I don't even know where to start with this, so forgive me for any rambling.
I have been following the ups and downs of the US Republican primary/presidential candidates quite closely and knew that sooner or later, someone would try to drop the rod on Ron Paul's head. Prior to the recurrent backlash from the supposedly racist remarks made over 20 years ago in a newsletter, mainstream media barely mentioned Ron Paul's name. It was rather like he didn't even exist, even though he has found himself in the primary race more than once. Now suddenly I am easily finding all sorts of articles, and online/tv/radio remarks about RP. What a surprise. Cain is out, the others are often neck and neck in polls, so out comes the attempts at trouncing the man who was so incredibly ignored, he even received only 90 seconds of voice time during the CBS debate in November.
That leads into my next point - a lot of the RP naysayers endlessly state that they 'like Ron Paul, but disagree with him on Foreign Policy'. Well fancy that - the CBC debate was ABOUT foreign policy and national security. Would that not have been a good time to throw some questions at RP to find out what he really wants for the United States? If so many people do not like his policy, or say he is weak on foreign policy, or outright think he is a nutjob, then why not use a forum ABOUT foreign policy and national security to let him run himself into the ground? But no - instead, out of the 3600 seconds of time available, RP got 90. That is seriously pathetic.
Which brings me to some interesting comments I heard this week on Mark Levin's radio program. Levin is on holiday so yesterday Mark Simone was filling in, and today was Tom Marr. I only happened to tune in for about a half hour of each 3 hour program, but lo and behold, both hosts were talking about RP during that entire time. As soon as I tuned in my Sirius satellite to Patriot, I heard Ron Paul, and thought 'here we go again'. Yesterday, Simone was having fun talking about the racist newsletters and making a remark about how a nazi website has it on there. The way he was talking, it was as though RP knew about that the whole time. Well I'm sorry but those newsletters were printed over 20 years ago, and there weren't very many websites back then, if any. I graduated 20 years ago and didn't get online for another 4 years. But the way Simone presented it, it was as though RP had some control over who posted anything on their website. Our countries cannot even control the amount of child pornography, something that every normal person on the face of this planet is vehemently against - so how on earth is RP supposed to control some wacko group posting excerpts of something that they probably wouldn't even know existed if it weren't for the media and fellow candidates flapping their lips. It's ridiculously shallow and transparent (oooo I used the talking point word against them!).
I looked up past articles pertaining to these newsletters and some of the excerpts listed were hilarious. I have no idea how or why they should be considered racist. There were however some remarks I found (assuming that they were true and taken in context) that made me wince. RP maintains repeatedly that he was not the writer of the newsletter (which is common practise by the way - like how I write every single newsletter at my job and my boss sign's her name to it), and has taken responsibility and apologized. It seems that I cannot find anything from recent years where he was uttering racist remarks, despite the multitude of video and audio available on this guy, but he will weather this storm, yet again, as it came up in 1996, 2008, and so on in between. Same story. Same result. And magically brought up again so close to the poll time. Interesting.
Today, Tom Marr was talking about RP being scary and reasons why he would not want him to be president in any way shape or form. But he took a moment to utter under his breath that he doesn't want the troops 'over there' either. Funny, I read the same thing countless times from Sun News' Brian Lilley today on his FB page. I like Brian, his is about the only show I manage to watch all the way through on the new network - but he too seems to be falling for the 'Ron Paul doesn't seem too bad, but I don't like his Foreign Policy' bandwagon. I find that sad. It's become a catch phrase/talking point all of it's own 'Ron Paul's Foreign Policy'. Then people nod and say uh-huh - but when you ask a few more questions to find details about what they don't like - they have no answers. For one thing, that would have to be POLICIES. There are more than one - do these people not like ANY of his foreign policies? Can they name his policies? I have asked this question and seen the same results time and again 'RP is an isolationist'. Oh he is? Why? "Well umm because he doesn't want to get involved with other countries". Oh, he doesn't? Not at all? Or like what? Please explain. "Explain? Oh well umm he doesn't want to have our troops over there and stuff. But Iran has nukes and we should do something about that". Oh okay, Iran has nukes? What can our troops do? What do you think we should do? "We should go over there and stop them". Oh okay so how are they going to stop them? Like they did (didnt) in Afghanistan and Iraq? "They stopped them there! We brought our troops home". Oh? We stopped them? But I thought just the other day there were almost 100 people killed in several bomb attacks in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I forget which cos every week there are bombings and I get confused. "well they got Bin Laden. So they won. Now we have to stop Iran". Ohhh right. Bin laden was the supreme leader and the others cannot manage to work without him, even though many hundreds of people there have been killed SINCE bin laden's death. "Well Iran needs to be stopped and Ron Paul said he won't do it". Oh really? Ron Paul said that? I thought he said we cannot go in there pre-emptively and presume and assume without actual proof, and that it was unconstitutional to do so. "Blank stare".
And so has gone pretty much every chat I have tried to have about Ron Paul's Foreign Policy. I swear that 90% of the people uttering the new catch phrase did not even know what foreign policy was about until Ron Paul's ideas became an issue. Well - some of them might have learned about it when Sarah Palin was in the running with McCain. "I can see Russia from my house".
Sorry, I got to rambling. Here are some excerpts from various online posts that all seem to say the same thing, but are from different media personalities in direct reference to Ron Paul:
-Ron Paul makes sense on a lot of things but falls apart on foreign policy. I don't want an American president who wants to be the world's policeman but Paul's isolationism is a bridge too far.
- No, we are engaged, sometimes wrongly. Paul would end all of that. Some of those moves would be good but some would be disastrous. When he said there is no problem with a nuke Iran and when he says he won't admit to being a 9/11 truther because of the controversy then I have to dismiss him.
- I also find his foreign policy too isolationist and truth be known I would like America to pull back. [my note: this one confuses me. Saying RP is too isolationist, but admitting he would like America to pull back.]
That was all actually from one person, on one page, all in the same thread. So why not expand on his thoughts with each succeeding comment? There was a little reaching for other topics (ex, the Truther remark) but no expansion on the main issue of the thread - foreign policy dislike/isolationism. I see that repeatedly. How is his isolationism a 'bridge too far'? What moves would be good and what moves would be disasterous? The above lines are almost like answering a question with another question. It gets you nowhere in a real discussion about these policies. It makes you wonder if the speaker even knows what the policies are or if he has just been listening to what others say, because it sounds an awful lot like everything else I have read and heard for eons.
Today Tom Marr said that RP was 'dangerous' but did not enlighten me in the half hour I listened... dangerous how? Yesterday Mark Simone said that RP was obviously racist - but did not expand on that. Does he know something that no one else anywhere has been able to prove? And what is his definition of racist? Racist against anyone who isn't pure white, or specific groups like blacks, asians, etc? Who knows. I sure don't, even though I listened closely for an explanation. It turned out to just be name calling in the end. I could call anyone I wanted to a racist (well, I could get sued for slander I guess, but I could still do it) and that would not mean it was true. So I don't understand why all these people are just going on and on about words, name calling, catch phrases and 'word of the weeks', when they should go into detail to explain it to those who are trying to understand, trying to get ready to vote, and having a hard time sorting through the mire. Why not take a moment to actually deeply explain their views if they feel it is so important that RP does not win the ballot? Probably because in the end, they cannot. They don't know the answers, or they do and don't want to get into the thick of a REAL conversation.
All I can end this with is a little tally of social media from FB. A list of the candidates with the number of people who like their official FB pages.
Ron Paul - over 667,000
Rick Perry - over 179,000
Mitt Romney - over 1, 200,000 likes
Michelle Bachmann - I can't find an official one. the wiki one has over 19,000 likes; a political looking one in her name has a little over 1000 likes
Newt Gangrich - over 222,000
Rick Santorum - over 39,000
Jon Huntsman - over 30,000
Herman Cain still has over 388,000 likes so he has more than some of the candidates that are still in the running have combined. Interesting.
Anyway that's just a small sampling of one social media site and the number of followers. Mitt has them all blown out of the water, but Paul is next and none of the other candidates even come close. So - RP is a whacko nutjob isolationist Truther - and apparently so are a hell of a lot of others eh? Should he really be discounted so easily? Ignored and then 20 year old muck thrown around again when that doesn't work?
Let's not forget, in the face of these racist accusations, that a long standing Senator was once a member of the KKK - by his own admission. You will find things online about Senator Robert Byrd spending a 'brief' period of time with the KKK, and a book about the shame he feels - but you will have a hard time figuring out how long this brief period was exactly (he says he joined in the early 1940s but is not specific beyond that. He does not say when he left either. So it could be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or more years). When you read the little Wiki blurb about it, you do not readily see that he actually started up the local chapter himself, recruiting 150 or so of his friends, and having a Grand Dragon of the KKK come down to officially start them up. The link above even states that he, along with some other Democrats, opposed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. But yet he survived election after election and stayed in the Senate until he finally keeled over at age 87. Now many of the Democrats who called him a friend and good colleague are coming out against Ron Paul for his racist newsletter that he may or may not have known about. Um... okay.
I have to come back in and add something I was thinking about after posting. One particular apparent newsletter blurb I found online regarding RP's 'racist' remarks was in reference to the Rodney King melee in Los Angeles. I remember that. I remember watching it live on the news. It was horrid. Anyhow, the newsletter supposedly held a remark something like "things calmed down after the blacks went off to collect their welfare cheques'. I winced at that. If that was in context and not meant to be a humor piece, then yuck - it sounds horrible. But after I posted my original piece, I recalled how my cousin commented that the Saint John, NB Occupy Camp seemed to get boozed up each month on what also happened to be Income Support Payment day. Now - does that mean she is an occupiest? She said virtually the same thing the newsletter did - only she was not talking about the color of someone's skin, she was talking about anyone and everyone still sitting at the occupy camp in her local park after 3 months. I posted about it previously.
I've had taxi drivers over the years apologize to me for being late around the 20th of the month because it was 'Child Tax Benefit day' and they were busy picking up the single moms who got their money and were either out shopping or out at the bars. Does that mean all of those taxi drivers were blatantly rude about low income people? Or were they also stating a fact? I've had store clerks comment that it was Welfare Day so they were busy. The majority of people in my city are white, so I guess we can make those comments and not be called racists, just elitist or something. But if the majority happened to be black and we stated that fact in the sentence, 'the blacks are getting their income support checks today' - that would be racist. Yes I agree - the person who wrote the piece in the newsletter directly mentioned the word 'black', but the majority of the people involved in the riots were black. So --- now what? Was that person trying to say that most blacks are on welfare, not just the ones in the riots, but all of them? That would be pretty darn racist. Or was he talking about the vast numbers of black people in those riots and how many of them were low income and left the riots to take time to pick up their welfare checks? Was he actually WRONG?
I wrote in my previous piece about the Saint John occupy camp about how people in other cities watched many leave the camps to line up at midnight for the release of a video game ( think it was the newest Call of Duty game,,, not sure). I wrote about the Income Support payments. Seems eerily similar to what the newsletter with RPs name on it was saying about the rodney king riots. Maybe it was more about being elitist and calling down low income people, rather than racist. Neither one is good - but when you expand your context of thinking, I bet you will discover that you yourself have made similar comments about other groups of people What does that make YOU?