Mickey Kaus hears an anti-immigration ad for Ron Paul and wonders, “Is that the official libertarian position?” There is no “official libertarian position” on immigration; it’s one of the many issues that libertarians are divided on. My impression is that, even though he named his son Rand, Paul is basically aligned with the Rothbardians. Rothbard’s argument against immigration, if I’m remembering correctly, was that, in the anarcho-capitalist society he envisioned, all property would be private, and one would have a right to keep trespassers out; as long as there is public property, therefore, it’s okay to have closed borders. Rothbard swung to the paleo-right toward the end of his life and endorsed Pat Buchanan in ’92.
Paul’s support has a lot more in common with Buchanan’s support in the 90s than some of his more cosmopolitan libertarian fans would like to acknowledge. That includes an uncomfortable proximity to the racist fringe. I see that The New Republic is going to have a story by Jamie Kirchick on the website tomorrow that picks through some crazy stuff from Ron Paul’s old newsletters. Savvy libertarians have been worrying for months about when we’d hear about this. Some of it has been brought up in the past, and Paul has deflected it by blaming wet-behind-the-ears staffers, but screenshots of the old newsletters might make the mainstream press probe a little harder.
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