Ever since Tea Party favorite, Dr. Rand Paul, laid waste to the establishment Republican candidate, Trey Grayson, in the Kentucky Senatorial primary, the media has been looking for an avenue of attack against Dr. Paul in order to render him irrelevant. They think they see an avenue in Rand Paul’s statements regarding the 1964 Civil Rights Act, specifically how the Act empowers the Federal government to regulate private businesses.
In an appearance on MSNBC, Dr. Paul was asked by Rachel Maddow if he thought a private business should have the right to refuse service to African-Americans. To which, Paul replied “yes.” This was a “gotcha” question by a second-rate host on a viewer-less network.
To refuse to serve a person based on the color of their skin is a bad business decision but freedom requires the right to make a bad business decision. That is what Rand Paul tried to explain to Rachel Maddow. She, however, could not see past her “gotcha” charge of racism to understand this.
A restaurant is not a public establishment, like a public library or a courthouse, because it is not owned by the public. It may be open to the public but it is someone’s private property, like your living room. So it’s not a question of racism; it’s a question of private property rights. If you have no say in who you will allow on your property but the government tells you, then who really owns the property?
The Jim Crow laws of the old South prevented businesses from serving black people the same as whites. This was an overstep by the state or local governments in that it told private businesses who they could not serve. So it was correct to abolish the Jim Crow laws but not to replace them with another overstep, this time by the Federal government, in the opposite direction. Abolish the Jim Crow laws and free the businesses to serve who they will.
Freedom does not mean that only the good people are free. The bigot is free to be a bigot. Do you have any recourse if you have a bigot owning a restaurant and refusing to serve minorities? Certainly you do. You can refuse to frequent his establishment. You can encourage your family and friends to not frequent it. You can picket the establishment; write letters to the editor of the local paper; take out ads publicizing the fact; write blogs; call the local TV news. Do anything you can to get the word out that this restaurant will not serve minorities. If he will not change, then let the owner live with the consequences of his decision. Does it matter if a bigot owns a restaurant if no one eats there?
You don’t kill flies with a sledgehammer. So you don’t use the sledgehammer of the Federal government to deal with a bigot restaurateur. The Federal government will necessarily stomp all over the private property rights of every business owner in this town or any other town, regardless of whether the other business owners are good, bad or indifferent. It has to in order to deal with the bigot restaurateur. Not every problem in our society can or should be solved by some government action. More times than not the government “solution” does more harm than good.
Much of the reason for the attacks on Rand Paul is to attack the Tea Party movement itself. The Left calls Rand Paul a racist for the same reason they use the term “Tea-baggers.” It’s just a label. The Left fears the Tea Parties and whatever they fear, they attack. They fear the movement for what it represents; a groundswell of conservative political thought, deeply held Christian values and reverence for the Founders.
Further, there is a reason that the attacks on Dr. Paul center on a charge of racism. They must continue to portray the conservative ascendency as racist, because there is a truth the Left does not wish to have discovered. Many black Americans are starting to see the light; that decades of use by the Democrat party has left them little more than … used. There are 32 black candidates for Congress running as Republicans this year, most of these from southern states; the largest number since reconstruction. This is not characteristic of a racist party and the ideas of Rand Paul are not the ideas of a racist.