This Whole Rand Paul…thing…Part 1


Alright. The rest of the blogosophere — at least in the Libertarian realm — is talking about this guy, so I might as well speak my peace on it too.

To me, the issue of what Rand Paul said about the Civil Rights Act has generated a lot of fascinating, worthwhile, and perhaps needed discussion, among libertarians and among the general public. If anything, it has shown the great diversity among libertarian ideals and how they feel about the issue. I hope to close this blog with some links to a few different opinions. I think to anyone who is willing to pay attention, we have learned that the iron-clad Libertarians do, in fact, have differing opinions.

Either way, the entire issue has several different sub-issues to talk about. Hopefully I will touch on some of them. I am going to take you through my initial reaction to the issue, through the constitutional controversy (and yes, there is one) of the Civil Rights Act, and how one can disagree with the Civil Rights Act and be just as anti-racist as those who were in favor of it.

“Oh, you idiot!”

Come on, Rand Paul. Really? Really, did you actually say that? Did you not learn anything in politician school? Insert other disbelieving statements here.

Truly this was a novice move on Rand Paul’s part, and perhaps an underlying fault with Libertarians and libertarian-leaning Republicans. We are too honest, too happy to discuss intellectually interesting issues to us that we forget the real reason why anyone wants to listen to us: to find fault.

Rand Paul should have seen that in his father’s campaign. Ron Paul caught flack simply for accepting donations from a member of the KKK and Ron Paul was called racist. Did Paul the lesser really think that he was going to get away with saying that he would have disagreed with Title II of the Civil Rights Act without committing political suicide? If he did, he’s hopelessly naive and needs to go back to politician school. I respect his honesty and I will never advocate lying to anyone, especially politicians, but questions can be dodged successfully. One could have even turned it back on the reporter in question and simply state that he didn’t want to allow something like this to distract from the  issues of the race. Why not? It worked for Obama

Speaking of the race…

Why was anyone asking Rand Paul about the Civil Rights Act? If I can do my math correctly, that was passed forty-six years ago. Why is it a question in a 2010 Senate race? Here’s the question as asked by Rachel Maddow

Ms. Maddow: “Should Woolworth’s lunch counter … have been allowed to stay segregated? Sir, just yes or no.”

Paul: “What I think would happen – what I’m saying is, is that I don’t believe in any discrimination. I don’t believe in any private property should discriminate, either. And I wouldn’t attend, wouldn’t support, wouldn’t go to. But what you have to answer when you answer this point of view, which is an abstract, obscure conversation from 1964 that you want to bring up. But if you want to answer, you have to say then that you decide the rules for all restaurants and then you decide that you want to allow them to carry weapons into restaurants.”

I’m always amused at how newscasters, political pundits, et all think that questions — not to mention question answered by those who don’t agree with them ideologically — should be answered “Sir, just yes or no.” As if anything were that simple. It’s clearly not, and that seems to me to be incredibly irresponsible and suggestive of motives that do not include informing voters on a candidate for the race in their state. Just sayin’.

So, anyway, that still begs the question of why Rand Paul, a candidate in the 2010 Senate election in Kentucky was asked a question about a 46-year-old law that is in no way being contested, that I know of, in Congress currently. No, we are too busy passing healthcare systems we can’t afford, if I remember correctly.

Trying for a bit of Interaction

Instead of going on a rant about conspiracy in the liberal media attempting to over-sensationalize conservatives, libertarian-leaning thinkers, and anyone affiliated with the Tea Party (which I certainly can do), I want to open this question up to you guys, my readers. If anyone happened to catch Rand Paul on the Rachel Maddow show, was the question in-context or completely out of the blue? To anyone in Kentucky — does the Civil Rights Act of 1964 still have pertinence there and thus made the question relevant? To anyone else, why do you think Rand Paul was asked a question about a piece of law that is forty-six years old and backed up by a plethora of common law court cases?

We will come back within a few days and talk about the other issues I mentioned previously, but I would like to get some perspective on that question first. Also, if you’re interested, I’ve aggregated a number of other blogs (sadly skewed Libertarian, as that is all I am subscribed to at the moment — I am totally open for good liberal or conservative blog suggestions). My links are as follows:

Should Whites-Only Lunch Counters Be Allowed? History News Network
Thinking Government Shouldn’t Solve a Problem Doesn’t Mean it’s not a Problem History News Network
Rand Paul and the Civil Rights Act: Was He right? The Christian Science Monitor
Libertarianism = Anti-Racism The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty

So remember: Why do you think Rachel Maddow asked Rand Paul about the Civil Rights Act of 1964?