So a staffer working for Ron Paul made a terrible mistake today and tweeted out a picture which included very ugly stereotype caricatures of Jews, blacks and I’m not sure who-all. They deleted it immediately after followers replied pointing out the caricatures at the bottom. But the vultures at the Hill, Reason and other places pounced.
So here’s some things about that:
Again, the staffer deleted it immediately and then tweeted out an explanation that Dr. Paul does not tweet himself — which is obvious to anyone who follows him on Twitter, like myself: the only Tweets from that account are virtually always links back to material published elsewhere, rather than the actual man interacting with people himself.
There are factions of liberals mostly, but including some leftists and libertarians as well, who are determined to paint Ron in a negative light, especially as some cranky old Jesse Helms-type mean-old-racist white guy. But that is just horseshit. Anyone with the slightest acquaintanceship with Dr. Paul’s career, or especially who knows him personally, knows that he is a kindly old gentleman, as simple as that. He’s a doctor, not a lawyer. He’s still married to the same lady he’s been with since they were 16, with no scandals whatsoever. And he is just not the kind of guy who mumbles hateful things about anyone under his breath or secretly harbors racial resentments against minorities.
The situation is much like when people try to convince themselves and each other that Mr. Rogers must have had a secret dark evil side because who could possibly really be such a decent person in real life? But it wasn’t true. He was exactly the man he appeared to be.
Ron Paul really is like Mr. Rogers: decent above all else.
Earlier in Dr. Paul’s political career, 40 years ago, he might have had more of a conservative-nationalist point of view on things like relations with China, but none of his writings then, or in all the decades since, betray the slightest hint of hate or contempt for racial minorities of any kind. It’s just not there.
In the late eighties and early nineties some deliberately insensitive columns were published in Ron Paul’s newsletter. It was part of some libertarians’ strategy to try to recruit parts of the populist right by sounding more like them. It clearly went way too far in many ways. Except everyone already knows that Ron Paul, who was back to practicing medicine at the time, did not write those articles and later expressed what was obviously genuine regret about it, when, for example, he talked about how bad he felt about an attack on Rep. Barbara Jordan that was published in the newsletter because of how sincerely he liked her from their time in office together in the previous decade. This was a bigger error than the one that took place today, but in neither case is it slightly plausible that some secret mean old Ron somehow let the mask slip and revealed his true, dark self. It’s completely absurd.
It’s obvious why dishonest liberals hate Dr. Paul so much: he’s to the right of them and yet is way better on cops, prisons and wars than anyone they can even think of on their side, thus showing them for the hollow hypocrites that they are. True, liberal-hating leftists should be able to see right through these attacks.
And the libertarians who smear their greatest champion over stupid stuff like this? What can one say about them?
It should be assumed that besides the dishonest media attackers and other vultures, will be honest people who have an honest concern, even if they got it from some jerk. There was a mistake made, the kind of one that could really make people question their trust in Dr. Paul’s great moral example as a fighter for truth and freedom for all people. As self-appointed, uninvited, outside PR advisor, I think Dr. Paul should add an apology to his explanation about what happened. Again, not to pander to dishonest enemies, but to make his thoughts and feelings on these matters clear to honest folks who want to know. His true opinions are the right answers anyway. So there’s no need to “give an inch,” but do take the opportunity to make this a teachable moment for the movement and for outsiders as well.
I would also urge a retirement of the nearly meaningless phrase “cultural Marxists,” who the cartoon that caused the trouble this morning was criticizing. Like “the Globalists,” this term is far too overly broad and poorly defined. Not for decades have any of scores of different factions of leftists, much less all of them, called themselves by this title. It is only used by detractors to conflate and accuse vast numbers of different factions of leftists, many with very different agendas from each other, of somehow secretly coordinating together to wage war on American society by encouraging… what exactly? PC? Legal pot? Outlawing micro-aggressions? Protesting against killer cops? Lobbying for easier divorces? Nationalizing the wheat fields? No one knows because there’s really no such thing. Dr. Paul himself routinely talks about the importance of getting along with progressives and others of principle on the left, many of whom are great on the wars — our essential allies, in fact — and want to see society changed for the better in many of the same ways as we libertarians do. Precision in language is especially important on things like this. Social Justice Warriors are annoying. They are not a threat. And though loud, they do not represent the agendas of everyone on the left. Overly-obnoxious demands for politeness? Meh. If that’s Marxism in 2018, we should consider ourselves very lucky.
Here’s most of my speech I gave last Saturday about the greatness of Dr. Paul and why we should seek to emulate his bravery. Unfortunately the beginning part with some of the best pro-Ron stuff didn’t make the recording. I’ll update if better video surfaces.
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