Eavesdrop on the Web's Most Interesting Ron Paul Debate

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Glenn Loury and John McWhorter take on the Texas Congressman, his foreign policy views, and his offensive newsletters


The Bloggingheads.tv episodes featuring The New Republic's John McWhorter alongside Brown University's Glenn Loury are consistently among the most interesting and delightful exchanges in American public discourse. These are two men who tend to elicit the best from one another, and who aren't afraid to follow their always formidable thoughts to where they lead.

In the exchange above, they discuss Ron Paul, managing to articulate both his appeal and the most serious objections to his candidacy. I've embedded it mostly so you watch the entire clip. What I found most penetrating was the insight that typically Paul's opponents don't bother to marshal an argument for why he is wrong about foreign policy or the Federal Reserve system. Instead they treat certain of his positions as though even discussing them is verboten. Doing so is corrosive to American public discourse regardless of who is ultimately correct. McWhorter and Loury think that Paul is sometimes right and other times dangerously wrong.

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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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