A reader writes:
Your dispassionate discussion of the Civil Rights Act in terms of libertarianism is cogent and well-argued, but it misses an important point about Rand Paul’s position on the issue of letting restaurants and the like discriminate in this day and time: it’s revolting. It doesn’t add anything to the national conversation; it merely sends out dog whistles to the Tea Partiers who say they’re going to “take their country back.” And we know who they think took it: this black man from Kenya. And once it becomes widely known where Paul stands, it will only inflame people on the other side of the question.
There are no purely intellectual positions for people who wish to be elected to government office. The consequences of their philosophies must be their responsibility. Balancing intellectual ideals with the reality of human action is what we expect from our leaders.
That's one reason I didn't go into politics. Another:
Rand Paul's defense of discrimination in the cause of "Liberty" would have been defensible in 1865, when it was very much an open question as to whether "freedom" would result in less racial discrimination. But 145 years later it is completely knowable that this approach in fact led to anything but.
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