I wrote this several years ago. The funny thing is that it is still relevant. Ron Paul walked out of an interview where he was asked once again about this newsletter which bears his name. He has stuck to the story that he didn’t write the racist comments. He has never answered several basic questions. Who wrote the comments? If the newsletter bore his name, and it did, why didn’t he edit it for content? Wasn’t that his personal responsibility to his readers?
When pressed by Gloria Berger, Ron Paul stated, “I’ve never read that stuff. I’ve never read – I came – I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written and it’s been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time.”
Here’s the problem as I see it in 2011. Ron Paul is all about personal responsibility. He needed to own this mistake. He needed to say that he didn’t read his own newsletter and that he should have told his readers that he didn’t write or read it. He needed to offer to refund the readers’ money, since the vast majority of his readers didn’t know that these weren’t his words or thoughts. But, no. He has not admitted, nor will he admit to his mistake. He continues to be plagued by this issue because he has yet to do the right thing.
I wrote the following back in 2008:
So, I got raked over the coals by a commenter for “not doing my homework” with regard to a post stating that Ron Paul’s newsletter included racist writings. First, the facts. There are things that have been written in the Ron Paul Newsletter that are clearly offensive. The newsletter stereotypes Blacks and homosexuals. Over the years, Ron Paul has had varying explanations about his newsletter. In 1996, the Houston Chronicle asked him about the newsletter. “Paul said allegations about his writings amounted to name-calling by the Democrats and that his opponents should focus instead on how to shrink government spending and reform welfare.” Please note that in that Houston Chronicle article Ron Paul never mentions that he didn’t write the article. He doesn’t mention that someone else wrote the article.
Now, fast forward to 2008. The same articles are being called into question. Ron Paul states flatly that he is for the individual, no matter what color. He states that he didn’t write the article and, here’s the best part, he doesn’t know who did. The editor of the New York Times has to take responsibility for everything that hundreds of writers contribute. Ron Paul, Dr. Personal Responsibility (one of the core beliefs of Libertarians), will not take responsibility for his own newsletter. As a matter of fact, he admits that he doesn’t even read the newsletter that bears his name. Come on, at least man up and take some responsibility for something that has your name plastered on its front! I would have more respect for the man if he said, “Look, Wolf, it was a long time ago. I was approached by what I thought were like-minded individuals to publish a newsletter. I really wasn’t a part of the operation but the newsletter had my name on it. I accept full responsibility. After these articles were published, it became clear to me that I had to part ways with the guy who actually published the newsletter in my name. I apologize to anyone who was hurt by this newsletter. This doesn’t reflect me or my values.” Is this answer a cop out? Sure, but it is better than the Schultz defense – “I know nothing.”
A series of newsletters in the name of GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul contain several racist remarks — including one that says order was restored to Los Angeles after the 1992 riots when blacks went “to pick up their welfare checks.”
CNN recently obtained the newsletters — written in the 1990s and one from the late 1980s — after a report was published about their existence in The New Republic. (more…)
Update: Well, it is interesting what a little time and Google can produce. It appears that in 1996 Ron Paul was asked about the newsletters. He did not deny he wrote them back then. He embraced the racist comments. He has only recently started denying that he wrote them. I find this interesting. This puts Paul in a new light for me. I thought that he had bad ideas but that he was at least an honest man. Now, it looks as if he is lying to make himself look like a legitimate politician. Either he wrote the articles and was honest back in 1996 when he defended the articles or he is lying now when he states that he didn’t write them and doesn’t support what they said. Which is it??