This is a draft, but I don't feel like editing it more right now.
So, CNN runs a story today showing a post-L.A. Riots (1992) newsletter from Ron Paul's camp that contains some tacitly racist comments, something that I first felt months ago when I read his campaign platform. I saw, and still see, racist reactionary tendencies in his attitudes towards immigration.
Congressman Paul claims that he didn't write them, and that he doesn't know who did. It doesn't follow for me that someone publishes something in your newsletter and you know nothing of it. Also, he claims to not be racist, but many of his supporters are racist, and I feel that he is cultivating the WASPy ethno-centric, at least, vote in this country. Let's analyze some of his platforms (all text in italics is verbatim from http://www.ronpaul2008.com):
Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry. Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart, and we cannot change people's hearts by passing more laws and regulations.
It is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. Government "benevolence" crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility among us.
I certainly don't think that removing any kind of government efforts to combat the effects of racism and ethnocentrism will have the effect that he seems to envision. In fact, the free market would exacerbate the differences between races. In the case of certain minorities, the economic and educational disadvantages they face make them less marketable as employees, and the freemarket, with government incentive, will seek out the most-qualified employees. This will stratify the workforce and keep people from ever leaving their social class. There would be no more Horatio Alger stories under Dr. Paul's plan. That resentment and hostility he speaks of is just a polite way of saying racism. I think his plan would turn racism on it head and not solve anything other than letting the majority maintain its grip on power.
We must reject amnesty for illegal immigrants in any form. We cannot continue to reward lawbreakers and expect things to get better. If we reward millions who came here illegally, surely millions more will follow suit. Ten years from now we will be in the same position, with a whole new generation of lawbreakers seeking amnesty.
Amnesty also insults legal immigrants, who face years of paperwork and long waits to earn precious American citizenship.
Birthright citizenship similarly rewards lawbreaking, and must be stopped. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the perverse incentive to sneak into this country remains strong. Citizenship involves more than the mere location of one’s birth. True citizenship requires cultural connections and an allegiance to the United States. Americans are happy to welcome those who wish to come here and build a better life for themselves, but we rightfully expect immigrants to show loyalty and attempt to assimilate themselves culturally. Birthright citizenship sometimes confers the benefits of being American on people who do not truly embrace America.
People need to stop talking about amnesty, like these Hispanic workers that come here are criminals. We can't even get some of our citizens to get up off their asses and work for a living. These people come here seeking a better life for themselves, and are willing to work, and pay taxes, and contribute to the economy. He hides behind the notion that people want to curb immigration. Truth is, at every point in our history, the populace didn't like immigrants because they were different. It's ethnocentrism all over again. He claims that they overtax the medical systems, but the actual research shows that most Hispanics pay cash or have insurance when they go to the doctor. In South Carolina, the ratio of people being declared indigent is LOWEST among Hispanics than among ANY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP, including the WHITE MAJORITY. So, this constant spouting of impressions that people have because of their xenophobia is unworthy of a politician, and an American, who seeks to represent a place, let alone a nation.
Personally, I would like to have a Western Hemisphere Union. I'd like to be able to go and work in Argentina, Barbados, or Colombia and vice versa. I would close immigration to all nations save those with close historical ties (U.K., France, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Israel, Liberia) but allow for completely free movement between anywhere in the Americas. But, that's not going to happen because of reactionary people who fear the immigrant. Undocumented workers aren't taking desirable jobs from people, they work in shit-jobs like McDonald's, cleaning hotel rooms, cooking, roofing, landscaping, and sheetrocking. Why all this fear and calling them criminals? Why are we even having a discussion about amnesty? If they come here and work and don't cause problems, where is the harm? Honestly? Don't sit their from your privileged position by birth and tell me that if your family were poor and your government corrupt, that you wouldn't do everything to provide for your family. And this isn't American-style providing, we're talking about sustaining life and health. This isn't a criminal matter, at best it's a civil affair.
What is seldom discussed in the immigration debate, unfortunately, is the incentives the US government provides for people to enter the United States illegally. As we know well, when the government subsidizes something we get more of it. The government provides a myriad of federal welfare benefits to those who come to the US illegally, including food stamps and free medical care. Is this a way to discourage people from coming to the US illegally?
Ah, the old racist redoubt of "subsidizing." This is total crap. You must prove US citizenship to receive federal foodstamps, WIC, Medicaid, and welfare. You cannot get them otherwise. To get a drivers license in South Carolina, my wife had to take in her passport, marriage license, and birth certificate. Another case of his assuming something rather than verifying. He's playing to his reactionary audience, you know the kind with three Ron Paul Campaign signs in the yard, along with a flagpole flying the "Dont Tread on Me" banner and a big Support Our Troops magnet on their Ford F150.
Also, I don't buy that an open border makes it easier for terrorists to come into our country. Any border patrol agent worth his salt knows when someone isn't Mexican; a terrorist just can't drop a few "chingadas" and convince the Border Patrol agent that he's Mexican. I highly doubt that any "terrorists" would try to come in overland. I'd worry more about the sea and airports than I ever would the desert southwestern frontier. Also, if we made it legal for workers to come here and work, as they could for decades, then we wouldn't have the massive illegal immigration that we currently have to worry about.
No other wealthy, western nations grant automatic citizenship to those who simply happen to be born within their borders to non-citizens. These nations recognize that citizenship involves more than the physical location of one’s birth; it also involves some measure of cultural connection and allegiance. In most cases this means the parents must be citizens of a nation in order for their newborn children to receive automatic citizenship.
So, he wants to monkey with the 14th Amendment and take away birthright citizenship. What litmus test does he want then? Does he propose anything other than taking away one of the noblest things about our country's laws. By his measure then, could a person someday actually be a citizen of another country, but if born here, could be our president?
I just have to wonder if we had a massive illegal white Canadian immigration "problem" if Dr. Paul would have the same level of moral indignation.