Cato on Ron Paul and his newletters

Just for shits and giggles, here’s how David Boaz from the authority on libertarianism, the Cato Institute, feels about Ron Paul’s newsletters:

…over the past few months a lot of people have been asking why writers at the Cato Institute seemed to display a lack of interest in or enthusiasm for the Paul campaign. Well, now you know. We had never seen the newsletters that have recently come to light, and I for one was surprised at just how vile they turned out to be. But we knew the company Ron Paul had been keeping, and we feared that they would have tied him to some reprehensible ideas far from the principles we hold.
Ron Paul says he didn’t write these newsletters, and I take him at his word…
But he selected the people who did write those things, and he put his name on the otherwise unsigned newsletters, and he raised campaign funds from the mailing list that those newsletters created…
His closest associates over many years know who created those publications. If they truly admire Ron Paul, if they think he is being unfairly tarnished with words he did not write, they should come forward, take responsibility for their words, and explain how they kept Ron Paul in the dark for years about the words that appeared every month in newsletters with “Ron Paul” in the title.
Paul says he didn’t write the letters, that he denounces the words that appeared in them, that he was unaware for decades of what 100,000 people were receiving every month from him. That’s an odd claim on which to run for president: I didn’t know what my closest associates were doing over my signature, so give me responsibility for the federal government…
He got into the race to advance ideas—the ideas of peace, constitutional government, and freedom. Succeeding beyond his wildest dreams, he became the most visible so-called “libertarian” in America. And now he and his associates have slimed the noble cause of liberty and limited government…
Even those who vociferously defend Ron Paul and viciously denounce Kirchick, perhaps even those who wrote the words originally, are apparently unwilling to quote and defend the actual words that appeared over Ron Paul’s signature…
As Ayn Rand wrote, “Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.” Making sweeping, bigoted claims about all blacks, all homosexuals, or any other group is indeed a crudely primitive collectivism.
Libertarians should make it clear that the people who wrote those things are not our comrades, not part of our movement, not part of the tradition of John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and Robert Nozick. Shame on them.

Chew on that Paulbots.
UPDATE: Commenter Corgiguy points us to this post by Julian Sanchez at Reason, the Libertarian magazine. Sanchez tells us that Ron Paul’s ghostwriter is Lew Rockwell.
The last paragraph says it all:

Yet those new supporters, many of whom are first encountering libertarian ideas through the Ron Paul Revolution, deserve a far more frank explanation than the campaign has as yet provided of how their candidate’s name ended up atop so many ugly words. Ron Paul may not be a racist, but he became complicit in a strategy of pandering to racists—and taking “moral responsibility” for that now means more than just uttering the phrase. It means openly grappling with his own past—acknowledging who said what, and why. Otherwise he risks damaging not only his own reputation, but that of the philosophy to which he has committed his life.

The point is it’s not just Henry the blowhard Cuban-American conservative that’s saying that Ron Paul does the libertarian cause harm, but also the leading libertarian thinkers. Grover Norquist was recently on Captain’s Quarters radio and explained how Paul’s followers could create a real movement within the GOP similar to the one that Pat Robertson created among evangelicals. Except these people would evangelize on the merits of smaller government and fiscal responsibility. That seems like a reasonable and desirable outcome for someone like me who does espouse some libertarian ideas but you have to be reasonable to have that outcome and to date Paul’s supporters seem more content with attacking those who might be sympathetic to some, but not all, of their ideas:


Oh I’m quaking in my boots. They might fill my mailbox with racist newsletters.

5 thoughts on “Cato on Ron Paul and his newletters”

  1. Henry, IMHO the issue with the newsletters is not whether Paul is a racist or not. As i see it is that he knows the ghostwriter that wrote the letters, lewrockwell. Lew was his chief of staff and in editor in charge of the newsletters. Paul has not outed him. See julian sanchez fine post at reason magazine blog spelling it all out.
    Paul has handled this misserably and has lost credibility with a portion of his libertarian supporters ( myself included ).

  2. Lew Rockwell countenances many racist screeds (and crazy writers) on his site. One that I particularly despised was Justin Raimondo who makes Ron Paul sound like Bob Dole. I stopped going there many years ago precisely because of what I read, that was so vile I felt it should not be supported.

  3. LewRockwell, is not a libertarian, he’s paleo-conservative or old-right republic, the Pat Buchanan wing of the GOP. Google BUCHANAN LEW ROCKWELL and you’ll get the whole picture.

  4. I’m a recovering libertarian so here we go – CATO would never go all out for Ron Paul because even they think he is too extreme. In addition his association with Rockwell who runs the CATO – hating Mises Institute makes Paul persona non grata as far as the CATO crowd is concerned. The folks at Reason Mag and foundation are lukewarm for the same reason – note that Mother Jones, The Nation and American Conservative featured Paul stories before Reason felt obligated.
    It should be noted that Rockwell, who works closely with paleo-cons, referred to himself as a paleo-libertarian (check out the wikipedia entry) but recently dropped the paleo label . In his defense I have read his work on and off for over 20 years and never read anything blatantly racist, but his association with certain groups and his full-throated support of Milosevic and greater Serbia tainted him long ago.
    George M. is right about Justin Raimondo. Ironically Raimondo years ago broke from the Libertarian Party and founded a group (Libertarian Republican Organizing Committee) that sought to bring Libs to the Republican party. An offshoot of that group, the Republican Liberty Caucus is still around and active in South Florida. If I am not mistaken Raimondo’s original group even endorsed Bush 41. Raimondo is completely unstable.

Comments are closed.