Why Blacks Should Think Twice About Supporting Ron Paul
By Thought Merchant
I have to admit, I was excited about the Ron Paul campaign. Now many African Americans who cannot fathom the idea of watching a Republican debate, no less voting for one of their candidates might be asking: 1) Who is Ron Paul; and 2) Why would any person of Color think about voting for him, or any of the other Republican candidates for that matter? Those who ask that question probably have not been surfing the Internet or watching Youtube, because Ron Paul by far is the hottest candidate in cyberspace.
Congressman Ron Paul from Texas is attractive basically for the following reasons: he is the only Republican candidate who is strongly against the war, strongly against the Bush administration’s foreign policy, and strongly against the Constitutional encroachments caused by the War on Terror.
Ron Paul goes farther than even any of the major Democratic candidates in voicing his desire to bring home the troops, revoke the Patriot Act, stop extraordinary renditions, and close Guantanamo Bay. While Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and John Edwards cannot guarantee that they would bring home the troops by 2013 if elected President, Ron Paul unabashedly calls for immediate withdrawal and return of U.S. forces from Iraq.
Sounds good so far, right? So what’s the problem? The problem is that Ron Paul is also a libertarian ideologue, as was Barry Goldwater–remember him? Libertarianism as a philosphy states that the least amount government is the best amount government. Within the confines of quaint ideological discourse that might be fine, but when it comes to African Americans, that philosophy is problematic. I’m not referring to the perceived dependence by poor Blacks on social program like Welfare and subsidized housing, though Libertarians oppose these on ideological grounds as well. Blacks need to worry about Ron Paul and his Libertarian ideas for other reasons.
When Congress celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Ron Paul was the only U.S. congressman to vote no.
A quote from Congressman Ron Paul summarizes his opposition:
“I rise to explain my objection to H.Res. 676. I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations. However, contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of H.Res. 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties.”
This sounds like language you might have heard from Strom Thurmond in the 1940’s. Yet in 2004 this is how Ron Paul described the Civil Rights act of 1964, which gave legal protection to Blacks against discrimination in the workplace and in private facilities that depended on the public thoroughfares.
This is why Blacks should think twice about supporting Ron Paul. His narrow ideological adherence to Libertarian philosophy denies the racial reality that African Americans have faced in this country since its inception–racism. Libertarianism assumes that when left to their own devices, people will act rationally and make the best decisions, minus government intervention. Libertarians fail to realize that in America, racism has often been viewed as the most rational of behaviors to exhibit, especially when the government has sat silent and allowed it to happen. The question is, does Ron Paul think the government should allow racism to happen as well.