Thursday, May 27, 2010


I am very late with this. Piling on after the whistle and whatnot. Rachel Maddow summed it up pretty well. That is, of course, one of the perks of being a media personality; you get first dibs at summing things up.

I have been an anti-proponent of Libertarianism (look, I won't even spell it right.) Since I attended a presidential debate in college. It wasn't really a presidential debate, I don't think the candidates bother with Alabama, it was a debate by proxy with the candidates representatives on campus standing in for their ideas. The Republicans were a hilarious farce with their man speaking in this crazy, over the top, Southern accent, being every bit Truman Capote and all that that infers. The Libertarians spoke loudly but made no sense, and this is largely the impression I have had of them since then. I remember when being questioned about their environmental policies, they contended that everything could be taken care of after the fact by lawsuits, like if someone threw garbage on your lawn. It was proposed to them that maybe a regulation saying that you can't throw garbage on other people's lawns might stop people in advance. No, they protested, it wouldn't. I have found their ideology to have about this depth since and have largely written them off as a party for teenage boys.

Nothing Rand Paul has said has convinced me otherwise. Libertarianism has become the portable umbrella for those who are too ignorant to read the radar map; they know they can just pop it out whenever they are in trouble. No thought ever seems to run too deep. I won't dwell on what Paul said as it has already been well covered. Here is the question I would have asked him. "Who enforces the rules when a disallowed group tries to do business where they are prohibited?" For example, in Rand Paul's world, private businesses can bar black people from patronizing them. If unwanted parties patronize that business, let's picture a restaurant, and the owner objects but they refuse to leave, do the owners call the police? Then, if the police respond, is it their obligation to kick the people out of the restaurant? Then it is the government endorsing the discrimination. Do Libertarians just not think that far down the road, or do they actually not care. Would it be acceptable to have our police enforcing private discrimination.

Another brief note. Japan has no laws guaranteeing human rights. It is completely legal to say that a group of people aren't allowed to live in a building or eat in a restaurant based on whatever. I have to get approval and have a sponsor to rent an apartment as a foreigner. When I call to inquire about a place to rent I am asked "Where are you from? That might be a problem." I have been refused credit cards and phones on the grounds that I am not Japanese. There are hotels that refuse to deal with non-Japanese. Does Rand Paul find this acceptable? I don't. I think it is just an easy argument for people who are more comfortable with racism and discrimination than they would be with stamping it out.

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attempting to silence the voices in my head.