Now that Ron Paul is undeniably a front runner, he faces intense scrutiny from the mainstream media. Unlike the rest of the GOP field, Paul has an almost flawless record. With just a few exceptions over the past ~30 years, such as his previous support for the death penalty and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy, Paul has never flip flopped on any of his policy positions. Since the media can’t criticize his consistent record or any extramartial affairs– he has been married to his high school sweetheart for over 50 years– they choose to hammer him about some newsletters written under his name about twenty years ago.
Several newsletters have been published under Ron Paul’s name since the 1970′s such as Dr. Ron Paul’s Freedom Report and Ron Paul’s Freedom Report–products of his admirable think-tank the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education– along with the The Ron Paul Investment Letter, The Ron Paul Survival Report and Ron Paul Political Report. The vast majority of these newsletters were “fairly conventional” in that they discussed free market economics with a focus on monetary policy. Unfortunately, there were brief periods mostly in the early 1990′s when mainly the Ron Paul Political Report published a handful of inappropriate articles.
My purpose is not to defend those specific newsletters which did, in fact, contain offensive and ugly material. I’ve seen the same few controversial passages brought up over and over again. Of course, Ron Paul didn’t write those letters. Public figures almost never write any of their own articles, newsletters or books. As a ghost writer myself, I’ve written dozens of letters and op-eds for well-known political figures. Many of them are published without the direct approval of the supposed author. Some of the “authors” do not even know my name.
The newsletters sound absolutely nothing like anything Ron Paul has ever said. It’s not his tone and it clearly does not reflect his long-held beliefs. I have frequently challenged people to find one racist thing that Ron Paul has ever said in a speech or interview. No one has ever sent me any proof despite the probably millions of Ron Paul videos on YouTube. For comparison purposes, here is an actual quote from Ron Paul on racism:
Rosa Parks is one of my heroes. Martin Luther King is a hero. Because they practiced the libertarian principle of civil disobedience, non-violence. Libertarians are incapable of being racist because racism is a collectivist idea, you see people in groups. A civil libertarian sees everyone as an important individual, it’s not the color of their skin that is important like Martin Luther King said. What is important is the character of the individual. You know what is really interesting though? And this could be behind it. Because I as a Republican candidate, probably am getting the most number of black voters and black supporters.
Click here to see the rest of the YouTube video.
That sounds more like the Ron Paul that I know. And it’s a quote directly from his mouth instead of on some decades-old newsletter. Should Ron Paul have paid closer attention to the newsletter written under his name? Yes, of course. That was a huge mistake and I sincerely believe he regrets it. He has repeatedly said time and time again that “I didn’t read them at the time, I didn’t write them, and I disavow them. ” Dr. Paul says that he was too focused on being a full-time medical doctor and raising five children in Texas plus this was back in the olden days before the Internet made it easy to share documents. He essentially just lent his well-known name to the letters.
Some critics have cried “if he didn’t even read the newsletter, how is he qualified to be president?!” I’ll say it again, he should have read and stopped the offensive newsletters from ever being published. He has apologized and accepted moral responsibility for allowing them to go out under his name. But let’s face it, he has had far fewer gaffes than any of the other presidential candidates.
This error in judgement is just one strike against him. But it in no way compares to all of Newt Gingrich’s baggage, in my eyes.