Thursday, December 22, 2011

Those Newsletters

The flare-up over the Ron Paul newsletters is in full swing, and makes life difficult for some of his libertarian-leaning supporters. I think there's some confusion on this, however, so it's worth a bit more of a look.

Start with the point that Alex Massie makes, which should in fact be the jumping off point for any discussion of this: Ron Paul isn't going to be president, and he isn't going to be the nominee, and everyone knows or should know it:

[O]utside the wholly committed, Paul's support is in large part a well-deserved protest vote against the dreadfulness of the other Republican candidates. Again, there's nothing wrong with this. But one should admit it, not try and pretend that it's not really all that important or it's just old news...And of course it would be important if this were Romney because Romney might be the next President of the United States. Ron Paul, who is not a very convincing racist, will not be and so it is easier to forgive or quietly ignore these awkward blemishes. It's not disqualifying because he won't really win so let's just talk about the better stuff, ok? That's fine but you can see why this might be a tough sell to people who don't already know the whole story.
So support for Paul from folks such as Andrew Sullivan and E.D. Kain and Conor Friedersdorf and others should be understood, then, as a protest vote.

Which then leads to the next question: a protest against what?

If it's a single-issue protest, then I don't think it matters very much who Ron Paul is at all. If support for Paul means opposition to the War on Drugs, or torture, or an internationalist foreign policy at all, or modern government...he'll do, more or less.

But if one believes that there's something really wrong with the current Republican Party, then it matters a lot what baggage Paul brings to the party. Look -- a protest vote is a symbolic vote. So symbols matter. If you believe that part of what's wrong with the GOP is casual indifference or even hostility to science and facts, then Ron Paul's goldbuggery really does matter a lot. If you believe that part of what's wrong with the GOP is bigotry, or tolerance of bigotry, or a point of view that being accused of bigotry is a greater evil than actually practicing bigotry -- then the newsletters matter a lot. If he's going to be your symbolic way of protesting what's wrong with the Republican Party, you had better be very clear on what he symbolizes.

Just don't tell me, as Kain and Fredersdorf do, that publishing ugly newsletters is bad, but not as bad as various policies that the president or the other Republican candidates support. That's the wrong standard; it's the standard by which to judge an actual candidate for president. Supporting Paul isn't about that. You don't have to convince anyone that he'd be a good president; you don't have to believe it yourself. Basically, if you believe he's the right protest candidate to change what ails the GOP , I think you have the wrong guy; if you're just using him for a particular issue position, then there's no need to even pretend that he'd make a good president or to hesitate at all in rejecting whatever baggage comes with him.


  1. So how does a protest voter express that he's voting on a specific issue or voting to change what ails the GOP?

  2. Jonathan, I think your point is basically correct, but I'd take it one step further: the racist angle to Paul's narrative is, more or less, a big part of what's wrong with the GOP today.

    First, a step back: I've argued here previously that racism (or, more broadly, apartheid) is an artifact of a particular race/class attempting to corral opportunities/prosperity for itself. I think of this in the context of Woody Allen's famous quote "90% of life is showing up": racism/apartheid is an attempt to make my own race the one that gets to "show up".

    Seen in this light, the problem with libertarianism in a multicultural society is that we will all tend to end up becoming racists. I don't just mean whites v. blacks. I mean everyone v. everyone else.

    Which is not to say libertarianism, or more generally conservatism, doesn't have a place in a multicultural society. It does. A huge place, particularly as a countermeasure to the power-hungry silliness of big government great society institutions.

    However, for libertarianism/(conservatism) to have a meaningful place in the discourse of a multicultural society, it needs to understand and deal with its own ideological limitations. The racist Paul newsletters are a giant red flag in this regard; one could hardly come up with a more salient example of an ideology failing to fit within the realities of the larger cultural milieu.

  3. But your ideas of the "something really wrong with the current Republican Party" are not remotely the same as those of Paul supporters. They believe that mainstream Republicans are RINOs - too in bed with corporate interests, too complaisant with the entrenched bureaucracy, and more interested in obtaining office for its own sake than genuine reform. You have to take their complaints on their own terms, not project your own notions onto them. Paul supporters are not upset that the Republican Party is insufficiently technocratic.

    Frankly I have more than a little sympathy with the hardcore Paulites. But more than that, he is a useful symbol for Sullivan, Friedersdorf, etc, because with luck Paul will be able to keep the mainstream candidates honest, by forcing them to keep to an authentic position in the primaries which they then won't be able to walk away from. It is not a single-issue thing - it is an entire ideology.

  4. Jonathan, Kain and Friedersdorf are imagining the policy implications of a Paul Presidency so they can do exactly what you suggest -- decide what he symbolizes. You obviously disagree with their conclusions, but you fail to offer an argument for why they're wrong. If someone likes Paul's libertarian policies, why shouldn't he or she be cheered by his success?

    For my part, I agree with Friedersdorf's conclusion that, while the newsletters are a big problem, he isn't a racist and in fact supports policies that would be very good for minorities (including some of the most marginalized minorities of all -- innocent foreigners at the receiving end of US munitions).

    And having watched almost every debate, I can't help but to notice that Paul doesn't serve up the divisive red meat rhetoric heard from other candidates. It's hard to imagine Paul calling Obama the "food stamp President" or accusing him of "never having a real job." He also manages to avoid demagoguery over religion, gays and illegal immigrants. This is no small thing for a marginal candidate in today's conservative environment.

    One more thing -- Paul's position on Gold-backed currency (or competing currencies, or whatever exactly he believes) has nothing to do with "hostility to science and facts." Paul closely follows the Austrian School of economics and whatever you think of his ideas, they've been seriously entertained by Hayek, Friedman and other major economic thinkers.

  5. Anonymous@1:53: Yeah, but "hardcore Paulites" are are a small minority. Ron Paul hasn't gotten himself bumped up to competitively polling in Iowa on the backs of those guys alone. His hardcore fans were around in 2008 too, after all.

  6. Paul's racism is so tragic for our nation to observe young people get side tracked yet again by a coward and racist like Ron Paul stings.

    One hopes once Paul becomes a deserved footnote this weekend of course this leaves hime ample time editing his newsletters.

    Then perhaps he will visit Black venues and hugg old black woman with big tits and hats..I bet Ronnie will love those photos...

    The audacity of a petty garden variety bigot like Paul thinking he could get in the white house..WTF..

  7. UserGoogol -- Actually, Paul has managed to expand his legion of hardcore supporters in Iowa. The latest PPP poll has him at 23% (vs. his 10% showing in 2008) and the percentage of his support that's "strongly committed" is 73% (p. 17):

  8. "if you believe he's the right protest candidate to change what ails the GOP , I think you have the wrong guy;"

    I voted for him last time because I thought Iraq was what ailed the GOP. I don't see how he was the wrong guy to vote for. He was the only guy who dissented on Iraq.

    "problem with libertarianism in a multicultural society is that we will all tend to end up becoming racists. I don't just mean whites v. blacks. I mean everyone v. everyone else."

    For forty years the government has encouraged hiring and college admissions on racial and ethnic lines whether it is called affirmative action, multiculturalism or diversity. This is a source of racial tension not libertarianism.

    If people think Paul is considered unacceptable because of racist newsletters put out thirty years ago I would like them to explain what they think of someone who attended a church that preached the US government created the AIDS virus to kill blacks.

  9. Couves: When I say "hardcore" I don't just mean that they are "strongly committed" to him, I mean the sort of people who post on Daily Paul. You can be "strongly committed" to a candidate without having embraced Ron Paul as Austrian Jesus.

  10. In the Paul newsletter kerfuffle, here and elsewhere, there's too much emphasis, IMO, on Paul's own racism. We know nothing of that; well, other than that he has some basic affinity for those like himself, like we all do. How he translates that into policy preferences or interactions with his neighbors is unknown.

    For me, the more interesting angle is the intended audience for those newsletters. As an oversimplification, I see two basic versions of libertarianism: the first, per Hayek, might be described as "internal controls" libertarianism, or, 'freedom up until our flawed human nature threatens society, at which point government intervenes'. The second might be described as unfettered libertarianism, opposed to all government intervention beyond maybe cleaning the streets and whatnot.

    Unfettered libertarianism opens the door to all manner of undesirable consequences, prominent among which is unchecked racist tyranny, or other tyrannies of the powerful. Paul publishing those newsletters arguably says less about him than the folks with whom he wants to communicate, viz, white supremacist types attracted to libertarianism as a way of throwing off the shackles of a government standing athwart their Jim Crow ideals. An extremely unattractive marketing move from Paul, regardless of his personal feelings.

    Actually, its a good thing Mercer brought up progressive policies, since they are a good illustration of the difference between 'internal controls' libertarianism and 'unfettered' libertarianism. Sake of argument, let's say that such progressivism passed its sell-by date a decade or more ago.

    But suppose its the late 50s, in the dying days of the (legal) Jim Crow south. As we know, at that time, the US gov't intervened in that apartheid culture, and in so doing, greatly enhanced the liberty of a significant portion of the population of the confederate south. It seems to me that an 'internal controls'-type libertarian would approve of government action to overcome the apartheid south, while an 'unfettered' libertarian would oppose it.

    Which, doubling back again, makes Paul's newsletters troubling...the audience...

  11. UserGoogol - They may not read the Daily Paul, but Paul's new Iowa supporters have been won over by a very hardcore libertarian message, something we were all assured could never happen. I like the guy, and even I've been surprised.

  12. I agree with Friedersdorf. And he makes good points about voting for Obama. What's worse, voting for Paul knowing he complicitly profited off the newsletters or voting for Obama knowing that he backtracked on his civil liberty campaign rhetoric and has gone so far as to kill people without much more than the very slightest of due process?

  13. Couves, the Austrian school of economics has influenced mainstream economics, but within the economics profession, it is now a fringe school of thought. Most people who are still Austrian school cannot rightfully be called economists, largely because actual modern economists have moved on to more mathematically or empirically established theories. Modern freshwater schools of economics owe some debt to the Austrian school for having absorbed ideas and critiques from it, but there are distinct differences. For example, Milton Friedman was NOT an Austrian school economist; he was a Chicago school economist. Friedman actually opposed the gold standard as an attempt by the government to dictate the price of gold, and all of Friedman's most important economics work was on monetary policy within a system of fiat currency. Opposition to fiat currency is a view that politicians sometimes take, but mainstream economists have rejected the gold standard since the 1970's. I'm not outright opposed to views outside the mainstream, but I also don't see why I should trust Ron Paul on monetary policy over Friedman or Krugman or Mankiw or Barro.

  14. If people think Paul is considered unacceptable because of racist newsletters put out thirty years ago I would like them to explain what they think of someone who attended a church that preached the US government created the AIDS virus to kill blacks.
    Well, since you insist: Those weren't "racist newsletters put out 30 years ago." They were "racist newsletters put out by Paul under his name 20 years ago and never satisfactorily explained."

    Also, it wasn't the "church" that preached the US government created the AIDS virus to kill blacks, it was a preacher at the church who on occasion gave voice to that particularly odious X-File.

    If Barack Obama had run the church or had had a major leadership position within it, AND if indictment of the US government for genocide through manufactured viruses had been an official church position, part of church dogma, then you would have a better comparison. There would still be differences, of course - advancing foul and loony conspiracy theories at a church isn't quite the same thing as peppering your political newsletters with appeals to racism - but it might have been harder to treat them as mitigating for someone seeking high office.

    Similarly, if Paul had been a subscriber to that newsletter rather than its publisher and, apparently, contributor; and if he had convincingly claimed he didn't really read it and certainly didn't share the views in question, and in fact denounced them while separating himself explicitly from all those who held and spread them, then he might mitigate the effect on his candidacy.

    Instead, he lamely and limply suggests he doesn't really hold the views expressed, but leaves open the question of why his particular brand of libertarianism is so appealing to lunatics, reactionaries, ultra-right racists, neo-Confederates, and people born yesterday. Though there's nothing about paleo-libertarian constitutionalism that requires a racist affect or racialized worldview, the former has always, and in historically very significant ways, coincided with the latter, and this overlap is not a random occurrence. It in fact points to a fundamental problem that appears as soon as you start to think the worldview through to its conclusions: As in, what really happens in human populations under the lack of central authority that also upholds more or less consensual positive values. This problem has been known and understood – and forgotten again by dreamy idealists – for at least as long as there have been civilized societies. Its explication by Hobbes defines the political modern era, but it goes back in our tradition at least as far as the Biblical past (see Judges: when there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes).

    Like many rigidly held ideologies, Paulian constitutional libertarianism can provide a superficially attractive critique of equally superficial ruling ideologies, but begins to fail as soon as people start taking it seriously at all, for instance to the extent of "could this guy win a plurality of activist-voters in a presidential nominating contest." If he rose any further, he criticism would get even more intense. If he fails, his followers will no doubt in large part conclude that "he was robbed" without ever considering that the lunacy of the newsletters was completely in keeping with the character of the larger worldview.

  15. Josh, the Austrian School may not be mainstream, but it is taken seriously within the profession. Hayek was one of the most important economists of the last century. So for Jonathan to say these ideas are proof of "hostility to science and facts" is nothing more than facile political rhetoric.

    Economic theory is probably less important to monetary policy than people sometimes presume. Paul wants to end all manipulation of the money supply… that’s obviously not going to happen. But what he will accomplish is to open the Fed to scrutiny and transparency and replace Bernanke with someone who keeps tighter control on the money supply. This is something that even some Keynseians support, since the housing bubble was stimulated by the Fed’s deviation from its own Taylor Rule. Ironically, this was accomplished by Greenspan, who theoretically was on Ron Paul’s side, but pursued policies that were diametrically opposed to what Paul wanted.

  16. I have to admit, the spin around this story is a bit mindboggling. The official line, from Paul and friends, is that Ron Paul "had no idea" how that racist cant got in his newsletters, that such incendiary comments were published under his masthead and sent to thousands, even though Dr. Paul personally repudiated (!) the arguments therein.

    According to The New Republic, at least eight such incendiary columns were disseminated between 1990 and 1993. Today we learn that Paul agreed with, or endorsed, none of them.

    Which leaves us in the following hard-to-fathom place: Paul meant to publish something about diversity, or multiculturalism, or maybe the Dallas Cowboys, and some evil force invaded his staff room to plant malicious race-baiting instead, which went entirely undetected. Then the newsletter was disseminated to thousands of racially progressive folks (like Paul), and yet none of them were offended enough by the content to warn the Paul operation of what had appeared under his masthead.

    And this happened not once, not twice...but eight friggin' times!.

    Paul has probably just obliterated Bill Clinton in winning the prize for lamest excuse in the history of politics.

  17. A couple of things...I really like CSH's first comment above.

    Also: yeah, I think that goldbugs are crackpots. But he's taken other crackpot positions over the years, not just that. Looking around, it seem that he calls climate change a hoax, so that's not exactly a good sign for respect for science and facts.

    More generally, I'd call Ron Paul by far the most ideological and least pragmatic candidate I can recall in any party. To me, that's inherently going to be a point of view that has difficulties with science and facts.

  18. "If people think Paul is considered unacceptable because of racist newsletters put out thirty years ago I would like them to explain what they think of someone who attended a church that preached the US government created the AIDS virus to kill blacks."

    Ron Paul wrote those newsletters. Barack Obama didn't preach anything in church. Jeremiah Wright is not a candidate for president. FFS.

  19. A bit O/T, but hopefully germane: for me, the discussion of Ron Paul and Jeremiah Wright in this thread points to why the right always seems to be winning the war of ideas.

    A lot in common between Wright and Paul. Both intentionally employed incendiary tactics to gin up race-related hostilities. Both were "preaching to the choir" in their activities, and both may or may not have personally meant it; Wright that he hated the US for how it abused blacks, and Paul that blacks were an inferior race plotting to provoke a race war.

    And one obvious difference. Republicans far and wide have either defended Paul's arguments or else dismissed them as irrelevant, even though Paul himself has offered one of history's flimsiest excuses for misdeeds in his name. Pretty typically, the right hasn't just defended him, in places they've gone to the mattresses for his honor, and not just fringe wackjobs, but even moderate reformer wannabes like Conor Friersdorf tend to downplay Paul's vitriol.

    The contrast with Wright couldn't be more stark. Liberals everywhere, including in this thread, can't backpeddle fast enough from Jeremiah and his sermons. Though conservatives of all stripes will defend the indefensible Paul, to my knowledge, no liberal anywhere will speak up for Wright against the charge that when he said God Damn America he really meant it.

    Which is telling, cause, there's one other difference between Wright and Paul: Wright actually has a pretty good defense against his charges. Not in the court of public opinion, obviously! Wright is a decorated veteran of multiple tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the highest civilian honor for his efforts in LBJ's personal detail when the President was undergoing heart surgery. And by any measure, Wright has shepherded several hundred young minority Chicagoans into the military, to serve their country and have a shot at a better life.

    Paul's defense, by contrast? Beyond "his word", can we even think of one?

    So, liberals, if you wonder why the conservatives are always winning the war of ideas, the Wright v. Paul case is a perfect illustration why: they fight harder. Liberals had a very defensible accused in Wright, but they couldn't run away from him fast enough, while the conservatives, of all stripes, will fight vigorously for the indefensible Ron Paul. Pretty much explains it, if you ask me.

  20. CSH - I don't accept your characterization of the general state of play.

    Whether or not you might be inclined to defend Wright the whole man, or seek the full context for "God Damn America" and even wish that we could confront it honestly, the HIV X-File that Mercer brought up, however inadequate his analogy, just isn't defensible.

    As for Paul, he is not universally defended on the right, by any means. Whenever he has seemed to be gaining too much purchase on opinion, or just too much airtime, he is gruffly dismissed by opinion leaders from every other wing of the party/movement, even and especially the "constitutional conservatives" (schizo-libertarian militarists like Perry, Palin, Bachmann) who happen to sound a lot like him on selected subjects. He is treated as a hopeless lunatic whose ideas would be dangerous if taken seriously. He has been confronted directly during the debates on those approximate terms, both in this cycle and in '07-'08. Deviationist-conservative Paul apologists like Friedersdorf and Sullivan are relatively rare.

    There is much more potentially to be said about what Paul represents in historical context. In short, there are good, very concrete reasons why the Republican Party has more difficulty this time around simply dismissing him. There is also no inherent reason why the key issues motivating the aforementioned deviationists and the younger Paulians couldn't be taken up from the left. It wouldn't be surprising at all if one or more such voices emerge in time for 2016, whether or not Obama wins a second term.

  21. A Ron Paul presidency would shatter the freshly-set Obama record for shattered expectations of idealistic, instantly-blindsided followers, who would then loudly and everywhere bemoan their shatterdnesses. And that would be the *less* clusterfucky eventuality.

  22. CK, thanks for taking up my argument. I suppose I wasn't entirely clear: I don't defend Wright's incendiary rhetoric; like my fellow white males out here in suburbia, I find them viscerally offensive.

    But there's the rub: I'm a white guy in suburbia. I've had black friends over the years, and they've told me some things about life as a black person in America, but I've no doubt that I know practically nothing. So I'm really in no place to judge Wright's use of that rhetoric in his church, beyond some passing knowledge of stuff like the abuse of Henrietta Lacks' family, and other stories we all know.

    However, conservatives don't attack Jeremiah Wright for indulging those jeremiads against the US gov't; they attack Obama for palling around with Christian terrorists like Wright. If its true that Wright's rhetoric is par for the course in black mega-churches, then the reality is likely that Obama could not have found a more honorably patriotic pastor than Rev. Wright, within the constraints of a black urban mega-church in Chicago. This point has, to my knowledge, never been advanced by Obama's defenders, which would have forced Obama's critics to argue that Obama should rather have worshipped at Our Lady of the Serially Frustrated Soccer Mom out in Wilamette, a suggestion that would have raised all manner of other problems for Obama's critics.

    I'm rambling a bit here, but the criticism of Wright is that it shows that Obama is under the sway of those who hate America, sort of a Christian Bill Ayers, when in reality Jeremiah Wright can lay claim to patriotism much more strongly than probably just about any of the rest of us.

    But who argues that from the left?

  23. WiseGuise - Do you really think Paul would have escalated the Afghanistan war, signed the Patriot Act, signed-on to the indefinite detention of us citizens...? Your cynicism is honestly come by, but it seems like Paul is actually serious about what he says -- which is why some people adore him and others are terrified of him.

  24. CSH: It's my pleasure to take up your argument, no need to thank me! Wouldn't be here if it wasn't one of my favorite things to construct arguments about this stuff, and I agree that Wright, like Paul, is an interesting typically exceptional figure. (Consider this an advance apology for "going long" on this reply, which I'm now thinking I may expand and clarify for my blog if I have time... or when Xmas stuff releases me.)

    in reality Jeremiah Wright can lay claim to patriotism much more strongly than probably just about any of the rest of us. But who argues that from the left?

    I think you'd agree that it would be a peculiar American anthem whose chorus goes "God damn America" and whose verses indict the American government for genocidal war against its own citizens.

    There were Wright defenders who pointed to the same biographical details that you point to, and, more generally, there is a certain type of American critical idealist who defines the highest form of Americanism, and therefore of American patriotism, as entailing ruthless criticism of America. I can associate myself with that view, but the requirements of effective demagogy usually call for something less paradoxical, something simply positive. If you don't supply that something yourself, and often even if you do, your opponents will supply a more accessible version for you (Kenyan Alinskyite Islamo-Socialism, perhaps), while ripping you to shreds, of course, for your incidental anti-Americanism. One of the most famous and effective examples of that approach was Jeane Kirkpatrick's "they always blame America first" speech, which offered a perfect epoch-framing counterpoint to Jimmy Carter's so-called "malaise" speech, one of the most consequential examples we have of the (bad) politics of collective self-criticism.

    It might be one of the defining characteristics of the subsequent epoch, the Reagan Era, born in a defeat of "malaise" politics, that ultra-conservative or rightwing reactionary figures like Paul, or ones that correspond to Wright more symmetrically - maybe John Hagee, or James Dobson, or Pat Robertson - can be embraced more openly, if still at some distance, on the right than on the left.

    So a figure like Paul pipes up at last, as the inevitable integral crisis (War on Terror, Great Recession) undermines the formerly more effective simplisms that very few conventional (i.e., Reaganized) politicians can move beyond. Paul takes on key expressions of the general crisis in a way that a certain segment of the population, probably substantially larger than his actual voting and activist base, finds bracing and refreshing. But if and when the system, or what may have to amount in principle to a new system, is able to co-opt the most captivating and potentially useful elements of this critique effectively, it won't be through a 76-year-old relic of the previous era's lunatic fringe. It may even look a bit more like Jeremiah Wright. Or it may look like Barack Obama. Or it may not look like anything we're familiar with.

  25. CK, that's an interesting idea, patriotism seen filtered through "tough love"-type negativity, though I admit I wasn't going there with Wright. An imperfect comparison: I love my wife dearly and could not imagine a life without her; occasionally, however, I say things inconsistent with that, with those utterances being not a reflection of my love but rather my stupidity.

    Similarly, Wright's patriotism should arguably not be evaluated by God Damn America but rather net of such vitriol. Does he make such utterances as red meat for his congregation? Is he letting off steam? I've no way of knowing, but his long track record of a patriotic life at least makes such interpretations plausible, if not obviously objectively correct.

    And getting back to judgment of Obama, let's say that - and I don't know this for sure - such vitriol is generally a part of the landscape of the black urban church. Unless you hold Obama to the standard that he should avoid such commentary absolutely, so that he can only worship at St. White Folk Suburbia, then in Jeremiah Wright he arguably found the most Presidential-worthy pastor within the parameters of churches that were suitable for a community organizer in downtown Chicago.

    Again, I'm not saying I'd make that argument, I'm really not much of an Obama guy anymore.

    But if someone wanted to defend Obama against defamation related to his membership in Wright's church, it would seem to be an incredibly easy task.

    So...why doesn't anyone?

  26. CSH: Obama resisted dropping Wright until the notorious National Press Club appearance and associated remarks, in which Wright seemed to say, "You ask me to the inauguration, you're gonna feel it."

    Obama's concession to political necessity foreshadowed the administration's later problems with the further-left. I know some former Obama zealots whose disillusionment began with the separation from Wright, whom, they saw and still see as Obama's soul (sold).

    Embracing Wright, partly because of Wright's refusal to make it easy, doesn't and couldn't quite square with the idealistic yet paradoxical narrative that some of the very same Obamamaniacs simultaneously embraced, sometimes naively, sometimes less so. Wright was not about to start chanting "race doesn't matter" along with the bright-eyed white kids.

    The Obama campaign didn't want to scare away infantilized and hyper-sensitive mainstream opinion with the notion that his victory might re-open rather than heal (or help to heal) a great national wound. They and fellow travelers didn't emphasize your defense of Wright and of Obama's attendance at his church in part because I think they already assumed it, but weren't comfortable explaining publicly, or in some cases to themselves, what the assumption meant. They didn't want to admit that what you say is true, but, even more, they couldn't cope with the real content of Wright's views on racial injustice and related undeniable but unacceptable truths relating to 9/11, the War on Terror, and the rest of America's relations with the world.

  27. Hey CK, just wanted to quickly note how much I enjoyed our conversation; there's a lot to chew on here, which is what makes this community so valuable. Per your observation a few posts ago, here's hoping you (and others) have a Merry Christmas, and for everyone else, a Happy Hanukkah or however you celebrate the season. :)


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