This is Robert Stacy McCain’s take on the Ron Paul newsletter controversy:
Stipulate from the outset that those newsletters contained a lot of bad, wrong, racist and paranoid stuff. Further stipulate that Ron Paul authorized some cranky ghost-writer to use such fear-mongering to raise money, thereby attracting to his core following a bunch of the kind of people who enjoy reading stuff like this:
“I’ve been told not to talk, but these stooges don’t scare me. Threats or no threats, I’ve laid bare the coming race war in our big cities. The federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS (my training as a physician helps me see through this one.) The Bohemian Grove — perverted, pagan playground of the powerful. Skull & Bones: the demonic fraternity that includes George Bush and leftist Senator John Kerry, Congress’s Mr. New Money. The Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica. And the Soviet-style ‘smartcard’ the Justice Department has in mind for you.”
Considering myself something of a connoisseur of lunatic gibberish, I stand in awe of whatever unknown genius wrote that demented paragraph of paranoia-for-profit. One of these days, when some shrewd publisher hires me to edit a college textbook (The Norton Anthology of Right-Wing Extremist Literature), I’ll probably cite this as a classic example of late 20th-century direct-mail fundraising appeals.
By God, he pushed every button, didn’t he? Racism, homophobia, secret societies, currency manipulation, Jew-hating, anti-communism, Big Brother surveillance — it’s all there in 94 cleverly crafted words of undiluted 100% pure fearmongering. You have to appreciate the prophetic vision of the thing, foreshadowing in the dead-tree era the subsequent development of e-mail solicitations from MoveOn.org, Organizing for America and other such radical groups.
Lament this as politics, if you will, but as literature, it just might be the finest example of its genre ever written. It is to hate-hustling what Michelangelo’s David is to sculpture.
As Glen Reynolds would say, heh.
- Ron Paul Claims He Is “The One” (politicons.net)
- Ron Paul CNN Interview Raises More Newsletter Questions (commentarymagazine.com)
- Biggest question – what took people so long on Ron Paul? (legalinsurrection.com)
- Ron Paul: “I Could” Find Out Who Wrote Newsletters (commentarymagazine.com)
- Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletter Is Nothing Compared to Ron Paul’s Crazy Racist Homophobic Direct Mailer (slog.thestranger.com)
- Ron Paul: The More They Attack Me The More Money I Raise – YouTube (mybetter4you.wordpress.com)