Last year Rand Paul made some politically stupid, but perfectly libertarian comments:
INTERVIEWER: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I’m all in favor of that.
PAUL: You had to ask me the “but.” I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant—but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that’s most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind.
Shortly after that comment, however, Teabaggers and other like-minded individuals (i.e., the Republican party…because, come on, they’re the same thing) distanced themselves from Paul. Unbeknownst to all the pseudo-libertarians out there, Paul was perfectly in line with their (espoused) ideology. He didn’t say he favored racism. He said he favored allowing it. One can maintain a position within the ethics of libertarianism whilst at the same time believing the follow-through to that position to be immoral. Not that I think allowing for racism in that context is acceptable, but I want to present a pretty straight-forward analysis of what libertarianism entails; Paul was being consistent.
Unfortunately, that consistency appears to have worn off:
I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.
This has zero connection with libertarianism. Free speech composes a cornerstone of not only the U.S. constitution, but also much of libertarianism (especially as the ethical theory pertains to politics). That Paul would go and say something so stupidly inconsistent makes it quite clear that he really could only ever be elected in the South.
Now just wait and see how many of his pseudo-libertarian brethren don’t distance themselves from him.