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Most people don’t know who Ron Paul is. Most people who do, think he’s crazy. The small number who don’t think he’s crazy are libertarian college students, and peaceniks who haven’t dug down much into Paul’s record.
If you’re in that first category, Ron Paul is a senator from Texas. His one dominant trait is his strict and sincere belief in small government conservatism. On the plus side, this means that he is against American imperialism, handouts to corrupt corporations, and wasteful government spending. On the downside, Paul is against almost everything else government can do as well. Also, there’s the racism.
Yes, that’s Ron Paul, announcing his intent to run for president of the United States, while simultaneously stating his opposition to laws ending racial segregation. Specifically, he said that if he had been in Congress at the time, he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Which is funny, because most American like civil rights*. Even if Americans knew who Ron Paul was, he’d be pretty fucked at the ballot box.
I only recently have grasped the true nature of libertarianism. We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the Ayn Rand branch of libertarianism, an empty-headed fiction where greed, arrogance, and whining about how no one recognizes your greatness, leads inevitably to a utopian society. I think some Randians actually believe their own bullshit, and others just spread the lie. The latter want money, power, and no accountability. They could give a fuck about whether or not that leads to utopia.
But I think that Paul is a different kind of libertarian. This other branch believes that the world is a horrible, horrible place, but that it is immoral for government to do anything to stop the horror. It’s a fucking jungle out there, deal with it. If you want an end to racism, sexism, poverty, disease, or [other], you have to do it on your own, Jack. These libertarians believe that the only acceptable role of government is to protect them, their assault rifles, their pot and their hookers from the legions of desparate poor.
So for the most part, libertarianism can be summed up as “I got mine!”
*well, for themselves. Not so much for other people.
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