April 23, 2009
Ron Paul criticisms are devoid of any truth
By Elliot Engstrom
Not only is Miranda Kelly’s April 16 article “Paul’s political views encourage prejudice” composed of ad hominem arguments which assume that every Ron Paul supporter is “ignorant to the realities” that she was able to discover with a Google search, but the facts on which these faulty arguments are based have no foundation in reality and are pathetic to hear coming from the mouth of a college-educated individual.
The absurdity of this article is beyond what I would ever expect to see at a university of our standing.
One of the keys to Kelly’s “exposé” of Paul lies in her accusation that he considers Abraham Lincoln one of the worst presidents in history and supports the “Neo-Confederate” Ludwig von Mises Institute, and that this contributes to his racism.
Of course, Kelly just assumes that Abraham Lincoln was the great liberator who held our country together through its toughest of times, and to not approve of him must be folly. She completely ignores the fact that Abraham Lincoln murdered thousands of his own people, suspended habeas corpus in order to jail political dissidents, imprisoned state legislatures without even charging them, and specifically condoned a strategy of “total war” — which involved murdering civilians, raping women, slaughtering livestock and digging up graveyards before scattering the remains of loved ones — rather than sending his army specifically to confront that of the enemy, all for the sake of “keeping the country intact.” If my wife tried to leave me and I beat the pulp out of her to “save the marriage,” would that make me a good husband?
Also, if you think that the North was fighting to “free the slaves,” I have just one suggestion — go talk to your history professor, and ask him why the United States is the only country in history that supposedly had to fight a war to end slavery.
Paul’s true criticism of Lincoln lies in the fact that this president was one of the largest abusers of our Constitution and civil liberties in history, not that this man was some sort of liberator who Paul inherently despises.
As far as Kelly’s criticism of the book The Real Lincoln, I highly doubt that she has read it, as she provides not a single specific citation. Who needs to read such books? We learned everything we need to know about this gem of a president in high school history class from our government-approved textbooks, right?
Furthermore, the claim that Paul is anti-Semitic shows Kelly’s true lack of research. Ludwig von Mises, Paul’s personal hero, was a Jew who was forced to flee Nazi Germany and come to the United States as a result of Adolf Hitler’s totalitarian rule, partially because he was Jewish and partially because he dared to fight for economic liberty, an idea of which Hitler was not fond.
The idea that the Mises Institute is somehow “Neo-Confederate” is preposterous. This institute simply argues that the federal government should be restrained to allow freedom for the people, an idea which a few men actually got together and put down on paper once, calling it the Constitution.
Finally, the attempt to smear Paul using quotes from 15-year-old articles that he did not write has been tried and failed; I don’t think that Miranda Kelly is going to be championing an approach that the scandal-seeking mainstream media gave up on over a year and a half ago. The reason they gave up on it? There is nothing there to pursue. In 1993 an unknown author wrote racist comments in a newsletter published under Paul’s name. Certainly, he should have done a better job watching what was going out in his name.
However, Kelly’s thought-process is identical to that of Republicans who claim that Barack Obama is in a league with anti-American extremists, and here the logic is equally absurd. I challenge anyone to find a video or audio clip of Paul actually saying anything racist. Spoiler alert: you’re going to come up empty.
In fact, Paul’s philosophy of libertarianism makes it impossible for him to be racist, as racism is a collectivist idea.
Libertarians see an individual as exactly that — an individual — and do not define a person by attributing them to an artificial group.
This philosophy of individualism is the true answer to racism in our country, as it is only when we begin to view each other as unique individuals instead of in terms of “us” and “them” that race will truly no longer be a barrier.
In this respect, all Americans should follow the example of Paul, who joined the fight for the rights of the individual long ago. That Miranda Kelly missed the Paul which I know for some sort of racist thug bewilders me, and in a world where open dialogue should be encouraged makes me question the motives behind such a blatant smear attempt just days before his campus visit.