Restoring Wisdom: A Christian Take On Ron Paul’s Newsletters @RP_Newsletter

For as longest time, it has been my Christian duty to be an iconoclast. It’s just how I have fun, and for a while, my iconoclasm knew no bounds when I was a Left Libertarian. But even possessing such a nuanced position, I became disaffected, turned off by Paultardation and Paulinian Messianism, as if there was One Chosen White Man from Texas to “restore liberty.” Really, who grants these superpowers in the first place?

So, a few months ago, I kissed libertarianism goodbye. I still believe in the free market, that Keynsian economics is stupid, Obamacare was plain idiocy, and non-interventionist foreign policy is right. In fact, I would say one of the things that first attracted me to Ron Paul was his foreign policy. The USA is rather arbitrary when it comes to choosing which nations’ affairs to intervene with, and like it or not, racial bias plays a role exactly where our troops land. Somalia? Kosovo? Anyone?

That being said, the Libertarian cases against things such as FEMA and public education started to turn me off, and I realized that I did not affirm those positions. The best way to ensure freedom from tyranny is to have an educated electorate, an education accessible to everyone. Many of the America’s Founders believed.

Recently, followers on Twitter and Facebook friends have expressed disappointment in my posting and re-tweeting Ron Paul’s Newletters, a Twitter feed that quotes Ron Paul’s newsletters from the 80s and 90s, that have been scanned. Check the link for details. Imagine for a second. I am up for a job at a church, and I may not be the ideal candidate, and I have said a lot of crazy things on Political Jesus, Twitter, and Facebook, and especially Twitter. What if I said, hey, yah, that really was not me. That was all Joel. He blogged for me, and I let him under my name. Should I be held responsible? I think your answer should be yes. Just as certain celebrity politicians who pay people to write books for them are responsible for what is written, so should Ron Paul be held responsible for what he allowed and permitted Lew Rockwell to write in his name.

This is exactly RESTORING WISDOM should be about. “A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.” (Ecclessiastes 7:1) “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1) The mistake that Ron Paul made as a Christian was that he chose power (appealing to the basest desires and emotions of his political base) over having a good name, a reputation, when Scripture informs us that it should be the reverse. The apostle Paul wrote to his son in the faith Timothy that a Christian leader should have a good reputation with outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7), operating in Wisdom. Fact is, Ron Paul claimed to not have written these newsletters as late as 2001, putting his story into question.

For More, see Game Over: Scans of over 50 Ron Paul Newsletters.

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18 thoughts on “Restoring Wisdom: A Christian Take On Ron Paul’s Newsletters @RP_Newsletter”

  1. I agree with your comments about a good name. I think we need to consider the past and see how it has influenced their present positions. BUT, as someone who has made mistakes in the past, I am consistently frustrated with the assumption that I am the same person I was before. I do not believe that Ron Paul is perfect, but I am far more willing to accept the fact that he has disavowed a position many years ago than to accept a position that he has very recently chosen to change stances on. Unless I am wrong, he seems to be one of the most consistent politicians and that negation was many years ago. I really do think that he looks to be the best candidate in the running (my opinion) and I would be sad to seem him go. I would also be sad to see this past mistake derail his entire campaign.

    1. Christian, I agree with grace and forgiveness, but Ron Paul is not disavowing an earlier position – he is disavowing that he had anything to do with the RP newsletter, which he previously claimed as his own. That is not consistency.

  2. Rodney,

    It’s good to see that you and libertarianism have finally gone your separate ways. You going by the libertarian label was just too confusing.

    As to the newsletters, you’re right. Though I’m still going to vote for the guy in the primaries, mostly because there’s no one else to vote for, the newsletters are a problem. No amount of Paultardation will make them go away — he’s handled them more or less the same way Herman Cain handled the accusations of sexual misconduct — with a flood of contradictory and dismissive statements that won’t be convincing to anyone. Which is a shame, because he’s long been a lone voice on a number of important issues, willing to be consistent and fight against structural oppression like the war on drugs, the perpetual warfare state, and the way that bankers rip us all off through the Federal Reserve system.

    The free market on political prediction thinks there’s about a 4% chance of Ron Paul being president, and I’d bet that even that number is inflated by Pauline Messianists who are betting for him unrealistically.

    All in all, my hope for Ron Paul’s campaign is not that he would be sent to the White House to wreak havoc on politics as usual (though I think that would be fantastic) but rather that this election raises awareness of the problems of the simplistic left/right paradigm for politics, that it helps make Republicans aware of the fact that there is a genuine market for conservative politicians who don’t want to bomb every Muslim country they can think of, and that it helps Americans to think about the Constitution and government finances with renewed interest and concern.

    I went to a recent conference of college Republicans and libertarians a few months ago, and one thing I noticed was that our nation’s younger right-wingers are furious at Bush over how Iraq was handled and are fed up with the war on drugs. The sooner the Republican establishment figures these things out, the better.

    1. Wait… Mitchell, if he is so contradictory over something like that, how can you trust me with other things? Further, where is his moral base at? Doesn’t this matter?

      1. It matters, Joel. But who am I to vote for in the primaries? Romney? Gingrich? Bachmann?

        Believe you me, Joel, if we had what I would consider a decent batch of candidates, I would love to pick someone else over Paul. I just don’t have anyone else to pick at this point. At the very least I think I have a pretty good handle on his voting record.

    2. “It’s good to see that you and libertarianism have finally gone your separate ways. You going by the libertarian label was just too confusing.”

      Mitchell,

      When I was a libertarian, I did own the libertarian label. Are all libertarians to think alike? There is a healthy online and offline community of Left Libertarians that I did identify with, and I felt I fitted in.

      The confusion was not on my part. Maybe it was on your own, since you are more of a Right Libertarian.

      1. In the interests of giving me a better understanding of what you meant by “libertarian,” what concrete differences are there between the policies you promoted when you considered yourself a libertarian and now when you don’t consider yourself one?

        1. I really can’t go into all that much detail, but here are sites that squarely put Right and Left Libertarians into 2 different camps:

          http://leftlibertarian.org/index.html

          http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/libertarian-left/

          http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/

          As I stated in my post when I kissed libertarianism goodbye, believing in limited government is about limiting not only the public sector’s influence over the life of the individual, but also corporate interests as well.

          1. So, just to be clear, you claim to have changed from a libertarian to a non-libertarian but as far as I can tell there’s no substantive difference in your policy views. That, Rod, is why I find your use of the term confusing.

  3. If he truly believed these racist ideas before and has changed his position, then I don’t like the way he is handling that. I think he should have admitted his failings and repented of that fact. But, if he just took ownership of them (because they were sent by his campaign and not himself) but has discovered that that is an untenable position, then I completely understand the way he is dealing with that. From what I understand, the latter seems like a good possibly and thus I do not have problems with the way he is dealing with this issue.

  4. @ Mitchell,
    Correction, I have gone from Left Libertarianism to Federalism.

    I believe in limited government. That about sums up my views right now.

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