Alex Pareene points out that Ron Paul’s particular brand of libertarianism has a history of endorsing racist views and associating with white supremacists for the sake of appealing to far right voters, thus expanding the influence of libertarianism:
There are, broadly, two different versions of American libertarianism: There’s Reason Magazine and Cato Institute libertarianism — “cool” libertarianism — and there’s Mises Institute/Lew Rockwell libertarianism — old crank libertarianism. Ron Paul is a Mises Institute libertarian…
The origins of the philosophical split are explained nicely by Brian Doherty in this piece on the late Murray Rothbard. To drastically oversimplify, guys like Hayek made pragmatic economic arguments (and left room for a “limited” state to provide some measure of assistance to the needy) and Rothbard made Randian philosophical arguments (and was radically anti-state). And Rothbard went full-on neo-Confederate in order to win over the “rednecks.”
This 2008 Reason article further explains the link between this strategy (one that Nixon and the GOP successfully used to win the American South) and the appalling homophobia and racism espoused in the Ron Paul newsletters:
The newsletters’ obsession with blacks and gays was of a piece with a conscious political strategy adopted at that same time by Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard. After breaking with the Libertarian Party following the 1988 presidential election, Rockwell and Rothbard formed a schismatic “paleolibertarian” movement, which rejected what they saw as the social libertinism and leftist tendencies of mainstream libertarians. In 1990, they launched the Rothbard-Rockwell Report, where they crafted a plan they hoped would midwife a broad new “paleo” coalition.
Rockwell explained the thrust of the idea in a 1990 Liberty essay entitled “The Case for Paleo-Libertarianism.” To Rockwell, the LP was a “party of the stoned,” a halfway house for libertines that had to be “de-loused.” To grow, the movement had to embrace older conservative values. “State-enforced segregation,” Rockwell wrote, “was wrong, but so is State-enforced integration. State-enforced segregation was not wrong because separateness is wrong, however. Wishing to associate with members of one’s own race, nationality, religion, class, sex, or even political party is a natural and normal human impulse.”
As Pareene points out, Ron Paul’s involvement with the infamous newsletters (and his endorsement of the hateful views they expressed) does not contradict his libertarian beliefs. because Ron Paul’s libertarian is essentially focused on restoring and retaining white male privilege:
Ron Paul’s libertarianism has plenty of room for nativism and racism because so much of it does sound like a Pat Buchanan-style call for America to return to a golden age of white privilege. Paul isn’t a futurist…He’s a deeply religious anti-abortion small-town country doctor who basically wants the government to operate as it did in 1837.
Endorsing the legalization of marijuana and being against war does not erase Ron Paul’s self-serving complicity in spreading bigotry. He may not believe he’s racist or homophobic, but he’s perpetuated racism and homophobia for political gain. How can any right-thinking person, including libertarians, want such a man to be president?