Ron Paul has written many things over the years under his own byline, and it strikes me that these differ greatly in tone and content from the un-bylined newsletter articles. Some of the items Kirchick quotes directly contradict things Paul has said on the public record. Others, like the references to “pervert prostitutes,” seem contrary to the spirit of his longstanding support for decriminalizing drugs, prostitution, and most adult consensual sex, his personal social conservatism aside. And Paul has not run a race-baiting campaign for president, even including his controversial (among his own supporters) immigration ad. All these things ought to be taken into consideration before concluding, as Kirchick does, that the only alternatives can be that Paul “really is a straight talker” from a racist perspective or a “man filled with hate.”
I personally don’t believe Paul wrote the odious stuff that Kirchick has uncovered. But as I’ve written elsewhere, the tendency to attract racists and anti-Semites is itself a moral and political liability for the paleo right. Racists and anti-Semites should not be writing these types of newsletters. I agree with Jesse Walker and Nick Gillespie that the Paul campaign should be transparent and out the writers of these tracts and assure us their connection to Paul has ended.
MORE: I should add that I don’t think the flavor of this piece is that of a dispassionate attempt to get to the bottom of Paul’s views. It tastes more like this: Take “Unpatriotic Conservatives,” add a pinch of Max Blumenthal’s articles archive, sprinkle some Southern Poverty Law Center press releases, and hit frappe.
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