Rand Paul And “Race”
April 11, 2013
Some years ago, I use to explain to students why I was neither a “liberal” or a “conservative” as those terms are used today, by saying: “Well, let me say that I decided to be a ‘conservative.’ Then here comes this guy down the street, a ‘conservative,’ and he is saying really stupid stuff. Guess I cannot be ‘conservative.’”
Well, here a wonderful illustration of that phenomenon, Rand Paul addressing students at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and saying what can only be described as “stupid stuff.” In fact, Paul illustrates and underlines his own ignorance, along with his rather pathetic attempts as duplicity. For example, to argue that the Civil Rights Act is suspect because it, allegedly, leads to mandatory calorie listings in restaurants or to mandatory health messages on cigarette packages because this is regulating “private” behavior is, as the students at Howard knew, just laughable. And it is just unnecessary insofar as it is a long-standing legal principle that those who sell to or provide services to “the public” have the obligation to do so in a way that does not discriminate against parts of the public and that comports with the legally defined good of the country. Those who engage in activities or groups that are, genuinely, private, such as country clubs or even the Boy Scouts, would be allowed to discriminate should they desire to do so.
And from my perspective, a perspective which makes our imperialism one of the most important factors undermining our attempt to remain a “republic,” this is debilitating as it allows others to marginalize Rand Paul, thereby making his more cogent arguments, those on our “activist, interventionist foreign policy” look just as ignorant or unreasonable. But then, why should I be surprised? Paul’s “ignorance” has “redeeming social value;” that is, it does if you think that preserving the status quo is a “redeeming social value.”