If there ever was a poster boy for the unorganized and message confused Tea Party, we have him now. The son of Ron Paul, Rand Paul. Dr. Paul is an ophthalmologist from Kentucky. Short biography includes that he has been married for 19 years. He is the father of three boys. He has had a successful opthalmology practice in Bowling Green for 17 years. He was the TP candidate over the main-stream Republican candidate backed by the Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-K). He leans libertarian with the mantra for small government, less intrusion and more accountable fiscally. Nothing new here. This however becomes more important when some of Paul’s views have started to bubble to the surface. He seems to have definite alternate views about the role of big government’s responsibility to insure racial equality and justice. Racial in-equality seems to be one of the TP’s main non-verbalized staples and negative rallying points. It’s just below the surface, but it’s there. I’m sure if you have any interest in politics and/or interested in the direction this country is going, you have heard at least snippets of the interview Paul had with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC on Wednesday of this week. On the show, he argued that the government should not have interfered with the operations of private business — even to enforce civil rights — while emphasizing that he does not support discrimination. He was asked specifically about private businesses which cater the the public (stadiums, motels,lunch counters etc) and the law.
MADDOW: Do you think that a private business has the right to say we don’t serve black people?
PAUL: I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race.
But I think what’s important about this debate is not written into any specific “gotcha” on this, but asking the question: what about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking? I don’t want to be associated with those people, but I also don’t want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that’s one of the things freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn’t mean we approve of it. I think the problem with this debate is by getting muddled down into it, the implication is somehow that I would approve of any racism or discrimination, and I don’t in any form or fashion.
Of course, the next day (Thursday) he issued a statement to the effect that he shouldn’t have done the Rachel Maddow interview. I suppose when you read his words, you can see why. Yet Maddow was the 4th TV journalist he has had this same conversation. I wonder if someone didn’t get to him. It all started on 10 April 2010 with those damn liberals at the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
What happened on NPR and MSNBC and later CNN was a continuation of his line of thinking about the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Even members of his own Republican version of the Tea Party were a bit confused. Wendy Caswell, a food service worker who organizes the Louisville tea party group, endorsed Paul’s candidacy and said she is still supportive — though confused about the civil rights debate.
“It’s not something that’s regularly brought up when he speaks to us,” Caswell said. “He’s on the mainstream on the issues that matter to us when it comes to balancing the budget and enforcing term limits. Most of his ideas and concerns about the direction the government is going in echo our concerns and our beliefs.”
But you know what? The bigger picture about his complaint about “big government” infringing on the rights of private businesses belies his stance on corporatism. We will see the downfall of this republic if big government’s regulations don’t come into play on Wall Street and the energy producers like mines and oil. If Paul, or any TP candidate continue to say “hands off big business they can regulate themselves’ after the obscenities on Wall Street or the worse obscenities in the Gulf of Mexico, I just don’t know what universe they call home. To them it seems that no amount of corporate money is too much to influence legislation. They will pass the buck on preserving the environment or confronting climate change because it will hurt businesses. The bottom line for all of these “non-government intrusions” is in essence, screwing the finances of the middle class and suppressing liberty (especially that pesky little Civil Rights Act). That’s the real tempest in this tea pot. By allowing the “free market” enterprises of huge corporations to continue along without the necessary regulations holding them in check and be accountable for their actions (and yes keep the profits from reaching the obscene level) is a death warrant to “We the people” of this great country.
What made Rand Paul’s father so attractive was his anti-war stance and his anti-marijuana penalty stance. Novel ideas at the time and he raised a boat-load of money because the people thought this may be an idea who’s time has come. His son on the other hand, believes that corporations are the salvation. Big business will make a difference. Well until the biggies start moving their work force back to the USA and reestablish Unions to protect the worker, we ain’t going anywhere. Isn’t that the call of the Tea Party? To take our country back! Take it back from big money!
Would you like an English muffin with that tea?