Saturday, December 31, 2011

1987 Ron Paul Book: AIDS Is the Result of A Victim's "Lifestyle"

Among the would be GOP presidential nominees, it continues to seem to be a contest as to who can most thoroughly trash gay Americans as candidates move to further prostitute themselves to the Christianist/Tea Party base of the Republican Party or as new information about their views hits the mainstream media from past writings and affiliations. Among those looking increasingly nasty is Ron Paul who in 1987 stated a line that must warm the hearts of Christianists everywhere: AIDS is the consequence of the victim's "lifestyle." Apparently Paul thinks sexual orientation is a choice - I wonder at what age he chose to be heterosexual - and is chanting the refuted Christianist line that medical and mental heath experts say is false. Does Paul still believe this trash? It's a question he needs to be forced to answer. Candidly, anytime I hear someone reference that being gay is a "lifestyle choice" I write them off as an ignorant bigot.Think Progress has coverage on Paul's thoughts on gays and AIDS. Here are some highlights:

In recent days, Ron Paul has tried to distance himself from damaging newsletters from the late 1980s and 1990s by attributing racist and anti-gay statements to ghost writers and disavowing the most incendiary sentiments. “It wasn’t a reflection of my views at all…I think it was terrible,” Paul said of the letters, which blamed AIDS on the gay community and likened black people to criminals. “It was tragic, and I had some responsibility for it, because the name went out in my letter. But I was not an editor. I (was) like a publisher.”

But despite his denials, CNN’s Peter Hamby reports that Paul included many of the controversial ideas in his 1987 book, “Freedom Under Siege: The U.S. Constitution after 200-Plus Years.” That work — published under Paul’s name — attributed AIDS to the gay “lifestyle” and suggested that victims of sexual harassment should simply quit their jobs:

In one section of the book, Paul criticized people suffering from AIDS or other contagious diseases for demanding health insurance coverage. “The individual suffering from AIDS certainly is a victim – frequently a victim of his own lifestyle – but this same individual victimizes innocent citizens by forcing them to pay for his care,” Paul wrote. [...]

“Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity,” Paul wrote. “Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable.”

Yes, he also blames victims of sexual harassment on the job for their own victimization. In his view, they should have sought other employment. It's sick, but then today's GOP is a pretty sick phenomenon.

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