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22 December 2011

Paul in 1995: Say, Have You Read My Newsletters?

h/t Ed Morrissey
[1:10] So, I was always very active in both politics and my profession.  When I came back, I resumed my medical practice, and I’ve been doing that ever since, but I’ve also stayed active in education. Long term, I don’t think political action is worth very much if you don’t have education, and so I’ve continued with my economic education foundation, Free Foundation, which I started in 1976.  So that’s been very active.  Actually, in the last several years, we’ve been doing some video work, in an educational manner.  We did 14 different 30-minute programs on video.
But along with that, I also put out a political type of business investment newsletter that sort of covered all these areas.  And it covered a lot about what was going on in Washington, and financial events, and especially some of the monetary events.  Since I had been especially interested in monetary policy, had been on the banking committee, and still very interested in, in that subject, that this newsletter dealt with it.  This had to do with the value of the dollar, the pros and cons of the gold standard, and of course the disadvantages of all the high taxes and spending that our government seems to continue to do.

For a man who now says that he didn’t pay any attention to the newsletters published under his own name for years, he certainly seems to be pretty conversant with its contents in 1995.  Remember that the newsletters didn’t become a political liability for Paul until 1996, in the middle of his election campaign against Lefty Morris, who first raised the issue.  This interview is also not far removed from the appearance of the racist passages and kooky conspiracy theories in the newsletters, such as this in 1992:

Paul, writing in his independent political newsletter in 1992, reported about unspecified surveys of blacks.”Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action,”Paul wrote.
Paul continued that politically sensible blacks are outnumbered “as decent people.” Citing reports that 85 percent of all black men in the District of Columbia are arrested, Paul wrote:

“Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal,” Paul said.
Paul also wrote that although “we are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers.” …
He added, “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.”

Today, of course, Paul insists that he never bothered to review the newsletters before publication and rarely read them at all, much different than his 1995 promotion of the newsletters as his primary vehicle for political engagement and, er, education.  It explains why in 1996 Paul neither denied authorship of the passages nor familiarity with the thrust of his publications when he was interviewed by the Dallas Morning News, and quoted by Reason Magazine in 2008:

Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation. [...]
In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.
“If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them,” Dr. Paul said.

I wonder what’s in the videos?  Besides end-of-days investment planning, that is.

Update: USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich also reports today that Paul’s story has changed over the years:

In 1996, Paul told TheDallas Morning News that his comment about black men in Washington came while writing about a 1992 study by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank in Virginia.
Paul cited the study and wrote: “Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
“These aren’t my figures,” Paul told the Morning News. “That is the assumption you can gather from the report.”
Nor did Paul dispute in 1996 his 1992 newsletter statement that said,”If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.”
Now, Paul says he had nothing to do with the contents of the newsletters published in his name.
“Why don’t you go back and look at what I said yesterday on CNN and what I’ve said for 20-something years, 22 years ago?” Paul said on CNN Wednesday. “I didn’t write them. I disavow them. That’s it.” Paul then removed his microphone and abruptly ended the interview.


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