But today I must profess that I, like James Kirchick, am deeply troubled that Paul issued, under his name, terrible racist propaganda in the 1990s. Paul disclaimed the abusive statements in 2008, saying that he had not paid sufficient attention to the Ron Paul Political Report that was written and edited by others. But I am not reassured for two reasons:
- During his 1998 campaign for Congress, Paul did claim responsibility for the statements, but contended that they had been "taken out of context." (So what was the context for claiming that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was a "world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours...and seduced underage girls and boys"? )
- Even after his 2008 disclaimer, Paul has continued to spin astonishing conspiracy theories. For example, Paul has continued to make appearances on the radio program of Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist run amok. (Jones has claimed that the US government is adding chemicals to the nation's water to turn everyone homosexual so they don't have children, and that the government blew up the space shuttle Columbia as a "textbook psychological warfare operation.") In March 2009 Jones asked for Paul's thoughts on the alleged conspiracy by NORTHCOM, the U.S. military command for North America, to take over the country. Paul responded that "the average member of Congress probably isn't a participant in the grand conspiracy." Note that Paul did not say that the "grand conspiracy" does not exist! And Paul claimed in a 2010 speech that the CIA had implemented a coup and seized effective control of the U.S. government and military (see it on YouTube here).
- First, to accept his 2008 disclaimer I must also accept that he lied in 1998 when he did take responsibility for the newsletters.
- Second, and most importantly, his utter inattention to newsletters that were going out under his name betrays an inability to act as a trustworthy manager of a political enterprise. How am I supposed to trust him to manage a cabinet and federal agencies, when his utter detachment from a small staff that reported directly to him allowed bitter and reprehensible propaganda to stream forth under his name for a decade?