Friday, December 23, 2011


The contents of Ron Paul's newsletters of the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s are truly offensive ("Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began"), but let's not forget how compatible they were with that cultural moment. The newsletters coincide with the rise of "politically incorrect" as a badge of honor -- that was the time of sexist rants by Sam Kinison and Andrew Dice Clay, and of the rise of shock jockery of the Howard Stern variety (Stern, in his 1993 book, Private Parts, said Rodney King "should be beaten every time he reaches for his car keys"). That was also when Rush Limbaugh first hit radio, and when Guns 'N Roses released "One in a Million." I'd also throw in everything from gangsta-rap bitch-baiting to the feminism-bashing of Camille Paglia and Katie Roiphe. Oh, and Giuliani got elected then, too. So Paul's periodicals were extreme, but they were very much of their time.


c u n d gulag said...

Yup, and I'd like to add the two bookends for the racism of that era:

Tawana Brawley - in 1987 (she actually lived in my hometown, and went to my HS, though years after I graduated).

OJ Simpson - in 1994.

Danp said...

Nobody elected Kinison, Stern, or Axl Rose's narrative character to govern them. And Paul never represented himself to be an entertainer. This won't discourage his followers any more than a war based on false premises discouraged Bush's, but it will stop him from ever being a serious contender. Well, that and his policy ideas that are so distant from reality or the desires of wealthy donors.