By Cindy Allen, Managing Editor
Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul, who really is a Libertarian, has gotten himself in quite a twist this past week talking about the Civil Rights Act.
He’s made news by basically saying last week the Civil Rights Act should apply to government enterprise, but not necessarily private enterprises.
I think I understand the basics of his reasoning that government should not interfere in the enterprise of private business. On the surface of it many might agree, in theory. But theory is plagued with peril.
On the issue of civil rights, employee rights, consumers rights -- Rand Paul is just plain wrong.
First of all civil rights are human, moral rights. Every person -- no matter their race, ethnicity, social status, gender, you name it -- has the right in the United States to enter any establishment and do business with that establishment. The African-Americans who were on the frontline of that fight in the early 1960s, made the rest of the nation realize how stupid and insane it was to classify peoples’ rights and access based on race.
In fact, the civil rights movement forced us to look inward to the very founding words of our country -- that all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Liberty. Its a word I think we often take for granted. While Paul may endorse strict Libertarian views, there are times when the liberty of the powers that be come in direct conflict with the liberty of everyone else. Where should the government stand?
Sometimes, it takes government action to jump-start us into moving in the right direction.
For the last 40-plus years, our nation has struggled to find a way to live together, play together, work together and respect each other. We still struggle in many respects, but there is no doubt we are a better people today than we were back then because we have become a culture of respecting individual liberty.
The people of the United States have lived through many cycles of discrimination, from the first immigrants who came to the country to today, in which the gay and lesbian community is now on the forefront of the civil rights debate.
Each of these cycles moves our nation toward ensuring individual liberties. We work our way through the issues and we come out eventually (and sometimes with government action), with the right conclusion.
Rand Paul, by espousing what he did last week, shows the nation he hasn’t worked through the issues yet, and he hasn’t come to the right conclusion.
Libertarian, Republican or contrarian, Rand Paul won’t be fit to serve in public office until he has reached and embraced the true principles of liberty.