It's Not Racist to Hate the Government

Democrats and progressives are flat-out wrong about libertarians.


This article originally appeared on May 5, 2014 at The Daily Beast.

As Marge Schott-impersonator Donald Sterling and honorary professor of Afro-American Studies Cliven Bundy could tell you, nothing writes you out of polite society more quickly than being outed as a racist.

Which may be one of the reasons that politically savvy Democrats are never slow to equate advocates of limiting the size, scope, and spending of the federal government with racism, slavery, and white supremacy. Who can blame them, really? Even after the "success" of Obamacare, the president somehow has managed to chalk up his lowest approval ratings ever, and things don't look so good for the Donkey Party in the fall's midterm elections, either.

Salon's Joan Walsh is quick to cry racism in the face of arguments or developments she doesn't like, as are MSNBC hosts Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, and Ed Schultz. Jimmy Carter, who himself stooped to race-baitingduring his 1970 campaign for governor of Georgia, has chalked up "an overwhelming portion" of negativity toward Barack Obama to the fact that "he is a black man."

Then there's New York magazine's Jonathan Chait, who recently averred that"America's unique brand of ideological anti-statism is historically inseparable…from the legacy of slavery." Unlike many of his liberal-progressive confrères, Chait recognizes that "advocating tax cuts is not in any meaningful sense racist" and that even if small-government conservatives and libertarians were really secretly bent on moving the nation's capital to Stone Mountain, that doesn't mean particular policy proposals can simply be written off: "Individual arguments need and deserve to be assessed on their own terms, not as the visible tip of a submerged agenda; ideas can't be defined solely by their past associations and uses."

There's no question that some of the past associations are ugly. To the extent that many Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians look back kindly on Barry Goldwater's 1964 shellacking at the hands of Lyndon Johnson, they have to acknowledge that opportunistic segregationists came along for the ride (as did a young Hillary Clinton, who was hardly a racist). As Glenn Garvin writes: "Nothing was more problematic than the civil rights issue—particularly the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed most forms of racial discrimination. Goldwater was no racist; early in his career as a Phoenix city council member, he aggressively supported local civil rights ordinances…Goldwater was privately appalled to discover that his opposition to the Civil Rights Act rallied to his side not only libertarians but racists who detested and feared not state power but black people. He was horrified when Alabama's racist Gov. George Wallace offered to switch parties and run as his vice president."

Characters such as Wallace and South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, a longtime Democrat who migrated to the Republican Party in the civil rights era, were hardly limited-government types. While decrying virtually all federal spending not directly tied to defense, Thurmond—certainly one of the most disgusting American politicians of the second half of the 20th century—also pushed pork-barrel projects and protectionist politics for the Palmetto State, its textile industry, and even historically black colleges. You can't be a segregationist and believe in a minimal government, really: Policing the color line is an exhausting job that requires a vast, expensive apparatus.

To Goldwater's discredit, however, he didn't confront the contradictions among his followers. As left-wing biographer Rick Perlstein grants, Goldwater was a man of color-blind temperament, conviction, and personal action. His family integrated its department store long before it was common, and he founded the Arizona Air National Guard "as an integrated unit.") But it's equally clear that "Mr. Conservative"'s statement of principles wasn't fully up to addressing the challenges of a still-segregated America: "Our aim, as I understand it, is neither to establish a segregated society nor to establish an integrated society," Goldwater said. "It is to preserve a free society." Had Goldwater followed that sort of statement with full-throated invocations of a truly inclusive America, he might have garnered even fewer votes than he managed against LBJ. But he also would have helped to keep calls for a smaller federal government from being seen as a backdoor attempt at Jim Crow.

But contra William Faulkner, there are signs that the past is finally becoming past. 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. In 2008, my Reason colleague Brian Doherty noted, Paul wrapped up his typical stump speech with: "I don't want to run your life. We all have different values. I wouldn't know how to do it, I don't have the authority under the Constitution, and I don't have the moral right…I don't want to run the economy. People run the economy in a free society…"I don't want to run the world…We don't need to be imposing ourselves around the world."

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 Justicespend much of their time fighting occupational licensing laws that disproportionately stymie inner-city entrepreneurs who have little to no political or economic capital. IJ's first case, dating back to 1991, attacked Washington, D.C.'s absurd laws against African hair-braiding without expensive and irrelevant cosmetology licenses.

Similarly, there's no way to confuse libertarian obsessions with Fourth Amendment rights, ending stop-and-frisk policies, and reversing "the rise of warrior cops" with anything related to white supremacy. The same goes for the libertarian insistence against an interventionist foreign policy, whether through boots on the ground or via drone strikes and bombing runs. As with any group, there are differences, but libertarians have long been in the forefront of pushing for legalized abortion and gay marriage. (Reason magazine, like the Libertarian Party, was calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the early 1970s, when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders still considered homosexuality a form of mental illness that should be "cured.")

For libertarians, these things are all of a piece: Limit the size, scope, and spending of government at all levels, and increase the ability of individuals and groups to run as many "experiments in living" (as John Stuart Mill would say) as possible. An increasing number of Americans are grokking libertarian fears about growing federal power, with a record-high 72 percent agreeing that "big government" represents a bigger threat to the future of the country than "big labor" (5 percent) or "big business" (21 percent).

Many—maybe most—Americans hoped that the election (and reelection) of Obama would put an end to racial division and enmity in a country that has never lived up to its stated promises of equality and individual rights. That surely hasn't happened. But if the broad-based reactions to Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy tell us anything, it's that these old men—combined, they are over 140 years old—remind us of where America was, not where it is today. And so too do efforts by one of the GOP's leading presidential candidates, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to reach out to black and minority audiences. Paul, the son of Ron who has had his own problems related to race, is leading the charge to end mandatory minimums, do sentencing reforms, restore voting rights for felons, and more.

In a political context, appeals to racial solidarity and racial division will never disappear, but they will become less and less meaningful, especially in an America that is cohering around the idea that we're all in this together—against a government that threatens us all.

This article originally appeared on May 5, 2014 at The Daily Beast.

Related Video: "3 Policies More Racist Than Donald Sterling & Cliven Bundy":

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  1. At least someone purged the old comments.

  2. Nothing writes you out of polite society more quickly than being perceived as a racist, as the above examples show. Reality is unimportant.

    1. Reality is unimportant.

      As has been said repeatedly here, it’s all projection. Libertarians are by far the least preoccupied with race, religion, gender, and sexuality when it comes to their thinking and how they evaluate stuff.

      The exact opposite of people on the left that are constantly thinking about those things and are almost incapable of not bringing those things into any topic of conversation.

      They are equivalent to those virulently anti-gay crusaders that are struggling to repress their own sexuality and obsession with icky gay sex.

      1. This is true, but they are also essentially religious. Government is their god, and they have faith. Remember what Kierkegaard said: faith is a passion. They absolutely project all of their own weaknesses and failings on others, but that is merely a side effect. When you want to shrink government, you want to shrink their god. This makes you essentially an agent of Satan.

      2. I think libertarians may be the one political group that actually tries to be color blind.

        Progressives are hyper race conscious in an effort to be anti-racist.
        Conservatives are race conscious in a more socio-cultural way. Not to say racist, but aware of race as a cultural thing.

        Libertarians actually try to NOT be race conscious.

    2. Why is Bill Maher the only one talking about personal rights these days?


      1. Its amazing how he gets through that whole diatribe without mentioning how his team has made Big Girlfriend inevitable.

  3. Quite simply, government has become a religion to many people, people we would term “progressives”. They don’t have logical reasons for it, they don’t have rationality, they don’t have arguments. For whatever reason, they have latched onto “government == good, more government == better” and they aren’t letting go no matter what. It doesn’t matter if it’s financially unsustainable. It doesn’t matter if it gets out of control. It doesn’t matter if it tramples people’s rights, even theirs. None of that matters to them. I don’t know how or why any sane person would ever make that decision, but these people do, and they do it all in.

    To someone like that, when they have no actual rational basis for what they fervently believe in, going against it is evil. Since they have no actual arguments for their faith, since any argument they put forth can be demolished by anyone with half a brain, they have no alternative but to try and slander those who argue with them. And since they are simpletons, they reach for the easiest, fastest way they know of to smear someone: RACIST!

    1. Remember, these people are deeply, deeply stupid. The mongoloid calculus that goes on in their brains is this simple: you oppose what I want, therefore you must be evil. What is the evilest thing I can think of? Hitler. But I can’t call you Hitler because that’s regarded as ridiculous, so I’ll call you the second worst thing, racist. If culture changes and being a Brony is the worst thing possible, they’ll call opponents that. They’re like 6-year-olds grasping for an insult and calling someone a poopy-head. That’s it.

      1. “Faggot” comes to mind.

        1. So what could you hate about a bundle of sticks?

    2. they have latched onto “government == good, more government == better”

      In my own personal consumption of popular media the dominant underlying premise is
      this. The government got us to the moon, the government makes sure food is safe, it protects us from bad people with sinister motives. One has to actively seek out alternative sources who view government from a different perspective. Where are you going to find someone make an argument against previous government expenditure for the space race? The only argument I have encountered is that the government should have used that money to take care of the poor. Only a small minority will ask: “what would have happened if the people who provided that money would have been allowed to spend it as they see fit”.

  4. Well, it looks I broke Ken. He’s backed himself into a corner defending slavery and tribal warfare over in the earlier Nigeria thread so he’s resorted to sputtering incoherently and accusing me of being a prog and/or Mary.

    1. If you get in a fight with a retard, no one wins. And Ken is very, very retarded.

    2. Listen, Ken dated a Muslim girl once and visited a mosque, so he’s much more cosmopolitan than you. How dare you question his deep and profound knowledge of the Islamic world?

    3. Nigeria – please.

    4. Which Ken, I hope not Ken Schultz, cause he’s usually pretty intelligent.

  5. when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders still considered homosexuality a form of mental illness that should be “cured.”

    From an evolutionary perspective isn’t exclusive homosexuality a defect.

    1. Technically speaking no. If for example the genes responsible for homosexuality give female an advantage in either finding a mate or an actual advantage the gene will be selected for over the generations even if it substantially reduces male reproductive fitness.

      1. But I like your answer, too.

      2. I said exclusively homosexual.

      3. “…the genes responsible for homosexuality…”

        Science please.

      4. “…the genes responsible for homosexuality…”

        Science please.

        1. How does what he said conflict with science? Are you claiming authoritatively that there are no such genes? From what I’ve read the issue is still in question.

          But even if it was the consensus that homosexuality was 100% environment and 0% nature, it wouldn’t have made what he said non-scientific. It would just make it wrong.

        2. a recent study found that the sisters of gay dudes in Samoa bore more children. It isn’t hard to imagine that theirs a gene for wanting to have sex with masculinity, with dudes. It would make sense that it’s some kind of broad trait, given how otherwise difficult female sexuality is.

    2. Yes. But so is someone who uses drugs or sky dives.

      I think the word you’re looking for is liberty.

      1. I am approaching this from a strictly medical perspective. People can do whatever they want with their bodies.

        Since you agree that it a evolutionary defect would you also agree that finding a “cure” would be a legitimate scientific(ignore any economic questions) endeavor.

        1. Evolutionary defect? What does that mean?

          In a hypothetical world where resources are extremely limited, it would be a plus. You cannot predict which traits will prove beneficial without knowing the environment required to survive in.

          1. You cannot predict which traits will prove beneficial

            Yes, but aren’t the only two rules survive and reproduce. This is where I am saying exclusive homosexuality can be viewed as a defect.

            1. Yes, but aren’t the only two rules survive and reproduce.

              Survive and reproduce in aggregate. If you, or I, neither reproduced nor survived, that wouldn’t have such a great effect on the fitness of Homo sapiens sapiens as a species.

              1. “Survive and reproduce in aggregate. If you, or I, neither reproduced nor survived, that wouldn’t have such a great effect on the fitness of Homo sapiens sapiens as a species.”

                I love how some of these SOCONderps keep using that argument against gay marriage. “If everyone was homosexual the human race would die out!” “If you put only gays/lesbians on an island, the population would die off after a hundred years!” It’s times like that when I am kinda glad that I adopted two kids, so they can’t throw that “only natural familiez” crap at me.

            2. Yes, but aren’t the only two rules survive and reproduce.

              Unless, of course, the environment is such that a high rate of reproduction would prove detrimental to survival.

              1. Unless, of course, the environment is such that a high rate of reproduction would prove detrimental to survival.

                In which case genes for higher quality offspring would be selected for, say, higher investment in less offspring. But the very basic rule is that genes that don’t reproduce are quickly extinguished. When resources are scarce, it’s the organisms that are best able to take advantage of this scarceness and propagate their DNA that are selected for, not the ones that are uninterested in the reproductive process.

                1. “But the very basic rule is that genes that don’t reproduce are quickly extinguished.”

                  If the non-reproducing behavior had a basis in genes, those genes should be selected for extinguishing. If.

                  On the other, if it’s a lifestyle choice, it makes arguing for special treatment on the basis of civil rights problematic.

              2. The rates of homosexuality in a population should vary in time then. Also, a variable time rate would imply that the gay genes are found throughout the population and are activated by environmental factors.

                If this were true figuring out how to “cure” homosexuality could prove beneficial to the species.

                1. This presumes a few things

                  1) That churning out as many children as possibly is automatically beneficial to the species
                  2) That what’s beneficial for the species should preempt what’s good for homosexuals, as perceived by themselves
                  3) That homosexuals are incapable or reproduction, which isn’t the case

            3. So most ants in a colony are sterile. Are they evolution’s defects? No, because they allow the species to keep going. See “The Selfish Gene”.

              1. Exclusive homosexuality could help prevent populations reaching an unsustainable density. Your group gets the benefit of members who can hunt/gather, etc., but who won’t reproduce. There are frog species which develop homosexuality once their populations reach a given density, in fact.

                I seem to recall from cellular biology that cells are receiving a myriad of signals, even contradictory signals, at a given instance. If there are natural signals that activate homosexual genes there are also natural signals that suppress the homosexual genes. Some of those signals could be from people(society). Therefore, boisterous, anti-gay advocates, who are themselves responding to other natural signals, are doing their part to benefit the species. It is all part of the circle of life.

                1. Ok, you’ve gotta be trolling

                  1. no, you guys are just being stubborn

                    what he’s saying isn’t that huge of a deal; the proposition that homosexuality from a biological/ evolutionary angle is sort of a defect. It’s been proposed before.

                    Surely no matter what aggregate social concerns there are, homosexuality, from a technical evolutionary perspective, is a counter-productive trait to the owner. The common evolutionary party line is that each individual wants to spread his genes. Even to the extent that it is an evolutionaryily BENEFICIAL trait (see my comment above on the Samoa study), it still doesn’t really reproduce itself that well, since gays can’t reproduce; not every pair with the gene will have multiple kids and/or daughters

    3. Or it could be a trait which helps populations survive. If there are parts of a group which contribute but don’t add to the numbers it would provide an advantage over another population which bred themselves beyond their available food supplies.

      1. Like ants? Is not the selection of the individuals who can reproduce also part of the evolutionary “struggle”? Most are physically capable of reproduction. A homosexual’s genes are then inferior(not selected).

        Also, do you view society as an organism?

        1. Like ants?

          If you follow my link up-thread, you’ll find that E. O. Wilson says “yes!”…but, then again, everything is like ants to him.

          1. It seems like there’s an Entomology here but I cant put my Mandibles on it

    4. Not necessarily, no. Look up inclusive fitness.

      1. From la Wikia

        Hamilton’s rule describes mathematically whether or not a gene for altruistic behavior will spread in a population:

        rb c

        r is the probability, above the population average, of the individuals sharing an altruistic gene ? commonly viewed as “degree of relatedness”.

        b is the reproductive benefit to the recipient of the altruistic behavior, and

        c is the reproductive cost to the altruist

        Inclusive fitness is a possible explanation of a ‘gay gene’ but the math is pretty tough. C is raised quite a bit, yes gays often were pressured to marry and have children but they doubtless had a lot less children than heteros on average. In pre-neolithic times they probably had a very c. It must add a very high cost to reproductive fitness to be sexually uninterested in females when human males are programmed to compete fiercely for them

        So a gay gene must necessarily add a very large amount of fitness to relations to offset this huge reproductive hit, say a marked increase in relational or tribal altruism.

    5. Not at all. Exclusive homosexuality could help prevent populations reaching an unsustainable density. Your group gets the benefit of members who can hunt/gather, etc., but who won’t reproduce. There are frog species which develop homosexuality once their populations reach a given density, in fact.

      1. Interesting, any links about this?

        1. Damn, now I’m having trouble finding the article. Well, take it with a grain of salt, but I’m like 98% sure I didn’t just dream this…

      2. Would you say that researching a “cure” for homosexuality is a legitimate medical endeavor?

        If some nefarious actor manged to hijack the natural process that activates homosexuality in members of the population an antidote would be very useful.

        1. I mean, I wouldn’t question the legitimacy so much as whether or not that should be a priority. Let’s say that you come up with a solid bead on a genetic marker that determines whether a person is homosexual (and to what degree, presumably). Theoretically you could alter a person’s sexuality to be whatever you chose. Maybe there are gay people who really want to be straight. Maybe vice versa. Maybe there are people who don’t want to be sexually attracted to either sex; maybe there are some who want both.

          At this point in our history as a species we’ve done a pretty good job of eliminating the influence of natural selection, so changing sexuality isn’t going to do much one way or the other for humanity as a whole. Also, keep in mind that a person’s sexual preference has no bearing on whether or not they can breed, especially not at this point in our medical history. Historically, plenty of gay men fathered children, presumably via very active imaginations, and today there are all sorts of procedures which make the process even easier.

          1. I only asked the question in response to Nick Gillespie’s line in the article implying that it was outrageous to view homosexuality as a mental illness. Based on what we know(which is very little) I argue that there is a legitimate rational argument from a purely scientific perspective to deem a homosexual as defective(their reproductive capabilities are retarded).

            1. I fail to see how less than evolutionarily ideal = mental illness

              1. First define “mental illness”. A relative handful of “mental illnesses” meet any objective, biological diagnostic criteria typically associated with disease in the medical context. Debating what is and isn’t a mental illness eventually gets down to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

                Even within the context of psychology though, homosexuality is a bit of an outlier in its classification. Object sexuality, pedophilia, and about a million other described paraphilias, for example, are included as disorders or potential disorders in the DSM.

                1. First define “mental illness”.

                  First come up with an objective standard of mental health.

                  Object sexuality, pedophilia, and about a million other described paraphilias, for example, are included as disorders or potential disorders in the DSM.

                  True, but it’s not yet politically incorrect to refer to those sorts of people as mentally unhealthy as it is with homosexuals.

      3. yeah, but that’s just because male-on-male frog sex is so damn HOT!

    6. “blank|5.11.14 @ 4:31PM|#

      From an evolutionary perspective isn’t exclusive homosexuality a defect

      Not if it means more chicks for me.

  6. I’m really uncomfortable with this conversation and wish blank had provided a trigger warning.

    Now I’m gonna go kill someone – blame blank.

  7. Was there a “best of” sampling from the comments? Come on, normally someone else does this…

    7 days ago

    The Govt isnt a threat to me. Maybe to these far right wing hate mongers it is, but my Govt has never been a threat to me. Maybe those folks are just lousy Americans to begin with.

    My government is the only thing protecting me from the social conservatives who want to force their religious edicts on me. My government has built the national highway system and the National Institute of Health. My government will not let me suffer from lack of healthcare or allow me to starve because old age does not allow me to work. My government protects me from foreign terrorists and natural disasters. My government is not the enemy. Those who want to gut my government and leave me vulnerable are my enemy and that is the GOP and especially the Tea Party.

    See, the thing is these government haters didn’t show up until our first Black President was elected. Where were they when Bush/Cheney dropped the Patriot Act on our civil rights? Where were they when the Bush administration was outed in their lies about WMD in Iraq. Nowhere to be seen! I am not threatened by my government. I am threatened by GOP racism, misogyny, homophobia, their hatred of the poor, and their butt licking of the rich!

    1. Wait, so Kathleen is ok with the Patriot Act? Or was it bad while a Republican was in office but is now good because a Democrat is in office?

    2. My government is not the enemy. Those who want to gut my government and leave me vulnerable are my enemy and that is the GOP and especially the Tea Party.

      Note both the possessiveness and the polarizing. How fucking mentally ill do you have to be? At least religious types generally worship something ethereal with ostensibly pure and altruistic motives. These people worship power mad psychopaths not in spite of their condition, but because of it.

    3. Shorter overseasvet: My government will do my stealing for me much more easily than I can myself.

  8. moars

    7 days ago

    Wow. Seriously? Even for a Libertarian this is utterly moronic.

    … maybe, Bundy is being called a “Racist” for saying “I’ll tell you one more thing I know about the Negro” then “just wondering” if Black people would be “better off as slaves”.

    … Lets recap …

    1. “States Rights” … a transparently laughable cover for Slave owning states having the “States Rights” to keep owning Slaves in THEIR STATE. A bedrock Libertarian Idea.

    2. “We could have done it another way”! … Ron Pauls utterly moronic quote on the civil rights act, because as everyone who is a Libertarian knows, the rights of Black people to not be “seperate but equal” or forced to sit in the back of the bus PALE in comparison to “property rights”. …

    4. Speaking of “fringe political party” in the last election , after decades of rich guy Libertarian propaganda…paid for by the Koch Brothers, the utterly hilariously laughable political movement known as “Libertarian” can only muster ….LESS THAN 1% of the vote total of the 2012 election…

    5. I could keep going pretty much infinitely ….a “Libertarian” [is] just a cover to provide some flimsy “moral” justification for being a selfish greedmonger who wants all the benefits of a free society without owing a dime to support it.

    1. Wow, that’s good stuff. I’m glad that libertarianism is both an existential threat to right-thinking people everywhere and, simultaneously, an insignificant fringe movement.

    2. Ok, I could only suffer through a few of these before my head started to hurt. I think I’m being fair and objective when I say there is a HUGE intellectual divide between the typical Lefty commenter and the typical Libertarian commenter.

      Their comments are almost always conclusory: something is something because it is. For example, if you propose cutting wasteful welfare spending, you must be a racist because many black people are on welfare. It makes no difference that there actually may be more white people on welfare than black, or that much of these social programs are indeed wasteful and help no one. All that matters is the conclusion, the slogan they keep repeating. Analysis and deep thinking unwelcome there.

      1. Duke, everybody by now acknowledges that the only ways black people can get money is by crime or from gov’t, so wanting to cut gov’t means wanting to drive them to crime, so racist.

        1. How convenient that minorities must be dependent on the progressive’s “God”: government. Even free blacks in northern states, like the first resident of Chicago for example, had to be totally dependent on Government. George Washington Carver never would have gotten anywhere if not for Iowa STATE College.

          1. LBJ will have those niggers voting Democrat for 200 years.

            That’s not my diction, but the guy who said knew what he was talking about.

  9. The left does not believe government is inherently untrustworthy. They believe government as big as it can be and intervene in all aspects of our lives if it promotes the welfare of the people, equality, fairness, social justice, etc.

    That’s why they’re enamored with charismatic revolutionary / reform figure like Barack Obama, who will enact a lot of big, important sounding legislation or rules for the betterment of society. If you oppose them, then you’re getting in the way of opportunities for minorities and the voiceless – even if these programs don’t work and are cost effective.

    The ACA enjoys support from the left because it was sold as a way to check those insurance companies from screwing people. The government is on your side against greed and injustice! Except it was actually a collusion of sorts.

    It’s useless to mention that it’s the government that enforced slavery, rounded up Japanese citizens, and orders strikes on innocent people. If you can convince the left that the government can be “activist” that empowers the people, the left will be sold.

    1. aren’t cost effective

  10. It takes real American bravery GIL to wade into this thicket for our benefit. Here’s a fella who can’t quite decide whether Libertarians suck or are awesome:

    Sinan 5 days ago
    Libertarians are utopians. They are dreamers. They have fantasies about governance that overcome their common sense. In many ways, they deny history as well. Progress to them is regressive not progressive. I have yet to find a libertarian that can truly explain to me how their version of freedom insures a just society. While some of their ideas are indeed worth supporting, drug policy and foreign interventions for instance, most of what they advise is based upon a naive view of human nature and a complete disregard for history and the events that led to the creation of a stronger federal government. Should they be heard? Yes, they are a valid counter force in a conversation about problems and remedies. Should they have the power to implement their agenda? No because their agenda has already been proven to lead to serious problems in the past on most everything they think is wrong with government. What they do though is force the rest of us to rethink our remedies or perhaps even the idea of a remedy being possible. This is valuable.

  11. The fun thing about libertarianism is that, even if the prog’s worst fears were true and we all hate minorities, the LGBT community, the poor, kittens, puppies, and Spotted Wood Owls, we’re the worst supervillains in the history of supervillainy. Our nefarious goals (racism, misogyny, etc.) are all being pursued by methods (limitation of government power, decentralization of authority, maximization of individual liberty) that undermine our ability to do awful things to people we dislike. So even if we love the notion of free speech because we all want to launch racist screeds across the Internet, that same freedom is extended to the people we’re yelling about, as an example.

  12. 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 [sic] with racist and homophobic material.

    Ah, there we go again, Gillespie! You have not wasted a single opportunity to continue the despicable campaign to defame Dr. Paul by perpetuating the myth that all the publications were “filled” (Filled! Oh my sweet Jesus! Filled!) with “racist” and “homophobic” material. This despite the fact that Justin Raimondo called out Reason and Kirchick for playing fast and loose with the facts and that his publications – almost all of them except for a couple of commentaries – did not show a single comment that could be construed as racist or homophobic, and not ONE WORD of the few controversial commentaries tied to Paul at all.

    There’s a clear interest shown by the Beltwarians to appease their critics by demonstrating that the libertarian movement is so detached from racism that it would be ridiculous to label TRUE libertarians as “racist”, and if the means to this end include smearing other libertarians, then so be it. After all, that is what thick libertarianism is all about, isn’t it? Establishing a moral superiority over others.

    1. He didn’t claim they were directly tied to Paul, just published under his name. I agree that “filled” probably isn’t the best adjective to use, but it was more than just one or two lines, and for whoever wrote them (for the record, I don’t think it was Paul), saying “Well most of the stuff I wrote wasn’t racist/homphobic!” isn’t much of a defense.

  13. Quit denying accusations which are ridiculous on their face. Next post.

    1. Pretty much this. Apologizing for your principles because, in their universality, they also apply to racists is also a ridiculously bad road to start traveling. Then again Gillespie ain’t exactly a deontological purist.

  14. What’s this about things not looking so good for Democrats in the midterms? Come on now. Things could look completely doomed for the Donkeys and that still wouldn’t stop Establishment GOPers from finding ways to hand them wins.

  15. Right-wing victimization article number 1,456,432,156. When is this shit–peddled by other right-wingers around the time “Back to the Future” part 1 premiered– going to get old? You aren’t racist if you think Social Security should be abolished, just stupid and hypocritical if you are over the age of. 65.

    It seems to me this article is a reaction to Brian Doherty hitching his wagon to ” populist” cliven bundy only to find out that he is a racist loon .

    1. It’s amazing that you think anyone here, with the possible exceptions of Tony, Buttplug and Mary’s various incarnations really gives a toss about your opinion.

    2. Lol. american dumbfuck complaining about anyone else’s victim complex. Irony is always lost on the ironic.

    3. “You aren’t racist if you think Social Security should be abolished, just stupid and hypocritical if you are over the age of. 65.”

      It’s not really hypocritical if you are over 65, gain a benefit from SS, and stand against it. It’s hypocritical if you change your stance once you hit that age. Sometimes things that are in your best interest aren’t necessarily right.

      1. holy shit. is that thar one o’ them newfangled ‘principles’?

  16. (Reason magazine, like the Libertarian Party, was calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the early 1970s, when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders still considered homosexuality a form of mental illness that should be “cured.”)

    That’s a bit smug. Maybe next time around you’ll call for minding your own business.

    1. But then they wouldn’t get invited to all the right (er, left) cocktail parties…

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  19. “Individual arguments need and deserve to be assessed on their own terms, not as the visible tip of a submerged agenda; ideas can’t be defined solely by their past associations and uses.”For Jonathan Chait, that’s not so much a show of openness towards libertarianism as it is a plead for the exoneration of fascism.

  20. “Individual arguments need and deserve to be assessed on their own terms, not as the visible tip of a submerged agenda; ideas can’t be defined solely by their past associations and uses.”

    For Jonathan Chait, that’s not so much a show of openness towards libertarianism as it is a plead for the exoneration of fascism.

    (double post, html error)

  21. Equating a devotion to liberty with racism certainly would have surprised Frederick Douglass.

    You want to have fun with a “liberal”? (And by “liberal” I mean of course “tax-happy, coercion-addicted State-fellator/”) As him/her which candidate he/she would vote for if the presidential race were between Hillary Clinton and Thomas Sowell. (That’s provided the “liberal” knows who Thomas Sowell is. They are increasingly a cloistered, ill-informed lot.) The moment you get the response, “Hil–” scream a Sam Kinnison-like “RACIST!” right in the “liberal’s” face.

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