Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Rand Paul Phenomenon

Libertarianism Run Amok - Business Trumps Government Every Time

Since “Super Tuesday,” every time Kentucky senatorial tea party nominee Rand Paul opened his mouth, he put his foot in it. Now he has decided to shut it, cancelling Meet the Press - only the third time a national figure has done so in Meet the Press’s 60 year history.

Perhaps silence is a good move for his own sake. Even the Republicans are not quick to embrace him after his victory. He’s like a live grenade. You never know when he’s going to go off.

First, he couldn’t answer Rachel Maddow’s question about whether the government should be allowed to tell private business to quit discriminating against whomever they please, in essence to go back to the bad old days of not allowing blacks at Woolworth’s lunch counters. It seems he’s quite O.K. with that, although he’s quick to point out that he’s not a racist, he’s simply against the government telling private business what to do. From my experience, whenever someone prefaces a statement with "I'm not a racist, but..." some racist shit is about to follow.

Second, he is against the fair housing act which prohibited private property owners from racial discrimination. As a child in the sixties in the Midwest, I marched with my father and father Groppi for open housing. Resistance to open housing laws was despicable in the 60s and its despicable today.

Thus far Dr. Paul has distinguished himself as being a proponent of business’s right to trample over the rights of minorities, adding that the government has no right to get in the way of business’s right to deny minorities their rights.

Third, who else besides blacks and minorities should private business be permitted to run roughshod over? Cripples? Yes, Dr. Paul is also against the Disabilities Act. He suggest that instead of providing them with an elevator, let them have a first floor office.

Finally, before cancelling his appearance on Meet the Press, Dr. Paul made the most extreme libertarian statement I’ve ever heard. He criticized the Obama administration's blaming the oil spill on BP, calling it “un-American” to attack business in that way, and justifying it by saying “accidents happen”. I guess his conclusion is that BP is not responsible, and that the taxpayers should pick up the tab. In other words foreign transnational corporations who drill in our backyard shouldn’t have to protect that backyard, and if they are negligent, or cut corners to increase profit, and then lie about the damage, it is the taxpayers who should clean it up, not the foreign corporation. Keith Olberman put it succinctly, “in essence, he endorsed an oil spill.”

1 comment:

zubin said...

I agree with your assessment of Rand. Not even his supposed opposition to the Iraq war can make up for all the nonsense he espouses.