I'm a Ron Paul supporter but I've been thinking about those Ron Paul newsletters. I'd heard a bit about them back in October and I had a feeling then that they would probably be the undoing of his campaign. Now with all the current attention, I have to admit that there IS something that bothers me about his connection to them and that he is being disingenuous about how they came to be and who actually wrote them.
I've come to the conclusion that Ron Paul is not a racist, but those newsletters demonstrate really bad judgment on his part, and I've been inventorying my thoughts trying to decide whether my support is bad judgment as well.
There's a well-used phrase that you see in a lot of comments by Paul supporters, that is, "I don't agree with everything he says, but..." and that phrase is one that I've used, too. Paul's stands on war, imperialism, civil liberties, and the economy are sufficient for me to set aside most of my differences with his other positions.
But I have a tough time setting aside racism and though I don't think Paul is racist, he's CLEARLY had commerce with them over his political life, and more than likely some entanglement with them still exists.
Which brings me to Paul's other brush with racism and the media: his acceptance of $500 from white supremacist Don Black of Stormfront. Paul's been badgered to return the money and he's declined to do so. His campaign people fielded most of the criticism and stated, "if someone with small ideologies happens to contribute to the campaign thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he's wasted his money"
At the time I agreed with that sentiment, but now I think that he really should return the money. Not because he now ought to make some politically correct gesture to appease his critics and distance himself from this racist mess that he's in. It's just that Paul is keeping the money under false pretenses. I'm just making the simple observation that people like Don Black and Stormfront are the very sort who likely subscribed to those odious newsletters.
It's hard to feel sorry for a racist, but if Paul's going to repudiate the words in those newsletters, I think Don Black ought to get his money back. It's just a matter of principle.