Dudes, libertarianism isn’t really a racist dog whistle. Some of it’s OK.

Dudes, libertarianism isn’t really a racist dog whistle. Some of it’s OK.

[Ed. – Interesting that actual, literal racism from Ron Paul’s organization — if not Paul himself — in the ’80s and ’90s can be overlooked, whereas the non-racism of the many mainstream conservatives who have never shown ANY racism is not to their credit.]

Certainly there’s no credible way to mistake the contemporary libertarian agenda for the second coming of Thurmond. That’s true even after the 2008 revelation by James Kirchick of newsletters published under Ron Paul’s name in the 1980s and ’90s that were filled with racist and homophobic material. Paul, who served decades in Congress as a libertarian-leaning Republican and ran for president in 1988 on the Libertarian Party ticket, is without question the politician most responsible for the boom in limited-government and libertarian rhetoric. There is no defending the risible publications (whose authors Paul has refused to identify), which claimed, among other things, that Martin Luther King Jr. “seduced underage girls and boys” and that AIDS sufferers “enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick.” 

It’s equally clear that the reason Paul topped The New York Times’ best-seller list; pulled plaudits from Andrew Sullivan, Jake Tapper, George Will, Vince Vaughn, and others; and packed college campuses had absolutely nothing to do with such idiotic and offensive statements, which even most movement libertarians knew nothing about until 2008. Rather, his appeal proceeded (and still proceeds) from a radical message of individual autonomy and decentralized political power. …

The fixations of small “l” libertarians include ending the drug war, mandatory minimum sentence and other prison reforms, and pushing a maximalist version of school choice, all of which would directly benefit minorities more than non-minorities. Libertarian public-interest law firms such as the Institute for Justice spend much of their time fighting occupational licensing laws that disproportionately stymie inner-city entrepreneurs who have little to no political or economic capital.

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