UPDATE: Ron Paul has issued a statement regarding this article. Read it at the end of the post.
James Kirchik of The New Republic has published an article detailing the contents of Republican candidate Ron Paul’s newsletters over the years — published under various titles like Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report, etc. The most recent iteration, the Freedom Report, was archived back only until 1999, but because of Paul’s refusal to release earlier copies of the newsletters, Kirchik investigated further and was able to dig up newsletters going back to the 70’s. Kirchick reports that “what they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays.”
The results of his findings, which perhaps were not all written by Paul but certainly came “under a banner containing Paul’s name,” can be read in the article, although these couple of paragraphs will probably be of particular interest:
***EXCERPT – Angry White Man***
“Like blacks, gays earn plenty of animus in Paul’s newsletters. They frequently quoted Paul’s ‘old colleague,’ Congressman William Dannemeyer–who advocated quarantining people with AIDS–praising him for ‘speak[ing] out fearlessly despite the organized power of the gay lobby.’ In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine ‘who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.’ In an item titled, ‘The Pink House?’ the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite ‘the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,’ adding, ‘I miss the closet.’ ‘Homosexuals,’ it said, ‘not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.’ When Marvin Liebman, a founder of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom and a longtime political activist, announced that he was gay in the pages of National Review, a Paul newsletter implored, ‘Bring Back the Closet!’ Surprisingly, one item expressed ambivalence about the contentious issue of gays in the military, but ultimately concluded, ‘Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.’
Continued…AFTER THE JUMP…
The newsletters were particularly obsessed with AIDS, ‘a politically protected disease thanks to payola and the influence of the homosexual lobby,’ and used it as a rhetorical club to beat gay people in general. In 1990, one newsletter approvingly quoted ‘a well-known Libertarian editor’ as saying, ‘The ACT-UP slogan, on stickers plastered all over Manhattan, is ‘Silence = Death.’ But shouldn’t it be ‘Sodomy = Death’?’ Readers were warned to avoid blood transfusions because gays were trying to ‘poison the blood supply.’ ‘Am I the only one sick of hearing about the ‘rights’ of AIDS carriers?’ a newsletter asked in 1990. That same year, citing a Christian-right fringe publication, an item suggested that ‘the AIDS patient’ should not be allowed to eat in restaurants and that ‘AIDS can be transmitted by saliva,’ which is false. Paul’s newsletters advertised a book, Surviving the AIDS Plague–also based upon the casual-transmission thesis–and defended ‘parents who worry about sending their healthy kids to school with AIDS victims.’ Commenting on a rise in AIDS infections, one newsletter said that ‘gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense,’ adding: ‘[T]hese men don’t really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners.’ Also, ‘they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick.'”
**END of EXCERPT***
Read the entire piece here.
UPDATE: Ron Paul responded to the letters today with the following statement: “The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts. In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person’s character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‘I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.’ This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It’s once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary. When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”