Ron Paul is a Hate-Filled Bigot?
Andrew Sullivan, who has thrown his support behind Ron Paul for the
republican nomination, did a couple posts about Ron Paul’s alleged
support/penning of hate speech (anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and racist) in
newsletters that went out under Paul’s name. The original story that
outed Ron Paul as a bigot comes from The New Republic’s website.
Sullivan’s first post is about his initial reading of the article. Titled Ron Paul Exposed?
Sullivan, the ex-editor of The New Republic, expresses concern over
what he called “a repellent series of tracts, full of truly appalling
bigotry.” But he didn’t go so far as to pull his support of a man who
has not and will not seriously compete for the republican nomination.
Here’s what he said about it:
Paul needs to say not only that he did not pen these
excrescences, he needs to explain how his name was on them and disown
them completely. I’ve supported Paul for what I believe are honorable
reasons: his brave resistance to the enforced uniformity of opinion on
the Iraq war, his defense of limited constitutional government, his
libertarianism, his sincerity. If there is some other agenda lurking
beneath all this, we deserve to know. It’s up to Ron Paul now to
clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the
Mr. Sullivan seems like a kid who has just found out [SPOILER ALERT
- DON’T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT
SANTA] Santa doesn’t exist. Instead of being the White Knight of a
bygone era of personal freedom and a limited government, Paul might be
part of the leading echelon of radicalism’s dark underbelly.
Here’s Congressman Paul’s response through his campaign and found in Sullivan’s post titled Ron Paul Responds:
“The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine
and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never
uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.
In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we
should only be concerned with the content of a person’s character, not
the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on
April 20, 1999: ‘I rise in great respect for the courage and high
ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of
individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.’
This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It’s
once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day
of the New Hampshire primary.
When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a
newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several
writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly
taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went
out under my name.”
While Mr. Sullivan remains a supporter of Mr. Paul he does think “much less” of him.
I’m very glad to hear it. Taking moral responsibility is
the right thing to do. But I should say I think less of Ron Paul after
reading this article than I did before. Much less. I am not persuaded
he is a bigot (like Jamie, apparently), and I remain impressed by the message and spirit of the campaign he has waged.
After reading both sides I have presented here I would have to say
that my own opinion falls somewhere closer to The New Republics
analysis rather than Mr. Sullivan’s. These newsletters (excerpts from some can be found at The New Republic)
were published over the course of a couple of decades (starting in
1976) and there is no way I would ever let something with my name go
out for that long that I found abhorrent. There’s just no way.
Having said that and considering the fact that I am no Paul
supporter I still don’t think this is enough to convict the man of
being a bigot. There is a chance that he could just be an absent-minded
leader who doesn’t closely read everything that is put out under his
name. A small chance.
The only way I can see around calling him a bigot with the views
that have been expressed in his newsletters (although nothing was
bylined to him) is by arguing that he is sympathetic to the goals of
some other bigots (like a limited government) but finds their reasoning
(it’s the minorities fault) severely misguided. And, still, this is a
stretch in my mind.
Heck, forget what I said. I knew there was a reason why I never
liked this guy even though he says some things I agree with. He’s a nut
who’s going to lose. BigT