Sometimes, when either Libertarian Ron or Rand Paul are questioned on particular situations that driven by their general politics beliefs, they contradict themselves.
In response to questions by Chris Mathews concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Ron Paul responded, “I think we would be better off if we had freedom, and not government control of our lives … ” (As I go about my daily life, I find little ‘government’ control of my freedoms in any meaningful way.)
On the 40th anniversary of the Civil Right Act, Ron Paul made the following statements in the House:
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society.
The specific idea he supports is that any business owner should be ‘free’ to limit (abuse) who can come into their shop and spend their money. What about the freedom of the consumer to shop any where they chose? Why should the business owner’s freedom to limit customers trump the customers freedom to shop where they want? I call this a contradiction in freedom of choice.
And competition will not take care of this business owner abuse. If competition could have fixed segregation, we would have never needed the Civil Rights Law to begin with. If competition worked, the lack of it would listed as a leading cause for business failures, but it’s not!
As our constitution exemplifies, we need checks and balances to keep power from being concentrated and abused. This applies to our federal government, and our vote is the ultimate check and balance on it. This also applies to all other man made institutions (family, religion, business, non-profits, home owners associations, all levels of local government, etc.), and the federal government is there to check and balance all of these institutions and keep them from abusing citizens when citizens don’t have the power to match that of the abusing institution.
Individual rights and freedoms must trump rights and freedoms of all institutions including business if citizen are to remain in control of America. This check and balance priority is required since institutions can more easily accumulate wealth and power and then abuse it. That’s not to say that individuals won’t abuse their wealth and power. They can, and they need to be checked and balanced also.
Checks and balances need to be in place so that those with power/wealth will be less inclined to abuse. Whether it is laws against spousal abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, or citizen abuse, we need government enforced checks and balances. Not all individuals are as responsible as the Pauls believe they should be. If they were, neither of them wouldn’t be carrying a firearm to provide their own checks and balances. Laws/regulations are the checks and balances for those of us who don’t want to depend on guns in the hand of untrained, fear driven citizens, to stop abuse.
Our government is supposed to be by the people, of the people, and for the people and businesses are not people, in spite of Citizens United. Business rights and freedoms shouldn’t trump those of our citizens. This is especially true for businesses run by executives who don’t like government imposed checks and balances (like the “small businesses” run by the Koch brothers). Wealthy libertarian anti-government executives do not have the right to buy our government. Citizens United took away an important check and balance.
Also, I don’t think Ron Paul should be running for President of the US. Putting a libertarian in charge of the executive branch would be like making a communist political officer the CEO of a free enterprise business. Neither would do the right thing, both systems would fail, and in both cases citizens would lose.
Libertarian ideas on government being bad and business being good are too absolute. Libertarians don’t seem to understand that any institution created by humans is only as good, or bad, as the humans who create or manage that institution. They don’t seem to understand that power in the hands of humans can corrupt any institution, including businesses. Businesses aren’t magically better than government. Government is not necessarily the only cause of citizen abuse. Any institution can abuse citizens.
Another reason Ron Paul should not be running for the office of President of the US is that he doesn’t represent what America is becoming. Just look at the demographics of his audiences and compare that to any national demographic. Few matches exist. Here are the results of a 2006 Pew Research study on political views:
Libertarians are predominantly young, rich, white males. Secondarily, they are moderately educated, less religious and evangelical than others, and live in the west.