I have watched with some amusement as centrist, liberal and uncategorizable blogs attempt to herald Ron Paul as a reasonable conservative, especially after his statement in the last debate that claimed that American foreign policy invited the 9/11 attacks. That blame-America, 18th-century isolationist thinking appeals to a large subset of the voting population, and for the past week we have been treated to an avalanche of paeans to Ron Paul in the blogosphere.
However, Republicans have always known that Ron Paul is a loose cannon waiting to blow up in the face of unsuspecting followers. Some intrepid bloggers, such as Curt at Flopping Aces, have a few more examples of Ron Paul's "truth-telling" that will also surely get the endorsement of these same bloggers. Right?
Eleven years ago, the Houston Chronicle reported that Ron Paul's newsletter highlighted what he saw as a criminal community (emphases mine):
Paul, writing in his independent political newsletter in 1992, reported about unspecified surveys of blacks.
"Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action,"Paul wrote.
Paul continued that politically sensible blacks are outnumbered "as decent people." Citing reports that 85 percent of all black men in the District of Columbia are arrested, Paul wrote:
"Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal," Paul said.
Paul also wrote that although "we are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers."
Not enough yet? How about Paul's suggestion that the age of adulthood for criminal prosecution be lowered -- for blacks?
He added, "We don't think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That's true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such."
But, hey, Paul's paranoia isn't limited to African-Americans. He fears the Joooooooos, too:
Stating that lobbying groups who seek special favors and handouts are evil, Paul wrote, "By far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government" and that the goal of the Zionist movement is to stifle criticism.
This still may not convince liberals that Paul is nuttier than Aunt Mabel's pecan pie, but this next part will be guaranteed to end the Paul boomlet on the Left:
Relaying a rumor that Clinton was a longtime cocaine user, Paul wrote in 1994 that the speculation "would explain certain mysteries" about the president's scratchy voice and insomnia.
How did Ron Paul explain these writings? He claims that he didn't write them himself, but his staffers did -- and it was "too confusing" to explain afterwards:
His reasons for keeping this a secret are harder to understand: “They were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them . . . I actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesn’t come from me directly, but they campaign aides said that’s too confusing. ‘It appeared in your letter and your name was on that letter and therefore you have to live with it.’”
Um, yeah. A politician sends out a newsletter filled with these kinds of paranoid rants, and then claims it would be "too confusing" to fire the people who supposedly wrote it in his name and explain that he didn't really believe in any of it. There's some real truth-telling for you!
So, who among Paul's recent defenders as "the only one ... who truly believes in individual liberty and actually believes everything he says" wants to tell us again why Paul is such a great candidate for President?
UPDATE: Folks, real conservatives don't propose to create special distinctions of criminals based on the color of their skin. (Neither do real libertarians, for that matter.) Here's the entire text of Ron Paul's newsletter, and another snippet (emphasis mine):
Regardless of what the media tell us, most white Americans are not going to believe that they are at fault for what blacks have done to cities across America. The professional blacks may have cowed the elites, but good sense survives at the grass roots. Many more are going to have difficultly avoiding the belief that our country is being destroyed by a group of actual and potential terrorists -- and they can be identified by the color of their skin. This conclusion may not be entirely fair, but it is, for many, entirely unavoidable.
Anyone who thinks that a man with this in his past can get elected President (as opposed to, say, the Senate seat from West Virginia) is as deluded as Ron Paul. Anyone defending these statements marginalizes himself.