I’ve been waiting for a few days to comment on Rand Paul’s controversial belief that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate against people of various protected groups.
A reader at the Daily Dish wrote something that basically characterizes my thoughts on the subject:
Here’s the problem with Rand Paul’s statements over the Civil Rights Act. If he were truly a pure libertarian, they’d be defensible theoretical views, as you point out. But, as Time magazine notes:As I said a while back (can’t find link), the litmus test for anyone attempting to cloak themselves in libertarianism must be whether the person supports ending Drug Prohibition. Other issues like federalizing abortion prohibitions are important but the Drug Prohibition question really gets to the heart of an issue that can only have one answer for a true libertarian (i.e., full legalization).
Paul has lately said he would not leave abortion to the states, he doesn’t believe in legalizing drugs like marijuana and cocaine, he’d support federal drug laws, he’d vote to support Kentucky’s coal interests and he’d be tough on national security.
Paul is willing to bend the issue of pure personal freedom for drug laws, abortion, and even coal subsidies … but he thinks telling a restaurant it cannot discriminate is a bridge too far? I still don’t think he’s racist, but what he chooses to be ideologically pure about certainly raises my eyebrow.
Color me surprised that yet another supposed libertarian has decided to throw away some of his alleged libertarian cred at the slightest inkling that he might actually have to get elected.
Update: In an interesting twist, Rand Paul actually said recently that he doesn’t consider himself a libertarian:
“They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I’m not a libertarian,” Paul says.“Foolish consistency syndrome” — I like it!!
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