With regard to Robert Birt's claim that Ron Paul harbors racist views ("Is Ron Paul's 'conservatism' just plain old racism in disguise?" Jan. 9), the answer is a simple, "No."
Mr. Birt writes that libertarianism "prefers a rapacious market over community and an anarchic rugged individualism over social justice and human solidarity." This is manifestly false. Libertarianism prefers freedom over force, personal liberty over collectivism. Nothing about libertarianism says that people can't or shouldn't organize freely among themselves. Indeed, this is exactly what a free market system encourages. The strong armed force of the state is not necessary.
Mr. Birt asks, "And what would become of education, Social Security, health care and the rights of women, working people and minorities under a rightist libertarian administration?" Education and health care — like most other goods and services that we use — would be provided by the market and improved by competition. Social Security is government force, and it would ideally be either phased out to help ease the transition for those dependent on it, or would gradually evolve into a voluntary program. As for the rights of women, working people and minorities, these are all protected in a libertarian society under a single, consistent rule: individual rights.
As for Mr. Paul's "negative evaluation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," Mr. Birt is either uninformed or intentionally misleading. Mr. Paul favors equal treatment and freedom for all and does not view people in groups, as Mr. Birt clearly does. His chief concern with the Civil Rights Act is that it infringes on the freedom of people to be racist jerks. We may not like this freedom, but just like speech that we find deplorable, it is protected by the Constitution. Mr. Paul absolutely is opposed to government discrimination, and I am quite certain he would join in protesting against a restaurant that served "whites only."