Monday, May 24, 2010

Keeping it Real, the Teeter-Totter, and Rand's Larger Point

Here is a link to a Rand Paul interview with a home state network. I think he explains himself rather well. Most of all I agree whole heartedly that we want and need more authentic and "flawed" people that have the guts to do a live interview on a hostile network leading our nation. I for one have had enough of the actor-like career politicians, their contrived sound bites and handlers. It is not real.

I would also add that if you piece together Dr. Paul's statements that it would go something like this:

Most matters are best solved outside the influence of government. If this does not work the next best thing is a local solution to the problem. This is the rule. If something cannot be solved in the first two venues and is injurious to individual rights then as a last resort the federal government should intervene. This is the exception. The lunch counters at Woolworths are that exception.  Butttttttttt.....   Be very careful when you allow this exception because who knows how many other worms will get out when you open the can. Like when racial quotas become so common place in society that the teeter-totter tips suddenly to the other side and your neighbor falls off.
Anyone want to stand up and say it was ok for a handicapped white man's test scores to be thrown out because his achievement kept minorities out of a position that had been reserved for them based on race? If not, then do not miss Dr. Paul's larger point. One that his father expounds on here.

See, inalienable rights based on man being the workmanship of God are at the heart of our Declaration of Independence. This essentially states that man should treat his fellow man as he would want to be treated. Or as Jesus put it: "love your neighbor as yourself." This balancing act that is not easy. As James Madison stated, "If men were angels there would be no need for government." In other words, because we are all flawed sometimes people say and do things we do not like. But to live in a free society more often than not we have to let them do it. Why?  If you limit the rights of your neighbor that opens the door for them to do the same to you.

The precise issue here is the balance between an individual's right to public accomondation vs. the owner's property rights. This is not an easy issue and any solution can have unintended consequences like the man whose test scores were thrown out came to realize. We all laugh at the "Soup Nazi" but it really brings up a good question. One that needs to stay in the national dialogue so our neighbor does not go flying off the teeter-totter when the great weight of government is added to the other side.

The problem is that in our current sound bite culture it is hard to have a frank yet civil discussion about the teeter-totter like one would hear in a "dorm room around 2 am". Rand Paul tried and got burned. (at no fault to Maddow who asked a good question but by the pundits afterward ) But at least he did try and I think that is the reason to vote for him and others like him who admit they are flawed and , as the kids would say, keep it real.

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