Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nazi leader says Paul Met With Them

Nazi leader says Paul Met With Them

Unless this is a terrible hoax, then a major “white nationalist” has outed Ron Paul as one of them.

Bill White, “commander” of the American National Socialist Workers Party (Nazis) is pissed off that Ron Paul’s campaign has issued a press release denying Paul’s involvement with various racists and anti-Semites. Apparently Mr. White sees Paul throwing his old allies under the bus in his quest for the White House.

At a racist website, Vanguard News Forum, White issued this statement:


I have kept quiet about the Ron Paul campaign for a while, because I didn't see any need to say anything that would cause any trouble. However, reading the latest release from his campaign spokesman, I am compelled to tell the truth about Ron Paul's extensive involvement in white nationalism.

Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays. This is part of a dinner that was originally organized by Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, and has since been mostly taken over by the Council of Conservative Citizens.

I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy.

For his spokesman to call white racialism a "small ideology" and claim white activists are "wasting their money" trying to influence Paul is ridiculous. Paul is a white nationalist of the Stormfront type who has always kept his racial views and his views about world Judaism quiet because of his political position.

I don't know that it is necessarily good for Paul to "expose" this. However, he really is someone with extensive ties to white nationalism and for him to deny that in the belief he will be more respectable by denying it is outrageous -- and I hate seeing people in the press who denounce racialism merely because they think it is not fashionable.

Bill White, Commander

American National Socialist Workers Party

Members of the page responded in various ways. David Milano, who has Ron Paul’s website url in his post, wants to know what White is “trying to accomplish.”

Please remember that this is a site for racists. It is a forum where they scream about blacks and Jews and gays and so forth. The debate is not about racism, but whether it is good to let the world know that they believe Ron Paul is one of them.

“White Will” says that White’s exposes will mean that people will pick sides: “Some will land on Ron Paul’s side and the rest can run with Honest Bill White.” He sees this revelation as an attack because it will hurt Paul if it becomes public.

“McKinley” is furious saying that “this piece of shit” should be banned from the site “for the no outing rule.” His complaint isn’t that he thinks White lied, but that he thinks White told the truth and the site has a rule that no closeted racists will be outed there. For a taste of his charm one should note his slogan: “nothing says lovin’ like a jew in the oven.”

Mike Riggins writes, “I know a lot of white supremacist involved in the Ron Paul campaign. I wish he would not shun away from his true supporters. I will stick with him till the ened (sic) but he shouldn’t act like a typical politician.”

“Frank Toliver” says that this information will “poison the well” and wished White had done this for “someone other than Ron Paul.” “OTPTT” says this information “may hurt the white race.” While Darren said the information is fascinating he wants to know “how the fuck does this help Ron Paul or white nationalism?” He says:

Ron Paul is the only candidate that comes close to matching our views in the mainstream political debate. I know you don't like people who only go half-way in their political views, however, half-way is better than nothing at all.

Ron Paul may say things to please the media regarding racism, but he is hardly a hardcore left-wing commie who wants to merge the races into a gray goo. Please get a sense of proportion here.

If Ron Paul is hurt by this information, you have done those of us trying to effect meaningful political change a big disservice.

I like the ANSWP and the leadership you have given it, but we have to be realistic when it comes to making big political changes. Ron Paul is our first step. Please don't ruin it!

Milano kicks back in saying that White’s comments will “run good White activists out of the Paul campaign so the jews can take it over and run it into the ground.” Milano then asked: “What are the chances of getting this thread deleted?” “Myles” thinks this outing was a bad thing: "Dr. Pierce [a white nationalist bigot] spoke regularly about having key people at key places inside the gates, ready to flip the switch at the right moment. With this revelation, you might very well have wrecked what little chance Dr. Paul had.” “Oy Ze Hate” urged moderators to “kill this threat” because “none of us would want to risk giving Ron Paul a ‘bad name’ as someone who ascribes to racial reality. We must not risk tarnishing his image.” “Mgbrashear3” is pissed off because:

...all sorts of feds, snitches, ect. (sic) monitor this site daily.” He said: “If Paul was throwing the nigger word around, and calling illegals nasty greasy spics as we all do, he would not of climbed to where he is today. He can’t come right out and admit that he believes in our cause, he has to play the equel (sic) shit mind games to passify (sic) the higher ups… not a good threat to post Bill…but I am sure you already know that by now. He didn’t need any more negative mountains to climb during his run…way to go.

“Christopher Drake” says “I’ all for Ron Paul. Nothing he can do short of adopting a negro and kissing Abe Foxman can do anything but help our cause.” It should be noted that the names mentioned by White—Buchanan, Sobran, Francis—were all associates of Ron Paul. Sobran and Francis, both wrote shockingly bigoted material and were regular contributors to, the website run by Ron Paul's friend, business partner, adviser, and ghost-writer. Paul continues to write material, or have it written for him, that appears at Rockwell's site. And Rockwell continued to work with vicious racists long after the Ron Paul newsletters met their well-deserved demise.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What Has Really Changed with Ron Paul and Bigotry? Not much.

What Has Really Changed with Ron Paul?

The Ron Paul campaign is trying to distance Paul from the newsletters that he published, edited, and which he previously claimed he wrote. They know say that the bigotry in those publications don't reflect Paul's views at all and that he doesn't share them. In fact, they claim he didn't know anything about them, never saw the publication when it was coming out and Paul claim's he only knew about 10 years after they were published. I find that impossible to believe but I don't have the sort of "faith" necessary to be a Rondroid.

How worried is Paul about hate-mongers using his material?

Well, today it was brought to my attention that Paul wrote a "Statement of Faith" for a fundamentalist web site, asserting Ron Paul's own Christian fundamentalism. Paul makes public his born-again Christianity, something that didn't exist in him in 1988. After that run Paul left the Episcopal Church and joined a very anti-gay fundamentalist Baptist Church.

The site for which Paul wrote his "Statement of Faith" certainly doesn't help Ron when he wants to assert he isn't bigoted.

I went to look at the site at the suggestion of a friend who found this material first, something I would hope Ron would have done before writing for them. Here is one headline: "Filthy Sodomites Can Begin Serving Openly by Summer." The link is to a story that says "Gay Soldiers Can Begin Service Openly by Summer." The publication changes the word "gay" into "filthy sodomites." The tag on the story was "fagotts," it has to be embarrassing when one can't even spell insults correctly. Another headline was changed to the following (I leave the grammar as it appears on the site.) "Can Hotels Discriminate Against 'filthy sodomite couples?"

In fairness, these headlines are up today, and Paul's article was published before that. But what relief that may bring is brief indeed; these same sort of hateful articles were being published on the site when Paul wrote for them, and he easily could have checked for them. But he is intimately familiar with the views of the site. One of the main writers there is Rev. Chuck Baldwin, a far-Right fundamentalist minister who ran for president on the theocratic Constitution Party. Ron Paul endorsed Baldwin in that election. (The photo above is of Chuck Baldwin and Ron Paul campaigning together.)

The Constitution Party That Paul Endorsed

Paul's endorsement of that party ought to concern genuine libertarians. His followers, however, showed no such concern. The CP claims that America is a "Christian nation" and that they intend to "restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations." They claim that American is "a Republican rooted in Biblical law."

This means that the law must "safeguard the lives of the pre-born." What about the post-dead? Don't they have rights as well?

The would ban "the distribution and use of all abortifacients." This includes morning-after pills to prevent pregnancy. See, the pre-born have rights over the actually born in this theology. They also say that you don't have the right to terminate your own life if circumstances such as pain and suffering require it. Their right-to-life views also mean they support government killing criminals. Go figure.

Now, they are also in favor of the war on drugs. But isn't Ron Paul an opponent of the war on drugs? It all depends on who is doing the war, according to Pauline theory. And the CP satisfies Paul because the "uphold the rights of states and localities to restrict access to drugs and to enforce such restrictions." Remember Paul's big thing is letting the states act as they wish. He goes so far as to say the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to the states so even merger of church and state is acceptable.

As for marriage rights for gay couples, forget it. The CP, again with Ron Paul's endorsement for them, says: "The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman... No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted." They affirm "the rights of states and localities to proscribe offensive sexual behavior." They also want it illegal for gay people to adopt children either as single parents or in a relationship. But then, since I suspect that the "offensive sexual behavior" then want to ban includes throwing gay people in prison this is not surprising.

In regards to gambling they want the states and local authority to have the right to ban gambling. Again, a moralistic view consistent with Paul's states' "rights" theory. In regards to immigration they basically want to end it with a "moratorium on immigration to these United States, except in extreme hardship cases" until all welfare is abolished. In other words, ban immigration forever.

They want to end any judicial review of matters "involving acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty or government." And in Orwellian newspeak demand that all levels of government uphold the First Amendment "by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity."

They oppose "all international trade agreements which have the effect of diminishing America's economic self-sufficiency." That is just failed mercantilism all over again, but consistent with Paul's actual votes on free trade.

Now please note that this platform is entirely consistent with the hateful anti-gay rhetoric in the Ron Paul Newsletters. His endorsement of the Constitution Party certainly didn't put any distance between him and the material he previously published, but which he NOW wants to disassociate from.

Baldwin wrote that he was thrilled to have Ron Paul's endorsement and said that they "believe in the same principles." Baldwin says he personally campaigned for Paul in the Republican primary.

Covenant News

So what sort of material was Covenant News publishing around the time that Ron Paul wrote his "Statement of Faith" for them?

They attacked Wal-Mart for accepting same-sex partners as "immediate family" saying the company "has now officially thrown its lot in with perversion." They claim Wal-Mart "is eager to fan the flames for the nationwide establishment of the next 'best thing': sodomite civil unions." This is "a rebellious shaking of the fist in the face of God." The article suggest that good conservatives buy elsewhere, even if they pay more. I'm in favor of reducing the wealth conservatives have to spend on politics. So I endorse them spending more elsewhere. Otherwise the article is rubbish.

Here are other stories they ran around the time Paul wrote for them.

House Passes Sodomite Bill
Sodomite Anglican priest dying of AIDS pleads for new drug
Pro-Sodomite Republicans Court Religious Broadcasters
Harry Potter and Sodomite Witchcraft
Another Pro-Sodomite Republican to Explore 2008 White House Bid
Abortion Foes Honor Pro-Sodomite Republican
Senate OKs Bill With Sodomite 'Rights'
Pro-Sodomite McCain to open office in Iowa
Students Flee Forced Sodomite Agenda
Pro-Abort/Sodomite State Hammered by Flood
More Sodomite Sex from Republican Senator
Fires in Sodomite State Cost U.S. Taxpayers Millions
Laura Bush Attends Sodomite Swearing-in Ceremony
Abortion. Sodomite Studies Considered
Sodomite Blogger Outs GOP Congressman's Chief of Staff
The 'Public Persona" of a Sodomite Republican
Sodomite Congressman Altered Immigration Law to Further 'Gay' Agenda
Paper: Republicans Fear This Sodomite

This could go on for some time. There are 1,280 articles on this site attacking "sodomites." These are just a sampling of the ones that appeared at the time Ron Paul wrote for them. In addition they wrote a glowing article on Ron Paul praising him to their readers. From what I can see they have almost 7,000 articles either written by Paul or mentioning him.

Baldwin, Ron Paul's endorsed candidate for president, wrote on the site that the military was being turned "into a hodgepodge of foreigners, gang members, women, homosexuals, and mercenaries." He claims to have spoke to "hundreds of active duty and retired" military personnel and said that not a single one supports allowing gays in the military, "and the vast majority of them were also opposed to women" being in combat units as well.

Baldwin also wrote that "the acceptance of homosexuality by any mainstream culture tends to doom that society!" He falsely claims that "acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle certainly contributed to the collapse of many empires of antiquity." Baldwin said that states that allow gay marriage should lose federal funding. And urged strict enforcement of one of Ron Paul's favorite laws: The Defense of Marriage Act. He claims that if homosexuals are not criminalized then child molesting will be legalized. Baldwin even damns Christian schools for allowing women in "leadership" positions because the "overexposure of young boys to women leaders is taking a serious toll on their masculinity." The result is that "most Christian high schools. What do you see? Soft, effeminate boys! Most Christian schools do not even provide masculine sports such as football, wrestling, or boxing." Instead boys are "taught to submit to feminine leadership." Christian musicians, he says "are markedly soft and effeminate" and "true masculinity is fast disappearing from the American landscape." I guess Rev. Chuck also has some problems with women.

When Ron Paul organized a "Freedom March" in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Capitol, he invited Baldwin to be a main speaker. According to Baldwin, "I spoke immediately preceding Dr. Paul and helped introduce the ten-term congressman."

The Pattern

Let us look at this long term pattern. By the 1980s into the mid 1990s Ron Paul published a series of newsletters. They used vicious language to depict gay Americans. The newsletters had his name emblazoned all across them. He was listed as the writer of the articles. He was listed as the editor of the newsletter. He admits being the publisher of these hate letters. He signed a letter smearing gay people and sent it out soliciting people to subscribe to his publication.

In 1996 he didn't deny writing the material, he just complained that other people took him out of context. By 2001 they were a liability and he started claiming he didn't write the material, others did. Today he claims he didn't even know it was being written, and didn't find out about them until ten years later. Yet there is video of him promoting them and claiming he writes them from the time that he claims he wasn't writing them. Even if you assume he didn't write any of it, and just put his name on it, isn't it fraud to sell this as Ron Paul's advice when Ron Paul now claims he didn't write, didn't approve it, and never saw it? He was willing to promote it and took the profits from it, now he denies any active role in it.

Assume he had a change of heart, and that he no longer held to the bigoted views in that publication, or never supported them. What has he done since that time? He continued to associate with people who promote the very kind of views from which he now wants to be disassociated.

He wrote for Covenant News, which clearly is obsessed with anti-gay hatred. Those headlines are so extreme they look like something that Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist would hold up at one of their hate protests. The language at Covenant News is as extreme and hateful as that which was published in the Paul newsletters a few years earlier. If Ron Paul was trying to move away from that sort of hate mongering he did a very bad job of it.

And, in the 2008 Ron Paul endorsed fundamentalist Baptist minister Chuck Baldwin for president. This is a man who was a state leader in the Moral Majority. Baldwin writes for groups like the racist VDare web site and the crazy site of Alex Jones. But this is the man that Ron Paul supported only three years ago.

Ron Paul has never abandoned his associations with the bigots who were ghost-writing his newsletter. And, one major reason that Paul will not expose the main author he used, is because they were/are tight friends and partners on various projects over the years. Ron Paul gave the indication that the author was unknown to him and he doesn't associate with the man. In truth, they work together all the time and Paul regularly has material appear on the man's website, a site that also published racists and anti-Semites on a regular basis.

After the newsletter fiasco of the 1980s and 1990s, Paul went on to write for publications like Covenant News exhibiting the same hatred of gay people that his own newsletter showed. The hate comments at Covenant News were pervasive at the time Paul wrote for them. (Of course, once again Paul can claim he doesn't know who wrote for them in his name and had no idea it was ever published on a hate-filled web site. So much for individual responsibility.) And then, only 3 years ago Ron Paul endorsed a candidate and political party that was running the most bigoted anti-gay candidate of the election.

Precisely what has changed? He stills panders to the bigots while refusing to take responsibility for his own actions. That is the same old Ron Paul who has been shuffling around the fringes of American politics for as long as I can remember.

How Did We Get Here?

How Did We Get Here?

Prof. Steve Horwitz is a long time libertarian and one of the best known "Austrian" economists in the United States. In this piece he discusses the Ron Paul newsletter fiasco and the role of Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard in promoting some very ugly ideas under the label of "libertarian." This is reprinted from some of you might know, I’ve been stirring up quite a bit of trouble on Facebook the last few days discussing the Ron Paul newsletters story. Matt suggested I write up some of what I’ve been saying for the audience here at BHL, which I’m happy to do. First let me note that the posts by Gary and Jacob below are right on the money in their own ways. Some of what I will say below will echo Jacob in particular, but I want to explore the history of this whole thing a bit more and offer some more reasons why it should matter to bleeding heart libertarians.

To start, those of us who have been around the movement since the 1980s knew all about this stuff and knew that those newsletters would never go away. As Jacob says, the attempt to court the right through appeals to the most unsavory sorts of arguments was a conscious part of the “paleolibertarian” strategy that Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard cooked up in the late 1980s. What’s happening right now is that the chickens of that effort are coming home to roost with large external costs on all of us as libertarians. In other words, we are experiencing “blowback,” and Ron Paul supporters of all people should understand that when you poke at sleeping dogs, you should not be surprised when they turn around and attack you, even if it takes a couple of decades. Now Paul’s supporters understand viscerally what he’s rightly argued about US foreign policy.

So why does this matter for bleeding heart libertarians? Indulge me some history for a bit while I offer an explanation. Classical liberalism started as a movement of the left, with folks like J.S. Mill being our standard bearers against the forces of reaction and conservatism in England, especially over issues of race. We were the “progressives” of that era, viewing the market as a force for progress for all, especially the least well-off, and as a great equalizer. It was Mill who argued that it was a good thing that markets would lead to racial equality in opposition to people like Carlyle and Ruskin who rejected markets because they wanted to maintain racial hierarchy. The liberal revolution was a revolution against privilege and the old order. It was the radical progressivism of its day.

Unfortunately, classical liberalism never figured out how to respond to the development of socialism, and especially the state socialism of the Soviets and others in the early 20th century, in a way that maintained our progressive credentials. By default, we moved from the “left” to the “right,” thrown in with the conservative opponents of the growing socialist wave. From the Old Right of the 1940s through the Reagan era, libertarianism’s opposition to socialism, especially interferences in the market, led us to ally with the forces of reaction. But even with the demise of really-existing socialism, we have been unable to completely break free of that connection to the right, though things are better than they used to be.

Even as this happened, though, the liberalism of libertarianism did not die. Within that libertarianism on the right was a strong strain of leftism, particularly from the late 1960s into the early or mid 1980s, both in the broader movement and in the Libertarian Party in particular. When I came into the movement in 1980, I can vividly recall meeting members of the Michigan LP and being surprised at how, for lack of a better word, hippie they were, right down to smoking dope during the breaks at the state convention.

By the mid-80s though, conservatism was hot, thanks to Reagan, and the internal strife of the movement pitted Murray Rothbard against the Koch Brothers, with the accusation by Rothbard that the liberal libertarians were undermining the movement’s ability to appeal to a broader audience thanks to their supposed libertinism. Murray wanted the hippies out. The irony here was that it was the Koch controlled parts that were (largely) the source of the left-deviation that pissed Rothbard off. Today, of course, the sin of the Kochs is that they’re too conservative. (Ever get the feeling that if the Kochs said the sky was blue….anyway, I digress.)

This led to the paleolibertarian strategy by the end of the decade after Rothbard broke with the Kochs and helped Lew Rockwell found the Mises Institute (originally located on Capitol Hill – right smack inside the hated beltway, it’s worth noting). The paleo strategy, as laid out here by Rockwell, was clearly designed to create a libertarian-conservative fusion exactly along the lines Jacob lays out in his post. It was about appealing to the worst instincts of working/middle class conservative whites by creating the only anti-left fusion possible with the demise of socialism: one built on cultural issues. With everyone broadly agreeing that the market had won, how could you hold together a coalition that opposed the left? Oppose them on the culture. If you read Rockwell’s manifesto through those eyes, you can see the “logic” of the strategy. And it doesn’t take a PhD in Rhetoric to see how that strategy would lead to the racism and other ugliness of newsletters at the center of this week’s debates.

The paleo strategy was a horrific mistake, both strategically and theoretically, though it apparently made some folks (such as Rockwell and Paul) pretty rich selling newsletters predicting the collapse of Western civilization at the hands of the blacks, gays, and multiculturalists. The explicit strategy was abandoned by around the turn of the century, but not after a lot of bad stuff had been written in all kinds of places. There was way more than the Ron Paul newsletters. There was the Rothbard-Rockwell Report, which was another major place publishing these sorts of views. They could also be found in a whole bunch of Mises Institute publications of that era. It was the latter that led me to ask to be taken off the Institute’s mailing list in the early 1990s, calling them “a fascist fist in a libertarian glove.” I have never regretted that decision or that language. What the media has in their hands is only the tip of the iceberg of the really unsavory garbage that the paleo turn produced back then.

Through it all though, Ron Paul was a constant. He kept plugging away, first at the center of the paleo strategy as evidenced by the newsletters. To be clear, I am quite certain he did not write them. There is little doubt that they were written by Rockwell and Rothbard. People I know who were on the inside at the time confirm it and the style matches pretty well to those two and does not match to Ron Paul. Paul knows who wrote them too, but he’s protecting his long-time friend and advisor, unfortunately. And even more sadly, Rockwell doesn’t have the guts to confess and end this whole megillah. So although I don’t think Ron Paul is a racist, like Archie Bunker, he was willing to, metaphorically, toast a marshmallow on the cross others were burning.

Even after the paleo strategy was abandoned, Ron was still there walking the line between “mainstream” libertarianism and the winking appeal to the hard right courted by the paleo strategy. Paul’s continued contact with the fringe groups of Truthers, racists, and the paranoid right are well documented. Even in 2008, he refused to return a campaign contribution of $500 from the white supremacist group Stormfront. You can still go to their site and see their love for Ron Paul in this campaign and you can find a picture of Ron with the owner of Stormfront’s website. Even if Ron had never intentionally courted them, isn’t it a hugeproblem that they think he is a good candidate? Doesn’t that say something really bad about the way Ron Paul is communicating his message? Doesn’t it suggest that years of the paleo strategy of courting folks like that actually resonated with the worst of the right? Paul also maintained his connection with the Mises Institute, which has itself had numerous connections with all kinds of unsavory folks: more racists, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, the whole nine yards. Much of this stuff was ably documented in 2007 and 2008 by the Right Watch blog. Hit that link for more.

Those of us who watched all of this happen over two decades knew it would come back to haunt us and so it has, unfortunately just as Ron Paul and libertarianism are on the cusp of something really amazing. And that only goes to show what a mistake the paleo strategy was: imagine if the newsletters were not an issue and Paul were to win Iowa. Yeah, he might get ignored, but he would not be the easy media target he is now, nor would all of libertarianism pay a potential price. The legions of young people supporting Paul did not come in via the paleo strategy; they came because libertarianism in general is on the rise in all kinds of venues (and yes, the Mises Institute’s post-paleo influence is important here, but it’s hardly the only institution that matters). These young people, for the most part, are surprised by all of this dirty laundry. That, in my view, is the real tragedy: I think libertarianism could have got to this point just as fast, maybe faster, without the toxic baggage of the paleo strategy.

So why deal with this now, when libertarianism is so hot? Because those newsletters are not what libertarianism is and the sooner and louder we make that clear, the better. There are too many young people who don’t understand all of this and who we need to help see the alternative liberal vision of libertarianism – and to understand that “liberal libertarianism” is radical, principled, and humane and not “beltway selling out.” To do that, we need to confront the past and explicitly reject it. That doesn’t necessarily mean rejecting Ron Paul in electoral politics, but it does mean that we cannot pretend the past doesn’t exist and it means that Paul and the others involved need to do the right thing and take explicit responsibility for what they said two decades ago. That has not happened yet. Then we need a complete and utter rejection of the paleo world-view and we need to create a movement that will simply not be attractive to racists, homophobes, anti-Semites etc., by emphasizing, as we have done at this blog, libertarianism’s liberal roots.

What we need right now is Rothbard’s vision of a free society as sketched in For a New Liberty, but we need it defended better. More carefully. More richly. More empirically. More humanely. More progressively. More tolerantly. With better scholarship. And we have to do it in a way that’s immune to the charge that libertarians don’t care about making the world a better place, especially for the least well off and those historically victimized by the color of their skin, their gender, their sexual orientation, or anything else that’s irrelevant to their moral status as human actors.

The writings of the paleolibertarians will continue to stain that project unless and until the rest of the libertarian movement stops trying to apologize for them (“you don’t understand the context” or “it was a long time ago” or “Ron’s from a different generation”) or kicking the can down the road because Ron Paul might win (“why bring this up now when we’re winning?” or “Libertarians just like the circular firing squad”) or just plain saying they don’t matter because it’s all media bias (“it’s just the liberal media trying to destroy the libertarian candidate”).

It’s time to face our ugly past head on and to explicitly reject it. And it is the past of every libertarian. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t there, or weren’t alive, or think it’s stupid: if you call yourself a libertarian and especially if you support Ron Paul, it’s part of your past like it or not. That’s how life works sometimes. We can’t make Ron Paul name the authors or make the authors step forward, either of which would help immensely. We can, however, take pains to make clear that some of Ron Paul’s past and current associations are rejected by libertarians who understand the “liberal” in libertarian and whose vision of a free society is one that is so clearly in conflict with racism, homophobia, antisemitism and all the rest that people like Stormfront would never even consider sending us a donation and we would recoil at being photographed with them.

Until we can say that with confidence, there’s every reason in the world to keep talking about these newsletters and what they mean for the 21st century libertarian project, especially in its bleeding heart version. It’s time to reclaim our progressive history from the hands of the right: from the Old Right of the 40s, to the Reagan era LINOs, to the paleolibertarianism of the 1990s. As many of us have argued from the start on this blog, the heritage of libertarianism is properly a progressive one. Our roots are in the anti-racism and proto-feminism of J.S. Mill and others in the 19th century. We believe in peaceful exchange, voluntary cooperation, progress, enlightenment, tolerance and mutual respect, and openness to change. That is our heritage and that’s the libertarianism that I grew up with in the 1970s and 1980s, and that’s the progressive libertarianism I want to proudly enter into the debate over the future of human social organization. If the newsletters fiasco serves to further prod us into reclaiming that heritage, we will have turned an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. I’m going to continue to do all I can to help make sure it happens.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ron Paul and His Bizarre Attacks on AIDS Victims

Ron Paul and His Bizarre Attacks on AIDS Victims

A lot of the discussion regarding Ron Paul and his horrible newsletters has focused on the racist and anti-gay statements that were made. Those were certainly very ugly. Ron’s newsletter claimed that race riots would sweep America with welfare-addicted blacks attacking whites because they have come to believe they are entitled to other people’s property. His newsletter suggested buying guns because “the animals are coming.” Calling black folks “animals” is very ugly indeed. For the record, the prediction of massive race riots sweeping the country proved as unfounded as Paul’s bizarre theories of secret conspiracies.

One area that was often ignored was Paul’s disgusting views regarding AIDS and people infected with HIV. First, in the fever swamp of Ron Paul’s imagination, AIDS is part of a government plot. It is basically a 9/11 truther kind of argument. In Paul’s January, 1988 newsletter a Dr. William C. Douglass is recommended reading for his “fascinating analysis” of AIDS. The newsletter wrote:

Dr. Douglass believes that AIDS is a deliberately engineered hybrid of these two animal viruses cultured in human tissue, and he blames the World Health Organization experimentation at Ft. Detrick, Maryland.

“Ft. Detrict is one of the centers of biological warfare research where federal scientists are engaged in deliberately manufacturing deadly diseases for World War III. Could they have produced AIDS? Could the government have experimented with it in the civilian population, as it did in the 1950s with LSD, and had things get (sic.) out control?

What makes Dr. Douglass an expert on these topics? Who is he? He is another resident of the fever swamp, of course. Douglass has long be associated with the extreme Right fringe groups. He was active in the extreme Right “Constitution Party of Florida” for instance. A report from the St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 14, 1966 refers to the party as “ultra-conservative” and said that William. C. Douglass, was the “party’s Florida chairman, a John Birch Society leader and founder the controversial “Let Freedom Ring” telephone messages.” The Let Freedom Ring campaign was a Birch Society project.

The January, 1994 issue said that gay men in San Francisco "don't really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners." As for the issue of AIDS, it said that gay men "enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick." In the Dec. 1989 issue he quoted Right-wing Bill Dannemeyer claim that "the average homosexual has 1,000 or more partners in a lifetime." That article refers to Dannemeyer as “my old colleague” which indicates that former Congressman wrote the comment. The only former Congressman on the staff of the Paul newsletter, was Paul himself.

In January, 1990 the newsletter ridiculed the "Silence=Death" campaign, on AIDS awareness, by suggesting it should be changed to "Sodomy=Death." In September, 1994 Paul assured his white, heterosexual readers that unless they engage in sodomy, have a blood transfusion, or swap needles they are "virtually assured of not getting AIDS unless they are deliberately infected by a malicious gay." Paul’s newsletter was never pleasant to gay people. In June, 1990 the newsletter called the gay rights movement “the organized forces of perversion.”

This is where he said. “I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous. Is it any coincidence that the AIDS epidemic developed after they came “out of the closet,” and started hyper-promiscuous sodomy? I don’t believe so, medically or morally.” The Paul newsletter claimed that the reason AIDS wasn’t named Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome was entirely due to “political pressure… to try to hide the origin of this plague.” Actually, medical evidence showed the disease originated in Africa with heterosexuals, not with gay people. And, worldwide, the majority of victims are heterosexual.

The Paul newsletter also said that blood banks in San Francisco caved in to political pressure to hold blood drives “in the gay Castro district, where the people give at three times the usual level.” This, in the newsletter at least, raises the question whether “they [gays] are trying to poison the blood supply.” This last part is on par with the claim that the only way straight people are infected is by a “malicious gay.”

In a subscription appeal letter of the time, which Paul sent out to various far Right mailing lists, including the anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby of Willis Carto, he told potential subscribers: “I’ve been told not to talk, but these stooges don’t scare me. Threats or no threats, I’ve laid bare the coming race war in our big cities. The federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS (my training as a physician helped me see through this one.” The Bohemian Grover-perverted, pagan playground of the powers. Skull & Bones: the demonic fraternity that includes George Bush and leftist Senator John Kerry, Congress’s Mr. New Money. The Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica.” Paul’s signature was attached to this letter that seems to explicitly endorse the crazed theories of Douglass regarding a “federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS.”

In a January 1990, piece called AIDSomania, the article is written entirely from Paul’s perspective. While it is widely known that Lew Rockwell often did ghost-writing for Paul, including writing some of the more offensive material in the newsletters, this piece seems to imply Paul wrote it directly. For instance, the author says, “I’m not Catholic.” Rockwell is Catholic, though more the Mel Gibson variety than mainstream Catholicism. And the article favorably quotes a “well-known libertarian editor just back from New York,” which would appear to be a reference to Rockwell. This was the source of the “Sodomy = Death” slogan. Next the author refers to “my former church, the Episcopal has just ordained its first openly gay priest.” Ron Paul was Episcopalian until he switched over to a rabidly anti-gay fundamentalist Baptist Church. The church Paul joined links to anti-gay extremists on its web page. So, according to the article the author is not Catholic, is a former Episcopalian and seems to refer to Rockwell. Of course, Rockwell could have written it on Paul’s behalf, but the entire newsletter is written in Paul’s name, in the first person.

If one has to deal with AIDS patients, Paul’s newsletter offered the following hysterical advice. (I don’t mean hysterical as in funny, but as in crazy.)

  1. "Wear rubber gloves when handling the clothes, dishes, etc. of the patient. Wear a surgical mask if he is coughing and wheezing."
  2. "Use paper plates and cups and burn them afterwards."
  3. "Boil all his laundry for at least 15 minutes".
  4. "Pour half a cup of Clorox in his bath water before draining it."
  5. "Always wipe the toilet seat with a soapy paper towel."
  6. "No kissing, since AIDS can be transmitted by saliva."
  7. "No sexual relations, since condoms are far from foolproof."
  8. "Don’t allow the patient to eat in a restaurant."
  9. "Do not allow the patient to drive or operate machinery due to mental impairment."

Paul’s newsletter called these unnecessary and extreme measures “commonsense precautions” and they show “how we should actually proceed, instead of having tax-funded programs to promote the conduct that causes AIDS.” Conduct doesn’t “cause” AIDS, it may help it spread, but it doesn’t cause it, a virus causes it. In addition, when this was published in October, 1990 the causes of AIDS and the precautions actually are needed were well known. What Paul’s publication called “commonsense” was considered extreme, fear-mongering by experts in the disease and that fact was well known when Paul published this.

In March, 1990 (Vol IV, Number 3) of the Paul newsletter there is a lead article regarding the often crude Andy Rooney. Rooney made a comment about gay sex causing AIDS. Paul’s newsletter reported, “The ‘gay community’ went berserk at the suggestion that sodomy might cause AIDS, or that its practitioners might be in some way responsible for the consequences of their conduct.” Rooney made an equally silly reply, which the Paul letter called “hilarious.” Rooney “said he was no more biased against gays than against smokers, he just didn’t ‘want to be in a small room with either one.’” Yep, hilarious Ron, really hilarious. When CBS told Rooney to apologize the Paul newsletter said it was because “you’re not supposed to express such sentiments about Official Victims.” When a gay reporter interviewed Rooney Paul’s publication wrote that he “certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.” More of Ron Paul’s charming opinions.

At this point Ron’s newsletter went into an extended commentary:

“The liberals promised us release from guilt, points out Murray N. Rothbard of the Ludwig von Mises Institute [a group run by Paul’s co-editor Lew Rockwell, which Rockwell started using Paul’s mailing list], and they did abolish sexual guilt (and gave us widespread sodomy, AIDS, promiscuity, illegitimacy, and abortion in the bargain). But speciesism, ageism and homophobia (the dread belief that normal sexual conduct is superior to abnormal).

Earlier, we quoted Paul’s newsletter referencing Murray Rothbard, a close associate of both Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell. Rothbard, who got his political start promoting the 1948 racist campaign of Strom Thurmond’s so-called Dixiecrat ticket. The party explicitly endorsed racial segregation, Jim Crow laws and white supremacy. Rothbard was widely considered to be, along with Rockwell, one of Paul’s primary ghost-writers. Rothbard regularly feed ideas to Paul which the Congressman they regurgitated as his own.

In 1992, during the newsletter era, Rothbard wrote a piece praising the Klansman and anti-Semite, David Duke. Rothbard claimed that only “a massive campaign of hysteria, of fear and hated, orchestrated by all wings o the Ruling Elite” prevented Duke from winning the Gubernatorial race in Louisiana. He referred to “the old bogey images of the Klan,” ignoring the fact that Duke was Klan leader and these were not “bogey images” but facts. To this day Duke publicly endorses white supremacy, segregation, and Jew hating. Duke got started in the racist National Alliance, and then joined the Klan in 1967. In 1980 he formed the National Association for the Advancement of White People, and in the 1990s turned his attention to attacking Jews. His 1998 book, My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding made reaffirmed his support for segregation and racial separatism. He then followed that book with Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question.

At no point in time did Duke make an attempt to tone down his bigoted views. He was a white supremacist from the start and remains one to this day. Rothbard’s apparent support for Duke is a very large dark spot on his life. Just as Rothbard, Paul’s close friend, supported Duke, the Klanner, in return, supports Ron Paul. He wrote: “I like Ron Paul’s campaign, and I think it is good for America and the political process.” Duke, who says the Jews run the Federal Reserve, thought Paul’s problem is that “Jewish extremists are the political fundraisers and power brokers and they also dominate the mass media, the single greatest influence in politics.” It should be noted that Duke referred to “the positive things that Paul wrote about me and my campaign issues.” Apparently David Duke saw Ron Paul as being supportive of him.

Rothbard launched into a paranoid discourse on banking elites, conspirators and secret organizations ruling the world. And he called for a “Right-wing Populist” crusade that would merge Rothbard’s libertarian ideas with the racialist-populist ideas of the extremists. Among his suggestion was: “Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment, subject of course to liability when they are in error.” Yea, that liability thing would really make me feel more comfortable if the cops assaulted me. He said, “Unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares?” He argued that “the Fed is an organized cartel of banksters,” a theme that anti-Semites on the Right have pushed for years. [One of them is Eustace Mullins, who previously met with Paul as an adviser, according to some sources. A writer at Daily Paul saud Paul and Mullins “would do luncheons regularly. Ron Paul has a copy of Eustace’s book on the Fed.” Mullins decided Paul was part of the banking conspiracy because Ludwig von Mises was Jewish.]

Rothbard becomes important in Ron Paul’s fear-mongering concerning AIDS and gay people because Rothbard was the source of much of this. I have a memo that Rothbard wrote “Ron” on Sept, 26, 1987 that outline what Ron Paul’s view on AIDS should be. You will see that these are the positions that Paul’s newsletters took over the years. Rothbard tried to push these views into the Libertarian Party platform at their Seattle convention, but his platform was rejected by the delegates and replaced with a new one, that didn’t push the fear planks that Rothbard advocated.

Rothbard’s views was that Paul should push the idea that people ought to discriminate against people with HIV because every such person was a legitimate threat to others. “We should be emphatic and proclaim it through the land, on the right of doctors and nurses not to treat AIDS patients if they so choose. …Any doctor or nuse should have the right to save their own lives.” “Everyone should have the right to boycott AIDS victims, not associate with them, etc., if they so choose.”Rothbard told Paul “The dangers of homosexual sex have been widely and properly advertised.” And, he said that children with HIV infection should be banned from schools. “AIDS children should not be allowed to attend public schools, and a fortiori, parents should have the right to withdraw their kids if AIDS children are permitted.”Ron Paul took the advice and in 1988 his presidential campaign ran full page ad in the November 6 issue of the New York Times included a plank “Protect the Healthy From AIDS,” which repeated some of Rothbard’s suggestions, though not all. “Dr. Ron Paul, a physician, says that healthy Americans must be free not to associate with AIDS carriers,, and he urges prosecuting as a murderer any AIDS carrier who knowingly spreads the disease, and as a mass murderer any AIDS carrier who sells or donates blood while concealing his condition.” He also said employers have the “right to fire AIDS carriers,” another one of Rothbard’s suggestions.From the late 1980s to the mid 1990s Ron Paul continued to publish articles that consistently scapegoated gay people and individuals with HIV. These positions were not only in Rothbard’s memo to Ron Paul, but appeared in multiple issues of Ron’s newsletter. And he included some the same planks in his 1988 presidential bid. Is he going to argue that he didn’t know what his campaign ads said?

In closing, let me make clear that Ron was fully aware of the newsletters. When he was first asked about them he said he wrote them and said he stood by the words he wrote. In 1996 the Dallas Morning News reported: "Dr. Ron Paul, who is running in Texas' 14th Congressional District, defended his writing in an interview Tuesday. He said they were being taken out of context. ...Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation." The May 23, 1996, Austin American-Statesman quoted a Paul spokesman claiming "Dr. Paul is being quoted out of context." The May 26, 1996 Washington Post said Ron Paul was claiming that his political opponent "was taking his 1992 writings out context." Ron Paul consistently said he wrote the newsletters and his only defense was he was being taken out context.

These 1996 interviews also disprove Ron Paul's lie to CNN recently. When asked about the newsletter Paul refused to answer, preferring to evade the issue by claiming he already addressed the issue elsewhere. He claimed he didn't even know about the content of the newsletters until 10 years after they were published. Most of the newsletters we quote here were written between 1990 and 1994. Paul was publicly claiming authorship of them in 1996. How would it be possible for him to only know about the controversy somewhere between the year 2000 (ten years after 1990) and 2004 (ten years after the 1994 articles) if he was already being asked about the same controversy in 1996?

Paul's new claims regarding him not knowing about this material is unfounded. The staff of the newsletter was small and included his friend and business partner Lew Rockwell, along with Ron’s wife and daughter. The idea that his closest friend, along with his wife and daughter, kept the content of Ron’s publication from him, for more than decade is almost as crazy as his banking conspiracies. It is even crazier to claim this when he was already being challenged about them in 1996.