There is now underway a full-blown smear campaign to paint Ron Paul as a racist. First, there was the lame attempt at guilt by association, with a mere campaign contribution by some red neck racist being touted as “proof” that Ron Paul is racist. And then there were equally stupid Kevin Baconesque degrees of separation attempts to connect Ron with various so-called “hate groups.”
Now the muckrakers are dredging up ancient, obscure newsletters written by some equally obscure ghost writing employee(s) of Dr. Paul’s way back in the early 1990’s. This only tells me that Ron Paul is a real threat to the political establishment, and they are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to stop the Ron Paul Revolution.
I worked for Ron Paul, in his Washington D.C. office, in 1998-99, seeing him almost every day, and saw absolutely no indication of him being racist, and in fact, I saw many reasons to know he is not racist. I am of Hispanic decent, and quite proud of it. My family on my mother’s side were migrant farm workers and my Great-Grandfather even rode with Pancho Villa. I am also part American-Indian.
That heritage not only makes it rather difficult for anyone to smear me as somehow being a white racist (which is good for me if I am ever foolish enough to run for office), but also cuts against Ron Paul's supposed "ties" with white supremacists and this latest smear campaign based on what some employee of his wrote fifteen years ago.
Not only am I outspoken about my heritage, I don’t work for racists and I would never have worked on Ron Paul’s staff if I had any suspicion whatsoever that he was "racist." And I wasn't the only staff member of "mixed race." There were several others and he never gave it a second thought. One of them was a young woman who is half Panamanian, with an obvious dark complexion. If Ron Paul were some kind of racist, who thinks non-whites are inferior, why would he hire her, or me? Was it some kind of elaborate, clever cover? No. The reason he did not care about our race is because he is a libertarian who sees people as individuals, not members of groups, racial or otherwise.
There are many different segments of society who are drawn to a man like Ron Paul. People of a wide variety of backgrounds support him because people of a wide variety of backgrounds support liberty and have a fundamental distrust of excessive government power.
During my time in his office, as now in the grassroots movement, there were fundamentalist Christians (and I mean really fundamentalist), working right next to proud and opinionated atheists. There were budhists, anarcho-capitalists, Big L Libertarians, objectivists, old school "Reagan" conservatives, and people of all manner of ethnic background, all working side-by-side. I have even seen gay people in those circles. They did not agree on many things, or even like each other, to be blunt, but whatever their personal background or orientation, they all saw value in working for a strict constitutionalist and a man of deep principle and courage.
They were and are all part of the broader Freedom Movement – which contains a very eclectic mix of people who all share a desire for liberty. But as eclectic and diverse as his staff was in other ways, I never knew anyone on his staff to be racist, and I think it is because racists are so directly at odds with Ron Paul's philosophy of individual rights - such people just would not have fit in. Racists are collectivists, who see people as members of groups only, rather than as individuals. Such a viewpoint is fundamentally incompatible with libertarianism. As Ron Paul himself notes:
Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups.
You can read the rest of his statement about racism at http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/racism/
White Power Nazis are no exception to the rule that racists are collectivists, being, after-all, national SOCIALISTS. Such people are not only my permanent enemies because I am not pure white, as they have sworn me their enemy, they are also my ideological enemies - as much as any Marxist - because their beliefs are entirely incompatible with the concepts of individual liberty, personal self determination, and reason that is the heart of libertarianism. That makes them Ron Paul's ideological enemies as well because Ron Paul is a libertarian’s libertarian.
But some of these collectivist racists now at least claim to support Ron Paul. Why? I suspect for the same reason the far left collectivist anti war protester does. There is something they fear or detest so much in the current Federal government that they are willing to support a man who clearly does not agree with them on fundamental philosophical principles. I'll bet the far lefty anti war protester and the White Power skin head consider each other mortal enemies, but they both support the same man for very similar reasons. Fear of excessive government power, and a desire to return to more limited government under the Constitution makes for strange political combinations sometimes.
If Ron Paul is somehow racist because some racists support him, does that make him a socialist lefty hippy because some far left anti war hippy supports him? Does it make the lefty hippy a racist too, because he supports Ron right along with the skin-head? There are also gay people who support Ron Paul. Does that make Ron gay? Does that make the Nazi guy gay too, or a "gay lover" because he also supports Ron? No, of course not.
People from all of those backgrounds support Ron Paul because they all have a desire to return to Constitutional government. Though they don't agree with Ron Paul on everything, they fear what comes from unconstitutional government.
It would be absurd to say that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are racist, gay, atheist, socialist, or whatever because people of those persuasions value and support those documents. The same is true for Dr. Paul because he is the Champion of the Constitution. What all those people really support is not a man, as much as it is the Constitution itself.
It seems that even racist dumb asses prefer the Constitution, at least for now (that is how dangerous the federal government has become!). I have my suspicions about their professed devotion to the Constitution, since their world view really is so collectivist, but I'm not going to reject the Constitution or Ron Paul just because the racist idiots don't realize that a restoration of the Constitution will not get them to their mythical "White America" like they may hope. What it will do is get us all to a place of liberty and justice for all, and the racists can then whither away like the outdated fools they are.
Ron Paul, in his official press release on this issue, says:
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.
When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.
Go to his site and read the whole statement.
I believe him. Despite the fact that racism is incompatible with libertarianism, I have in fact known some people (thankfully few) who like to call themselves libertarians who are racist - there are stupid bigots in any movement –and just as we have seen that there are even some self-professed racists who express support for Ron Paul, it does not surprise me that at some point in Ron Paul’s long career in the Freedom Movement such a closet, collectivist racist was able to worm his way into working for Ron.
Ron Paul does not interrogate all of his new hires on their view on race, no doubt because he presumes that those who call themselves libertarians are not racists. In hindsight we can say that he should have been more careful in monitoring what his employees wrote long ago, and no doubt he has since become far more careful about watching what goes out with his name on it. But Ron Paul, being a sincere libertarian, is a very hands-off kind of guy, as Tucker Carlson noted in his recent article, and perhaps a bit too trusting by assuming that the people who work for him will be consistent, principled libertarians just as he is.
As I noted above, that is usually a fair and accurate assumption, and I never heard one racist comment from any staff. But it is certainly possible that one or two racist jerks slipped through the cracks. As I said, every movement has its idiots. As a case in point, look at Eric Dondero who used to work for Ron but after 9-11 transformed into a raving Kool-Aid drinking, Bush cheerleading, torture loving, warmongering neocon when it comes to the war on terror. Who would have known he was such a raving maniac? No doubt about it, that idiot had to have said, written, or done something that was embarrassing to Ron while working for him.
I have seen nothing, in all my interactions with Ron Paul, to ever suggest to me that he himself is racist. To the contrary, I have every reason to know he is not. And the same goes for his supposed hatred of gays. That is also total hogwash. Ron Paul does not care what someone is. He sees us all as individuals with God given rights. If you value liberty and the Constitution, then you are Ron Paul’s brother or sister in liberty, whatever your color, creed, or sexual preference.
This smear campaign reminds me of how the whole militia movement of the 1990’s was smeared as racist, even when some of the leadership in that movement was non-white. It also reminds me of how the Branch Davidian victims of government abuse were portrayed by the vast majority of media reports as being a bunch of religious extremist white people with guns, with the not-so-subtle implication that they were white racists. Most Americans thus never knew that the majority of the Branch Davidians were in fact non-white.
Four Branch Davidian women survivors attend the July, 1995 House Waco Hearings. I'll bet you didn't know they were so multicultural, did you? That is how effective a media smear campaign can be.
There were an estimated 40 blacks in that homestead church of 120 members, and among the Blacks killed in the fire were Wayne Martin, a 42-year-old Harvard trained lawyer, and four of his seven children. There were also entire families of Hispanics and Asians among them, and many mixed-race marriages and children. But the facts never stop the media or the wanna-be media in the blogosphere. Racism in general, and especially antisemitism, has always been the smear of choice against the Freedom Movement.
This is just a desperate attempt by a desperate establishment to silence this resurgent freedom movement by smearing Ron Paul with that same old smear of choice, racism.
Yale Law graduate, veteran, Mexican-American, and proud former Ron Paul staffer
E. Stewart Rhodes is an ex-U.S. Army paratrooper, disabled veteran, former firearms instructor, and former member of the D.C. staff of Congressman Ron Paul. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper "Solviing the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status" (available online at http://www.jpfo.org/sr-enemy.pdf) won the William E. Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. Stewart is currently a Yale Law Research Scholar, writing a book on how the applications of the laws of war to the American people in the “war on terror” pose a grave threat to our constitutional republic. He welcomes comments by e-mail at stewart.Rhodes@aya.yale.edu.