Econ 1: U.C. Berkeley: Spring 2012: Lecture Files for January 18, 2012
Nervos Lecturae, Caffeinam Infinitam

What They Dislike: Roy Edroso: "A Bunch of Minorities Have Coalesced to Get Something They Think Belongs by Right to Them..."

Roy Edroso:

YOUR LIBERTARIAN IDEAS ARE INTRIGUING TO ME AND I WOULD LIKE TO SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR RACIST NEWSLETTER: [S]ince their crackpot [deregulation] ideas collapsed the economy… they still can't get too deep into the libertarian social agenda, due to all those senior citizens whose prejudices are all that bind them to the party. And forget the other libertarian tropes. No one would believe them talking gold bug nonsense; Herman Cain, the conservative black hope till he imploded, was a Federal Reserve Bank chairman.  And without their support for endless wars, what would be left to make them look butch?

Then there's Ron Paul. Not only does he go the whole nine yards on free minds-free markets -- he also denounces our foreign adventures economic and martial. He hates the Fed. He'll let you have raw milk. Freedom! And he has a kinda-sorta gay rights record that both bigots and Dan Savage can be comfortable with -- he'd leave it to the states, just like abortion and racial integration. This is where his libertarianism really comes in handy -- you can believe that he personally endorsed at the vile things published under his name in those newsletters, and still believe, if motivated to do so, that his hatred of the State (but not the states) is so strong that it would actually protect gays, blacks, women, and everyone else even from his own ill will.

This is easier to believe if you forget that Paul is a Republican, operating comfortably within that party's framework… [and] that libertarians are comfortable in that party for a reason.

The right-wing fringe groups that attached to the GOP after World War II had their disagreements -- as with the National Review people and Ayn Rand -- but they also found plenty of common ground. It is almost charming to read Walter Olson on R.J. Rushdoony and his Reconstructionist loons, and how they -- unaccountably, to Olson -- "gained prominence in libertarian causes, ranging from hard-money economics to the defense of home schooling."… [T]he relationship of libertarians, Christian fundamentalists, Birchers, and other radicals was less contentious than synthetic…. These guys can always work together, because they all came out of the same Big Bang of hatred for the New Deal and its legacy: Big Government and the coalition that sustains it -- blacks, gays, unionized workers, women, et alia. Each conservative tribe has its own relationship to that legacy -- some of them (the more intelligent ones, generally) are deeply cynical, and some are as sincere as any schizophrenic street preacher. But all of them deeply hate that a bunch of minorities have coalesced to get something that they think belongs by right to them and people like them, and many of them have learned that it would be more effective (and, these days, more popular) to strike at the state that enables that coalition than at the minorities themselves.

What mania, particularly, animated Paul's newsletter stories of criminal-natured blacks and AIDS-drama-queen gays doesn't matter to me. I know that he's a Republican Libertarian and, having been born earlier than yesterday, that is enough for me.