So What's Wrong with That?
So there is now concern by some so-called journalists that "in his 1987 manifesto 'Freedom Under Siege: The U.S. Constitution after 200-Plus Years,' presidential hopeful Ron Paul wrote that AIDS patients were victims of their own lifestyle, questioned the rights of minorities and argued that people who are sexually harassed at work should quit their jobs." Of these only the last could be objected to on rational grounds and only if the harassment involved coercion. Thus if some colleague happened to place an objectionable picture on his office wall, a picture that others do not have to look at and can easily avoid, that would be a matter of office privacy unless the firm had a policy against it. There is no universal right to be free of annoying colleagues.
Arguably, though probably not in all cases, AIDS patients did invite their illness through risky activities they choose to engage in. At most Paul was exaggerating: some AIDS patients become infected from blood transfusions for which a hospital or medical office, not the patient, is responsible. In most instances it is probably true that AIDS patients are more like those who experience motorcycle or mountain climbing mishaps; they took on risks that landed them in medical trouble, something we all do now and then as we move through a risk-infested life.
As to "the rights of minorities," Paul is entirely correct. Minorities as a group have no rights. No group has rights, only individuals do. Members of minority groups do, of course, have rights and when these are violated it is the function of the government of a free society to secure them, just as the Declaration of Independence makes clear. Arguably, no one has the right to have government mandate affirmative action in his or her behalf. Such a policy needs to be achieved by way of employment contracts, not legislation. More to the point, the whole matter of such mandates is open to serious dispute and should be perfectly acceptable as a subject of political debate.
These complaints against Ron Paul demonstrate a total failure to understand what democratic politics is about, namely, debating public policy. No such policy is sacrosanct apart from the commitment to the philosophy of the Declaration and the Bill of Rights and to constant debate. Just as many liberal democrats disagree with the War on Drugs and free trade measures and are willing to challenge these in public discussions, so libertarians have their list of public policies they want to challenge and change.
Reporters who express shock with Ron Paul's positions should realize that in a democracy innumerable matters are up for debate, including the right to an abortion, to assisted suicide, minimum wage laws, undeclared wars in Libya or elsewhere. Ron Paul, just as any other candidate, may be open to criticism for the side he takes on any of these issues but it is a complete misunderstanding of the nature of political debate to consider simply holding views with which others disagree as something objectionable. What do these people want, anyway? Do they expect that elections will be about what spices one should use when baking a turkey or colors to use in decorating one's garden?
The pretended outrage with Paul's positions of several decade ago also fails to allow for any nuance in his libertarian stance, or indeed for some change in his political views. Why is this objectionable about Paul but not about Romney or Gingrich? It shouldn't be about anyone who has a long time ago professed to hold views that he or she no longer considers sound. It is especially hypocritical to object when so many journalists are rank radical pragmatists, like Paul Krugman and President Obama, people who proudly reject principled thinking about anything.
Moreover, when journalists get into the fray and start championing the views of some of the candidates they cover, there is no longer any integrity to what they are doing; indeed, their journalism is seriously corrupted. This is why so many in America have a negative attitude toward the media – too many of these folks put themselves up high as if someone appointed them judges and juries of public debate. They should, instead, keep their political opinions to themselves as they carry out their work, just as should doctors, teachers and others.
Posted by tkwalker on 01/03/12 01:07 AM
Ron Paul refusing to identify the author of the racist rhetoric or apologize for writing it himself is unacceptable. He's not even president and already considers himself above telling the truth.(!) Though an anti-war candidate will never win the presidency it's possible that his winning the nomination could spell big trouble when he is defeated by an incumbent that is well-hated by many. (I guess Paul isn't completely anti-war, after all he voted to invade Afghanistan... )
Posted by Hugh on 01/02/12 03:45 PM
"I wonder if Ron Paul's march on the Capital will be recorded as Napoleon's march on Paris?"
It will be formally recorded for posterity as the "bubble presidency" as President Paul will have to spend every waking hour in a pope mobile like bubble for security purposes.
Better order one that is built for two because his personal food taster will be required to tag along at all times.
What a world...
Posted by Col on 01/02/12 10:38 AM
Every verbal assault in the Media against Ron Paul is a Victory for his campaign, it was not so long ago that they just ignored him with Silence, remember Jon Stewart's Media Bashing?
There is no need to defend Ron Paul, the Media are just reacting to his success in the usual manner via Ad Hominem attacks & character assassination, it's the same old garbage spewed against Holocaust Revisionists, Climate Skeptics etc
I wonder if Ron Paul's march on the Capital will be recorded as Napoleon's march on Paris?
The following headlines appeared in the French newspaper Moniteur in March of 1815. These banners announced Napoleon's return from Elba to Paris.
March 9 The Monster has escaped from his place of banishment.
March 10 The Corsican Orge has landed at Cape Juan
March 11 The Tiger has shown himself at Gap. The Troops are advancing on all sides to arrest his progress. He will conclude his miserable adventure by becoming a wanderer among the mountains.
March 12 The Monster has actually advanced as far as Grenoble
March 13 The Tyrant is now at Lyon. Fear and Terror seized all at his appearance.
March 18 The Usurper has ventured to approach to within 60 hours' march of the capital.
March 19 Bonaparte is advancing by forced marches, but it is impossible he can reach Paris.
March 20 Napoleon will arrive under the walls of Paris tomorrow.
March 21 The Emperor Napoleon is at Fountainbleau
March 22 Yesteday evening His Majesty the Emperor made his public entry and arrived at the Tuileries. Nothing can exceed the universal joy.
Posted by Szatyor39 on 01/02/12 09:49 AM
DB publishes some of my columns! I don't write editorials for DB, only the editors would do that. My columns, as those by others, are also called opinion or Op Ed pieces, meaning they appear comparable to columns in many newspapers on pages opposite to those on which editorials appear. Bottom line is, in my writing for the DB I do not editorialize. At most I opine.
Posted by trivium on 01/02/12 08:54 AM
Then why do you not make the editorial stance of DB clear by making the references to AIDs in this editorial into those pretty green hyperlinks, else how is a new reader on this site meant to know what your editorial stance is?
Posted by Agent Pete 8 on 01/02/12 08:45 AM
Watch out everyone, the Aussies have a new meme out...
Will the World Health Organisation urgently provide mosquitos or nets to the chickens in Australia?
Click to view link
Posted by trivium on 01/02/12 08:41 AM
I registered just to voice my announce at your ignorant assertion about Aids. Aids is a meaningless category of diseases - no one ever got "Aids" through a blood transfusion. The con of HIV and Aids has been debunked for years. Don't believe me? That's fine, watch the excellent documentary "House of Numbers" and hear the truth from the scientific community for yourself - Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
This is an editorial and does not represent the larger editorial perspective of DB.
Posted by scousekraut on 01/02/12 07:30 AM
Regarding the attitude of gay men at that time to AIDS they were really reacting in the same way that the vast majority of people do when they get disease. That is to say it was "bad luck". When the HIV/AIDS theory was announced in 1984 - a theory that has never been convincingly proven - there was a kind of collective relief that is could be blamed on a virus.
Sadly we grow up in societies in which taking responsibility for our health is just not on the agenda. Other people such as doctors or a wide variety of alternative health practitioners are responsible and when we get ill we blame viruses or "bad luck".
This suites Big Pharma and the Medical Cartel and those above them who want us to rely on "the system" for their well-being.
Posted by Agent Pete 8 on 01/02/12 05:40 AM
I concur amanfromMars.
Dr Ron Paul, like other Mx, would have been info-shafted for a while, but doubtless early to catch on to the scammery behind it all.
And how many years of evidence of financial, legal, military and political wrongdoings, in your/our name(s), before same said so-called journalists grow to change their view?
Oh thats right, there are still a few talking heads remaining, that push the cognitively distortive shrinking MSM cohort/colluder/collaborators' easily breakable memes.
But thanks to *certain websites*, we now poke huge holes in the paper tigers eyes, with smiles, and from many sides.
Posted by Saffire29979 on 01/02/12 02:19 AM
On top of this, Fox News's Chris Wallace called AIDS a "homosexual disease", when in fact it's currently spreading more-rapidly among heterosexual people. Ron Paul never tied AIDS to gays and Chris Wallace did, so maybe Fox should be attacked for being homophobic.
Click to view link
Posted by amanfromMars on 01/02/12 01:50 AM
"So there is now concern by some so-called journalists that "in his 1987 manifesto 'Freedom Under Siege: The U.S. Constitution after 200-Plus Years,' presidential hopeful Ron Paul wrote that AIDS patients were victims of their own lifestyle, questioned the rights of minorities and argued that people who are sexually harassed at work should quit their jobs." "
Anybody who doesn't think or would believe that 25 years experience of life doesn't alter one's views and provide new insights and opinions tempered with revised vision aided and abetted with hindsight and wisdom, is obviously not very bright and probably a paid shill for an opponent in competition with the principal so targeted with such an ancient relic from a long gone past ... . non-existent present position, ergo is it shameful shameless negative political spin which must mean the Ron Paul is prime candidate and way out ahead in peoples' hearts and minds?