I have noted and leveraged the fact in my writings that there is apparently no controversy associated with Ron Paul. Despite the media’s persistent resistance of his platform and proven record of flat-out ignoring him, nothing has been used to actually discredit him in this election cycle…yet.
That got me thinking: can a politician with unassailable integrity actually exist? How sad is it for American politics that this must be a question, but this is universally the nature of politics and the very heart of why our founders distrusted government.
I have recently gained a strong interest in Ron Paul’s vision for the United States. Though there are issues over which I disagree with him (even strongly) his intense and consistent constitutional foundation all but ensures that he will allow his ideas to be accepted or rejected on a national level as intended by our founders. This is why our government was set up as a democratic republic- so that even the president himself can’t impose his will without the will of The People. Ron Paul has always demonstrated a firm respect for this philosophy.
As a political student, I would be remiss to not seek to challenge Ron Paul’s character. After all, I believe a true American patriot takes it upon himself to know both the good and bad of what he believes to be for the greater good of the nation. Everything has positive and negative consequences. What we should seek is the prevalence of a certain fidelity in the face of opposition. An idea that can’t stand to a solid challenge is not worth supporting. Thus, I challenge Ron Paul’s integrity as a candidate for President of the United States in 2012.
My action plan was simple and fairly fool-proof in today’s internet linked society. I performed an internet search of “Ron Paul scandal” with the intent to follow any lead within a source that could provide unique information on different “scandals”.
The list is short: very short. Ron Paul may be a racist.
There is nothing else on him except interpretations and analysis of the potential consequences of his strong Libertarian political approach- this is hardly scandalous being as the very core of libertarianism is an adherence to constitutional principles. The idea that a candidate is racist is certainly disturbing, but this notion as it pertains to Dr. Paul is frustrating to make any comment on because I have not found a single source that actually provides original documents or copies of entire statements rather than just the apparent racist extracts. I have followed many links to supposedly legitimate sources and found nothing. This makes for an uncompelling argument for even a loosely objective researcher.
According to multiple sources (here and here for examples) Ron Paul supposedly wrote racist comments in two separate releases of his newsletter and maybe speeches as recently as 1992 (yeah, twenty years ago), but without legitimate sources cited it’s impossible to say what goes to what. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this because of the unavoidably speculative nature of my comments. So, let’s take just a few and see what we can make of them.
“Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” – Ron Paul, 1992
I’m really not sure what’s wrong with this. This quote is clearly mocking the justice system in Washington D.C. and using the “inefficiencies” of the system to extrapolate a statistic that is skewed to make a point. What was the point? Nobody knows without reading the entire text from which this quote was taken.
“What else do we need to know about the political establishment than that it refuses to discuss the crimes that terrify Americans on grounds that doing so is racist? Why isn’t that true of complex embezzling, which is 100 percent white and Asian?” – Ron Paul, 1992
This appears to be trying to point out that certain crimes are largely specific to certain cultures. While it is naïve to think that certain crimes are not committed more by certain groups I struggle to believe that Ron Paul would ever have said that 100 percent of anything is done by any specific group, but maybe he was using statistics from a Department of Justice report that looks specifically at the correlation of race with embezzlement among other crimes. Only paper copies of the report can be ordered so again the point is impossible to glean without citations to at least the entire statement itself.
“I wouldn’t vote against getting rid of the Jim Crow laws.” -When asked if he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act.
So what??? This is not a racist remark- it distinctly acknowledges the flaws of the Jim Crow laws. The worst this quote is was an unwillingness to answer the question directly with a “No” in an effort to circumvent the inevitable and baseless racist association. Either way he is superficially labeled as racist so what difference does it make? He has consistently argued that the Civil Rights Act was an overreaction to racial tensions that has encouraged racism to endure and felt that there were better alternatives. All the quotes associated with the Civil Rights movement mean absolutely nothing without knowing his entire argument.
The only thing that indicates many of these quotes are at least accurately extracted is that Ron Paul has acknowledged them, but refused to explain them. He has denounced some and even dismissed some as written by a staff member without his knowledge (again, without specific sources it’s impossible to say what he has directly addressed). He has openly accepted responsibility for all the content of his newsletters and attempted to leave it at that even for the comments he has denounced. This is a questionable political strategy with the hope that it will be sufficient to put the matter behind him, but is in no way evidence of racism. He’s damned no matter what he does.
For comparison, here is an actual racist quote with the argument that whites are performing the best in schools because they are intellectually superior to Latinos and blacks:
“And while only one in twelve white seventeen-year-olds has the ability to pick up the newspaper and understand the science section, for Hispanics the number jumps to one in fifty; for African Americans it’s one in one hundred.”
As you can see, the distinction between what are quotes taken out of context and a quote such as this is striking.
Perhaps you are on to my ploy already. The last quote was from President Barack Obama who was trying to address specific struggles in education goals. Obviously I took it out of context. Just because something is said to be so does not make it so.
Anyway, I could go on and on with speculation on what all the alleged quotes could mean. If this is the worst anyone can dig up on Ron Paul then there is no case against him- especially since not a single quote can be said to have been written by him. Look up any other candidate and “scandal” and there are far more substantive cases. That is except for Jon Huntsman. Huntsman’s character is squeaky clean according to what I can turn up, which is pretty impressive considering he is not exactly a newbie to the political arena, but that’s for another blog entry.
As for Ron Paul and anti-Semitism, the matter is the same so I won’t waste much time with it. Basically, because Ron Paul authored a proposal that would end foreign aid to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Pakistan (3 of four of these countries are Muslim and involved in actions against Israel) while saving $6 billion dollars he is anti-Semitic. Also, because of another supposed quote attributed to him stating that he is critical of Israeli lobby groups who extract $3 billion a year from us and because he wouldn’t aid preemptive military actions by Israel (or anyone for that matter- even us) against Iran he is anti-Semite. This is so ludicrous I won’t legitimize it with any manner of response.
What I will say is that this sort of poisonous association of withdrawing federal money and aid from endless programs as being “against” the individuals or groups associated with the program simply does not apply to Ron Paul because he is so universally resistant to federal intervention. This does not lend him to any criticism that he favors or dislikes any particular group. He does not dislike groups. He dislikes federal meddling.
My conclusion is that Ron Paul’s character is sound. No proof exists that he is racist or anti-Semitic, as if there’s a difference. There is certainly reason to keep a close eye on him as with any politician, but the fact of the matter is that there is no measurable dirt on the guy. Disagree with him all you like, he is nearly the perfect candidate for president if integrity is of any importance to the Presidency.