Is Ron Paul a Madman or a Misunderstood Genius?

Ron Paul wants to be a republican president. Is he a misunderstood genius? Or is he simply a madman feigning lucidity?

 


I watched Ron Paul on Meet the Press where he claimed Abraham Lincoln should not have tried to end slavery by starting the Civil War:

“Six-hundred-thousand Americans died in the senseless Civil War,” he said. “No, he should not have gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original tenet of the Republic,” he told NBC’s Tim Russert. “Slavery was phased out in every other country in the world,” Paul continued, responding to the question if America would still have slavery had there not been the Civil War. 

“The way I’m proposing that it should have been done is do it like the British Empire did — you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans?… I mean, that doesn’t sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.”

Here’s video of that appearance. Is Ron Paul right about the Civil War? Was the way to avoid all those deaths simply to have the government buy the enslaved and set them free? Some believe the Civil War was not about slavery, but rather about state rights. Are those believers madder than Ron Paul? 

After Paul’s appearance on Meet the Press, some of his past newsletter activism came into view and accusations of Racism were leveled against the candidate:
Paul’s alliance with neo-Confederates helps explain the views his newsletters have long espoused on race. Take, for instance, a special issue of the Ron Paul Political Report, published in June 1992, dedicated to explaining the Los Angeles riots of that year. “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,” read one typical passage. 

According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with “‘civil rights,’ quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda.” It also denounced “the media” for believing that “America’s number one need is an unlimited white checking account for underclass blacks.”… In June 1991, an entry on racial disturbances in Washington, DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood was titled, “Animals Take Over the D.C. Zoo.” 

“This is only the first skirmish in the race war of the 1990s,” the newsletter predicted. In an October 1992 item about urban crime, the newsletter’s author–presumably Paul–wrote, “I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming.” That same year, a newsletter described the aftermath of a basketball game in which “blacks poured into the streets of Chicago in celebration. How to celebrate? How else? 

They broke the windows of stores to loot.” The newsletter inveighed against liberals who “want to keep white America from taking action against black crime and welfare,” adding, “Jury verdicts, basketball games, and even music are enough to set off black rage, it seems.” Martin Luther King Jr. earned special ire from Paul’s newsletters, which attacked the civil rights leader frequently, often to justify opposition to the federal holiday named after him. (“What an infamy Ronald Reagan approved it!” one newsletter complained in 1990. “We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.”) 

In the early 1990s, newsletters attacked the “X-Rated Martin Luther King” as a “world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours,” “seduced underage girls and boys,” and “made a pass at” fellow civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy. One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,” and “Lazyopolis” were better alternatives. The same year, King was described as “a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”

Blacks weren’t the only minority to take on the wrath of Ron Paul’s publications. Gays and Jews were also similarly bashed. 

Even if Ron Paul didn’t write all that hate, those words were still published under his name, and sustained by his philosophical banner, and so today he must answer for those accusations if he ever hopes to become president or more than a leader of insane notions. Is Ron Paul a force to be reckoned with in this contest for president — or is he simply a curious, conservative, totem made for mocking in a world of reasonable minds?

14 comments

  • Seems like a bit of a nutter and the over the top support he seems to get on sites like reddit make me shudder just a bit.

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  • Hi Gordon!
    He does have a strange history. He’s a smart guy. He seems to have a lot of serious issues. He has a strong following as his reddit popularity suggests and he raises millions for his presidential campaign from his website.
    But seeing him and listening to him is believing — and when you watch that Meet the Press clip and watch his eyes and mannerisms and you listen to his voice and speech pattern… you cannot shake the feeling something is more than just a little off…

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  • Well, I’m convinced by the lack of comments that Ron Paul is, indeed, what I suspected.

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  • For those of you trying to post comments only on the condition that the Civil War was not about slavery — without commenting on Ron Paul in process — I provide this quote from Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech delivered from Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858:

    If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

    It was clear Lincoln was opposed to slavery before he was elected president and since slavery was a threat to the overall economy of the United States — slavery provided an unfair economic advantage to Southern states in addition to being inhumane — Lincoln knew he had to end it even if it meant war. The following timeline shows the cause and effect of his election:

    November 6, 1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected as 16th U.S. president and the first Republican.
    Dec 20, 1860 – South Carolina secedes from the Union. Followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

    The Southern states knew the days of their free labor were numbered with Lincoln in the White House and that’s why they wanted to secede and become a permanent minority that could set its own rules and regulations.

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  • I’m closing comments on this article due to lack of interest.

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  • A couple of people emailed me with interesting responses to this article and I have re-opened the comments thread so they can come here to share their insights if they so choose.

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  • Please remember we’re discussing Ron Paul here and not the minutiae of the Civil War. Thanks!

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  • David,
    I must admit that I don’t know a great deal about Ron Paul.
    He seems passionate to me in this clip and past debates and not so much a madman.
    He’s a bit too “libertarian” for my liking but I welcome people like this to the process.
    And clearly where our country and world is headed is not promising. So we need people like Mr. Paul who go against the “groupthink.”
    Certainly any individual who has alternate solutions for world problems that don’t involve going to war has my attention.
    Perhaps I need to pay more attention to Ron Paul!

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  • Thanks for the comment on this article, dmtessi! I appreciate you stepping forward!
    I do think this take on “buying the slaves” is fascinating and it does make one wonder if it might’ve worked to save 600,000 lives lost in the war. I suppose it would not have worked because the South’s economy was based on slave labor and to free the slaves through governmental purchase would doom the Southern land barons to poverty without some sort of help. The only way the South would give up their slaves was to bleed them dry with war.
    A lot of people like Ron Paul. He’s raised millions on the internet and he’s doing better in the primaries than Rudy Giuliani.
    His past publications bother me, though — he comes across as another Gary Lauck:
    http://urbansemiotic.com/2008/01/18/the-real-last-nazi/

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  • Ron Paul placed second in the Nevada primary yesterday!

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  • Ron didn’t do as well in South Carolina, but he did beat Rudy Giuliani.

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  • The constant appearance of the racist right in his campaign confirms my opinion of “nutter”.
    http://www.mediamouse.org/features/011708michi.php
    just one example.

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  • That’s a sickening site, Bug Girl. It’s good the internet is so alive and elastic — otherwise many of these truths would go undiscovered in the mainstream media.

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