Roger L. Simon

Is Ron Paul a Racist?

If Ron Paul is not a racist, he is certainly terrible at picking employees and colleagues. Paul’s excuse for the bigoted, homophobic comments in the much-discussed “Ron Paul Newsletter” of some years ago is that he didn’t write them himself. Someone else did.

But who chose those others to work with him on the “Ron Paul Newsletter”? Who vetted the writers and editors of the very articles with those horrific statements? Well, one must assume, Ron Paul.

That inability to select even marginally acceptable (non-racist) employees and colleagues should, on the face of it, disqualify Paul as a candidate for president of the United States. Can you imagine such a myopic individual, such a poor judge of character, choosing justices for the Supreme Court, not to mention myriad other important positions?

But that’s giving Paul the best of it. Occam’s Razor tells us Paul knew perfectly well the kind of tripe his minions were writing (if he didn’t write it himself), just as Barack Obama — despite his protestations — knew perfectly well the kind of bilge that Jeremiah Wright was spewing. In fact, they went along with it for much the same reason — political expediency — although Paul arguably believed the despicable remarks in his newsletters more than Obama ever believed Wright’s excrescences. After all, Paul’s writings (including solicitation letters) went out under his own name.

Still, the Paulites are saying, that was years ago. Give it a rest.

That’s hard because the problem runs far deeper and has contemporary ramifications. Paul’s racial bias is more complex and intense than what has already been alleged of his attitudes towards blacks and Jews. He thinks even less of Muslims. He treats the Islamic world as if they do not have views of their own, their own ideology. In essence, he does not take them seriously as people and claims their actions are largely a result of American (and presumably Western) imperialistic behavior.

In other words, Muslims are children who could not possibly have the beliefs they do of their own accord and choose to act on those beliefs. They only do what they do because of us.

Besides being ethnocentric in the extreme, this negates many centuries of history — the majority of which took place before the U.S. even existed — and an entire, highly evolved system of religious, philosophical, and social thought. Whether Paul does this out of ignorance or arrogance I am not sure, but his disregard of Islam as something to be taken seriously in and of itself is particularly stunning when that ideology is close to the most antithetical imaginable to Paul’s self-proclaimed libertarianism.

It’s no wonder that Paul opposes placing any sanctions on Iran’s mullahs. He does not believe what they say is real. It’s all something they made up in reaction to the American bogeyman. Perhaps it’s asking too much for Paul to read the works of Ayatollah Khomeini (since the candidate doesn’t even appear to read articles under his own name), but if he did, he would find the founder of the Islamic Republic quite serious in his goal to unite the world under Shia Islam, irrespective of the existence of the United States or any another state. In fact, Khomeini wasn’t particularly interested in nation-states as a concept, only in a monolithic world under Allah, practicing his ultra-obedient Shiite form of Sharia. Democracy, especially the republican form of our Founding Fathers so beloved by Ron Paul with its emphasis on freedom and individual rights, was anathema to Khomeini.

Nevertheless, Paul and Khomeini have something in common. They are ideological extremists who attract devoted followers looking for simple solutions. Of course, Khomeini was and is (with what he has left behind) incomparably worse. The principle danger of Paul is that he chooses to ignore this.

And his reasoning for this ignoring boils down to a form of racism. To Paul, such people are obviously ignorant, backwards, and incapable of competing with us on this tiny globe. Their ideas are just huffing and puffing and all this stuff about the Twelfth Imam so much balderdash put up for the consumption of the masses.

Well, maybe sometimes. But to treat the beliefs of Iran’s mullahs as irrelevant is to court global nuclear suicide. Paul’s brand of isolation should have gone out of fashion in the 1930s. Yet somehow it’s back. His young supporters would do well to do their homework and stop yearning for the simplicity of a “better day” that never existed.