Really. How forcefully has Dylan tried to change the direction of the evil wind of racism and anti-Semitism in Ron Paul's newsletters? It makes little difference when they were written, as long as Congressman Ron Paul was an adult at the time, having reached the age of reason, consent, and personal responsibility. The capacity for blind rationalization by Ron Paul sympathizers is amazing. It isn't just the meek acceptance of absurd excuses, namely that he did not write the newsletters and was unaware of their content. It's the unquestioning acceptance of Paul's evolving contradictions, that his statements were taken "out of context" or happened too long ago to be relevant today.
That's patently ridiculous, but apparently true believers like Dylan Ratigan continue drinking the Kool-Aid. Even Rachel, who should know better, samples the devil's brew. They choose to believe the excuses. The rest is hidden in a penumbra which cannot be perceived without special truth spectacles as supporters continue writing tortuous justifications for immorality. (Question for Rachel: how many straight non-homophobes that you know refer to gays as "queers"?)
Here's the thing. Some people want so hard to believe Paul's mild-mannered demeanor cannot possibly conceal the ugly bigotry of an authentic paleolibertarian (which is just a fancy word for bigot) that they have totally overlooked the fact Paul has already damned himself with his own words. Ron Paul's protestations, (a) that he was unaware of his newsletter racist eruptions, and (b) he didn't read them, i.e., he only knew of the topics, writ large, are lies. In the May 22, 1996 issue of the Dallas Morning News, Paul, "who is running in Texas' 14th Congressional District, defended his writings in an interview ... He said they were being taken out of context." Really? What "context" is needed for this (emphasis mine):
In subsequent news reports, Paul spokesman Michael Sullivan deflected the racism charges with more rationalizations, also providing the six degrees of separation and "plausible deniability" that have become the crutch of Ron Paul's excuses for his racism today. Here is a typical series of Sullivan rationalizations:Dr. Ron Paul, a Republican congressional candidate from Texas, wrote in his political newsletter in 1992 that 95 percent of the black men in Washington, D.C., are "semi-criminal or entirely criminal."
He also wrote that black teenagers can be "unbelievably fleet of foot." [...]
According to a Dallas Morning News review of documents circulating among Texas Democrats, Dr. Paul wrote in a 1992 issue of the Ron Paul Political Report: "If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be."
In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.
"If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them," Dr. Paul said.
He also said the comment about black men in the nation's capital was made while writing about a 1992 study produced by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank based in Virginia.
Citing statistics from the study, Dr. Paul then concluded in his column: "Given the inefficiencies of what DC 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."
"These aren't my figures," Dr. Paul said Tuesday. "That is the assumption you can gather from" the report.
This passage concisely sums up why Paul supporters earnestly split hairs making specious distinctions between racism and the "political philosophy" in Ron Paul's "intellectual" writings. Since "polls show that only about 5 percent of people with dark-colored skin support the free market, a laissez faire economy, an end to welfare and to affirmative action," and "Paul does not consider people who disagree with him to be sensible," therefore, according to Ron Paul, "only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions.""Dr. Paul is being quoted out of context," [Paul spokesman Michael] Sullivan said. "It's like picking up War and Peace and reading the fourth paragraph on Page 481 and thinking you can understand what's going on." [...]
Also in 1992, Paul wrote, "Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions."
Sullivan said Paul does not consider people who disagree with him to be sensible. And most blacks, Sullivan said, do not share Paul's views. The issue is political philosophy, not race, Sullivan said.
"Polls show that only about 5 percent of people with dark-colored skin support the free market, a laissez faire economy, an end to welfare and to affirmative action," Sullivan said. [...]
"You have to understand what he is writing. Democrats in Texas are trying to stir things up by using half-quotes to impugn his character," Sullivan said. "His writings are intellectual. He assumes people will do their own research, get their own statistics, think for themselves and make informed judgments."
This is typical of Ron Paul's sophistry, his circular logic and arrogant false syllogism whose reasoning depends entirely on the infallibility of Paul's political libertarian philosophy. No wonder Paul's cult of supporters are so, well, characteristically fanatical and cult-ish. Even worse is the inherent racism of such spurious claims.
On the one hand, Paul denies being a racist, suggesting his paleolibertarianism does not distinguish or discriminate by groups or classes of people; yet on the other hand he does precisely that, with generalizations based on polls or studies. It's a convenient way of dismissing 400 years of slavery and racism, a bloody civil war that claimed 600,000 lives, Jim Crow, and the resulting civil rights and voting rights legislation. As long as we follow those constitutional provisions we like and do others no harm, there is no need for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits racism and discrimination based on sex or ethnicity. Ron Paul would have voted against it. How quaint.
Ron Paul's political philosophy isn't centered on reality. The reality is that Ron Paul cannot point to a single solitary historical example of a government that was based on his political philosophical abstractions. His isn't a prescription for "liberty"; it's a roadmap to anarchy and authoritarianism, to exploitation of the weak, the poor, and the elderly — our most vulnerable citizens.
Dylan Ratigan might overlook Ron Paul's hideous and unresolved racist past with a fortune cookie message from this rather pathetic oracle of the misguided and the ignorant. But we should not. (Youth and inexperience are no longer credible excuses for Mr. flip-flops Ratigan ... or is he barefoot?) Quite the contrary. As an MSNBC host with a big megaphone, Ratigan has a responsibility to report the truth and to condemn racism in all its forms.
Meanwhile, back at Dylan's Magical Mystery Jobs Tour, the cocktails with the cherries and little umbrellas (to better protect them from the economy's ill winds) are just off-camera ... How about that for an envy-causing, midriff-growing gig; Dylan, you bon vivant rascal: