The Weekly Standard: The Company Ron Paul Keeps
In January 2008, the New Republic ran my story reporting the contents of monthly newsletters that Paul published throughout the 1980s and 1990s. While a handful of controversial passages from these bulletins had been quoted previously, I was able to track down nearly the entire archive, scattered between the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society (both of which housed the newsletters in collections of extreme right-wing American political literature). Though particular articles rarely carried a byline, the vast majority were written in the first person, while the title of the newsletter, in its various iterations, always featured Paul’s name: Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Political Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report, and the Ron Paul Investment Letter. What I found was unpleasant.
“Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks,” read a typical article from the June 1992 “Special Issue on Racial Terrorism,” a supplement to the Ron Paul Political Report. Racial apocalypse was the most persistent theme of the newsletters; a 1990 issue warned of “The Coming Race War,” and an article the following year about disturbances in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., was entitled “Animals Take Over the D.C. Zoo.” Paul alleged that Martin Luther King Jr., “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours,” had also “seduced underage girls and boys.” The man who would later proclaim King a “hero” attacked Ronald Reagan for signing legislation creating the federal holiday in his name, complaining, “We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.”
Hmm. I wonder — if Dr. Paul wins the nomination, do you think his “Hate Whitey Day” stuff–or maybe his overall opposition to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday–is going to be pointed out by the Obama-loving mainstream media? Nahhh…
One newsletter reported on the heretofore unknown phenomenon of “Needlin’,” in which “gangs of black girls between the ages of 12 and 14” roamed the streets of New York and injected white women with possibly HIV-infected syringes. Another newsletter warned that “the AIDS patient” should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva,” a strange claim for a physician to make.
Oh, no! Look out for those needle-wielding gangs of 13-year-old black girls! If only Ron Paul would be as concerned about nuke-wielding radical Islamists as he was about syringe-happy black pre-teens, maybe I could live with his views on national security and foreign policy.
Three months before far-right extremists killed 168 Americans in Oklahoma City, Paul’s newsletter praised the “1,500 local militias now training to defend liberty” as “one of the most encouraging developments in America.” And he offered specific advice to antigovernment militia members, such as, “Keep the group size down,” “Keep quiet and you’re harder to find,” “Leave no clues,” “Avoid the phone as much as possible,” and “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”
Now, I’m the last guy who is going to look down upon someone for standing up for themselves. I’m a gun owner, I’m a damn surgeon with my carry gun, and as we start to make a little money I’m starting to prepare for large-scale societal breakdown, keeping an eye on Europe as a way to understand what could happen here. However, I also engage in enough perceptional thinking to understand how the left–including the mainstream media–looks at and portrays self-sufficient people. Think of how the Gabrielle Giffords shooting was blamed on Sarah Palin because her map had crosshairs on it — imagine how the mainstream press is going to portray Dr. Paul’s advice for militia members.
No foreign country was mentioned in the newsletters more often than Israel. A 1987 newsletter termed it “an aggressive, national socialist state,” and another missive, on the subject of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, concluded, “Whether it was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.” In 1990, the newsletter cast aspersions on the “tens of thousands of well-placed friends of Israel in all countries who are willing to wok [sic] for the Mossad in their area of expertise.”
Well, at least he used the term “Islamic fundamentalists.” No wonder so many people who align with Ron Paul specifically for his foreign policy views find themselves blaming the American government for the 9/11 attacks.
But … but … these words aren’t his!
This is just a sample of the hateful and conspiratorial nonsense that Paul promoted for decades under his own name. His response to the revelations was nothing short of unbelievable. “The quotations in the New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed,” he said. “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.” In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer two days after the article appeared, Paul waved away accusations of racism by saying that he was “gaining ground with the blacks” and “getting more votes right now and more support from the blacks.”
Yet a subsequent report by Reason found that Ron Paul & Associates, the defunct company that published the newsletters and which counted Paul and his wife as officers, reported an income of nearly $1 million in 1993 alone. If this figure is reliable, Paul must have earned multiple millions of dollars over the two decades plus of the newsletters’ existence. It is incredible that he had less than an active interest in what was being printed as part of a subscription newsletter enterprise that earned him and his family millions of dollars. Ed Crane, the president of the Cato Institute, said Paul told him that “his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for the Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto.”
For more, you’re going to have to read the linked piece. Please remember, though, that if the mainstream media paid as much attention in 2008 to Barack Obama’s associations with people like Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi and Tony Rezko as they will certainly spend in 2012 talking about Ron Paul’s association with Willis Carto, we’d be running John McCain as an incumbent right now.
Look, I like and admire Dr. Paul for his frank assessment of domestic and economic policy. I am absolutely, positively on board with him when it comes to that. However, his views on foreign policy are reckless, his dismissal of national security issues is scary, and his background–insofar as these newsletters could be attributed in some way to him–makes him unequivocally incapable of winning in the general election.