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Ron Paul and Libertarianism's Dirty Secret -- Pandering to Racist "Rednecks" to Get Ahead

Years ago, a bunch of libertarians decided to act like huge racists to win votes.

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“Liberaltarian” writer Wil Wilkinson’s  September piece on Paul is good reading. Wilkinson sums up the problem with an absolutist defense of the “natural rights” of property owners that ignores how those rights are often only protected for certain classes:

As a rule, libertarians have an unhealthy tendency to apply their principles without due regard to America’s history of state-enforced slavery, apartheid, and sexism, or to the many ways in which the legacy of these insidious practices persists to this day. Paul represents this tendency at his worst. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Paul has argued, led to “a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society.”

Yeah, well, it’s not “racist” to believe that the Civil Rights Act was an unnecessary intrusion on private property rights that made discrimination worse, but it is idiotic.

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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