A while back in the GOP primary campaign, some of Ron Paul’s old newsletters resurfaced again, which has happened several times as he’s gone through different campaigns. They are nasty things, full of horrid and blatant racist statements (plus a lot of Dude It’s Totally Cool to Stockpile Weapons For Our War Against The Government, Let Me Tell You How To Do It Without The Feds Finding Out pro-militia stuff) and hateful stuff towards homosexuals, people with AIDs, Muslims and more. I realize that I am way late to speak on this – the story is basically dead and it doesn’t seem to matter now anyway because he’s not going to win the GOP nomination. I can’t imagine that he will ever be our President. Still, there is a point that I haven’t seen anyone discuss (or maybe I just haven’t read extensively enough) that I wanted to go into a bit.
A couple of disclaimers –
1) He has acknowledged that others ghost-wrote for him, he made statements of being very saddened by the things that were written in his name, and he has apologized for those things appearing in his newsletters.
2) On a variety of issues (though not on all of them), I agree with Ron Paul. Because of his personality, I used to like Ron Paul. In the last election, I think, I appreciated both Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee for certain things (just like I appreciated Dennis Kucinich, crazy ass Mike Gravel and in the most recent primaries, Hunstman). I like politicians who aren’t 100% party-line and those who seem genuine. I like the guys who aren’t the slickest campaigners.
Having given those disclaimers, here’s why I don’t buy his excuses of ghost-writers-gone-rogue, and I don’t buy his apologies.
If I had a newsletter – the Ashley Ray newsletter – that I wrote sometimes, and that others wrote for sometimes – it would be understandable to assume that what is represented in those newsletters is what I agree with, right? What would happen if someone who was writing on my behalf, unbeknownst to me, wrote some terribly racist things, and then the newsletter was published?
Do you think that the people reading the newsletter would notice?
Do you think that the people who work with and for me would notice?
Do you think someone would think it was odd that suddenly some statements are being published in my newsletter that are 100% contrary to my actual beliefs?
Do you think they would say something to me?
Do you think I would hire someone to write for me that had those sort of beliefs?
If the Ashley Ray newsletter said all those terrible things, I know without a doubt that the people who read it would RUSH to me and want to know what was going on. They would be concerned because obviously I don’t believe those things.
What I think is – Ron Paul employed people who held these beliefs. If he didn’t approve what was written & truly had no knowledge of them beforehand, he employed people whose belief in these things were so strong that they felt bold enough to put them in their employer’s newsletter. That is a really bold thing to do, right?
And after it happened – did readers freak out? I don’t know. Did they contact Ron Paul and tell him they were disgusted with what was written? I don’t know. Did his other employees freak out and alert him? I don’t know.
What I do know is that the newsletters didn’t stop. They went on for YEARS AND YEARS. We’re supposed to believe that issue after issue, there was a perfect storm of:
· Crazy ghost-writers
· Inattentive employees
· Readers who don’t actually read
He had no idea and no one – not his friends, family, employees, community nor supporters thought anything was amiss. If the Ashley Ray newsletter published that bullshit ONCE – I’d have people tripping over themselves to find out what in the world had happened because there is no way the Ashley THEY knew would write something like that. And if it continued, issue after issue? I’d lose my supporters. The people who faithfully read what I write DISAGREE WITH THAT BULLSHIT AND WOULD NOT WANT TO KEEP READING IT. They could no longer, in good conscience, support me.
My guess is – whether he knew about it or not – no one thought it was amiss because it DID represent what he believed. The ghost-writer felt ok saying that stuff because he knew it was what his boss believed. He continued to write it because he was not fired or even told to simply STOP IT. People did not think anything was amiss because HE BELIEVES IT AND THEY BELIEVE IT TOO.
And if somehow, the perfect storm really did happen? Ron Paul needs to find new friends, family, employees, community and supporters.