This open hostility calls to mind the angry Tea Party demonstration at the Capitol Mall when President Obama's health care legislation was reaching a vote. One angry demonstrator spat on an African American congressman. During that same demonstration an avowedly homosexual congressman was verbally assaulted with discriminatory epithets.
Could Rand Paul be another bellwether figure slated for trouble for his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act? While he can argue, as did Goldwater, that his opposition stemmed from deeply grounded constitutional principles, and it is known that Paul's views reside within libertarianism, the ultimate question is how these positions play out in an aggressive activist front.
During that same momentous election year bellwether California John Birch Society and other kindred right wing activists obtained the required signatures to place a measure on the California ballot to repeal the recently passed Rumford Fair Housing Act. The measure's proponents argued that, no matter how people felt about racial and other forms of discrimination, citizens had the right to practice discrimination if they so chose.
In a year when President Johnson carried California by a large margin over Senator Goldwater and scored one of the greatest landslides in American history nationally, the housing initiative passed by a wide margin.
After that the result predicted by most leading constitutional legal scholars occurred. The initiative was overturned in federal court, never reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.
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