With what very little time I’ve had today to look at this (that’s one example; you can chase links to your heart’s content), I’ve been nothing but amused. That’s not quite true: mostly disillusioned. It’s a hope killing sort of thing, kinda. Or; it’s not. In practical political terms, this can hurt Paul, have no effect, or help him. I fear it might help him, for all the wrong reasons. That’s partly the source of my disillusionment.
Listen: old hand libertarians will be the very last people on Earth to ever to win over anyone en masse, and this latest ordeal is a very pure example. They’re kooks; me included. That’s mostly because we don’t give a shit what you pathetically "think;" me included. But even that’s not it. The point is very simple, but it’s rarely detected or spoken of. What’s happening to Ron Paul is classically symptomatic of libertarianism.
Here’s the deal: lots of racists and other bigots are libertarians. So long as they don’t advocate a state to impose their "values" on you (as you advocate to impose yours on them), they can be perfectly consistent with libertarianism in a political context (the emphasis denotes an important distinction). That simply doesn’t mesh with the practicalities of politics in our as-yet primitive [d]evolution. True libertarianism is simply oil and water to practical politics. That’s why the Libertarian Party is a contradiction in terms and that’s why Paul is destined to have this sort of thing crop up time and again.
Why does Paul attract racists and other kooks? Because, and it must be said: Paul as politician is perfectly willing to leave them alone — or at least mostly. In a libertarian’s eyes, a racist ought to be perfectly free to be a racist: in his home, family, private affairs, and business dealings. Unequivocally. Ultimately, that’s what Paul will have to face up to explicitly admitting to if he’s to keep stating his principles as he’s done a fair job of unabashedly doing.
Paul is not a racist, I don’t think, and neither am I. But it doesn’t mean I want a state to stamp it out, any more than I want a state to stamp out anything else that’s a matter of people’s freedom to associate in their private affairs and business dealings. Explicitly: the owner of a private bus has every right in the world to send blacks to the back of the bus. …And any blacks who pay the bigot his fair anyway, are fools.
There’s no easy way around any of this. I’d just as soon that Paul confront it dead on and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe a few more people will start actually thinking. Long shot, but it’s possible.