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Editorial Board's attack on Paul puts words in his mouth

By Creighton Harrington
On September 13, 2013

I attended DePauw University for two years in 2008-2010 and, as a former student, it is with great disappointment and embarrassment that I find myself forced to sit down and respond to the Sept. 10 editorial in The DePauw entitled "Ron Paul and DePauw: Guilty by Association."
Upon reading the article, it became apparent at the outset that I was in for a predictable tirade of conjecture and recycled accusations which have been thrown at Paul since he rose above being the lone "no" vote in the House of Representatives and became one of the most powerful grassroots forces in American politics today.
Let us be very clear as to how many controversial statements The DePauw's editorial board can attribute, as a direct quotation, to Paul: zero.
Absolutely zero.
The attacks leveled against Paul are not in his words, but through the transparent and grasping attempts to put other's words in his mouth for no reason more than those words exist with a degree of separation smaller than The DePauw editorial board's comfort allows.
DePauw University, and the Ubben family itself, should feel offended that they have been called vicarious racists by The DePauw editorial board and, more than that, they have been called so using the weak and lackadaisical argument that first amendment case law lets them attribute one person's words onto another. The lack of intellectual rigor in such an argument is embarrassing.
By the paper's logic, DePauw supports anything and everything ever said or done by the speakers who have come to DePauw.
Regardless of whether or not The DePauw's editorial board can look beyond statements they seek to attribute to his name, Paul did indeed have a distinguished career as one of the most consistent and principled congressmen in recent memory and, arguably, the 20th and 21st centuries.
Often the lone "no" vote, bucking party leadership at every turn to vote as he deemed was in line with his beliefs, Paul consistently fought to reduce to size and scope of the federal government in every aspect of our lives. From foreign policy to drug policy, economic regulations to the foundation of our monetary system, arguably no other congressman can, with a straight face, say that they held their ground throughout their careers against special interests and monolithic party leadership.
Indeed, in the aftermath of 9/11, few elected officials were as vocal in opposition to the seizing of American's civil liberties via crisis legislation like the PATRIOT Act. In the buildup to the Iraq War, Paul remained a consistent voice in opposition to the invasion, despite his party being the ones beating the war drums to no end. Indeed, 10 years later and it is now a Democrat who seeks to let slip the dogs of war and intervene in Syria and the Republicans are, by and large, the ones opposing intervention.
Perhaps the only person whose stance has not changed throughout all of the political power playing is Paul.
Regardless of whether or not The DePauw's readership, or the editorial board itself, oppose Paul's political beliefs, to claim that he is unworthy of the Ubben Lecture Series is beyond laughable. Paul has affected American politics in ways that I doubt The DePauw's editorial board even understands. At the very least, he is an 11-term congressman. Since when was an elected official somehow unworthy of speaking at DePauw?
The DePauw claims that, "This critique of Paul is neither a reflection of the editorial board's political views nor a refusal to be open minded about the freedom of speech and thought. This is not a political attack."
I do not believe I have ever read as transparent of a statement in my whole life. The DePauw's editorial board absolutely sought a political attack and absolutely reflected their own political opinions in the process.
I guess the most embarrassing aspect of all is how bad they were at making the political attack in the first place.
 


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