Ron Paul: right-wing wackjob
We've noted ourselves that Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate that talks a good line on the Iraq war. But it is really disturbing to see anti-war folks line up behind him uncritically. Nico Pitney notes the phenomenon—without comment—on Huffington Post. Why, but why, is word not getting around of his sinister ultra-right connections? While too many "radicals" are taking his noxious bait, leave it to the liberals at The New Republic to call the rascal out. Their James Kirchick last month wrote a profile appropriately entitled "Angry White Man," in which he perused back issues of Paul's monthly newsletter, published under various names—Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report—since 1978, two years after he was first elected to Congress. Kirchick presents selections of ugly racist garbage that have appeared in its pages over the years. Excerpts:
"A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism" analyzes the Los Angeles riots of 1992: "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. ... What if the checks had never arrived? No doubt the blacks would have fully privatized the welfare state through continued looting. But they were paid off and the violence subsided."
The November 1990 issue of the Political Report had kind words for David Duke.
This newsletter describes Martin Luther King Jr. as "a world-class adulterer" who "seduced underage girls and boys" and "replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration."
The January 1991 edition of the Political Report refers to King as a "world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours" and a "flagrant plagiarist with a phony doctorate."
A February 1991 newsletter attacks "The X-Rated Martin Luther King."
An October 1990 edition of the Political Report ridicules black activists, led by Al Sharpton, for demonstrating at the Statue of Liberty in favor of renaming New York City after Martin Luther King. The newsletter suggests that "Welfaria," "Zooville," "Rapetown," "Dirtburg," and "Lazyopolis" would be better alternatives--and says, "Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house."
On TNR, this is all hyperlinked to the originals—check it out for yourself. Next is a nice compendium of ugly anti-gay garbage:
The June 1990 issue of the Political Report says: "I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities."
From the August 1990 issue of the Political Report: "Bring Back the Closet!"
A January 1994 edition of the Survival Report states that "gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense," adding: "[T]hese men don't really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners." Also, "they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick."
Then there's a fine sampling of gun nuttery and militia madness:
The November 1994 issue of the Survival Report celebrates anti-government militias.
The January 1995 issue of the Survival Report--released just three months before the Oklahoma City bombing--cites an anti-government militia's advice to other militias, including, "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
The October 1992 issue of the Political Report paraphrases an "ex-cop" who offers this strategy for protecting against "urban youth": "If you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example)."
Here's some choice rhetoric. Does the contemporary left hate Jews (oops, I mean "Zionists") so much that they'll be willing to forgive the anti-Black racism and homophobia?
In an undated solicitation letter for The Ron Paul Investment Letter and the Ron Paul Political Report, Paul writes: "I've been told not to talk, but these stooges don't scare me. Threats or no threats, I've laid bare the coming race war in our big cities. The federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS (my training as a physician helps me see through this one.) The Bohemian Grove--perverted, pagan playground of the powerful. Skull & Bones: the demonic fraternity that includes George Bush and leftist Senator John Kerry, Congress's Mr. New Money. The Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica."
The next quote Kirchick presents as an indictment of Paul, but it is (alas) more likely to win him fans in radical "left" circles these days:
The March 1987 issue of The Ron Paul Investment Letter calls Israel "an aggressive, national socialist state."
Kirchick anticipates that Paul will try to weasel out of responsibility for these statements by shilling the blame off onto underlings:
Finding the pre-1999 newsletters was no easy task, but I was able to track many of them down at the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Of course, with few bylines, it is difficult to know whether any particular article was written by Paul himself. Some of the earlier newsletters are signed by him, though the vast majority of the editions I saw contain no bylines at all. Complicating matters, many of the unbylined newsletters were written in the first person, implying that Paul was the author.
But, whoever actually wrote them, the newsletters I saw all had one thing in common: They were published under a banner containing Paul's name, and the articles (except for one special edition of a newsletter that contained the byline of another writer) seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him--and reflected his views. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing--but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.
Not surprisingly, real-live rad-right racist yahoos have gotten on board with the Paul campaign. A blogger on Daily Kos named Phenry reported Jan. 16 that "Randy Gray, the Midland County, Michigan coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign...is also a longstanding active and vocal organizer for the Knight's Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan." Phenry wrote that the Paul campaign had not returned his calls seeking comment on Gray. The Saginaw News reported Jan. 31 that Gray had been sacked by the campaign, and quoted him asserting that he had never been questioned about his Klan affiliations when he signed up, so he didn't volunteer them. He also boasted: "I don't fit the stereotype. I don't have swastikas on." (Thanks, neither does David Duke.) The Ohio-based Brotherhood of Klans still promotes Paul on its website. Arguably, there is nothing Paul can do about this (some of our own screeds have been picked up by the neo-Nazi Stormfront website, as we have bemoaned). But we argue that there is a deeper political logic to the vile flies attracted by Ron Paul's racist stench.
What is more disconcerting is the attraction he holds for too many on the anti-war "left"—a demoralizing phenomenon we have also noted in the case of Pat Buchanan.
See our last post on the (yes) radical right.