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Ron Paul is Not A Bigot: Refuting the New Republic Charges

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The Newsletters Are Extreme Anomalies

In evaluating this issue, it is vital to consider the following points.

No one has EVER heard Ron Paul, in ten congressional terms, two presidential races, and endless public speeches, interviews and appearances, utter one racist or bigoted comment.

In decades of public service and a very public life, there are no damning video or audio clips, no damning quotes, absolutely nothing -- except this small, very specific handful of quotes from these newsletters. Zero. Nothing else. The newsletters are extreme anomalies. Not only do they not sound like him -- they are obviously extraordinarily inconsistent with the man’s entire life and worldview.

Ron Paul is always described by those who know him, or have encountered him, as a gentleman free from racial prejudice and truly concerned about peace, liberty, and equal justice for all, a man of the highest moral character. There is no hint of bigotry in his personal or professional associations. While it is a cliché, it is nonetheless true that some of his closest associates and personal heroes are blacks and Jews. He delivered babies free of charge to impoverished minority women.

Paul has repeatedly denounced racism. In 2002 he wrote: “Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans only as members of groups and never as individuals. Racists believe that all individual who share superficial physical characteristics are alike; as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups.”

Paul’s congressional voting record has been completely consistent with the above statement. So has his campaign, which has brought support from all races and from across the political spectrum.

* In 1993, when the worst of the newsletters were being published, Ron Paul very publicly endorsed the Virginia General Assembly campaign of Rick Sincere, an openly gay Libertarian. Says Sincere: “Ron Paul issued a letter on my behalf, soliciting funds from libertarians and votes from constituents. ... Dr. Paul (then a former congressman) was aware I was running as an openly-gay candidate and he raised no questions, concerns, or objections. I hardly think a homophobic bigot would have sent out a fundraising letter over his own signature, endorsing (as the Washington Times stylebook would have it) an ‘avowed homosexual’ for public office.”

* In Congress, on April 20, 1999, Paul declared: “I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks, who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.”

* Again in Congress, on Jan 17, 2007, he praised Mohammed Ali as “a man of great courage... he practiced what Martin Luther King made popular, civil disobedience, because he disagreed with the [Vietnam] war... what Muhammad Ali did eventually led to getting rid of the draft... I see what Muhammad Ali did as being very great.”

These are unlikely words, and unlikely heroes, for a bigot.

Should We Continue to Support Ron Paul?

It is predictable that many who opposed Paul's campaign from the beginning, for other reasons, would now jump on this and trumpet it. It is, despite TNR’s distortions and smears, a legitimate news story. And Paul’s campaign has been tarnished.

The Paul campaign will have to deal with the TNR charges. I hope, for the ideals Paul stands for, and for the sake of all the people who have poured their hearts and money into his heroic and exhilarating campaign, they do so effectively.

I will continue to support Ron Paul. First and foremost, because I very strongly believe that the fifteen-year-old newsletter garbage is not his words or his beliefs.

Second, because he is the only candidate who has the wisdom and courage to denounce American imperialism, to ferociously defend the civil rights of all Americans, to call for the restoration of the Bill of Rights, to oppose the wretched War on Drugs, and to take other bold pro-freedom positions. He is the only voice for liberty in this presidential race on many, many vital issues. He and he alone is the candidate of peace, non-intervention, and limited government. And Ron Paul has inspired a thrilling, utterly unforeseen, mass grassroots movement fired with enthusiasm for these grand ideals.

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JAMES W. HARRIS has published hundreds of articles in publications including THE NATION, REASON, THE FREEMAN and many more. He is editor of THE LIBERATOR ONLINE, the email newsletter of the Advocates for Self-Government, with over 70,000 (more...)
 

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Only two GOP candidates have money, Romeny (his ow... by Jeanette Doney on Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:07:17 PM
Mr. Paul's defense is indeed unsatisfying. Acc... by Molly Malone on Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 3:53:31 PM
with their inexhaustible able to deny in the face ... by chariotdrvr14 on Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 4:38:19 PM
Just as racial slurs are insults. Consider what ki... by Ingrid on Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 9:59:29 AM
Why Reason Magazine turned on Ron Paul: How d... by Joe Allen on Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 5:25:03 PM
For the education. Very illuminating, thorough pos... by Ingrid on Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:08:17 AM
I think James Harris has presented a generally tho... by ernie1241 on Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 5:11:09 AM
The topic of racism comes up so often in discussio... by Ingrid on Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:14:01 AM