The Ron Paul Moment: Bad And Good – OpEd

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By Philip Weiss

Ron Paul is at last having his moment. The Washington Post says “Rep. Ron Paul has become a serious force with the potential to upend the nomination fight and remain a factor throughout next year’s general-election campaign.” The Post cites Paul’s appeal to young voters across party lines, though it ignores his antiwar views.

In recent days The New York Times has picked up reports in the Weekly Standard about racism published in Ron Paul’s political newsletter in the 1990s, and Paul’s somewhat lame apologies for the comments:

A 1992 passage from the Ron Paul Political Report about the Los Angeles riots read, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.” A passage in another newsletter asserted that people with AIDS should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva”; in 1990 one of his publications criticized Ronald Reagan for having gone along with the creation of the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which it called “Hate Whitey Day.”…

He defended the statements to The Dallas Morning News at the time, saying they were taken out of context. He also told the newspaper he did not know that his newsletter — with 7,000 to 8,000 subscribers — was listed by a neo-Nazi group called Heritage Front, apparently as recommended reading, under the Internet heading “Racialists and Freedom Fighters.”

But in an interview in 2001 with Texas Monthly, Mr. Paul said he regretted that he had not admitted that he had not written the newsletters. “They were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them,” Mr. Paul said. He said that he had “actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesn’t come from me directly”…

Readers know that I’ve promoted Paul a lot on this site. And I will continue to do so because of his incredibly pointed and intelligent foreign policy positions; I believe he is the best means of politicizing American militarism in the Middle East so that our people can actually form the right opinion of the neocons and of the rationalization of military occupation. He’s an antiwar candidate. (And Andrew Sullivan calls this a smear campaign by neocons.) But that doesn’t mean I’d vote for Paul. I might– but he’s got to do a much better job of apologizing for that racism and putting it behind him.

Meantime, capitalizing on his triumph in that debate in Iowa last weekend, here is a genius video Paul just did opposing our occupation of foreign countries. Not just about Afghanistan, but military bases elsewhere. The video asks us to imagine a Chinese base in Texas.

“Imagine if the occupiers’ attitude was that if they killed enough Americans, the resistance would stop but instead for every American killed, ten more would take up arms against them, resulting in perpetual bloodshed…”

Imagine if we elected someone who pledged to end the occupation.

“Imagine if that leader changed his mind once he took office. The reality is that our military presence on foreign soil is offensive to the people who live there as armed Chinese troops would be if they were stationed in Texas ”

Shutting down military bases is not isolationism, Ron Paul says at the end; it is opening our arms to trade and friendship.

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.


About the author:

Mondoweiss

Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective. Mondoweiss is maintained by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz. Weiss is 54 and lives in New York state. Horowitz is 36 and lives in New York City.

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5 thoughts on “The Ron Paul Moment: Bad And Good – OpEd”

  1. A Ron Paul presidency means that tens of thousands of African American men will be returning to their families, communities and churches. They can begin working and re-building their lives. That is precisely what will happen if Ron Paul is serious about ending the Drug War and pardoning non-violent drug offenders.

    A Ron Paul presidency means that the bombs and drone missiles will stop dropping on Arabs, Africans, and Asians.

    A Ron Paul presidency means that the Federal government will no longer threaten the interests of gays who want to pursue marriage in their respective states.

    No Republican or Democrat (not even Obama) is promising these things; they neutralize the “Ron Paul is a racist” charge, and they expose Obama (and the GOP) for the damage they have allowed the War on Drugs to do to African American communities.

  2. “Do you think the children we blow to shreds with our aerial drones care if Ron Paul’s associates published a racist newsletter in the 90′s or do you think they care more about being blown to shreds?”

    There are no credible documented accounts of Paul speaking and acting in a racist manner in his entire public career. Quite the opposite, people have testified that he is anything but racist. Nelson Linder, director of the Austin chapter of the NAACP, said he met Paul over 20 years ago and did not get the impression at all that the Congressman was a racist.

    I am more inclined to believe that Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum are racist just by the way they talk about gays, Muslims, racial profiling, etc.

    And then look at all the minority web pages supporting Ron Paul:

    Vietnamese Americans for Ron Paul
    Young Blacks for Ron Paul
    Latinos for Ron Paul
    Gays for Ron Paul
    Christians for Ron Paul
    Muslims for Ron Paul

    You won’t this kind of minority support for any of the other Republican candidates.

    I do find it curious that it’s Republicans that are leading this campaign to discredit Ron Paul as a rascist. Isn’t that like the pot call the kettle black?

    I do find it curious that it’s Republicans that are leading this campaign to discredit Ron Paul as a racist. Isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black?

    If Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton were to say Ron Paul is racist, maybe I would agree about an apology. Until then, this minority American will be voting for Ron Paul in 2012.

  3. i think paul spent 30 years on the fringes of the american politics, and the newsletters atest to what is hashed out on the fringes.

    to me, the letters are part of this process, and it got ugly at times.

    but in reality, paul would do a lot to help on issues of race, sexuality, foreign policy, ending the FED…

    paul is hardly the perfect nomination, but in a time in which washington doesn’t care, it’s as if this old guy who has kept the candle of libery burning (in his very special way lol!) is the only one left.

    but don’t worry, the GOP will never let him win anything. Mr. Banker boss down on Wall St. wants the original plastic man, Mit Romney.

    it’s a big joke you see, but this time we have ron paul taking a blunt object to everything establishment because in the end, he has nothing to loose, and is most likely ready to rumble from having been out in the cold for three decades.

  4. The pressitutes are badgering Paul over the race issue because they can’t dig up any legitimate dirt.

    Here is a link to the 1995 video. That so many are whinning about. If anything, I think watching the video helps Ron Paul.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniuwIDNkI

    Well, my educated guess is that there are going to be 11 days of intensive propaganda ahead aimed at Ron Paul.

    Everybody who knows Ron Paul knows he is not Racist. Why? How? Because it is self-evident that Ron Paul always speaks his mind no matter what others may think of him. Ron Paul has said and continues to say some of the kindest things about people of all colors including Martin Luther King Jr.. Have you ever heard Paul give speeches on King? He praises King. My God, it should be clear that Paul doesn’t alter or conceal his opinions on important issues. For example, look at how Paul stands firm on bringing the the troops home and closing the military bases. Paul could curry so much more support if he simply lied about his positions, yet he does not, because he’s a straight shooter.

    Of course, these letters have all been gone over with a fine toothed comb back in 2008 which was the last time Paul ran a campaign for President. Nothing really new here. No witnesses, no videos and most importantly, no examples of Ron Paul being a directly involved racist.

    Let me tell ya, there is a big difference between racists like Robert Byrd and Jesse Helms, who both were documented racists and who held important public-office for decades, and the current situation with Ron Paul, who is no racist.

    In Ron Paul’s case, there is absolutely nothing racist which can be traced directly back to him as the author.

    Think of it this way: When a minister of God does something wrong, then it reflects badly on God’s name and reputation even if God himself did not condone the wrongdoing. That’s what happened in Ron Paul’s case, viz. somebody tarnished his name and reputation by writing things in his name which Paul does not agree with. Ironically, Paul is the victim here.

    Yes, maybe Paul is guilty of being a fool by not paying closer attention to those news letters, but if that’s the worst dirt that the pressititutes can dig up on a 76yr old man, then I say Paul is a saint compared to the other candidates.

    The Austin, Texas NAACP president, Nelson Linder, who has known Ron Paul for 20 ears “unequivocally dismissed charges that the Congressman was a racist in light of recent smear attempts, and said the reason for him being attacked was that he was a threat to the establishment.”

  5. Ron Paul is genuine, in every way, shape and form. His direct manner is proof positive of a just personality and sincere patriotic posture while “all” other personify “all” that has rendered America, sterile. Whether or not he achieves credible position among others competing for nomination as a Republican contender for President of the United States, will be determined shortly, no matter the critics slandering him.

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