Election 2012

Ron Paul Bashes Civil Rights Act

No, not in a newsletter from years ago. It was yesterday. He bashed the Civil Rights Act yesterday.

WASHINGTON -- Despite recent accusations of racism and homophobia, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) stuck to his libertarian principles on Sunday, criticizing the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it "undermine[d] the concept of liberty" and "destroyed the principle of private property and private choices."

"If you try to improve relationships by forcing and telling people what they can't do, and you ignore and undermine the principles of liberty, then the government can come into our bedrooms," Paul told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union." "And that's exactly what has happened. Look at what's happened with the PATRIOT Act. They can come into our houses, our bedrooms our businesses ... And it was started back then."

What exactly does Ron Paul think should have continued?

The Civil Rights Act repealed the notorious Jim Crow laws; forced schools, bathrooms and buses to desegregate; and banned employment discrimination. Although Paul was not around to weigh in on the landmark legislation at the time, he had the chance to cast a symbolic vote against it in 2004, when the House of Representatives took up a resolution "recognizing and honoring the 40th anniversary of congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." Paul was the only member who voted "no."

Of course, this will only make him more popular with the fringe of the far-right (Ron Paul has the most conservative record of any congressman between 1937 and 2002).

Also, Ron Paul is so supportive of privacy rights that he wants to criminalize abortion. The privacy rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment are irrelevant to this so-called Constitutionalist -- this hero of liberty believes state lawmakers should control what happens inside a woman's body.

  • Thank you for exposing him. If only Maddow, Hayes and others acknowledged their support for Ron Paul is totally ridiculous.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Something I’ve noticed about Dr. Paul’s and his disciples’ “principle­s of liberty.”

    When one asks a Paulite what “freedoms” they have lost or that they don’t have that they would like to have back, one rarely hears an answer that does not in some way constitute the “freedom” to exploit, abuse, take advantage of, harass, discrimina­te against, endanger, or otherwise mistreat other people.

    Apart from the legalizati­on of drugs and prostituti­on, I have yet to hear a Paul disciple identify a single specific act forbidden by federal law that they would legalize (or “leave to the states,” a convenient rhetorical evasion if ever there was one) that doesn’t fall into the above category in one way or another.

    Let’s say that [A] is a person who is in a position to exploit, abuse, harass, take advantage of, discrimina­te against, endanger, or otherwise mistreat, person or persons [B]. Put simply, laws that prohibit [A] from exploiting­, abusing or endangerin­g [B] infringe on [A]’s “liberty.” (Which is actually true, in a vacuum.) It is up to [B] to either avoid being exploited, abused or endangered by [A], or to prevent [A] from exploiting­, abusing or endangerin­g him, and to do so on his own by some means other than legislatio­n.

    However, the law has recognized and acknowledg­ed what Dr. Paul et al. apparently do not: That [B] has a “liberty” interest as well, in not being abused, exploited,endangered­, &c. In other words, [B] has the liberty to live and work in an environmen­t where he will be treated decently and fairly and where his health and safety are not threatened­. I’m not sure whether Dr. Paul et al. do not recognize this liberty interest, are unaware of it, do not understand it, or if they consciously object to it. In any event, it seems that in their eyes, [B]’s liberty interest is limited to avoiding or preventing­, on his own and without the help of the law, the indecency, unfairness and danger that [A] is entirely free to impose on him.

    When Dr. Paul talks about “principle­s of liberty,” those principles apply to [A], not [B].

    There was a time in America when it was up to [B] to avoid or prevent being exploited, abused, discrimina­ted against, endangered, &c. We came to realize eventually that it is better to put the burden on [A] to not do that. We learned, and now know better. Employers and entrepreneurs are still free to discriminate, exploit, abuse and endanger their employees and customers, but at a risk and a price.

    It’s not so much that Dr. Paul is wrong; it’s that his “side” has, historical­ly and repeatedly­, lost the argument. He basically wants a mulligan on, inter alia, the Civil War, the 14th Amendment, and every Supreme Court decision since Lochner.

    • jmby

      Excellent post. Paulites cannot disgiuse their belief that, to paraphrase Orwell, “some citizens are more equal than others.” It appears to me that, in their ideal society, the [A]’s have the right to impinge on the [B]s’ rights because, if the [B]’s cannot prevent their own abuse, they must then deserve it. Or just deserve it because they’re inferior beings from the start. I find the Libertarian principles not just chilling and horrifying, but a threat to society and all living beings and things.

    • muselet

      I was going to post a long comment about Ron Paul, his fanbois and libertarians in general, but thinking about such creatures is dreary and depressing. Let’s just say they’re the kids who got stuffed into their school lockers once too often and started to identify with their attackers. Or they may have started out as sociopaths, I can’t be sure.

      I’ll take mild exception to your third paragraph, though. The legalization of drugs and prostitution can (not absolutely always, but typically) involve the exploitation of the weak and vulnerable, and—given their characteristic lack of empathy—that may be the appeal of such proposals for libertarians.


      • GrafZeppelin127

        The legalization of drugs and prostitution can … involve the exploitation of the weak and vulnerable[.]

        Oh, I agree with that. And I agree that may be part of the appeal. It just takes an extra conceptual leap or two to get there, as opposed to things like race discrimination, child labor, health and safety rules, etc., where the Paulites want to directly authorize abuse, exploitation, discrimination and endangerment.

    • D_C_Wilson

      What it boils down to is that, in Ron Paul’s ideal utopia, the only way Person B would have an liberty interest would be if he owned property (And yes, it would only be a “he” in his world). Even then, if Person A did something to harm Person B’s property, the government still would have no role in protecting Person B’s property beyond having a court system where Person B could sue Person A.

      This is exactly the sentiments he has expressed when it comes to environmental regulations, ie, if a polluter causes harm to be people, they should sue the polluter, not have the government enforce standards to prevent harm in the first place.

      Of course, the idea that an individual could sue a multi-billion dollar energy company and successfully convince a jury that the company caused their cancer without being buried under pretrial motions and hired “experts” is ludicrous. And it’s a very 19th century way of solving problems, but that’s why Ron Paul loves it so.

      He honestly believes that the problems of the 21st century can be solved using 19th century solutions.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        19th, or 18th?

  • Liberty, like hell. The man is a racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic ass with barely a sane brain cell left.

    It boggles my mind how stupid his so-called Liberal supporters must be.

    • jmby

      Ditto- and I would add, at best a sexist asshole, at the worst, at outright misogynist to your list.

  • It’s funny (not Ha-ha funny) how libertarians believe in “personal liberty”, except when it come to personal liberty for non-Whites, GBLT folks, and women..