that the congressman did not write these articles, but they did appear in his newsletter.)
Since I'm a libertarian, there ought to be, in theory anyway, some significant overlap between Paul's views and mine — though his fixation on gold-backed currency, opposition to abortion, free trade and immigration, and creationism have been worrying signs for some time. But now that the full extent of the hatreds Paul has associated himself with is out there, we libertarians, especially those of us who have defended Paul in the past, need to say, definitively, this is not what we believe. This man is not our spokesman.
And if the reaction at Reason is any indication, libertarians are going to take the high road. Good.
After the jump, I've included an extended compendium of the choicer material that Jamie dug up, that didn't make it into the PJM piece. The original documents are available here.