Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ron Paul And The Liberty Of Bullies

Ron Paul And The Liberty Of Bullies:

Ron PaulPaul Rosenberg writes in Al Jazeera:


On January 12, a great blow was struck against freedom, if you subscribe to the philosophy of Ron Paul. The Ohio Civil Rights Commission voted 4-0 to uphold its earlier finding that a Cincinnati landlord, Jamie Hein, had discriminated against a ten-year-old biracial girl by posting a “White Only” sign in June 2011, aimed at keeping her out of a swimming pool. According to Paul’s worldview, this was a grave and terrible blow to the white landlord’s liberty. The girl’s white father, however, sees things a bit differently.


“My initial reaction to seeing the sign was of shock, disgust and outrage,” the girl’s father, Michael Gunn, said in brief comments the day the final decision was announced. The family quickly moved away, in order to protect their daughter from exposure to such humiliating bigotry – but they also filed the lawsuit.


According to Ron Paul’s view of “liberty”, they were right to move, but wrong to sue. Both Ron Paul and his son, Rand, oppose the 1964 Civil Rights Act, because it outlaws private acts of discrimination. This is an “infringement of liberty”, they argue. And they’re right: just like laws against murder, it infringes the liberty of bullies. And that’s precisely what justice is: the triumph of right over might.


The same logic also applies to the Civil War. It resulted in the abolition of slavery – infringing the liberty of hundreds of thousands of slaveholders. And Ron Paul thinks that was wrong, too.


In June 2004, the House of Representatives voted to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Paul was a lone voice in opposition. On the House floor, he said:


I rise to explain my objection to H.Res. 676. I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations. However, contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of H.Res. 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.


One is tempted to ask, how, exactly, Ron Paul thinks we made such progress, if not in large measure because of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and other similar legislations? But that would only distract attention from the truly odious and absurd central claim that the act diminished individual liberty. Who, but a die-hard racist, thinks that way? Only one who thinks of die-hard racists’ “rights” first, and the rights of everyone else a distant second, if at all


Read more here.