Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Friday, January 11, 2008

More on Ron Paul

Libertarian Radly Balko has a great explanation of the suspension of belief that Ron Paul is asking his supporters to do in order to look past the now infamous newsletters (hat tip Megan McCardle).

Paul talks in the Blitzer interview about how the drug war has disproportionately sent black people to prison. He's right. Black people use drugs in proportions only slightly higher than their share of the general population. But the proportion of blacks in prison for drugs crimes is substantially higher. They are far more likely to get arrested for drug crimes, far more likely to be convicted, and even when facing similar charges, tend to receive longer sentences than whites.

...I have no idea if Paul is a racist. I suspect that he isn’t, at least today. But he’s certainly had no problem benefiting from the support of people who are. It’s more than a little disingenuous for him to now defend himself by invoking what the criminal justice system has done to the black community when for fifteen years a newsletter bearing his name, and the profits from which went into his bank account, celebrated and encouraged the black-people-are-savage-criminals lie in particularly vile and perverse ways.

Emphasis mine. And this is why, whether you believe these newsletters reflect his views or not, they couldn't show him in a more poor light. One of the things that draws people to Ron Paul is his willingness to talk about things, to say and do things, that others won't or are too afraid to. His views on foreign policy are a prime example -- being more humble and not looking for excuses to go to war. If President Paul's Secretary of Defense went into the Middle East and said the Israel had started every major war or that the Palestinians were 'savages', would Paul's defense be that these aren't his views?

The Ron Paul brand is as important as Ron Paul the person. Thats why the newsletters can't be excused. And that is what is so disappointing. His stances alone of the foreign policy and the drug war are so encouraging -- and now, back to the fringe they go.


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