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5 Reasons Progressives Should Treat Ron Paul with Extreme Caution -- 'Cuddly' Libertarian Has Some Very Dark Politics

He's anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-senior-citizen, anti-equality and anti-education, and that's just the start.

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Ron Paul also occasionally appears at events sponsored by the John Birch Society, the segregationist right-wing organization that is closely aligned with the Christian Reconstructionist wing of the religious right.

In 2008, James Kirchick brought to light in the pages of the New Republic a number of newsletters with Paul's name in the title -- Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report, and The Ron Paul Investment Letter -- that contained baldly racist material, which Paul denied writing.

At NewsOne, Casey Gane-McCalla reported a number of these vitriolic diatribes, including this, on the L.A. riots after the Rodney King verdict: "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began.”

In a related piece, Jon C. Hopwood of Yahoo!'s Associated Content cites a Reuters report on Paul's response to the TNR story, which came in the form of a written statement:

The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.... I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.

2) Ron Paul on Reproductive Rights

The sponsor of a bill to overturn Roe v. Wade, Ron Paul's libertarianism does not apply to women, though it does apply to zygotes. His is a no-exceptions anti-abortion position, essentially empowering a rapist to sire a child with a woman of his choosing. Although Paul attributes his stance on abortion to his background as an ob-gyn physician, it should be noted that most ob-gyns are pro-choice, and that Paul's draconian position tracks exactly with that of his Christian Reconstructionist friends.

While mainstream media, when they're not busy ignoring his presidential campaign in favor of the badly trailing former Utah Gov. John Huntsman, invariably focus on Paul's economic libertarianism, Sarah Posner, writing for the  Nation, noted that during his appearances leading up to the Iowa straw poll (in which Paul finished second only to Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minn., by a 200-vote margin), "launched into gruesome descriptions of abortion, a departure from his stump speech focused on cutting taxes, shutting down the Federal Reserve, getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan and repealing the Patriot Act."

3) Ron Paul on LGBT People

While it's true that Paul advocates leaving it to the states to determine whether same-sex marriages should be legally recognized, it's not because he's a friend to LGBT people. Paul's position on same-sex marriage stems from his beliefs about the limits of the federal government's role vis-a-vis his novel interpretation of the Constitution.

In fact, a newsletter called the Ron Paul Poltiical Report, unearthed by Kirchick, shows Paul on a rant against a range of foes and conspiracies, including "the federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS," to which Paul parenthetically adds, "my training as a physician helps me see through this one." The passage, which also portends a "coming race war in our big cities," complains of the "perverted" and "pagan" annual romp for the rich and powerful known as Bohemian Grove, and takes aim at the "demonic" Skull and Bones Society at Yale, not to mention the "Israeli lobby," begins with the paranoid claim, "I've been told not to talk, but these stooges don't scare me."

While Paul denied, in 2001, writing most of the scurrilous material that ran, without attribution, in newsletters that bore his name in the title, this passage, according to Jon Hopwood, bears Paul's byline.