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Ron Paul (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Today’s Washington Post provides further confirmation of Ron Paul’s complicity in publishing racist newsletters that bear his name.  It is becoming increasingly difficult for Ron Paul’s defenders to brush aside his coziness with racists and racist views.  His idealistic young supporters, in particular, need to be aware of this element of his “libertarian” politics. 

This quote from a former associate portrays Paul’s approval of racist statements in his newsletters as a cynical business ploy.

A person involved in Paul’s businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.

“It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ said the person, who supports Paul’s economic policies but is not backing him for president. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’

If we take the source at his word–that Ron Paul didn’t really believe this stuff–then we are left with the position that he nevertheless thought it was o.k., indeed desirable, to publish it under his name as long as it made him some money.  Is this the Hayekian economics that he wants to unleash on us? 

If this latest revelation doesn’t disqualify Ron Paul from the presidency of the United States of America, I don’t know what does.