There's been a lot written lately about Ron Paul's Record of Racist, Homophobic and otherwise Bigoted statements and commentary published in his Newsletters. All of which he's since renounced, or refused to admit too, or didn't write, or know about, or bother to edit, or proof read, or something.
Great shining example of "Personal Responsibility" isn't he?
Yesterday in his interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday Ron Paul yet again showed that his true position isn't really for "Civil Liberties" - he's for allowing the powerful to do whatever they want to the weak and vulnerable. Even in the case of those who've been Sexually Harassed (Relevant Section Starts at 5:30)
WALLACE: Let me just interrupt, I’m sorry but we have limited time and we want to get to the other two candidates as well. I want to ask you about one other thing that you wrote back in your book in 1987 about sexual harassment in the workplace.
You wrote this, “Why don’t” — this is about the victims of sexual harassment. “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?”
You said that sexual harassment should not be a violation of someone’s employment rights?
Both in this section and in the earlier one where Paul says the those who contract AIDS due to their promiscuity should bare some "responsibility" for their actions - as if having AIDS isn't already consequence enough, regardless of how it was contracted - he goes on to respond that the person being harassed does bare responsibility for their own harassment.
That's half a step short of saying the girl who got raped shouldn't have worn such a short skirt.
I wonder if Kelly Clarkson is just about ready to rescind her endorsement of Paul yet, because I think any woman, or person whose delt with an abusive work environment, should be streaming away from Paul in droves.
The problem is - they aren't.
PAUL: Well, the whole thing is, is you have to get a better definition of sexual harassment. If it’s just because somebody told the joke and somebody was offended, they don’t have a right to go to the federal government and have a policeman to come in and put penalties on those individuals. I mean, they have to say, well, maybe this is not a very good environment, and they have the right to work there or not there.
But if sexual harassment involves violence as libertarians, we are very opposed to any violence. So, if there is any violence involved, you still don’t need a federal law against harassment. You just need to call the policeman and say there’s been an assault or there’s been attempted rape or something.
So, you have to separate those two out. But because people are insulted by, you know, rude behavior, I don’t think we should make a federal case out of it. I don’t think we need federal laws to deal with that and people should deal with that at home.
Here's what PoliticsUSA had to say in response.
What Ron Paul was saying here is that there should not be any federal laws against sexual harassment. There should not be any civil rights protections for women and some men in the workplace. In other words, sexual harassment should be legal. Rep. Paul’s statements today reflect his ideology taken to its logical conclusions. I have praised Ron Paul in the Republican debates for his consistency, but we should not mistake consistency for a rigid ideological inflexibility that promotes a decision making process where details and circumstances don’t matter. In the mind of Ron Paul, the ideology must be adhered to at all times.
There should be no federal laws against sexual harassment. This is what voters are getting if they vote for Ron Paul. Rep. Paul has been moving up in Iowa, because this extremist message appeals to the very very conservative caucus goers. Democrats who are tempted to support Paul need to realize that no matter how tempting his foreign policy is, Ron Paul makes George W. Bush look like an enlightened an open minded thinker.
I would tend to second that, with spats.
When I shared this on Facebook I got a surprise - to me - response from an old acquaintance who apparently supports Paul.
Thanks for including the video. It's actually a perfect example of how on point and truly civil he is under fire. I'm trying to understand your stance on this. He is quite clear about the SPECIFICS of what that statement actually meant. People shouldn't be able to engage the federal government and cost the taxpayer millions of dollars because they were offended by an off color joke at work. He's also quite clear that sexual harassment is a PROBLEM, but that it should be handled by LOCAL law enforcement and not tie up the federal government. His point is NOT that sexual harassment shouldn't be addressed, but that it doesn't need to go to a FEDERAL level. If you are actually positioned the way your post makes it look- including the video embarrasses you, because anyone who watches can see that the title is a totally inflammatory FOX news style broadside of misdirection and misinformation. Did you actually watch him speak? I'm so tired of people spreading misinformation to WHAT END?
I didn't review the video until I began this post, I just read the transcript -but it's completely accurate. Here's what I said in response.
Hans, the problem he ignores is that he mis-defines what sexual harrasment actually is and how it functions. It's not about one off-color joke, it's about a pattern and series of them which can create a hostile, sometimes vicious work environment. Sure if someone offends you, you should be able to tell them so and end the matter - but what if it's your boss? What if as condition of your employment you either have to quit, or continue to put up with it? What if you can't afford to just quit because you have BILLs to deal with and no certainty of another gig that can pay those bills?
Paul's position is you either have to quit - risk your credit rating and/or destitution (because Paul will certainly cut any possible aid you might be able to get to help make such a transition more viable) - when you've done nothing wrong, or else wait until things get physical and violent which is frankly TOO DAMN LATE.
Another thing, his view is the same I've heard from people who don't think that harrasment based on sexual orientation, or religious belief, or your race should be prohibited federally. They say there should not "Hate Crimes" laws, because that's "Criminalizing an Emotion" - which ignores the fact that Hate Crimes are actually Social Terrorism. They're intended to not just hurt you but also send a message of FEAR to anyone like you.
What if you're in a State that decides - gee - we think harassing the Muslims is perfectly ok cuz we don't like them? Or the gays? Or the White Christians (even including the Mormons)?
There's a reason we have Federal Standards for things, which is to prevent STATE based private and/or government abuse of disfavored minorities in that community, and anyone can be a minority if they're outnumbered and outpowered by another social faction.
One thing about Paul, he's consistent. This view dovetails perfectly with his - and his son's - view that somehow the Public Accommodations Act portion of the Civil Rights Act is a violation of Business Owner Rights, rather than a protect of personal Civil Rights for consumers.
Paul's solution to people getting Aids... is let the Insurance Company Market sort it all out, because they've done such a bang up job of that already haven't they? His response on Sexual Harassment isn't as Hans suggests - "let the local police deal with it" - it was let the worker and victim quit and go to some other company, as if the employee market would sufficiently punish the company who continues to keep a harasser on their payroll.
Yeah, as if that would happen.
The big problem with Paul's Wild West Extreme lassie-fair-ism is that when exactly has the market worked as he suggests? It doesn't work because People are most motivated to LIE about their own misbehavior. Nobody wants to be held accountable by the public, by the consumers or by the workforce. If they decided to abuse someone, they will then strive to deny it and cover it up.
Cases in point: Herman Cain. Or for that matter Anthony Weiner. Or John Edwards. All of them denied everything. Some of them still do.
The same thing is true with corporations. Rather than let the "Market sort it out" - they'll invest millions and billions in denial and diversion. How many decades did the tobacco industry pretend Nicotine wasn't addictive? The CEO's of the five largest companies actually testified to that lie before congress while simultaneous threatening their employees with $Millions in breach of contract and non-disclosure violations for letting the truth be known.
Just like a house built on quicksand, a market that is built on a foundation of Self-Serving Lies and Bullshit can not function without oversight and regulation.
The Ron Paul worldview appeals mostly the selfish and the short-sighted who don't understand that when you dismantle civil protections, environmental protections, worker and consumer protections - you loose the wolves of commerce on an unprotected and unwarned public.
It would be the start of the New Feudalist World, where the rich and powerful 1% get away with everything - and the 99% of poor and middle class of working people simply have to grin and bare it. They've got everything, the lawyers, the courts, the cops and the government on their side - and you're supposed to just willfully overpower them with the nothing but guts and perseverance? Let's be real, sure, once in a while the little guy wins all on his own against overwhelming odds and opposition - but usually they get crushed like a grape.
Paul's presents an attractive theory of not just national isolationism, but also personal isolationism - where we do nothing to protect those who most need protection, we just let them flounder about on their own.
Caveat Sucktor - Let the Sucker Beware.