Some people on the left can’t see any excuse for opposition to collectivism except racism. (Which is, of course, as Ayn Rand said, “the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.”) [link in original]Then he quotes someone who calls the Obama/Joker poster racist because it uses the "urban" makeup from the Heath Ledger version instead of the "urbane" makeup of Jack Nicholson's version, saying it plays on racial fears. WHAT?! "Urban" Joker makeup? Boaz appropriately says such a view is "ridiculous."
He uses as an example some criticism of a 1999 book by Cass Sunstein called The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes, making the parenthetical aside, "(and you wonder why Obama chose him?)." The quoted author, Tom Palmer, portrays Sunstein's style of argument perfectly:
[I]mmediately after gallantly conceding that ‘‘Many critics of the regulatory-welfare state are in perfectly good faith’’ they turn around to tar all critics of the welfare state with the charge of racism: "...There are many possible answers, but inherited biases — including racial prejudice, conscious and unconscious — probably play a role. Indeed, the claim that the only real liberties are the rights of property and contract can sometimes verge on a form of white separatism."And in the closing paragraphs Boaz states the case clearly:
The classical liberal ideas of individualism, individual rights, property rights, “negative liberties,” and limited government date back hundreds, even thousands, of years. They find their roots in the Greek and Hebrew conceptions of the higher law, the Scholastic thinkers, the Levellers’ ideas of self-ownership and natural rights, the political theory of John Locke, the economic analysis of Adam Smith, and the political institutions of the American Founding. To suggest that the case for freedom and limited government — or the application of that theory to contemporary proposals for the expansion of government — must be attributable to racism is uncharitable, ahistorical, thoughtless, and indeed contemptible.And finally, he notes some significant cracks in the dike:
It cannot be the case that every parody of a president who happens to be black is racist. [bold added, links dropped]
The good news for advocates of limited government is that our opponents are displaying a striking lack of confidence in the actual arguments for their proposals. If they thought they could win a debate on nationalizing health care, or running trillion-dollar deficits, they wouldn’t need to reach for such smears. [bold added]Definitely read his whole article, The Boys Who Cried “Racist”.