Ron Paul is a privileged jackass

I doubt this is news to anybody, but a book Paul wrote in the 80s, without ghostwriters or anyone to blame it on, has resurfaced and contains passages like this:

“Every year new groups organize to demand their ‘rights,'” he continued. “White people who organize and expect the same attention as other groups are quickly and viciously condemned as dangerous bigots. Hispanic, black, and Jewish caucuses can exist in the U.S. Congress, but not a white caucus, demonstrating the absurdity of this approach for achieving rights for everyone.”

and

“Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity,” Paul wrote. “Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable.”

Can you get a better example of someone completely unconscious of his privilege? The first passage is like asking, “Hey, why isn’t there a feminism for men?” The second is victim blaming of the ickiest kind… or else a complete failure to realize that jobs are not so easy to come by, and if you have ambitions that involve specific firms and specific partnerships, you should not be forced to curtail them because someone’s abusing his power. Besides, what’s your guarantee you won’t run into sexual harassment in the next place? I know it’s way above tiny minds like Paul’s, but see, this is why the onus to correct wrongdoing needs to be on the asshole who’s doing wrong. What a concept, huh?

As for the comment on race, it’s certainly true that everyone should have the same rights, and that’s what all his fans are hiding behind in the comments (don’t read them – it’s mostly his fans demonstrating their usual weird levels of ignorant devotion). But he put this in a context of assuming that everyone already has the same rights, and minorities are asking for additional rights. That’s typical of people who lack the vision and imagination to see the world from any POV but their own. Really not presidential material.

There are a couple of good comments in the thread, though:

His basic philosophy seems to boil down to “might equals right”. This guy would throw the rape victim into jail for tempting the rapist. Of course, he would also throw the rapist in jail and tell us that they “both bear some responsibility”.
To save money, he would put them in the same cell.

I have nothing to add to that.

Here’s the problem with what Paul is saying about minorities: on the one hand he’s claiming that everyone should be treated equally in our society, but on the other hand he’s also saying that there shouldn’t be interference from “social do-gooders” when problems with equality are identified. How could you possibly provide equal treatment in society if you also claim you should never do anything about it when it’s been identified? It’s a ridiculous point of view.

Yes, but a point of view that makes it almost sound fair to dismiss minority complaints. And that’s a rationalization that appeals to a lot of fools online.

But maybe we’re being unfair. Maybe Paul has learned something in the past twenty-some years. When asked about his views in the book that AIDS sufferers were victims of their own lifestyle and shouldn’t expect anyone else to pay for their care:

Asked about the comments on “Fox News Sunday,” Paul said: “I don’t know how you can change science.” Sexually transmitted diseases are “caused by sexual activity,” he said, and “in a free society people do dumb things, but it isn’t to be placed as a burden on other people, innocent people.”

“Why should they have to pay for the consequences?” he said.

Unfortunately, his “science” was even more wrong in the 80s than it is now. Back in the 80s, every thinking person knew there were three major ways to get AIDS:

  • Sharing needles.
  • Sexual transmission.
  • Blood transfusions.

Sharing needles is definitely a lifestyle issue. In the 80s, some people thought HIV mainly only happened to gays, which made it (in their minds) a lifestyle issue. But at no point ever did anybody think that getting a blood transfusion as you bled out from car accident injuries was a “lifestyle issue.” And people were terrified that every bag of blood had HIV in it, because the blood banks weren’t really up to screening it yet.

Now they are, and no one’s too worried that blood transfusions mean instant HIV anymore. So it would actually be more tenable to argue “lifestyle issues” now than it was then – so long as the sexual lifestyle you’re worried about is “having sex with men”, since we know women can get HIV through nice wholesome reproductive intercourse as easily as gays get it through anal intercourse.

Speaking of anal intercourse, I can’t be bothered to waste anymore time on this, and will just finish up by saying: what an asshole.

Edited to correct where WordPress somehow duplicated sections.

Comments

  1. Clay Mechanic says

    Hey, if he gets to judge who gets affordable STI treatment, can I reject liver transplant patients because I think they drink too much? Can paramedics at a car crash let a driver who is still gripping a mobile phone bleed to death? Can firefighters refuse to rescue people from a burning casino?

    I’m happy to live in a world we don’t judge each other like this. As we know all too well, however, many politicians think they’re uniquely suited to judge issues of reproductive health. If we must enter that world, it logically follows that we should know how our politicians drink, smoke or gamble (all of which are legal but have well-documented health impacts). It is then both our right and duty to divide them into the deserving and undeserving by those habits.

  2. SunlessNick says

    Besides, what’s your guarantee you won’t run into sexual harassment in the next place?

    Or that you’ll believed you left your old place because of harassment instead of you being the problem. Or that you be deemed a potetial problem for objecting to harassment at your last place.

  3. says

    By the way, I just realized somehow several drafts mixed together in WordPress and formed a very strange post. Editing complete!

    Shaun,

    Great link!

    Clay Mechanic,

    Exactly. And those are just the tip of the iceberg. Like, how is a planned pregnancy NOT a lifestyle choice? It makes just as much sense as his argument to suggest that we cut off all insurance/tax-funded support for planned pregnancies. Can’t afford the enormous hospital bills on your own? Good luck with that home birth! Remember, if your kid dies because you don’t have a doctor, we’ll burn you at the stake.

    SunlessNick,

    Yep – that didn’t even occur to me, but you get saddled with a job you left and having to explain why, and maybe even a series of jobs you didn’t stick with very long, so you look like a flake.

  4. MaggieCat says

    Besides, what’s your guarantee you won’t run into sexual harassment in the next place?

    This is the one that I’ve never even heard someone manage to come up with a stupid answer for. Because if I leave a job at Company A because I was harassed and go work at Company B, and the person I replace at Company B left because she was harassed and went to work at Company C, and the person who used to work at Company C left because she was harassed and then winds up taking a job opening at Company A, we’re all trapped in a twisted game of harassment musical chairs and no one who’s actually doing something wrong suffers. Because there are a limited number of jobs in any area/industry and if there aren’t any consequences it only encourages more people — ones who might have been too cowardly and/or sensible to risk a lawsuit or prosecution — to do the same. This is when the subject tends to be abruptly changed because I’m clearly not going to Let It Go.

  5. Casey says

    Shaun,

    Very, very, VERY grood link but I can’t help but think that it, along with this cromulent article will just fall upon deaf ears. Well, more like “LA-LA-LA-LA I’M NOT LISTENING” fingers-in-ears. After all, as evidenced in one of my Sound-Off comments, Ron Paul supporters seem to be of the same mindset as Paul himself, brushing off all these concerns by stating everyone already has inalienable rights and it’s no big deal if he dismantles everything that gives marginalized groups even the slightest leg-up, ‘cuz hey, you really think minorities and gays and women can’t survive without the GOVERNMENT holding their hands? Either that or they just don’t give a shit and think it would be totally hunky-dory if we’re reduced to a nation of turnip-farming feudal states anyway because HEY, HE JUST WANT’S THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO BUTT OUT OF STATE AFFAIRS, DO YOUR RESEARCH!

  6. says

    MaggieCat,

    ….and what a perfect description of the film industry that is. No joke – unless you’re being harassed by someone who’s as big a nobody as you are, there is no justice for harassment. Men who like to harass women flock to that industry, because they know it’s a safe space for that behavior.

    Casey,

    That’s true, Casey, and I didn’t write this for Ron Paul supporters, who are as droolingly devoted a group of unthinking zombies as I’ve ever seen. I wrote this article for people who have to be around those supporters and need some support, or people who may be thinking of voting for Paul only as the lesser of evils and don’t realize how bad he is. And of course I wrote it for people who are already against Paul and maybe like to show pro-Paul friends that they aren’t the only ones who feel that way.

    SunlessNick,

    They always are on an anti-Paul article. Zombies, as I described them above. I expect we’ll see some of them here, and promptly flush their pointless “so not getting it” blither down the digital toilet.

  7. Shaun says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Agreed. Until this (last) year, it was like anyone I knew who wasn’t a Ron Paul supporter thought he wasn’t a bad guy. About the only thing I’ve seen that I like from him is him calling the opposition to the “9-11 mosque” Islamophobic, which I’ve not seen a Republican do before.

    But this man is completely ridiculous. He wants to eliminate FEMA and have us all just take care of ourselves, despite the fact he represents GALVESTON, which in 1900 was hit with a hurricane so intense it lost 25% OF ITS POPULATION. That’s the only reason Houston became a population center at all–because it’s further inland. And he… wants to “go back to 1900″ (exact quote) because we did better without FEMA?

  8. says

    Shaun,

    I think Ron Paul has probably said something for everybody at some point. Like, a lot of his fans just see “legalize marijuana” and don’t care what else he’s for. The horrifying thing about representative democracy is that people tend to be single-issue voters: they like one thing a candidate stands for, and they stop paying attention. That’s a recipe for disaster.

  9. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    The legalize marijuana thing is particularly galling, as I’ve seen a WHOLE LOT of POC on YouTube cover their videos with pro-Ron Paul malarkey along the lines of “VOTE RON PAUL 2012 HE WANTS TO LEGALIZE WEEEEEEED~!!1one” and completely ignoring or being oblivious to the fact that he’s a racist jackass who actively courts the votes of OTHER racists.

  10. says

    Thing about Paul is, he’s not even a real libertarian, odious as that would be in itself; if you read his platform, such as it is, he’s basically only opposed to the federal government. He’s a staunch supporter of state’s rights: apparently the libertarianism stops at the state line, or something, because it’s okay if the state does it, but not okay if the federal govt does it. Or something.

    It’s all rather incoherent, which makes sense, considering the source.

  11. JT says

    SunlessNick,

    Exactly. That’s how it was in the Bad Old Days. Women who spoke up were branded “troublemakers”. Oh wait, silly me, women don’t really need careers and good references! After all, unlike men, we don’t have families to support. /sarcasm.

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