Monday, May 24, 2010

Rand Paul abhors racism; liberals often support it through public policy; and liberal partisan hacks love it

Knuckleheads on the left are still trying to have fun with Rand's attempts to tease out a complicated topic. It's too complicated for them to understand or it's too easy/tempting for them to demagogue.

The truth is that Rand Paul abhors racism. From there, we can get into an interesting and important discussion about whether government policy is an ethical and practical means to the agreed-upon end. If a behavior is somewhere between irritating and repugnant, when should we be bring in the force of government to address the issue?

And the truth is that many liberals love racism-- at least, using it as a (sadly) somewhat effective cudgel against their political opponents. Beyond that, they often embrace policies that are explicitly racist (e.g., hiring quotas or JCPS busing) or implicitly racist (e.g., Social Security, minimum wages, the government's K-12 education monopoly, prevailing wages).


At May 24, 2010 at 11:53 AM , Blogger William Lang said...

It isn't just people on the left who are concerned about Rand Paul, and the real problem isn't racism—it's the perception that he is on the fringe. See Ross Douthat, The Principles of Rand Paul (New York Times, May 25, 2010).

At May 24, 2010 at 12:16 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Perceptions are certainly a problem in politics. It's a shame that politics-- both left and right-- are filled with such contradictions. But c'est la vie.

In the end, I'll be surprised if it makes a whit of difference.

At May 25, 2010 at 1:00 PM , Blogger William Lang said...

Jack Ohman, editorial cartoonist for The Oregonian, has a cartoon this morning captioned "Segregation 2010," showing two drinking fountains—one labeled "Reality" and the other "Rand Paul." (I would link to the cartoon but apparently it isn't online yet.)

I noticed by the way that the Kentucky Libertarian Party does not endorse Paul; they say he isn't Libertarian but is really a Tea Party Republican. But one of their bloggers, Ken Moellman, believes that the Democrats are using the race controversy to try to equate the Tea Party movement with racism and Libertarianism, neither of which are popular with Republican voters (On Race and Bigotry, 1964 and 2010).

At May 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Did the cartoonist depict public or private water fountains? (Was the "water fountain" problem public or private, back in the day? If the former, then as a metaphor, it's use here is inappropriate.) To one of Rand's points, if the cartoonist draws it as public, then he's feeding the lie.

The Libertarian Party (state or national) will not endorse Paul, of course. Libertarians have different views on Paul, depending on whether he is considered Libertarian enough, whether they are Left-Lib or Right-Lib, and the extent to which they value education on Libertarian ideas vs. electing Libertarian candidates.

At May 25, 2010 at 6:48 PM , Blogger William Lang said...

The cartoon didn't say what kind of drinking fountains, public or private, they were. But regardless as to their status, the cartoon is certain to affect readers of a certain age. I'm just old enough to remember seeing fountains labeled "white" or "colored" (this was in the mid 1960s in Virginia). I can't help but thinking that Rand Paul should know better than to go there, politically—especially since his libertarianism isn't so pure on some other issues.

At May 25, 2010 at 8:20 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

How were the fountains drawn: in a restaurant or a park or...?

He's raising important and oft-ignored questions. Whether he should raise them in a political campaign is an important but separate question.

At May 26, 2010 at 9:33 AM , Blogger Jenna said...

Paul is Libertarian (anti-federalist) "enough" for most Libertarians;

pro-life "enough" for most GOPers,

and Anti-establishment "enough" for most Independents.

It's a Win-Win-Win!

...unless you're of the blue donkey persuasion.

At May 26, 2010 at 10:33 AM , Blogger Jenna said...

Interesting, but failed, attempts to torpedo Rand Paul. Consider the contradiction in logic:

One opinion attempts to label Paul "on the fringe" because of his uncompromising Libertarianism, yet the KY Libertarian Party does not endorse him?!

I seriously doubt he is going to lose a single Republican/Indep vote when the rubber meets the road this Fall. He may lose a few Lib votes which will not affect the outcome.


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