After watching Ron Paul butcher his interview with Lawrence O’Donnell, I propose some simple talking points on some particular issues that apparently evade an articulable libertarian defense.
1) 1964 Civil Rights Act
The correct libertarian position would have been the repeal of the State enforced Jim Crow laws and restitution/reparations for those who were harmed(so, instead, say, a 1964 Civil Reparations Act). Although libertarians believe that voluntary nondiscrimination is a desirable, socially optimal outcome, we don’t support the positive law of an expansive interpretation of the commerce clause to enforce this outcome because this invites the same legal treatment of humans as property a la the very Jim Crow laws that supposedly were being remedied. You are correcting an injustice by promoting another injustice. So yes, the 1964 Civil Rights Act(or at least some parts of it) is an example of “activist, liberal government,” Mr. O’Donnell, but the “New Jim Crow,” the drug War, is legally sanctioned by the same principle that sanctioned parts of the 1964 Civil rights Act. So your “activist, positive law, liberal government” that you defend is now and has been imprisoning minorities at a rate that exceeded apartheid South Africa. So unless you think that minorities are simply much more disposed to be criminals by nature, you must conclude that your precious “activist, positive law, federal government” sanctions a racist legal regime. You sir, are stuck in the symbolism of 1964. We libertarians are primarily concerned with the present.
Do you sir call on the immediate repeal of these racist drug laws and restitution/reparations for those who were harmed by these laws? Or is your devotion to a principle that now further legally sanctions the use of the IRS to force us to buy insurance from the likes of Aetna just too important to forsake? Yes, i’m sure you will weep for those presently in cages and that will you will hint from time to time that sometime in the long, hazy future, this may need to be politically addressed. But in the meantime you are much more concerned with assuaging your own self-righteousness with appeals to symbolism. But your symbolism frees no one. The comfort of your self-righteousness is neither a strategy nor a tactic to the restore the liberty of those unjustly imprisoned. Get the fuck off your smug high horse.
2) Term Limits
I have no idea how “term limits” became a so-called libertarian position. The libertarian position is too limit/abolish the ability of crooks to conspire to steal other people’s money or manufacture artificial economic rents. The libertarian position is too limit the legislative sessions where the conspiracies take place. The preferred length of these sessions is zero. That is getting to the root of the problem and will take care of the ancillary issue of “term limits.”
Medicare is a paternalistic government program that taxes your own labor to supposedly provide for your future medical care after retirement. However, this same government is in the business of creating artificial rents, enforcing monopoly privileges in the supply of health care that substantially raises the cost/price of the provision of this service now and in the future. Medicare might have been a good deal for the initial generation(s) of recipients, but it is not a particularly good deal for successive generations. The solution to the huge medicare unfunded liability will be to tax more of your labor and and extend the age of eligibility. So, despite technological progress, which should afford some degree of leisure at least in your later years, most of us will nonetheless have to work to the day we die to keep the artificial rents flowing to privileged health care monopolies. Now that’s progress…
4) Rand Paul
There’s no defense of Rand Paul. Most, if not all libertarians, would care less about any pre-agreement not to talk about Rand Paul for fear to be made to look like idiots and hypocrites in defending the indefensible. The same would apply to his equally repulsive opponent, Jack Conway.