Ron Paul and the Freedom to Oppress

After pulling in another six million dollars you would think that Ron Paul could afford to do the right thing and return that $500 contribution from Stormfront founder Don Black. At very least you would think that, now that he might have a shot at the big time, he would at least realize that returning such a contribution is what any other candidate would do and what he must also do if he wants to be credible. Failure to do so also fuels the suspicions of racism and anti-Semitism on Paul’s part which has been noted in some of his writings. Providing more evidence to those of us who suspect that conspiracy-theorist Ron Paul might be just a little bit out of touch with reality, his campaign has stated yet again that they will not return the contribution.

This is not a matter of ideology. It is a matter of simple decency. Ed Morrissey and I have totally different views on the signature issues of Paul’s campaign such as Iraq but we are in complete agreement that Paul cannot be considered an acceptable candidate in light of his acceptance of this contribution. Morrissey writes:

Keeping the money makes it look like the campaign approves of the source, and that is a very, very bad message to send when one is bragging about the success of recent money-bomb events.

What kind of money will Ron Paul refuse? Drug money? Extortion rackets? Mob skim? Those are the questions people will want answered. Paul’s response does not give confidence in the judgment of his campaign, and by extension its candidate.

Paul and his supporters will defend this decision based upon freedom, but we must remember that when Paul’s supporters refer to freedom it means something entirely different from what most of us mean by freedom. Under Ron Paul, freedom means locking up doctors for performing abortions. Under Ron Paul, who also defends states’ rights, freedom means the right for states to reenact Jim Crow laws. Under Ron Paul, who denies our heritage of separation of separation of church and state, states and local areas would be free to institute theocracies or at least much of the agenda of the religious right. These matters are far more important to most people who are concerned about freedom than whether we go to the gold standard, abolish the Federal Reserve, or withdraw from the United Nations.

I don’t doubt that Ron Paul himself is a decent and tolerant man. A world made up of more people like Ron Paul would in many ways be a more free world as in such a world people at the state and local level would not use states’ rights to oppress. However the world is not made up of Ron Pauls. There are also a lot of Don Blacks, and looking at Paul’s views makes it clear why he would support Paul. Freedom must be vigorously defended. This includes respecting the decision of the founding fathers to create a secular state, and this sometimes necessitates that the federal government steps in to protect the rights of the minority from the majority.

Be Sociable, Share!

10 Comments

  1. 1
    Gene says:

    I, for one, amd GLAD he’s keeping the money. It’s just $500 less the racist scumbag will have.

    But if people are gonna be demanding Ron paul give back money from scumbags, then why not pour through the donors of Clinton, Obama, Huckabee, Giliani, etc? I bet there are all sort of undesirables who have donated money to THEIR campaigns.

    When will YOU call for all donors to be screened by all campaigns???? Until such time, maybe it would be wise to stop singling out one candidate. Don’t wanna appear hypocritical, you know.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Gene,

    The idea of not wanting to send money back for Don Black to use has come up many times during this controversy. There’s a simple alternative to sending him the money–donate the money to charity.

    People aren’t only demanding that Ron Paul give back money. Other candidates have been in comparable situations and have returned the money. Paul is unique in his refusal to return this money, seriously harming his credibility. Any credible candidate in this position would return the money (or give it to charity) and Paul has destroyed any possibility of being taken seriously by his refusal to do so.

  3. 3
    Egosumabbas says:

    Politicians should not be judged by their supporters but merely on their own ideas. I’m sure you’ll find some ecoterrorists and other undesirables supporting Democratic candidates if you look hard enough. Pat Robertson just gave his endorsement for Giuliani, and he’s a Christian Nationalist. Does that mean that Giuliani thinks that 9/11 happened because of “pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the American Civil Liberties Union and the People For the American Way”? Not at all. You also have polar opposites of Nazi’s giving money to Paul; a brothel in Nevada and Andrew Sullivan for example. Returning their money just gives them more press coverage and their money back. It’s all just political stunts and CYA on the part of everybody. Isn’t it enough to say “Thanks for the money, by the way I hate you and think you’re 500 dollars poorer”?

  4. 4
    Egosumabbas says:

    Caveat: if the money donated is a product of theft, it should be returned immediately, such as the case of Norman Hsu.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Egosumabbas,

    Paul and his supporters can continue to try to spin this but what you fail to comprehend is that nobody but Paul supporters think the justifications make the slightest bit of sense. There is universal agreement from the left, right, and center that a contribution of this type, once identified, must be returned. His failure to do so is perceived by most as a lack of both ethics and judgment at very least as well as keeping alive the questions of racism. In light of his writings Paul especially needs to avoid any connection to such organizations.

    Paul needs to consider what he wants to stand for on this matter.

  6. 6
    Freda Nightengale says:

    In a democratic society, the giving of money reflects only on the donor, not the cause being donated to. Whether it is liked or not, racist individuals have the right to donate money to campaigns and campaigns really should not be in the position of determining the reasons behind the donation. The freedom that Mr. Paul espouses is one that protects the liberty of the most nefarious individuals, such as Mr. Black, to do what they choose to do within the confines of the law. To argue that Mr. Paul should return the money is to argue that Mr. Black should be stripped of his rights as a citizen. Since Mr. Black has not broken the law to the extent as to strip him of his rights as a citizen to donate, Mr. Paul is not only within his rights not to return the money or donate it to charity but instead did the ONLY right and proper thing to do: kept the money. If liberals (or conservatives) do not like that, they need to change the law and disenfranchise people based on racist belief. Unfortunately for liberals, that would violate the concept of freedom of speech.

    Ron Paul has attracted his source of nuts but he has also emphatically distanced himself from them by his public statements. Furthermore, a true reading of his writings will reveal NO racist tendencies whatsoever. Toleration of racism and allowance of racism is far different from being racist oneself.

    As an African-American woman, I support Ron Paul and his call for liberty and a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Mr. Paul calls for abolition of Roe v. Wade, as do almost all of the Republican candidates (Guiliani being the lone exception) but Mr. Paul is NOT for imposing his belief (that life begins at conception) on states that wish to enact laws to protect choice. Similarly, Mr. Paul does not call for a Constitutional Amendment eliminating gay marriage, even though he personally disagrees with it. In other words, under a Paul administration, the FEDERAL government retreats but the state governments can fill the void. Whether you like it or not, a large number of individuals do NOT agree with abortion rights and view them as fundamentally incompatible with the rights of the unborn and Mr. Paul is not going to impose his values on EITHER group.

    When it comes to “Jim Crow” laws, that is a red herring. NO STATE in the United States is going to enact such laws in the present day because the attitudes of the public have been changed. And anyone who levies a charge of racism against Dr. Paul had better remember that his first choice for a vice-presidential nominee is an African-American man, Walter Williams.

    Indeed, the real problem is not for the federal government to impose its “liberal” values on the states but for it to impose its “conservative” value on the states. Under Ron Paul, that won’t happen. For example, Ron Paul won’t deny medical marijuana to the sick in California. Remember that government intervention is a two-edged sword. Indeed, if truth be known, government cannot enact freedom, it is, always and everywhere, its antithesis.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    “To argue that Mr. Paul should return the money is to argue that Mr. Black should be stripped of his rights as a citizen.”

    That’s rather absurd. Ron Paul doesn’t have the ability to strip anyone of his rights as a citizen. Having his donation returned would not affect his rights as a citizen at all. There have been plenty of other cases of people having donations returned and they continued to live with their full rights as citizens.

    “Whether you like it or not, a large number of individuals do NOT agree with abortion rights and view them as fundamentally incompatible with the rights of the unborn and Mr. Paul is not going to impose his values on EITHER group.”

    The fact that some people do not believe that women have the right to control their own body is no more relevant than if some people do not agree that others have freedom of speech. When Paul acts to make abortion illegal, he is imposing his views on others and restricting their rights. Anyone who would imprison doctors for performing abortions is not a consistent supporter of freedom. Paul has also supported federal legislation to override state law regarding abortion, also contradicting his views on states’ rights.

    “When it comes to “Jim Crow” laws, that is a red herring. ”

    Not at all. You assume that no state would enact Jim Crow laws but what if you are wrong, or attitudes change? There would be nothing to stop them with Paul’s extreme view of states’ rights. In addition, if we had lived under Paul’s principles, the Jim Crow laws would never have been abolished in the first place. This is one case where government did act to protect freedom.

  8. 8
    Egosumabbas says:

    “Anyone who would imprison doctors for performing abortions is not a consistent supporter of freedom.”

    You still haven’t cleared up on how a woman’s right to property trumps the right of existence of a fetus. In order for that to happen, either a court or a legislative body has to decide that a fetus is not a human with full legal rights.

    “You assume that no state would enact Jim Crow laws but what if you are wrong, or attitudes change? There would be nothing to stop them with Paul’s extreme view of states’ rights.”

    When talking about Jim Crow laws, those are illegal under the constitution’s equal protection clause, and so the federal government can strike them down. The only way out of it is for a state to secede. A state has the right to secede in order to avoid following the constitution, but loses the benefit of free trade and military protection, among many other things. So yes, she is correct, that is a red herring.

    In any case, in a free market, a store that tries to block on group or another from participating is ultimately going to lose out to another store that welcomes anybody. This is *WHY* Jim Crow laws were passed in the first place – to trample economic freedoms by preventing businesses from giving adequate service to minorities. It is simply redundant to pass laws that say you MUST serve everybody; there is already an incentive to do so! No law should either positively or negatively discriminate. There will be unintended consequences, such as a person being fired for being a poor performer, then claiming it was because they had green skin with pink polka dots.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    Egosumabbas,

    Women currently have abortion rights under existing law so there is nothing to “clear up.”

    I’m not so sure from Paul’s writings that he would see Jim Crow laws as being illegal or that he would support intervention by the federal government. (Obviously the views of his supporters has no real bearing on Paul’s own views but I’ve also been disappointed to have many discussions with his supporters here where they tend to come down on the side of opposing any federal legislation in such situations.)

    I should have a post up on Paul’s latest ad in a few minutes if you are interested.

  10. 10
    Egosumabbas says:

    If you have media/press credentials, you might want to ask Dr. Paul that Jim Crow question yourself, I’m not qualified to answer it further. You might be surprised at how accessible he is. I’ll check out your ad post now, thanks.

6 Trackbacks

Leave a comment