Ron Paul emerges as an opponent of liberty


Ron Paul's recent hold on first place status in the Republican Iowa caucuses continued to slip in the final hours before the vote as the stories about his not so libertarian past continue to emerge.

While he claims to support personal liberty, many of his policy positions would do little to help the liberty of ethnic or sexual minorities. While he states that he believes marriage equality is the province of the states, he is now saying that he would have supported the Defense of Marriage Act were he in office at the time of its passage, and he even went so far as to introduce the We the People Act, which would prevent Federal courts from hearing cases on LGBT-rights cases.

Additionally, he opposes the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prevent employment-based discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Paul also opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended racial segregation of schools and businesses, on the grounds that it violates the rights of businesses.  He voted against reauthorizing the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2006, citing property rights and claiming that it was too costly.

Paul's economic policies, while consistent, would serve to benefit the most fortunate Americans. He supports a 10 percent "flat" tax, which would drastically cut taxes for richer Americans, while punishingly raising them for the working class. He has also voiced a desire to cut Medicaid, which provides health coverage for low income Americans, and a desire to privatize Social Security, which would tie retirement accounts to the whims of the stock market.

Ignoring the fact that tens of millions of Americans have benefitted from the program, Ron Paul calls the Federal college loans a "total failure." His disconnect from reality is even more frightening when one learns that the United States is projected to be short 16 million college educated workers in 2025.

Recently, Dr. Paul got into even deeper hot water over political and investment newsletters published under his name back in the 90s that contained racist and homophobic content as well as conspiracy theories. Even more disturbing, in 1993, Mr. Paul sent out an 8-page direct mail solicitation that contained a concentrated amount of this prejudice and conspiratorial thinking.

Among other things, it warned readers of a "coming race war," and claimed that the government was planning to track citizens via new currency. This letter also stated that a "federal-homosexual" conspiracy existed to cover up AIDS, as well as that people with HIV/AIDS "enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick." To round things out, the solicitation referred to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which Paul voted against, as "Hate Whitey Day."  At the bottom of this 8-page appeal for subscriptions is Dr. Paul's signature.

Overall as the reality TV show otherwise known as the 2012 Republican nomination process continues, it remains clear that Republicans still have no idea who they want to carry their banner against President Obama next November. So far, this has proven to be been a roller coaster of a spectacle, with dramatic raises and drops in poll support in the Republican party's desperate quest to nominate someone other than Mitt Romney.

Ron Paul's strong denials about his past do not match up with his past comments on these newsletters. In fact, during a 1996 interview with the Dallas Morning News, he defended racist comments made in a '92 newsletter, and claimed them as his own. The combination of the signed mail solicitation and his 90's support of many of the vile statements in the newsletter he published ought to make some reexamine his character.

Eric Dondero, a former assistant to Ron Paul for over 15 years, issued a statement on the website Right Wing News, in which he defended his former boss against charges of racism and anti-Semitism, however he did add that Paul was "personally uncomfortable" around homosexuals.

He recalled Dr. Paul meeting with a gay supporter, and refusing to use his personal restroom, instead asking his staff to find an "excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom." Dondero also told of an incident in which Paul refused to shake the hand of a gay supporter, and "literally swatted his hand away."

Whether Ron Paul continues to ride this new wave of support to win in the Iowa Caucus, or whether he will follow his "anti-Romney" predecessors and lose support once he's in the spot light remains to be seen. While his political consistency is something to be admired in D.C., his policy positions and past actions ought to leave many progressives too bitter a pill to swallow.

Photo: Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex. (Charles Krupa/AP)


Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.


  • News regarding the newsletter flap. James Kirchick just released the name of the only by-lined author from his pdf files of the newsletters. Why didn't he do this 4 years ago? Paul isn't believed by many when he says he didn't exercise sufficient editorial control. New Republic and Stephen Glass, anyone? The irony is that the original piece was written by Kirchick for, you guessed it, The New Republic.

    Posted by Woody, 01/06/2012 6:53am (3 years ago)

  • Frankly, I find it comical that one could write a piece like this, claiming anti-gay stances when perhaps the most homophobic modern politician is currently surging into first place. Where are the smear writings on that guy? RONPAUL2012!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Danny, 01/04/2012 4:14pm (3 years ago)

  • Ron Paul formerly supported DOMA but changed his opinion on it. His stances on the Civil Rights acts raises a valid question regarding how much of the progress with regard to racism was cultural and how much was legislated for us. Finally, the student loan program IS a failure. I fully support free public university, but subsidizing private ones has led to a huge tuition bubble. Nobody is benefiting from those levels of debt.

    Posted by William, 01/04/2012 3:03pm (3 years ago)

  • Ron paul will not have the ability as president to act on any of his past opinions some liberal commentators take issue with. Most of the domestic issues are purely the dominion of congress. He will have the ability as commander in chief to end the many useless undeclared wars that Obama has chosen to continue and start (Pakistan). If you support Obama, you support endless war. Hope you feel good about yourself.

    Posted by jehan, 01/04/2012 2:50pm (3 years ago)

  • Nice smear job. What is so difficult to understand? Do you actually believe that YOU should be FORCED to pay for something you don't believe in? Is it that difficult to understand the restricted powers granted to the Federal Goverment under the enumerated powers of the Constitution? Do you not understand that the genius of this document is that it FORCES Government to stand up and protect ALL people and personal property? And give me a break on the news letters. I thought actions speak louder than words - words which he refudiated by the way. His actions are proof of his anti-racist stance. His voting record is proof of his desire to see government limited to what our Founders envisioned. Just do a little research and you'll see pictures of Ron Paul as a Dr. helping the minority community. Delivering babies of minorities for free. Not taking a goverment subsidized pension, returning $140,000 of his salary back to the treasury last year alone. You tell me who else has this type of conviction. Not Obama, I can tell you that.

    Posted by kastlerock, 01/04/2012 1:17pm (3 years ago)

  • We're not all in this together, friend. We're divided into groups that we're expected to assimilate into. I only throw my lot in with the worthy, and that generally doesn't include those that would willingly burden me without offering something in return. Only family can get away with that, and even then, only grudgingly. I personally believe that Ben Franklin had it right.

    "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."

    Posted by Jesse, 01/04/2012 1:08pm (3 years ago)

  • I quit reading after the first two attacks... you apparently don't know what liberty is. Also Ron Paul topped the ACLU report card over all of the other main candidates! Your arguments are invalid!

    Posted by Jesse, 01/04/2012 1:07pm (3 years ago)

  • and he eats babies.

    The sad thing is people believe your lies. Your creative writing teacher should be proud.

    Ron Paul is our only hope of restoring the republic. Every other candidate is just old hat. If Ron Paul loses I see hard times for our country.

    God Bless America

    Posted by die trying, 01/04/2012 1:06pm (3 years ago)

  • Thomas, You may need to re-educate yourself on your political philosophy. Libertarianism is a staunchly RIGHT-WING ideology. It has and never will be associated with the left. Libertarianism is the advocacy of LIMITED government. The left (liberalism, socialism, and communism) require MORE government involvment. You cannot have individual freedoms simultaneously with laws that restrict individual freedom. Government's are proponents of massive amounts of laws, regulations, and oversights, which are the anti-thesis of the Libertarian platform. So you are wrong to say that it is an inherent "leftist" tenet. There are also signinifanct differences between "blaming" the downtrodden and promoting PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Of course there are situations that merit some consideration and support from others, but that should be a community effort NOT an enforcement by government. I find it ironic how many liberals champion how great we are as individuals, that we all have endless capability and self-worth, yet seem to think that our communities would fail to lend a helping hand to those in need. If you look at recent history, there is a direct correlation between charitable giving and the expansion of government. Maybe it is coincidence, but I am willing to bet that is not the case.

    Posted by knowlegdeispower, 01/04/2012 10:29am (3 years ago)

  • @Thomas Crescenzi
    I think you might have missed the mark. Ron Paul is certainly not a supporter of Ayn Rand if anything he is a supporter of Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises who differed considerably from Rand.

    The basic rothbardian libertarian tenet is that every individual owns him/herself as well the fruits of their labor ("homesteading principle"). Its a natural rights philosophy based on private property ("I own myself and I own what I make"). Any aggression against this tenet is viewed as immoral.

    Normal interactions between individuals in a free society are done in a voluntary capacity i.e. I own myself and my labor, I can sell that labor for goods since I value those goods more than my labor and the purchaser of my labor values my labor more than his goods. Or I exchange good X for good Y etc...

    The State is the only entity legally allowed to use force in the society and as such should be limited. Moreover, history shows that the State is always the worst violator of individual's natural rights to their property.

    A recognition of these basic principles drives the philosophy of liberating individuals from the arbitrary power of the State.

    If I may, I suggest you look into the Austrian School of Economics as it is certainly not the same thing as Ayn Rand's cult of personality

    Posted by money_matters, 01/04/2012 9:26am (3 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments