Ron Paul's Old Newsletters Filled With Deeply Racist, Anti-Semitic and Homophobic Rants
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Beginning in 1978, Rep. Ron Paul's (R-TX) name graced newsletters that were released on a seemingly monthly basis: Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report. "The Freedom Report's online archives only go back to 1999," but The New Republic's Jamie Kirchick recently tracked down physical copies of many of the pre-1999 reports.
According to Kirchick, they're peppered with a "decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays." Here are a few examples:
On David Duke: "Our priority should be to take the anti-government, anti-tax, anti-crime, anti-welfare loafers, anti-race privilege, anti-foreign meddling message of Duke, and enclose it in a more consistent package of freedom."
On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "[A] comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration."
On African-Americans: "I've urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming."
On Gays: "Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities."
In his article, Kirchick writes that "with few bylines, it is difficult to know whether any particular article was written by Paul himself" and that "the vast majority of the editions" that he "saw contain no bylines at all." Paul emphasized this point in his response to the article:
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. [...]
Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.
But as Kirchick -- who has been criticizing Paul for months -- notes, "[I]t is difficult to imagine how Paul could allow material consistently saturated in racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy-mongering to be printed under his name for so long if he did not share these views."
Some of Paul's supporters in the blogosphere give him more of the benefit of the doubt, but still admit that the "truly odious material" released under his name is " really stunning." Andrew Sullivan writes that "it's up to Ron Paul now to clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the past."
Matt Corley is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.