In case you’d like to peruse the uh… far-out newsletters that Republican Presidential Ron Paul published in the 80s and 90s, there are 50 of them posted online at the Et tu, Mr. Destructo? blog.
The newsletters, which were described by TPM’s Benjy Sarlin as “compar[ing] African Americans to zoo animals, warned of a coming race war, and generally promoted racist, anti-semitic, and fringe militia views” will still probably not convince Ron Paul fanatics of a damned thing!
“[...] there’s no way Paul could have been ignorant of the content [of] 8-12 page newsletters published under his name for over ten years. Paul supporters face three losing propositions:
• He lacks the competency to control content published under his own name for over a decade, and is thus unfit to lead a country.
• He doesn’t believe these things but considers them a useful political tool to motivate racist whites, which makes him fit to be a GOP candidate, but too obvious about it to win.
• He’s actually a racist, which makes him unfit to be a human being.
Further, you can’t dismiss this in the name of higher political or socioeconomic aspirations. Since Paul has no chance of winning — seriously, no chance at all — his only value is as a voice, a conduit for principles. And if your only hope is to change the discourse by amplifying ideas, you can do that via many voices and avenues. As I said in my Vice follow-up, acknowledging some of Paul’s good ideas, when you opt to support anti-imperialist and civil liberties ideals by supporting Paul the Candidate, you end up supporting everything else about him. That includes those newsletters and the unambiguous message to those who enjoy them: You can write these things and succeed; this works. The other good ideas to which he’s signatory can’t erase the fact that he put his name to those words printed above. The moral weight of those newsletters drags down even the most high-minded aspirations he has about civil liberties, and everything crashes down on all of us.
Back to Benjy Sarlin at TPM:
But his explanation is still relatively incomplete. As USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich noted on Thursday, when Paul responded to a similar controversy over the newsletters in a 1996 interview with the Dallas Morning News, he said that he was indeed aware of some of the offending passages and even offered explanations as to the thinking behind them. For example, he said a passage suggesting that “[g]iven the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal,” was based on outside research.
Video researcher Andrew Kaczynski unearthed a clip in 1995, before the newsletters had become an election issue in his district, in which Paul discussed the publication as one of his passion projects in his years out of Congress. He described it as a “political type of business, investment newsletter.”
Ron Paul’s base is by far the most devoted of any candidate and it’s unlikely the story, which came up in the 2008 election as well, will have much impact on his core supporters. But with Paul surging in Iowa and increasingly broadening his reach within the party, it might put a ceiling on his momentum.
In addition to the objectionable content of the newsletters, his odd explanation contrasts heavily with his hard-earned brand as an unconventional anti-politician who always tells the truth as he sees it and never waters down his views to pander to voters. It’s hard to square this with a candidate who claims that he somehow never bothered to read a newsletter published under his own name that generated as much as $1 million in revenues in just one single year. Even accepting that premise, how many politicians looking to start a publication would just happen to pick a half dozen writers with blatant white supremacist and milita leanings to run the effort?
Paultards, don’t shoot the messenger here. If you’re going to comment, comment on THIS STUFF, okay? Keep it ON THE TOPIC.
In the clip below, Paul discuses the newsletter at approx 1:40 in:
Thank you Ned Raggett!