Politics

Ron Paul Realism: Question 6 of 7

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The series continues!

It started with this post, and then continued on in posts 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Now…question 6, and the one that could be the most important to Paul’s campaign: What about those racist writings in his newsletter? I’ve heard Paul’s response, but I think most of us can agree it’s pretty weak. So if Paul does start leading the GOP race, what’s the communications strategy when that nugget hits the media?

  • Jim: Drop it. It is a non issue, and has been thoroughly explained. Can the media find one other example of Paul’s alleged racism? Just one more is all I ask.
  • mike: i think the attack is pretty weak really. not sure what the communications plan is if it becomes scrutinized.
  • James Maynard: Everyone has said stupid stuff in their lives. I’m no exception. I’d respond by saying that I didn’t think I had thought those comments through as well as I might have, apologize for them, and then offer to take another question about it from any reporter who has never said anything stupid in their lives. That oughta shut them up. LOL.
  • Spirit of ’76: That “nugget” has already hit the media, and it’s gone nowhere. Even the New York Times absolved him of the charges in their lengthy article on him. Anyway, if that’s all they can dig up to slander him with, they’ve got nothing. The man is teflon.
  • Tannim: Old news. He didn’t write them, but he did take responsibility for them. If the MSM harps on it then they reveal their own racism. Paul’s long voting record and written record speaks for itself far more than one bit written by a subsequently-fired staffer 15 years ago.
  • chad: did you actually read that article? I did, and it was more in regards of a race of people taking advantage of a situation in order to loot their own neigborhood more than it was racism, this was also when gang violence in LA was very bad, i don’t see how saying the words black people can be racist, anyway he said that he didn’t write that article and the guy that did was let go, if you read all the other article in that news letter you can clearly see Dr. Paul is not racist, he is a constitutionalist which guarantees every person equal rights, in fact it never gave any rights to an exclusive group of people, it was not following the constitution that led to having to add the 13, 15 amendment every part of the bill of rights say PEOPLE not black people, white people, christians, women, etc. just people.
  • bbartlog: It’s unclear. I do think that some supporters underestimate the potential for a negative carpet-bombing that exists, should the more well-financed campaigns ever feel the need to go negative on Ron Paul. However, given the size of the cryptoracist vote on the Republican right, I think they would actually choose some other issue to bludgeon him with (at least in the primary).
  • Jordan: You mean how he didn’t write or say the comments? I think the only thing he’s guilty of is being inattentive towards the newsletter that bore his name.
  • Ellis_Wyatt: He didn’t write them, and said so. What’s “weak” about that? Look at his record – he’s a meritocratist sine qua non. How COULD he be racist? A single incident is NOT a “pattern”, by definition. Absurd.
  • James Aragon: His explanation stands with me. The remarks were not really racist, but falling into prejudicial stereotype. The remarks did not actually aim to keep anyone down.
  • meatwad: I’ve not seen Dr. Paul’s newsletter so I can’t confirm or deny the allegations of racism. However, if, as you’ve established, he’s not going to vote on anything not sanctioned by the constitution, what difference would it make how he feels about peoples’ race?
  • Patrick: I’d have to see this newsletter. And if Paul actually wrote it. It won’t matter whether Ron Paul did or didn’t do/say it. The media will do it’s best to bring him down. They have already chosen the candidates they like best. They fawn over them constantly.
  • Matt C: Those comments really bother me. All other things being equal, I would actually withhold my support because of them. But all other things aren’t equal.
  • Vicky: I like how you say “those” in “his”. You know he didn’t write it and you know he didn’t approve it. Ron Paul hasn’t been shown to have a racist bone in his body. There are no Ron Paul “Mecaca” videos. In fact, I can’t even find a coper of the newsletter. CAN YOU?
  • Edward Keithly: His response that he didn’t write them, but took responsibility for publishing them? That’s what passes for weak nowadays? I would invite anyone to listen to his message, check out his campaign and his issues, and make their own judgements about whether he is a racist. Personally, I think it’s rather silly.
  • meinaz: Ghost writer, now fired. This has been explained elsewhere numerous times. You either accept it or you don’t. The standard “racist” smear is to repeatedly ask for explanation after explanation until the person being smeared is mired by this one issue. An apology is then asked. Once given, the smearing increases. Paul has explained the situation. It’s over. People harping on the issue aren’t interested in “racism”, they’re interested in moral demagoguery.
  • Jeanette Doney: I don’t see Dr Paul as a racist. I don’t see any white sheets or swastikas. I see a presidential candidate making points to a divided country that finds ignorance is bliss and being a victim pays. I believe his response to your charge is employing the Constitution as empowering ALL people with rights.
  • Corey Cagle: Yeah, I agree that this needs to be addressed more strongly by Ron Paul. His own writings on racism are essentially the same thing Ayn Rand had to say on the subject: Racism is a primitive form of collectivism, the antidote to which is individualism. When the time does come that this must be addressed, he should stick with this sort of language.
  • Dan Warner: I think if you look at that point in history and his positions now, his comments would maybe be a bit less offensive. In historical context, DC was having a massive breakdown and crime was rampant. It may be an unfortunate truth that poor black people were doing lots of crimes in that city at that time. But Dr. Paul also points out that our economic policies keep people poor and desperate. The gang violence among black youth over drug money and turf also contributes to the ‘black voilence’. All that said I think he will say that what he said is based in statistics and even though it may have offended people he wants to help lift people out of poverty so they don’t have to resort to crime to survive.
  • Buckwheat: Non-issue. Research it more.
  • Jonathan Bennett: Ron Paul isn’t a racist.
  • NH: Not an issue. Hillary and Obama and Richardson are all racists….they even belong to racist organizations. So what?
  • Aaron: His response is not weak in context. I have spent time with Paul this response is consistent with his personality. He is not a spinner. He does not obsess with the horse race and public perception. Those comments were not consistent with his career spanning several decades. No one can honestly try to attribute those comments to reflecting his views. You are right they will be a major story some day and we shall just have to see how he handles it. Already there are those claiming he hates gays for voting for the marriage bill while ignoring the fact that he voted against the Constitutional Amendment each of these votes having a solid formalistic position. Likewise, there are those claiming he is a racist and a “despicable human being” for voting against the anti-Dafur investment act which again was based on a well thought out principled stance. Paul may have trouble in a 15 second sound bite world. However, this is not enough for me to abandon his candidacy.
  • John Campbell: After I got turned on to Ron Paul, that stuff came up. I thougth, OH NO, it’s all over. But then nothing happened. You may be correct that they will become important if/when Dr. Paul rises in popularity. But they seem to be isolated statements completely out of character which gives credence to Dr. Paul’s explanation.
  • Doofus: And you claim you like Ron Paul. You’re about as authentic as the guy who wrote that hit piece in the New York Times.
  • Corky: Wait and see. But from what I’ve seen of the man, I believe him when he says those weren’t his words.
  • Scott: I believe it was years ago, and someone that has devoted his entire life to liberty, and justice, for at the least 10 terms in Congress, should be defense enough. Think about this logically, if he is a racist, then everything that he says about freedom must be a lie, or a fib, right? He gave a response, that I think was short and honest.. And I also think that he would hit it head on if given the nomination.
  • PC: I admit this is the biggest problem. I don’t like it one bit but what enraged me more than anything are some of the factual statements in that piece, and I would hope you read the whole piece, because those writings(plural) come mainly from one piece on the LA Riots. I didn’t know that King charged the cops and the media didn’t air that part of the video, and while it in no way excuses the policemen, it may have prevented the deaths of innocent people, who had nothing to do with the arrest, in the riots. Many people killed on the basis of their race for nothing they ever did, that article pointed that out, and you want to criticize the wording. I hate some of the phrases used but if the media wants to refight the LA Riots and discuss the facts of their actions than so be it, the article was much more scathing to the political leadership in Washington and the media than African Americans. It just might show that while Dr. Paul’s newsletter had racially insensitive comments, he isn’t responsible for the deaths of people, the media are and that is where the emotion in the piece comes out. In fact I would love to have that discussion. I think many African Americans would be enraged themselves when they find out the facts and the media coverage was nothing but a disservice.
  • Lex: Racist writings? The media has already brought them up, if you count the New York Times as major media. They dismissed them as totally out of character and style, and not Dr. Paul’s work, as we have.
  • Ward Ciac: Done by an associate. Not sure they are racist anyway.
  • Tim: This is unfortunate, and I believe that this will ultimately kill his campaign. My opinion is that if the worst thing he has to say about black people is that they’re “fleet-footed,” well, then I don’t think we have too much to worry about. It might help to remind everyone that even if this did reflect his true personality, his limited government philosophy will not afford him the luxury of committing arbitrary and capricious acts of presidential racism. Concerned citizens should be encouraged to review his voting record.
  • coainley: Whatever he may have said that has been labeled racist was probably pretty funny because what I watched on Comedy Central last night was hilarious.
  • Tony Lambiris: From what I read, the “racist writings” were done by a campaign member without formal approval before it was released. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say for sure, but if the press started attacking Ron Paul as a racist, I would hope he would address it the same straight-talk that has made him shine more than the other candidates.
  • Michael: Well there is a difference between racist and racial remarks. I’ve read these writings and I’ve also researched the data in Washington D.C. in those years (not to mention I vacationed there the same years), it was the murder capitol of the country. It’s highly unfortunate that majority of the crime was committed by a specific race. I will say it was bad judgment on his part to write this (or allow his ghost writer to write this). However, I don’t feel it was a racist commentary. I think it will be a non issue.
  • Dary: Ron didn’t make those comments and the guy who did was fired immediately.

Some of your are rightfully concerned about the writings, of which there are more than just that one piece about Washington DC.

Still, some say it doesn’t matter. Reality check time. It does.

Here’s the piece from the NY Times that one commentor said absolved Paul of any wrong doing…

The question is whether the old ideologies being resurrected are neglected wisdom or discredited nonsense. In the 1996 general election, Paul’s Democratic opponent Lefty Morris held a press conference to air several shocking quotes from a newsletter that Paul published during his decade away from Washington. Passages described the black male population of Washington as “semi-criminal or entirely criminal” and stated that “by far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government.” Morris noted that a Canadian neo-Nazi Web site had listed Paul’s newsletter as a laudably “racialist” publication.

Paul survived these revelations. He later explained that he had not written the passages himself — quite believably, since the style diverges widely from his own. But his response to the accusations was not transparent. When Morris called on him to release the rest of his newsletters, he would not. He remains touchy about it. “Even the fact that you’re asking this question infers, ‘Oh, you’re an anti-Semite,’ ” he told me in June. Actually, it doesn’t. Paul was in Congress when Israel bombed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear plant in 1981 and — unlike the United Nations and the Reagan administration — defended its right to do so. He says Saudi Arabia has an influence on Washington equal to Israel’s. His votes against support for Israel follow quite naturally from his opposition to all foreign aid. There is no sign that they reflect any special animus against the Jewish state.

Hmmm….just because Paul “survived” as a Texas congressman with those explanations doesn’t mean they’ll float for a presidential nominee trying to get a nation behind him.

To me, his explanation doesn’t really hold up to close scrutiny, because it wasn’t just one or two times questionable stuff got out there. In short, those newsletters are a timebomb waiting to explode. And I don’t know about you, but if somebody is ghost writing for me, I’m reading everything they’re printing I said.

Also, if Paul won’t release the newsletters, well, that’s going to be a big PR problem for his camp. Hell, Howard Dean wouldn’t release his records as Governor because he was protecting the identity of people who wrote him personally. At least that was justified. Not releasing newsletters he sold subscriptions to is not only odd, it looks like he’s genuinely trying to hide something.

Again, your opponents will be able to bury your campaign with this issue alone.

Take heed.