Friday, May 28, 2010

Rand Paul: Libertarian Juvenile Who Flunked History

I currently live in Kentucky and if your a bit of a political wonk, you might know that there was a highly contested primary election here between a Tea Party Candidate (Libertarian Rand Paul) and the establishment Republican candidate (Trey Grayson). Paul beat Grayson by a wide margin although Grayson was endorsed by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (notorious closeted right-wing, self-loathing douchebag of the universe). Anyway, Palin endorsed Paul and his father's fame, Ron Paul who was the single-voice in the Republican Presidential primary to oppose the war in Iraq, helped propel him to the forefront.

Well, today I saw some good news, after Paul's week of saying truly stupid things on every major network and media outlet, his poll numbers have dropped to 44 Paul/40 Conway (Oh, I should mentioned that Conway was the most progressive candidate in the Democratic side and I was pleased to pieces that he got the nod--and if I'm still here in the Fall I will be volunteering for his campaign).

One of the incredibly stupid things Paul said was that he opposes the Public Accommodations portions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because he believes that a business owner's rights triumphs all other rights--really, property owners triumph human rights, environmental rights and the needs of community. He is a Libertarian--a philosophy devoted to bolstering property owners and the establishment wealth systems (and notice it grew as a movement once Civil Rights and Women's Rights started to question heirarchy). Most Libertarian, 14-year old boys or grown men suspended at the intellectual and moral age of 14, claim that their political philosophy is all about freedom--but that's complete and utter bullshit.

Its about maintaining white-male dominance through gaming the system to make sure that wealth and power are consolidated (as they have since the foundations of this nation). You see, regulations, fair business and labor practices and anti-discrimination legislation helps people of color and women to build wealth. Libertarians can't have that and even though they might lobby for a Black man or white woman to come to their political camp for picture opps and soundbites (as long as they support pull yourself up from your boot-straps language), their policies are specifically designed to maintain a system and promote a system of oppression and inequality.

Paul's admission that he opposes Public Accommodation, yet he claims he would have marched with King, is laughable at best. Everyone likes to think that they'd march with King or fight the Nazi's "if they were alive then." The truth is, Paul's philosophy would have had him beating down protesters and there are plenty in his party today that did just that. I'm a Unitarian and I've heard that almost 1 in 2 UU ministers were actually at the March on Washington in 1963 and we had many young people going down south to help with the bus boycotts and protests (and the first white people killed by dirty cops during the Civil Rights Movement were UU's). So, if I were alive and I were consistent in my philosophy, I hope I would have marched with King, but I certainly can't say I'd definitely would have because context is too rich to speculate. But I do know that statistically Libertarian/Conservatives like Paul rarely participated in Civil Rights work, but that Liberal/Unitarians did. Regardless of what these theoretical people (mid-century Paul and mid-century Thealogian) would have done, members who belonged to our respective movements HAD VERY DIFFERENT KINDS AND LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT. To try to re-write history and claim that you hold this philosophy dear and you would have then, BUT you would have been the one Conservative to actually be a Liberal, is bullshit. I know for example, if I were to put myself into the Unitarian movement in the 1900's, I probably would have been for Prohibition, which was a monumental failure and really is responsible for the modern mob--oops, sorry for that! In the 1860's, I would have been an Abolitionists, because my tradition was. These are statistical probabilities and speculative. The truth is, Paul and Thealogian weren't around, but we can learn from history. Free markets didn't integrate this country--people with courage and conviction did. Acts of Congress did!

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