Thursday, May 20, 2010

LIBERTARIANS IN THEIR OWN WORDS. This Rand Paul thing just gets better and better. Now Reason's Matt Welch has informed the troops that the expected liberal attack on the Son of the REVOLution has come to pass, "using as prime evidence his recent statements in opposition to the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act."

The comments are fucking delightful. It's like Free Republic for the high school debate team.

First, there's a lengthy discussion over whether or not to buy gold.

When the Wealth Producers get back on track, some -- perhaps hoping like Rand to convince onlookers that they too would march with MLK in defense of his so-called "rights" -- explain that in our modern, racism-free Valhalla, the Free Market would fail to reward segregated businesses: "Even if an owner wanted to run one, nearly all white people would refuse to eat at it, and it would go out of business." One says that if he were black, instead of "not knowing" a racist storeowner is "saying 'damn n-----' under his breath while he serves you, patronize his business and give him money," he'd rather the guy identify himself as racist; then, the thought-experimental black would be discriminated against, but he would live to see his white neighbors drive the racist out of business, perhaps with the aid of Superman. It would make a lovely After-School Special.

They also bitterly lament that, despite their solicitude toward African-Americans, the stupid liberals will call them racists anyway. This I suppose makes them moderate libertarians.

More hardcore commenters just get right to the nut -- if businessmen want a black-free establishment, Congress shall make no law! Some take the logical next step, and argue that the Civil Rights Act should be repealed ("If it is possible that the Civil Rights Act was the right thing to do in 1964, isn't it also possible that things have improved enough in nearly fifty years that we can now go back to respecting personal autonomy and property rights like we did before?").

Favorite isolated incidents:
[Joe] Scarborough sounds more like a liberal the longer he hangs out at MSNBC.

So Rand Paul thinks that it is okay to ask minorities to help support businesses with their taxes (to pay for police/court protection, roads, infrastructure, etc.) yet be prohibited from being able to patronize them?
They PAY taxes? News to me . . .

This is one of those things that is better left alone. Just lie about an answer and be done with it.
That last cowboy seems to have caught on. It remains to be seen if Rand has. (UPDATE: Apparently!)

I doubt this will scuttle Rand's campaign -- it is, after all, Kentucky. But if the incident informs more people of what libertarianism's really about, it will have been worth it.

UPDATE. James Joyner pitches in. Sure, maybe things were bad for black people back then....
The problem, circa 1964, was that there really was not right to freely associate in this manner in much of the country... More importantly, it meant that, say, a black traveling salesman couldn’t easily conduct his business without an in-depth knowledge of which hotels, restaurants, and other establishments catered to blacks.
...but now we have the internet, so we can get rid of the Civil Rights Act and make something like Yelp for black traveling salesmen seeking Jim Crow accommodations. Maybe we can call it HALP!

UPDATE 2: The Poor Man has the transcript of "Rand Paul’s speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Birmingham, Alabama in April, 1963 (hypothetical)."


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