Ron Paul criticizes the 1964 Civil Rights Act

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Ron Paul

Traditionally, if you're trying to bounce back from charges of deep-seated racism, it's not a great idea to come out swinging against Civil Rights. But no one ever said Ron Paul was traditional, and thus, his new criticisms of the generally popular Civil Rights Act of 1964

This weekend, Paul griped that the act, which ended Jim Crow laws, "undermined the concept of liberty" and "destroyed the principle of private property and private choices." He went on:

"If you try to improve relationships by forcing and telling people what they can't do, and you ignore and undermine the principles of liberty, then the government can come into our bedrooms. And that's exactly what has happened. Look at what's happened with the PATRIOT Act. They can come into our houses, our bedrooms our businesses … And it was started back then."

In case it wasn't clear enough, Paul also voted against a 2004 resolution "recognizing and honoring the 40th anniversary of congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," the only member of the House of Representatives to do so. I know, right? Surprisingly, though, he did go on to make a few somewhat sane comments about institutional causes of discrimination: 

"The real problem we face today is the discrimination in our court system, the war on drugs. Just think of how biased that is against the minorities. They go into prison much way out of proportion to their numbers. They get the death penalty out of proportion with their numbers. And if you look at what minorities suffer in ordinary wars, whether there's a draft or no draft, they suffer much out of proposition. So those are the kind of discrimination that have to be dealt with, but you don't ever want to undermine the principle of private property and private choices in order to solve some of these problems."

Well, that part about the war on drugs actually does make some sense. But seriously, even if you subscribe to Paul's particular brand of short-sighted, hardcore libertarianism,  aren't there maybe, just maybe, greater injustices in this world to rail against than Civil Rights? Only a thought.