Doughtery Correctly Analyzes the Genesis of the Paul Newsletters


They were a cynical part of Rothbard's "reach-out-to-the-rednecks" strategy. That is exactly right. When that didn't work, that angle was dropped.

Rothbard would say or write whatever it took to forward the revolution. He was a Leninist turned inside-out.

All that being said, how important are the newsletters? They were bad, but I'd rather have the GOP nominate someone who cynically reached out to racists than someone who might kill 100,000 Iranians.


  1. I trust that posts on gun control and the relative virtues of Mac and Windows are imminent as well?

  2. Jim, you know I love your ideas and all, but... Huh?

  3. I think I mostly believe him that he didn't write the letters. There's one line where he called MLK day "Hate Whitey Day", but Ron Paul apparently voted for the creation of the holiday. Still, I'm not sold that he wasn't aware of the content. Chances are it it was a purposeful move to pander to those type of voters even if he didn't necessarily agree with 100% of the stuff in the letters.

    He probably does believe in a lot of the weird conspiracy stuff though. He's currently a member of AAPS and they've written some weird off putting stuff.

  4. Yes, I think he certainly knew what direction Rockwell and rothbard had taken the movement at the time.

  5. Sorry for the confusion. I was just having a minor jest about famous comment-thread generators among possible blog topics. Including of course, "Doctor Paul."

    I of course think you and Dougherty are correct on the backstory. Always in this context I think of the creepy ex-Rhodesian mercenary LRC used to give column space too, whose name I am blessed to have a hard time recalling.

  6. Oh, I hadn't even thought of that angle, Jim. All is clear now.

  7. Not that it really matters, but Paul didn't vote for the creation of the Martin Luther King holiday. Source.

  8. In one of the newsletter scans linked on Et Tu Dr Destructo, Paul brags of having voted against the MLK Day holiday over and over. And not because of some bizarre argument that the federal government has no power to declare federal holidays either, but because, per the newsletter, MLK was a horrible person.

  9. Yeah, I also think Dougherty's take on the newsletters is spot on. Rothbard's right-wing populist strategy, towards the end of his life, pushed him to support some unsavory characters (e.g., David Duke) and also advance some ugly, vicious rhetoric. At one point, he was palling around with Holocaust deniers and other assorted right-wing bigots and cranks. What makes it even more disturbing is that I don't think Rothbard himself was a racist (though I could be wrong), but rather, was just cynically pandering to racists for purely political reasons. Some of the things he did and said in this vein were disgusting. It was doubly stupid, because it didn't even work as a political strategy.

    It's really sad that Ron Paul is tarnished by all this, because I personally don't believe that Ron Paul has a racist bone in his body. I wonder if this was a case of (a) simple negligence (Paul really didn't know what was going on, because he failed to exercise more oversight over what was being published in his name); or (b) willful ignorance (Paul knew what was going on on some level, but allowed his friendship to Rothbard/Rockwell to blind him from doing the right thing). If the latter, then Paul does bear responsibility for those letters.

  10. Some evidence that Paul was probably aware of what was going on:

    "Mr. Paul described Mr. Rockwell and Mr. Rothbard as political provocateurs. “They enjoyed antagonizing people, to tell you the truth, and trying to split people,” he said. “I thought, we’re so small, why shouldn’t we be talking to everybody and bringing people together?”"


    From the interview, it seems like Ron Paul genuinely disavows what Rothbard/Rockwell said, but has been hesitant to issue a strong condemnation/explanation due to his friendship and aversion to getting into a fight with Rockwell. The irony is that Rockwell's site is constantly criticizing people for failing to support Paul, yet Rockwell himself is probably doing the most harm to Paul's campaign by failing to just own up to this already, or at the very least encouraging Paul to slam him as he deserves. (And even if Rockwell himself didn't write these, surely he knows who did).


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