I'm Totally Fine With Ignoring Ron Paul

More

It's always bugged me that Ron Paul was allowed to basically pull a "Wasn't Me" after a trove of bigoted literature was found bearing his name. Whatever. 


This sort of insanity is enough for me:

"I live on the Gulf Coast. We put up with hurricanes all the time. In 1900, before FEMA, the local people rebuilt the city, built a seawall, and they survived without FEMA," Paul told NBC. 

A catastrophic storm hit Galveston in 1900, killing thousands.


The dead bodies were so numerous that burying them all was not possible. The dead were initially weighted down and dumped at sea, but when the gulf currents washed many of the bodies back onto the beach, a new solution was needed.

Funeral pyres were set up wherever the dead were found and burned for weeks after the storm. The authorities passed out free whiskey to sustain the distraught men conscripted for the gruesome work of collecting and burning the dead.

More people were killed in this single storm than the total of those killed in all the tropical cyclones that have struck the United States since. This count is greater than 300 cyclones, as of 2009. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 remains the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

There's likely some critique to be made about why Jon Huntsman is getting coverage despite anemic poll numbers. Clearly Huntsman fits into a certain kind of conservative institutional ism that media enjoys (Cut the deficit. Don't bash the gays. Don't talk about abortion and poor people.)

But the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. Ron Paul's thoughts on FEMA, like his thoughts on black people, are the spoutings of a nihilistic reactionary. Having a critique of Libya isn't enough.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Shifting Our Moral Compass?

"The experience of taking another human life becomes much more trivial."


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

From This Author

Just In