I have seen vile slander and speculation on blogs about some of the Ron Paul newsletters put out in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s. There have been calls for Ron Paul to “apologize” and “take responsibility” for them.
Of course, he has done all this throughout the years. He has made clear that the buck stops with him at least since the first time I heard about it in 1996 when Karl Rove, at the behest of then Gov. Bush, armed liberal Democrat Lefty Morris with the information for the latter’s run against Dr. Paul.
I have read Dr. Paul’s writings created all the way back to the 1970′s and the subject newsletters–and I say “subject” because the suggestion that there are 3 decades of letters filled with the subject matter considered offensive is a gross distortion of the truth–and it is evident to me that he did not write them. They are antithetical to his gentlemanly style and to the beliefs that he has professed since the beginning.
Well, say some, the fact that he “let” the articles go out in the newsletter shows that he is a bad “manager”. That is absurd. First, he was not managing the day to day running of the newsletter. He was practicing medicine on a full-time basis and writing some of the columns in his spare time–the ones that went out under his by-line. His relationship to the newsletter business was no different than any other person who “owns” a business–but does not work “in” the business.
For instance, there is a successful entrepreneur here in Austin who owns several businesses–but neither “manages” nor “works in” any of them. He hires managers and employees. One of the businesses is a car wash. If one of the employees of the car wash calls a patron a racist name, that does not mean that the owner is a racist. It does not mean that the owner is a “bad manager”. Management was not the owner’s role. However, any good owner knows that the “buck” stops with him, and would ensure that his managers rectify the situation and discipline or terminate the employee. He would also apologize to the customer and assure them that those are not his positions. This is precisely what Dr. Paul did.
There are those who insist that he should have read the newsletters and caught the problem earlier. How do you know that he had the time or inclination to do so in light of his busy practice? I don’t have the time to read each and every letter written by attorneys I employ in my firm–and I do manage them. I may not detect a problem for years–because I have to trust the professionals I hire. Do you truly believe that the “owners” of publications read each and every article in each and every magazine?
Then I read the libertarians who take a utilitarian approach. They say that, in order to exonerate himself and prove a negative–that he did not write the newsletters– he must identify and “out” the writer(s) and throw them to the wolves. In other words, Dr. Paul must bring about the personal and professional ruination of other people to save his own butt.
Dr. Paul is a Christian who exemplifies Christian behavior more than any other political figure I have ever seen. He does not stand on the street corner preaching and praying loudly as did the self-righteous Pharisees against whom Jesus railed. He embodies the teachings of Jesus in his day to day life.
One must ask, who did the writers of the subject materials really hurt? They hurt Dr. Paul! They put ammunition in the hands of his enemies and tarred his reputation. They owe a debt to Dr. Paul and no one else.
Dr. Paul has handled their debt to him as would a Christian in accordance with the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus commanded that we forgive others and deal with them in a compassionate manner.
15 Â¶ Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three awitnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the achurch: but if he bneglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Note that the passage does not say that if you resolve the situation with your brother (like termination from employment coupled with forgiveness and discretion), but if the trespass is later brought up in politics and you are smeared with it, you are to forget all Christian principles and throw your brother to the wolves to save your political career.
Consider another of the parables of Jesus in Matthew:
23 Â¶ Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would atake account of his bservants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be asold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him aan hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very asorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that adebt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had bcompassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had cpity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts aforgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Ron Paul forgave the writer of the newletters who has caused him such trouble. He is an honorable man who refuses to sacrifice another person to his political aspirations. He shoulders the responsibility and takes the heat–rather than pointing a finger to divert wrath from himself. He has more courage and integrity than any other man in public life.
Let the nattering class continue to natter on about this. Ron Paul is building his treasure in heaven instead of on this earth. To the natterers, look further at the words of Jesus in Matthew:
23 â€œWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 â€œYou blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!