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Ron Paul editorial claims unwarranted and unfounded

By Emily Brelage
On September 13, 2013

As a recent graduate and former staff member of The DePauw, it's with deep disappointment that I feel compelled to submit this letter in response to Tuesday's editorial, "Ron Paul and DePauw: Guilty by association."
While The DePauw's mention of the various controversies surrounding Ron Paul certainly warrant our attention and scrutiny, the implication that Paul is not a "legitimate and appropriate" speaker based on "toxic anti-humanitarian associations" is carelessly sensationalized and incredibly reductive of Paul's 23 years of service to our country as a United States congressman.
In a political climate where our elected officials tend to legislate at the behest of special interests and partisan groupthink, Paul remained the most ideologically consistent member of Congress for decades, defending the Constitution and the principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility and free markets. As Americans grow increasingly disenchanted with our country's methods of mass surveillance, endless war and unsound monetary policy, these principles - which The DePauw has mistakenly labeled as "countercultural," "neoconservative" and, perhaps mostly offensively, "extremist" - are not radical new concepts. Nor are they unpopular, fringe philosophies. To dismiss them as such is damaging to the open dialogue and broad consideration of ideas for which The DePauw should advocate.
Paul is not the first controversial politician to be invited to take part in the Ubben Lecture - this campus has seen the likes of Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair and Ralph Nader. Like Paul, they all have something to answer for, and it is indeed our obligation to challenge and dissect their past associations and ideas. But the suggestion that the DePauw community and the incredibly generous Ubben family are openly aligning themselves with "anti-humanitarians" - accusations leveled against Paul that The DePauw reports are primarily rooted in blogosphere hearsay - is unwarranted and frankly distasteful.
The DePauw has the responsibility to depict campus issues in all of their nuance and complexity. It's my hope that the editorial board will strive to be more reputably informed before they condemn our University, its donors and its esteemed visitors as "guilty" without doing their due diligence. 
 


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