(Since its initial posting, this post has been edited for reasons of style and to add additional newsletter links; the edit with regards to the MLK votes is due to information taken from this post by Mr. Ta-Nehisi Coates.)
For a while, I’ve wanted to look in-depth at presidential candidate Ron Paul’s old newsletters. These were a series of newsletters he published on a monthly basis from 1978 on. It was James Kirchick in the New Republic, who did the seminal work on this subject in “Angry White Man” pointing out the often virulent content, with bile tossed at many, including gays, jews, as well as most viciously, black men and women
I am grateful for Mr. Kirchick’s hard work in this area, without which the my next few postings here would not be possible. His efforts are a marked contrast to what appears to be a rather surprising lack of curiousity in this area.
Andrew Sullivan wrote in response to Mr. Kirchick’s article,
It’s up to Ron Paul now to clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the past.
Paul may have eventually disowned what have said; however, in Sullivan’s overview of his reactions to the Paul newsletters, I find no links to anything concerning a Paul explanation. Whether a credible explanation was ever given I am uncertain. Mr. Sullivan endorsed Paul last week as Republican candidate. Dave Weigel, who along with Julian Sanchez, looked into the newsletters in an article for Reason magazine wrote last week:
After Kirchick’s piece came out, Julian Sanchez and I reported a story for Reason about how exactly this stuff appeared under Paul’s name. It’s too long to excerpt, but the gist was that Paul allowed some employees to engage in white populist grunt-speech that, it would later turn out, paleolibertarianism could thrive without. Paul said he had no idea who wrote the letters, which wasn’t very credible, but my sense was that he really didn’t harbor the sorts of thoughts that appeared in the letter.
That what was written only appeared under Paul’s name, and that it cannot be him because it does not sound like him, was made by Mr. Sullivan as well in his initial response to the newsletters: “I’ve listened to him speak a great deal these past few months and either he has had a personality transplant or he didn’t write this.” I find this attitude perhaps a little too trusting of those who cover politics. We all contain multitudes, and a politician gets votes and finances by containing as many plausible multitudes as possible. A constant refrain in domestic life is a father’s “That doesn’t sound like my daughter at all!” This statement is often considered an example of misplaced faith.
In the piece by Weigel and Sanchez, blame appears to fall on Lew Rockwell, a close friend of Paul’s, as well as his ghost-writer, who supposedly wrote much of the copy.
[Lew] Rockwell has denied responsibility for the newsletters’ contents to The New Republic’s Jamie Kirchick. Rockwell twice declined to discuss the matter with reason, maintaining this week that he had “nothing to say.” He has characterized discussion of the newsletters as “hysterical smears aimed at political enemies” of The New Republic. Paul himself called the controversy “old news” and “ancient history” when we reached him last week, and he has not responded to further request for comment.
But a source close to the Paul presidential campaign told reason that Rockwell authored much of the content of the Political Report and Survival Report. “If Rockwell had any honor he’d come out and I say, ‘I wrote this stuff,'” said the source, who asked not to be named because Paul remains friendly with Rockwell and is reluctant to assign responsibility for the letters. “He should have done it 10 years ago.”
An excellent skeptical piece by Matt Welch questions whether the views expressed in the newsletter are as alien to him as later stated. During a 1996 campaign, Paul took full ownership of the comments expressed and defended them, after his rival accused him of race baiting.
Quoted from the Dallas Morning News in the Welch article:
According to a Dallas Morning News review of documents circulating among Texas Democrats, Dr. Paul wrote in a 1992 issue of the Ron Paul Political Report: “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.”
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. [...]
“If someone challenges your character and takes the interpretation of the NAACP as proof of a man’s character, what kind of a world do you live in?” Dr. Paul asked.
In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.
“If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them,” Dr. Paul said.
Paul believes that citizens should be able to make sound decisions based on information available. So do I. When reading the thankfully blunt “Ron Paul Is a Huge Racist” by John Chait, a reader might have the mild frustration of wanting to read the articles in full to make their own judgements.In order that some of the more controversial articles in his newsletter get a fuller dissemination, I’ve transcribed them from the pdfs that Mr. Kirchick has collected. I have done transcripts as thorough as possible, even if that includes articles that cut off during the pdf, so there can be no accusation of selective editing. Mis-spellings are my own; spelling or grammar mistakes I noticed in the text are identified with a [sic].
There is a note about these pieces that I find strange, which neither Mr. Sullivan or Mr. Weigel mentions. Though the articles are unsigned, there are a large number where the article writer gives identifying details that are Paul’s. These details show up even in some of the most noxious articles. In “A Hero Honors Heroes”, the writer praises Pete McCloskey, who he refers to as his “former colleague in the house”. An article in the Ron Paul Political Report November 1992 (the article beginning and title are cut off) describing the writer’s anti-abortion anti-euthanasia has a reference to being invited to speak at a medical center. A mention of “my little town of Lake Jackson, Texas” in “Blast ‘em”, which was Paul’s residence at the time. “Dan Rather Explained”, the writer refers to himself as a physician. “Flown the Koop”, has the line “I don’t smoke, and as a doctor, wish no one else would”. “Congressional Courage” has the writer opening with “My old colleague, Congressman Bill Dannemeyer”. In “Private Quayle”, the writer refers to himself as a “former Air Force flight surgeon”. In “The Coming Race War”, the writer speaks of voting as a congressman against the Martin Luther King holiday. “Blackmail or Benevolence?”, the writer refers to himself as a congressman. “Seizing Property at Gunpoint” the writer writes of his congressional opposition to the Comprehensive Crime Control bill. “The Government Temptation”, begins with “My youngest son is starting his fourth year in medical school”; this would match with Robert Paul, Ron Paul’s youngest son, currently a family practice physician. In “AIDSomania”, there is the mention “my former church, the Episcopal”; Paul left the Episcopal church over abortion and other issues. Rockwell, according to his wiki bio is Roman Catholic.
A side note: as previously mentioned, in “The Coming Race War”, the writer brags of his opposition to the Martin Luther King holiday; in this interview with Wolf Blitzer, Paul claims King, along with Rosa Parks and Gandhi as his heroes. The votes on the various King holiday proposals were voice votes, and I’m unsure how I could track down how Paul voted at the time. However, I will point out that he was not a sponsor of H.R.15 (96th Congress), the first, unsuccessful, attempt to have King`s birthday made a holiday, nor was he of H.R.800 (98th Congress), the successful one. The first had 118 co-sponsors, the second 176 co-sponsors, many from Texas, though all the Texan sponsors both times were Democrats. I mention this as I had some curiosity on the issue because of the contrast in sentiments between “The Coming Race War” and the Blitzer interview.
Edited to add: the eventual bill in 1979 that was voted on was H.R.5461; Paul voted no. The eventual bill in 1983 that was voted on was H.R. 3706; Paul voted no. A further footnote on this vote is here.
So, if this not Paul, we have a case of a writer or writers who not only write for Paul’s publication, not only as possible representatives of Paul, but as Paul. If Rockwell is performing the traditional duties of a ghostwriter, he is not coming up with thoughts out of whole cloth, but taking the insights and ideas of another, and transforming it into an article – I don`t see that as an exculpation of Paul.
On a purely subjective level, I do not ever sense a stylistic transition when going from Paul’s political solicitations where it is assumed to be him writing in the first person, his 1984 Senate fundraising letter and his “Join Me For The Battle For America”, a newsletter piece published prior to his 1996 run for Congress – to the unsigned pieces, including the most toxic ones. This, I should emphasize, is entirely subjective – and this may be the type of political writing itself that causes individual stylistic differences to diminish. I sometimes group writers broadly into two categories – those who use exclamation marks, and those who don’t. The writer of almost all the pieces falls into the former category.
I list first possible interesting highlights from the transcripts, then links to the transcripts themselves.
Raises the possibility that the 1993 WTC bombing was a Mossad plot.
Gangs of black girls try to infect white women with syringes filled with AIDS.
My old colleague, Congressman Bill Dannemeyer (R-CA), speaks out fearlessly despite the organized power of the gay lobby. He has become the target of violent attacks whenever he speaks, and he has even been advised to wear a bulletproof vest. Want to see why? Here are some excerpts from one of his recent speeches:
AIDS was “originally known as GRIDS–gay related immune deficiency syndrome.” For political reasons it was changed to AIDS. “A whole political movement has been created and sustained on a single notion: homosexual sodomy.”
“I can also point to a U.S. Postal Service cancellation celebrating civil disobedience at a homosexual bar back in 1969. Or to the $15 million federal sex study to be interpreted by a homophile who approved of pedophilia. “Or how about the $500,000 used by the National Research Council to instruct the clergy, who believe homosexuality is a sin, to change their views.” Or the Defense Department study that says homosexuals make better soldiers. Or the HHS report that tells us “society is to blame for the (suicides) of kids who have been led into the pit of homosexual despair.”
“It is extremely hard not to be cynical about a government that would sponsor such anti-social proposals,” says Dannemeyer. We are “not taling about a political philosophy. We are talking about sodomy.”
The racism faced by whites from blacks in Washington, D.C.
Argues against higher spending on AIDS research, the integration of children with AIDS with those without, doctors who refuse to operate on AIDS patients, and the influence of the organized gay movement.
A title, like Snakes On A Plane that gives it all away. Refers to Martin Luther King’s birthday as “Hate Whitey Day”.
According to the piece, shouldn’t it be “Sodomy = Death”, instead of “Silence = Death”?
Paul endorses Pat Buchanan for president.
Snakes On A Plane Part II
Compares the case of Salman Rushdie with holocaust denier Ernst Zundel.
Compares media treatment of David Duke, skinheads, and Oliver North.
The threat of urban youth and their hip-hop things, which involve trying to rob and kill the reader. Advice on how the reader can kill in self-defense without it being traced to him.
Negative coverage of Bobby Fischer is blamed on his politically incorrect opinions on jews. At the time that this was written, Fischer had denied the holocaust had taken place.
Controversy over a library dedicated to the USS Liberty, a ship bombed by Israeli planes.
The Trilateral Commission.
Chicago riot following the Bulls victory.
Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, and the Sister Souljah controversy.
The ways in which the financial system is undermined by black men and women with poor credit.
A one line piece on the on-going legal harassment of advertising that features only white people.
Researchers also admitted that they had been lying about the incidence of heterosexual AIDS to increase funding for homosexual programs.
Those who don’t commit sodomy, who don’t get a blood transfusion, and who don’t swap needles, are virtually assured of not getting AIDS unless they are deliberately infected by a malicious gay, as was Kimberly Bergalis.
If there is one thing we don’t need in this country, its more Haitians immigrants [sic] with AIDS.
Say you hire a man to work for you, but then he begins dressing like a woman.
William Douglass believes that AIDS was produced as part of experiments by the World Health Organization at Fort Detrick.
“I have always said,” notes Dr. Douglass, “and our forefathers told us this, that the greatest threat to the people is always government. Not foreign governments, but our own government.”
A recent story tells of how the I.R.S., in capturing a tax rebel, attacked his residence with a U.S. Army tank and finally burned him to death without a serious attempt at capturing him. Government officials shot to death a man who was determined to provide education in his home and not send his children to public school.
Are foreign troops being stationed on American soil? In a manner of speaking. There may not be any black helicopters flying around representing the U.N., but foreign troops have been drilling in various states for more than a year, and many people are rightly up in arms about it.
Even Ted Koppel reported on foreign troops at Fort Polk in Louisiana. This is clearly not run-of-the-mill “reporting.” Koppel’s program dealt in depth with the May Nato and Russian satellite countries training for joint police and “peace keeping” efforts – supposedly in the Middle East or the old Soviet Union.
The intended purpose of the program was to assure the public that this sort of unconstitutional activitiy is “vital for peace” and not an attempt – as it clearly is – to undermine national sovereignty. The Washington Post followed up by ridiculing any criticism of the operation as coming from paranoid militias. The paper said: “Some may have heard rumors that Fort Polk is under U.N. Command or part of some One World Order plot. It’s not true!”
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.
As I have said before, DO NOT–unless your life literally depends on it–get a transfusion unless you have donated the blood in advance, or it comes from friends and family members you can trust.
A mob of black demonstrators, led by the “Rev.” Al Sharpton, occupied and closed the Statue of Liberty recently, demanding that New York be renamed Martin Luther King City “to reclaim it for our people.”
Hmmm, I hate to agree with the Rev. Al, but maybe a name change is in order. Welfaria? Zooville? Rapetown? Dirtburg? Lazyopolis?
An article praising former KKK head David Duke.
David Duke received 44% of the vote in the Senate primary race. In Louisiana, 60% of the white vote, and 9% of the black vote! This totaled 100,000 more votes than the current governor when he won.
Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. If you have more than one rifle, store it in a hideaway spot.
On the ADL. The last sentence is the most interesting.
Evidence indicated the ADL monitored such groups as the Davidians in Waco, and may have helped instigate the attack.
If you heard a certain behavior of yours caused a deadly disease, wouldn’t you immediately cease and desist? Well, gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense. They have stopped practicing “safe sex.”
Doug Weed, assistant to the president for conservative liaison, was fired when he protested the White House invitation to gay leaders–the first in history–to watch the signing of the infamous Hate Crimes bill. Rumor has it that Weed also got in trouble for protesting, according to the Washington Times, an all-powerful “homosexual troika at the White House.”
Welfarism is coming to an end, thanks to the impending American bankruptcy, and we need someone to tell us, in a clear and consistent voice, that the only alternative worth considering is liberty. No more freeloading!
We must also battle the Establishment forces that would use the coming chaos to establish a fascist state and a one-world government. We are Americans first, last, and always. We should get out of the corrupt UN, the World Bank, the IMF, Nafta, and the World Trade Organization. And that’s just the beginning.
So much hangs in the balance. Join with me to stand up for liberty, hard money, the Constitution, and the American people against the foreignists, statists, and corruptionists who have betrayed our republic.
I include this article because it makes for an interesting contrast with the other pieces in the newsletter. Though it covers many of the same themes – financial collapse, social collapse, self-defense, etc – the writing is very different, making clear that the subject matter does not necessarily create a seamless style – that, for instance, James B Powell, unless through conscious effort to change the writing style shown here, could be one of the writers of the newsletter articles.
Among the differences between this piece and those in the rest of the newsletter – it never uses the first-person “I”, only “we” (“We are convinced that the 1992 riots”). It does not use “you” except in for instructional purpose – “You must begin your preparations…” The other articles employ “you” for the rhetorical purpose of creating a bond between writer and reader, such as “If you live in a major city, you’ve probably already heard…” in “Blast ‘Em?” or “Say you hire a man to work for you…” in “You Can’t Fire A Freak”. No exclamation marks here. There’s a stronger use of physical description, sometimes going in narrative (“Hour after hour, vehicles filled with thugs armed with guns”), than any of the other articles I’ve read. The language goes beyond the functional of the other pieces – arms are “brandished”, a 3/4 ton Chevy Suburban will “serve magnificently”. The piece ends with a reference to America and Exodus, “the land overshadowed with wings”. There is the possibility that the writer here is more widely read than the writer(s) of the other articles, and enjoys the sonority of language. I make these points to show the disjunction of style that might show up, even when writing on such a subject matter, when you have different writers working on the material of a newsletter. Subjectively, I don’t hear this disjunction when I read the articles in the newsletter.
The newsletter transcripts here. All article titles are listed. Some articles cut off. A link to that newsletter’s source pdf can be found at the bottom of each newsletter page.
Ron Paul Survival Report August 1983 – Big Government Serves the Power Seekers, Not Freedom / Big Government Threatens Our Health and Freedom / Big Government Causes Massive International Debt and War
Ron Paul Political Report December 1989 – “Needlin'” / The District of Bogata, Columbia / Schultz Speaks the Truth, for Once / Run, Jesse, Run / Hurrah for Secession! / A Black Eye for Washington? / Congressional Courage / Washington, D.C.: A Black Thing? / Poor Jim Bakker / The Pension Fund Bail-Out / Flown the Koop
Ron Paul Political Report July 1992 – Encore / Sister Souljah / Liberation or Slavery? / The Government Temptation / Panama’s Gratitude / The Racial Racket / Real Racial Discrimination / Foreign Buyout?
Ron Paul Survival Report January 1993 – untitled excerpt where he calls Commerce Secretary Ron Brown a racial victimologist / Gold and South Africa / The Somalian Question / Another Theory on Somalia / Federal Kidnapping Undone / The Norplant “Solution” / A Real Rocky Mountain High / Poor Marge Schott! / The Costs of Equality / Clinton’s School Choice / The Donald Scott Case / People Prefer Their Own / A Cashless Test / Gays and the Military / Equal Opportunity / The Future of Pensions / Economic Notes / The Disappearing White Majority / Ronald Reagan’s Contemptible Speech
Ron Paul Survival Report March 1993 – Clinton’s Illegitimate Children / Clinton’s Sacrificial Altar / Trouble at Treasury / Price Controls / More Haitians? / You Can’t Fire a Freak / Harry Schultz on the Strategy Report
POSTSCRIPT (19/08/2014): Originally, the transcripts of these newsletters linked to an archive at the New Republic. That archive no longer appears to be in existence; transcripts now link to various scan archives on the web, such as @RP_Newsletter, a blog devoted entirely to scans of the newsletters, and Et tu, Mr. Destructo?, “Game Over: Scans of Over 50 Ron Paul Newsletters”.