In a recent interview, Ron Paul stalked out after being confronted – yet again – with allegations that some early newsletters in the 80′s and early 90′s contained explicitly racist remarks. Given that these newsletters had his name on them, we are all right to at least wonder if he honestly holds any of these views, and just why in the name of heaven they came out in HIS newsletters.
However … we’ve already gone down that road. He claims not to have written them and he has actively distanced himself from them. Given the nature of how large organizations work, it is quite easy to believe that those newsletters, with his name on them, where being sent out, month after month, without him even reading them. (I find this disturbing still. I would be infuriated to have such drivel associated with any project I was a part of.)
That’s all beside the point, though. To paraphrase Emerson, “Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” In this case, Paul’s actions are the policy positions he takes on issues directly effecting minority people.
Let’s see: does a candidate who does any of the following seem like a racist or bigot to you? 1) Be the only one in a Republican debate to oppose racial profiling 2) Frame his opposition to the death penalty and end of the war on drugs in terms of discrimination by the law and law enforcement 3) Implore citizens of Christian America to put themselves in the perspective of Muslims in the Middle East when thinking of our foreign policy?
Or take this view on Paul:
His opponents are often on the wrong side, at least if you’re someone who thinks that it’s wrong to lock people up without due process or kill them in drone strikes or destabilize their countries by forcing a war on drug cartels even as American consumers ensure the strength of those cartels.
Here’s Andrew Sullivan on why he’s supporting Ron Paul for the GOP nomination:
In supporting Ron Paul, I am backing one of the few candidates in the GOP field not to have exploited racial code words, homophobia, illegal immigration, or generalizations about Muslims that come easily to the mind of, say, Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain, who actually said he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to his cabinet! I am backing one of the few GOP candidates not to have endorsed torture and to have opposed the Iraq war. To pick Paul out as the core bigot in this crowd, and to regard anyone who backs him as tainted by bigotry … seems to me to be perverse.
Finally, to quote the New York Time on Ron Paul:
(Paul is) the kind of conservative that Tea Partiers want to believe themselves to be: Deeply principled, impressively consistent, a foe of big government in nearly all its forms (the Department of Defense very much included), a man of ideas rather than of party.
(Hat Tip: The Daily Dish)