Alex Blaze

Ron Paul, Martin Luther King, and the space between

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 09, 2008 12:18 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Martin Luther King Jr., racism, response, Ron Paul, Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Rosa Parks

The Paul Campaign's response to his hateful newsletters is available:

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.

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.


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I have to say Alex you are not on solid ground here.
I could write a Pro Catholic Newsletter and cacall it
"The Alex Blaze Report". I would be within my legal rights to do so.

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.)

Try to remember this when you quote something someone says without having a source to back it up. When i say this i mean it kindly but to do otherwise is lazyness. There is too much of this just saying someone says that so & so said "blah blah blah" And i know you can do better.

Some of us vote for the party and candidate we think will win, because we don't be seen as a non conformist. Others vote for a candidate based on other superficial issues. Some vote for the man or woman for their ideals and how closely they conform to the Constitution and the ideals set down in that document.

I disagree with your statement that equal rights are not compatible with Ron Paul's beliefs or his record as a congressman.

Before you step too deeply into this pile you should actually go and see who Dr Paul represents.
His district in South Texas is made up of Minorities. Blacks Hispanic and a few white folks.
They just keep voting for him, he serves their interest.

I could understand if yo just would come out and say I can't support Dr Paul because he is not a socialist
We could agree to disagree and get on with our business, however to make statements about the man that that are not true, and you cannot back up is not the Alex i have come to know....
Take care
Sue

What happens in 2018?

When someone says: Alex, remember that stuff you wrote back in 2008 when you wrote bla, bla, bla on Bilerico?

Well, we're stil holding you accountable for every single word.

What? It's over 10 years later? Doesn't matter.


You've realized you were wrong and irresponsible and you apologised publicly?

You can't do that...you're guilty just the same.

Granted, I don't believe Ron Paul-- especially after reading this. He's a politician and he'll say whatever he thinks he has to say to get elected.

But he doesn't stand a chance in Hell of ever getting elected.

Digging up dirt that's a decade old seems reductive. It's not like Paul can't be criticized for lots of other things.

As Sue wrote yesterday:

"You also know this is election season and as was discussed on the radio this morning the articles in question were not written by Dr Paul and a retraction was printed in the next news letter.

You just have to consider the source...."


Sue~ Are you seriously saying that MLK fought for states' rights? I'd like to see the speech where he condemned the federal government's integration of public schools. (And please realize I can't produce it because it never happened.)

It wouldn't be the same situation is someone started a Pro Catholic newsletter and put my name on it because:

1. I'm not actually in charge of it, like Ron Paul was,

2. There's nothing wrong with being pro-Catholic, and

3. Yes, I would have the ability to go after whoever put that out for libel if the contents were as bad as what was in the Freedom Report.

I didn't say that advocating equal rights was incompatible w/ Paul's politics. I said MLK's vision of the world and MLK's definition of "equal rights" are.


R~ Um, if he wrote in that newsletter "I love the flat tax" and he said ten years later "I love the national sales tax idea", that wouldn't be a big deal. This isn't just a small change in policy or something like that. This isn't about combing through looking for tiny details. These are huge elements of his writing (or maybe someone he directed to write) that are more than just about policy - they're about whether he even has the ability to think clearly or respect others.

Yes, if I wrote screeds like those on this site and I were running for office a few years from now, it'd be fair game to bring it up. And I'd piss and whine and moan like Paul is doing now, because that's what politicians do, but it'd still be fair.

I mean, the Right thought it was fair to bring up the fact that certain Edwards staffers wrote about how they disagreed with the Pope several years before being hired. This is the candidate himself or someone under his direction writing things that are a lot more offensive than disagreeing with the Pope.

On the source, as I said TNR isn't the best magazine, way too mainstream for me and too centrist in its politics, but they didn't just make up these newsletters. And Paul hasn't released that retraction or the name of the person who actually wrote it, so it's not like he's really helping his credibility here.

And we're still waiting for those Ron Paul supporters....

And Sue continues the Paul Cult preaching, complete with referring to him as "Dr. Paul", as if this makes him any better of a person or more qualified to lead. Drink that Kool-Aid, Sue, don't let us unbelieving heathens stop you from your blind worship. Never mind that Ron Paul is a hateful bastard, complete with multiple votes against things like the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

And R, please note that time does not change words. If he did not write these things, then why didn't he put a stop to the newsletter going out under his name, signed BY HIM? Why didn't he sue the people putting the letter out? Certainly someone would have told him his name was being used like this. (By the way, who is this unnamed ghostwriter who supposedly put these letters out? We've seen no evidence of their existence other than the bleating of the Paulbots.)

The Paulbots are in denial that their God-King Fuhrer Ron would ever do these things. I'd suggest they read up on what answers the fallacious questions they put out each time someone calls their Messiah on his hate.

Damian, you paint with an awfully broad brush. I've said on Alex's original post and on my own blog that I do not like these comments and that I wish he hadn't allowed them to be published. I am glad that at the very least he has issued a retraction of sorts. It doesn't go far enough for me- the language of apology and distance from the bigotry isn't strong enough for my liking.

So, let's put aside the notion of The Cult of Ron Paul, and blind worship, because it's a load of BS.

Paul has indeed voted against various civil rights law. Being that I had an opportunity to speak with Ron Paul in a private conversation back in 2002, I can tell you that it is not because he is a "hateful bastard", but because the role of various levels of government is important to him. He is very much a state's rights person, and very anti-federal. There is no doubt in my mind that these votes are going to be misconstrued as being anti-civil rights by anyone unwilling to look any deeper than the vote itself.

Check out this article written by Paul (definitively!) on the subject of racism, for a sense of how he addresses civil liberties:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul381.html

This argument goes to an elemental level of solving a problem, and it brings to mind many of the discussions I had surrounding last year's SJR-7 here in Indiana, the so-called 'gay marriage bill'. I believe that we would be much better off getting government out of the business of marriage altogther, allowing the individual churches to decide their own policies on the matter. It's a parallel to the state's rights approach, although not anything enforced by government.

Many reponded to me by saying they didn't think this was adequate. They felt the etching in government stone was necessary to have a sense of being protected. Fair enough, but that's the real distinction and difference.

I can understand if you will continue to read hate into Ron Paul because of what he allowed to be printed under his name. I just hope you won't tar all of us libertarians on account of it, because truly, if there is a phrase that sums up libertarianism, it is "live and let live".

Mike~

First, I don't think that you're part of the "Cult of Ron Paul", but you have to admit that there are definitely some people who are well described by that phrase. For a couple of months last year whenever we'd post about Paul on this site we'd get a bunch of comments from people who never commented before at IP addresses that never visited the site before.

Other blogs, like Scott-o-rama and Americablog, all noticed. It started a running joke because these people had most likely signed up for google alerts and just showed up at any site that said anything about him to tell the world how great he is, how anyone who criticizes him is an idiot, and that the MSM all hate him (that one is probably true).

They're probably worse than the Obama supporters in those terms, but you can't say that they don't believe in what they're doing. They just go overboard and some people can't take them seriously.

Not all Ron Paul supporters are "Ronbots", you definitely aren't, but some are. I think they haven't come to us on this specific item because of burnout from the rest of the year and the fact that almost all the blogs lit up over this story. But when it's just us, they come here in droves.

The states' rights argument I never understood. Why is it ok for one level of government to discriminate but for another not to? I think that whether it's the federal government not passing civil rights legislation or the states, people are just as unprotected. Just like if the states or the federal government execute someone, that person's just as dead, no matter what Ron Paul's politics were.

The only reason I can think that libertarians love state governments so much is that they're so much more easily... persuaded by big business to change policy in their favor than the federal government. Perhaps I'm wrong.

No ALex you need to re read what i said.
MLK was fighting for Equal Rights (and you know i know it)

3. Yes, I would have the ability to go after whoever put that out for libel if the contents were as bad as what was in the Freedom Report.
Actually you are dead wrong there and would be not only wasting your money but you might end up back in court facing abuse of process charges.

The nice thing about Dr Paul is he doesn't have Vince Foster's blood on his hands.


Damian
I refer to Dr Paul because he Is.


Take care
Sue

Sue~

We all know MLK was fighting for "equal rights" and that Ron Paul says he will as president. The point isn't that they say or believe that they're fighting for equal rights - it's that they have fundamentally different ideas of what "equal rights" means.

Sometimes words have multiple interpretations depending on who is doing the interpretation. Just like the words in the Constitution can have multiple interpretations, even though Dr. Paul won't acknowledge that.

Alex i have to disagree with you about he Constitution. it was written in the same language we speak and we have all the thoughts of it's framers on paper or in books to tell us exactly what they meant.

As the oldest child and grandchild in a family who are business owners going back some four generations i can tell you government involvement in the business of doing business usually impairs the health of business. My grandparents were hiring minorities when few in SanDiego were... They hired and rewarded people on the quality of their work regardless of the color of their skin.

Alex if you don't understand the state's rights argument perhaps a brief trip back to the constitution is in order...

This country was founded to be fifty independent states with the Federal government responsible for a common currency, defense of the borders and the coast lines, interstate commerce, And the rights guaranteed the People by the Bill of Rights.

Re Read the Tenth Amendment.


You know one thing is sure...
Just bring up Dr Paul and the posting stats for the site rise markedly.

Take care
Sue

Maybe listening to those smater than most in the Constituitional field before opening your mouth would serve many of you well.

Fox News' Judge Andrew Napolitano has a new book called "A Nateion of Sheep" Read it and see who the good Judge says is the ONLY CANDIDATE that would save America and not destroy it for power and greed..

I DARE YA!!!

And R, please note that time does not change words.

You are so wrong.

If you say to me: "You're a racist because you made racist comments ten years ago," that means that you believe I can never learn, grow, or change and any chance of ending prejudice and inequality goes out the window.

time does not change words.

And time does change words...or rather the meaning of words changes over time. See the Oxford English Dictionary for proof.

R makes a good point.
People do change, and to deny that means all efforts of raising the quality of acceptance let alone racism goes out the window...

Maybe we should just give up trying for equal rights all together and just go to the club get drunk and then get laid...
Forget about the rest it's not worth it.....


Take care

Sue

I am being sarcastic however Lets try to remember people do in fact change and they get more enlightened with time usually.

Wait, Sue, that's not an argument. You can't just say "go read the 10th amendment" and call it a day! It's almost like you just read the Constitution and think that everyone is going to interpret it the same way and just accept it as the way the government works.

Esp. true in the 10th amendment, which doesn't list out what those police powers are, etc.

Maybe that 50 independent states idea gets to the crux of the argument in favor... divide and conquer the populace. If they think of themselves as 50 separate states instead of one country, then they're easier to push around.

Paul fans talking about the constitution remind me so much of fundamentalists talking about the plain meaning of scripture.

Kevin there is a really big difference...
We have the commentary of the founders of this country to back up what their intentions were when they wrote the Constitution...

What do we have for Scripture....
Except for the Bahia faith there are no notes from the Profits of all those other religions.

Alex...

The tenth amendment sets the boundaries between the states and the federal government.

The Framers were very explicit in their division of power and the limitations placed on the federal government.

I am not going to quote it here you can go look it up, it's written in plain English.

Take care

Sue


Also, who cares what the founders think?!? They also thought slavery was fine! Some of their ideas were good, but some were stupid. It makes no sense to me to shape your ideas about what civil society should look like based on the opinions of a bunch of dead rich white guys 250 years ago.

Kevin
By the time they won independence most of them were poor educated white trash. They had put all their money into their dream of a free country.

Take care
Sue
PS...
Not all of them believed in slavery.

As a regular Bilerico reader and unfortunately a former Ron Paul supporter...

I wanted to say that I'm ashamed, I feel completely betrayed, and sorely disappointed by all that has recently come to light.

I will never defend that man again.

Freedom and liberty are great ideas, but not when masked by shear hatred and bigotry.

Kelly

This is still the part that sticks out to me:

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 consider myself a quality product. When I'm mentioned in the media, I check for accuracy. And when I publish on my site, I am doubly careful. If I allowed someone else to publish on my site in my name? I'd be watching that like a hawk.

Checking for accuracy and quality is easy when you are a 2 or three person operation.
What if you are a 25 person or more operation and on top of that you have a medical practice?
You cannot be everywhere at once and what about people who use your name without your permission like the Ron Paul Gold company You cannot just issue a cease and desist order. Most states will allow me to use your name in my company.
"The Bill Browning waste disposal company".

You and I don't have control over our names.
(believe me I know that first hand)
I have had thoughts of marketing sex aids under the name of the Bill and Hillery Bush Co.
I can do that and there isn't anybody on Earth who can stop me.

We have to remember our name may even be not our property under the right circumstances.

Take care
Sue


Sue, we're a 50 person operation and I run a consulting business. I'd still triple check anything that went out for public consumption in my name. In fact, I check a lot of the contributors' posts to ensure accuracy. End of story.

And as for the whole "I can start a company with your name" argument, it's a red herring. That isn't what happened here. No one just started a magazine in his name while he didn't know (or do) anything about it. It was his "report."

As Alex says, that means he's either not a good manager or he's lazy or too easily distracted.

You know this thread could set a record for the site...

Kelly
I think you should reconsider..
Have you actually seen the damming content?

You know as well as i that the bottom of the barrel can always be found in political campaigns.

They call them Campaigns for a reason.
Old Latin word for war.

we all know the only rule in war is

There are no rules.


Take care
Sue

Sue,

Yes, I've read it all, and the bottom line is that I find argument justified at this point...and I'm quite sure that my fellow democrat/independent comrades who joined the Paul camp over the last year are feeling the same way.

Those who continue to support this man, in my opinion are overlooking some serious and atrocious character flaws that I cannot bring myself to overlook.


By the way- thanks Bil

Kelly

beergoggles | January 9, 2008 10:28 PM

Ron Paul might have a few good ideas, but his hedging on his hateful newsletter is very telling.

He won't name the guy who wrote it because it's likely some nutcase at lewrockwell.com who is currently actually working within Paul's campaign.

Have a look around the lewrockwell website and then seriously tell me you want those whackjobs as part of the presidential cabinet running this country.

Sue~ I admire your tenacity in standing by Dr. Paul.

That said, if he really couldn't handle a newsletter and a medical practice (completely understandable), then he should have taken his name off the newsletter.

While I think it would have taken too long for him to check the newsletter before it went out to see that he agreed with what's in it, he could in fact have not had the hour a month necessary for that. But if he didn't even have that much time, he didn't have time to have a newsletter.

That putting someone's name on a newsletter against their will doesn't apply here. It was his newsletter, he even confirmed that.

And if any contributor on this 50-person operation, as Bil said, wrote something like what's in those newsletters, you can trust that Bil would at least know about it. He wouldn't be saying years later that he just never read the site with his name at the top.


BG~ Oh, yeah. I kinda want to know who actually wrote them if it was in fact someone else. There has to be a reason he's hiding his or her name, and it has to be worse than people believing that Paul may have written everything himself.

Oh, two more things:

Kelly~ Doesn't matter who you're voting for, you're welcome to join any discussion here! We love it when you participate.


Sue~ We're nowhere near the record (and I'd love to be able to hold that title). It's somewhere in the triple-digits and held by one Ms. Marti Abernathey.

Alex..
Marti is good for starting threads...
We have had our going-arounds before.
:)
Take care
Sue

beergoggles | January 9, 2008 11:14 PM

Well, whatdya know, search and you shall find: http://www.reason.com/blog/show/124283.html#874781

Ron Paul staffer admits that he, along with the Rockwell nutjob did write some of the newsletters and that Paul did have a hand in their writing.


Bill
It's good to see someone who runs a business with a high standards of quality and that you have budgeted the time to oversee that those standards are maintained.

Kelly, and Alex...
My Support or Dr Paul has little to do with the man but what he stands for. He is the only contender who would pull us out of the war in the middle east. He also is the only one who would limit government's invasion of my daily life. And as i have said before Alex in the world we live in we have little or sometimes no control over how our name is used by others. I seriously doubt that Bil has applied for a trade mark for The Bilerico Project, something Bil you should consider as it will tighten the control you have over the TBP's good name.

Ron Paul staffer admits that he, along with the Rockwell nutjob did write some of the newsletters and that Paul did have a hand in their writing.

Thank you BG

I thought Rockwell was dead?
That must be an oversight on the part of fate.


Take care
Sue


As someone who was fully invested in supporting Ron Paul I am greatly saddened by these past newsletters.

Words cannot describe how let down and foolish I now feel after reading the "New Republic" article and the supporting documentation.

At worst the man who was my hero hates me, at best he allowed bigoted, racist, homophobic people, to use his name to spew forth their vitriol for 30 years.

And while in my heart I believe and hope it is the latter, this is of little consolation. This speaks directly to his decision making ability or more directly, his lack thereof.

Furthermore, his laissez fair response to the uncovering of these newsletters is hardly enough to overturn my utter disappointment.

Unfortunately, the collateral damage done to the ideas of non-interventionism, individualism, and limited government have sealed the deal on a march towards further collectivism and coercive majority rule.

Mark my words that there is no hope, America will slide into fascism as articulated by Naomi Wolf in "The End of America, A letter of Warning to a Young Patriot" and Patrick Buchanon in "Day of Reckoning"

With fall of Dr. No, comes the reconfirmation that all politicians are the same, only out for themselves whilst they divide us into smaller and smaller people groups.

As it stands now, this may be the first time in the 12 years I have been able to vote, that I abstain, as it seems the Republic is irrecoverably broken.

Don't worry Allison...
Dr Paul will survive this.

One is best off judging a man by his actions and his
Voting record in congress.

Regardless of what may or may not have been said...
Dr Paul is better then
Hillery Clinton who has not even enough self respect to ether dump Bill (the man with the out of control genitals) or admit she doesn't care what he does.

Just goes to show you can always find worse then Dr Paul.

Take care
Sue

Bottom line - No action, vote or word that has come out of Ron Paul has been Racist. Judge the man's character by this and this alone.

Bloggers and writers question his character by allowing the newsletter to be written by bigots and by being so hands-off in his treatment of it. So be it. How in ANY way this either 1) discredits his philosophy or 2) public representation of his views or 3) voting record that pays complete respect to the constitution and free-market economy? It doesn't, period.

How ANYONE is saddened by this, I can not imagine. Consider the gravity of the issues we're talking about when you consider questioning Ron Paul's integrity.

Thanks for visiting our site.

I think the people disappointed with Ron Paul do understand the gravity of this situation. I think the only person who doesn't is Ron Paul himself, as evidenced by how he's just whining about how this affects his chances at winning.

No one says it changes what libertarianism is. It just changes what we know about Ron Paul himself. And if he were to become president, libertarianism wouldn't be in charge, he would.