Many Libertarians Shocked By Exposure of Paul’s Relationship To Extremist Right

Over the last few months as revelations about Ron Paul’s ties to racist and neo-Nazi groups have been been reported some libertarians have become critical of Paul while others found excuses for his inexcusable behavior. The recent revelation that Paul does not accept evolution as established science had disillusioned many rational people who were had considered supporting him due to his opposition to the war. I found my post on Paul’s view of evolution has received numerous links from other blogs and forums. The reports in The New Republic on the racist writings in Paul’s newsletter are even disillusioning many libertarian writers and bloggers.

Radley Balko is “disappointed in Paul and in his campaign.” Paul might not personally be a racist, but his lack of understanding of the magnitude of this problem is a problem in itself. Balko wrote, “like Nick Gillespie, I think the most disappointing thing about all of this is what Dave Weigel posted this afternoon from New Hampshire: Paul doesn’t consider this worthy of a serious reaction. I was hoping for much, much more.”

Nick Gillespie is also disappointed in the response, writing, “I don’t think that Ron Paul wrote this stuff but that really doesn’t matter–the newsletters carried his name after all–and his non-response to Dave Weigel below is unsatisfying on about a thousand different levels. It is hugely disappointing that he produced a cache of such garbage.”

Daniel Koffler presents a long list of quotations from Paul and writes, “as a libertarian with significant sympathy for Paul’s platform, I initially viewed claims of his past history of racism skeptically. But the evidence is so overwhelming that the defense of Paul is now, itself, indefensible.”

David Harsanyi writes, “If George Bush or Hillary Clinton or any mainstream politician were even remotely associated with the sort of rambling anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist and paranoid text, they would be finished as legitimate voices. Paul should be finished, as well.”

Publius Endures writes, “At a bare minimum, the whole sequence shows horrible leadership; more likely, however, it shows actual sympathy for the views expressed therein.”

Ryan Sager writes, “To be clear: It doesn’t matter one bit if Ron Paul wrote any of this. It went out under his name, it reflects the views of many of his supporters, and he’s at the very least tacitly endorsed all of it for years by not denouncing it. Ron Paul doesn’t get to be judged by a lower standard because he’s a fringe candidate anymore. If Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, or anyone else had stuff like this under his name, it would be a career ender. That it’s not for Ron Paul shows exactly what his supporters are all about.”

Rand Simberg writes, “I’m willing to believe that he wasn’t the author, and even that he didn’t endorse the newsletter, but I find it troubling that he let this stuff go out under his own name for so long. The fact that he now takes “moral responsibility” for it now is nice, I guess, but it really makes one question his judgment. And his campaign continues to attract many unsavory elements of American politics, including 911 “Truthers,” who he seems to unwilling to denounce.”

Michael Goldfarb writes that the documents “prove what most of us knew all along: Dr. Paul isn’t just kooky, he’s deranged.” He argues that Paul’s refusal to return the contribution from Don Black as meaning, “He’s been speaking in code to the dregs of American society this whole time. And he had no intention of alienating his base of support.”

Arnold Kling suggests that Paul supporters might “Abandon Ron Paul, and question whether it is a good idea to be part of any mass movement.”

The problem with the Paul movement is that it has become a cult. Far too many of the cultists not only are willingly blind to their leader’s faults but have also begun to internalize his beliefs as they justify his writings and actions. If libertarianism is to have any credibility, libertarians must realize that Ron Paul’s views are not really about freedom except for providing the framework to defend the freedom to discriminate and oppress.

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4 Comments

  1. 1
    Raphael says:

    Is the whole story a Bush psy-op?
    Think about it. The only republican anti-war candidate is certainly troublesome for the current administration. All the other candidates are Bush cheerleaders, and if Bush wants the GOP to win desperately enough, he can arrange fear or rather fear so the public will vote another republican war president.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXOkVTJWnI4

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Typical Paul conspiracy theorist.

    Bush didn’t write the racist articles in Ron Paul’s newsletter.

    Bush isn’t responsible for Paul keeping the contribution from Don Black.

    Bush isn’t responsible for all the right wing extremists who have been on Paul’s staff.

    Bush didn’t turn Paul into a conspiracy theorist.

    Bush isn’t even responsible for a the Paul supporters who post racist and anti-Semitic comments around the blogosphere.

    Ron Paul is responsible for these problems. He is responsible for his own newsletter, for his association with extremists, and for his views.

  3. 3
    David Drissel says:

    Ron Paul has become the darling of the Internet it seems as of late, especially when it comes to alienated young men who are searching for something or someone to believe in. It’s understandable that they are looking for an alternative to the jingoistic bellicosity of the neo-conservatism of Bush, Romney, Giuliani, McCain, et al.

    I certainly appreciate the passion of Ron Paul on the Iraq War issue, but I believe that many of Paul’s supporters seem to discount his radical far-right stances on numerous other issues.

    It’s important to note that Ron Paul is certainly not the only anti-war candidate. For example, I support Barack Obama who was an early outspoken opponent of the invasion of Iraq. Barack also has voted against further funding of the Iraq War and has opposed the Administration’s rush to war in Iran.

    But unlike Paul, Obama would work to find a political solution in Iraq and elsewhere. He would not simply exit the region in typical isolationist fashion. The U.S. must stay engaged in the Middle East – but with diplomacy, not bombs. I don’t think that Paul fully understands American national interests in the Middle East and elsewhere. Paul even seems to be an apologist at times for Jihadism, making it sound as though America is somehow at fault for 9-11. This type of rhetoric is particularly disturbing.

    Most importantly, Paul is a radical far-right libertarian extremist who wants to dismantle most of the federal government. If Paul is elected and has his way, say goodbye to environmental protection, student loans and grants, anti-trust laws, food stamps, public schools, minimum wage laws, national parks, social security, gun control laws, Medicaid (with even more millions of people uninsured), etc.

    I ask Ron Paul supporters: Is that really want you want? Do you really want to completely demolish our federal government and let people fend for themselves – living at the mercy of big corporations as our jobs are outsourced and our backyards are polluted? Do you really want Paul to take your student loans away, as he has pledged to do?

    Paul has also published some very disturbing comments in the past about African Americans, Jews and other minorities. For example, the following was included in his 1992 newsletter:

    “The criminals who terrorize our cities — in riots and on every non-riot day–are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are. As children, they are trained to hate whites, to believe that white oppression is responsible for all black ills, to ‘fight the power,’ and to steal and loot as much money from the white enemy as possible.”

    I do indeed appreciate the fact that Paul has stood up to the Republican establishment on the war. But that’s not the only issue. On virtually every other issue, Paul would abdicate America’s moral responsibility to her citizens and return our country to the bad old days of laissez (isn’t) faire. He’s not even an authentic civil libertarian, since he is anti-choice on the abortion issue and is opposed to gays serving openly in the military.

    For those of you who have been flirting with supporting Paul’s candidacy, please take a second look. I hope that you will reconsider your support of Paul (who is bound to fall in the Republican caucuses and primaries) and instead support the viable candidacy of Barack Obama!

  4. 4
    Matthew J. Price says:

    As a one-time libertarian party member, I too once supported Ron Paul and libertarianism until two things happened: 

    1) I developed a more complex and academically-padded understanding of history, philosophy, the development of language, linguistics, political science, and the world in general. This happened over a span of three years.

    2) Ron Paul’s past ties to other darlings of corporate largess such as Dick Armey and Ed Koch came to light. 

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