“The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.
“In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person's character, not the color of their skin.
Ron Paul, Martin Luther King, and the space between
As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‘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.’
“This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It's once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.
“When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”
Talk about gross incompetence. If he really didn't write these words (I'm not going to say that he's necessarily telling the truth here, since he quite conspicuously didn't release the name of the person who did), then he should have at least glanced at them before publishing. If he didn't even have time for that, then he should have taken his name off the top of the Ron Paul's Freedom Report.
He may have just wanted to see his name on top of a piece of paper, which could mean that he's neither lazy nor a racist, homophobic lunatic - he's just an egomaniac.
I'm really trying to wrap my mind around the concept of publishing a newsletter filled with articles with no bylines with your name across the top and then saying that you believe nothing in it. I can't think of one explanation that would lead me to believe that Paul is qualified to work in the government in any elected capacity.
I have to mention that twisting of the image and legacy of Dr. King. Yes, he was a great man, and his politics weren't something he was concerned with pinning down in terms of a partisan debate. But his vision for America was something more in line with a socialist's than a libertarian's - it included eliminating income inequality, government forcing private enterprises to accept equality, and pretty much everything else that Ron Paul is against nowadays.
It seems that just about anyone today is willing to say that they love Dr. King's politics and then rewrite them to fit their agenda, in the same way that Republicans have re-written the words of Jesus to include discrimination against queers, torture, rampant economic inequality, and war. (I'm not equating MLK with Jesus here. I'm talking about the way people use their names and images cynically.)
No, MLK wasn't a libertarian, big or small "l". He didn't believe that government should stay out of private business. He didn't believe that the federal government had no business impeding on states' rights. He didn't believe that pretending that racism doesn't exist means that it doesn't exist.
To paraphrase Patricia Williams, we're never going to find a long-forgotten speech where MLK says: "Why don't we all just go home and get real jobs?"
The same with Rosa Parks - she didn't stand "steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies," she sat in defiance of systemic racism whose sole purpose was to degrade her and other Black people. The fact that the government was practicing racism in that instance came second to the fact that racism was being practiced at all, a realization that is fundamentally incompatible with Ron Paul's politics.
In other words, this response doesn't help me any. Than again, I was never planning on voting for Ron Paul.