By some Leftist definitions, Ron Paul IS a racist. But Leftists class as a racist anybody who mentions racial differences at all -- a definition which is to my mind just a form of abuse. Are medical scientists (e.g. here) who repeatedly find medically significant differences between blacks and whites racists too?
I mentioned yesterday Taranto's feeble attempt to brand Ron Paul as a racist but he has clearly retracted that claim today. I suspect that I was far from the only one who sent him links and emails that took him to task over his comments yesterday.
A much more serious claim that Ron Paul is a racist comes from black conservative Bob Parks. Bob Parks generally speaks a lot of sense but the refusal of Ron Paul to be politically correct has obviously alarmed him. Parks has a whole list of broadly realistic utterances from Ron Paul that would have any Leftist shrieking "racism". The prime example seems to be:
"We don't think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That's true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such."
If you left out the word "black", I think there could well be a majority of Americans who agreed with that. And, given his vocal condemnation of real racism (as now linked by Taranto), I suspect that Ron Paul himself would intend his remarks to apply to all gang members who otherwise fitted his description. And who would deny that many of the gang members who fit Ron Paul's description are in fact black? Ron Paul has no difficulty in describing reality but Bob Parks seems uncomfortable with it.
One of my Jewish correspondents emailed me with the thought that Taranto initially got a bit freaked over Ron Paul because Ron Paul frequently denounces "neocons" and in Leftist mouths "neocon" is often code for "Jew". That would be an understandable mistake. But it shows no awareness of the libertarian position on armies and war. There are probably no two libertarians anywhere who agree totally with one another but, as extreme individualists, libertarians tend to be very suspicious of ANYTHING that governments do -- and armies and war are very clearly large examples of the exercise of government power. Many libertarians in fact deny that armed forces are needed at all. To caricature a little, they believe that each man should have his own bazooka and that would be sufficient to deter any invader or attacker. I disagree with that but I am describing a common libertarian view.
So given that background, opposition to foreign military interventions (interventions which neocons favour) is fundamental for a libertarian like Ron Paul. And that makes him fundamentally opposed to the foreign wars that GWB has undertaken with neocon support. So Ron Paul's opposition to the neocons is entirely explicable on POLICY grounds, not racial grounds. And his view that it is Bush's advisers who are most responsible for the foreign wars rather than Bush himself is one shared with many Leftists. For Ron Paul, however, that opinion clearly serves the end of limiting criticism of an administration (GWB, Cheney, Rice etc.) that is still popular in many conservative circles.
It has also been remarked that Ron Paul gets approval from a motley crew of political extremists, from Nazis to Communists. But that is again to be expected of a libertarian. Libertarians agree with conservatives on some things and Leftists on other things so a libertarian who forcefully expresses a view that is dear to the heart of an extremist will get some approval. And most extremists of all sorts are highly critical of Bush government policies (particularly in the middle East) so Ron Paul's vocal criticisms of those policies can be expected to be welcomed in extremist circles. To judge Ron Paul by those who praise him is very strange however. By that logic he is both a Communist and a Nazi!
I intend nothing that I have said above as support for Ron Paul. My preference remains strongly for Fred Thompson. I intend what I have said above as just my attempt to set the record straight in an area that is much prone to hysteria.
I am both amused and pleased that some readers have questioned my point above about Ron Paul being supposedly both a Nazi and a Communist. They say that in view of my own comments about the Leftist nature of Nazism, the combination is not at all improbable. That does however overlook the fact that "splits" are chronic on the far-Left and it is other "splittists" that Leftists tend to hate most of all. Sibling rivalry can be vicious. And the enmity between Nazis and Communists was indeed great in WWII (as the many German bodies resting in Russian soil attest) and continues to this day. The basis of the split was in fact a fundamental one. Marx and Lenin wanted class-war whereas Hitler wanted all Germans united in one big conformist happy family: Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer. Hitler was in that way closer to Hegel than Marx was.
Posted by John Ray