When MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked Rand Paul in an interview back in May if he believed that a private business should have the right to refuse to serve African-Americans, he correctly answered, “Yes.” But he went on to say, “I’m not in favor of discrimination of any form.”
With Republicans on the verge of taking congressional power away from the far left, we need to keep issues like this front and center so RINOs aren’t given the opportunity to get back into a business-as-usual mode.
To a person who has progressive pudding jammed between his ears, Rand Paul’s one-word answer and his follow-up comment contradict one another. You see, a pudding-filled brain cavity makes life simple. If someone believes a business owner has a right to refuse service to an African-American, that means he (the person who harbors such a belief) favors discrimination.
For the person addicted to a life of nonstop sports, junk TV and Outback Steakhouse, there is little time to intellectualize a serious issue like this. After all, that would require him to reject knee-jerk statements and think through the moral ramifications of the issue.
The real problem is that Maddow asked Paul the wrong question. It was what is commonly referred to as a loaded question. If you’re going to be a serious supporter of liberty, you cannot allow yourself to be intimidated into answering loaded questions – i.e., questions based on a false premise or an implied false premise.
Here, the false premise was implied: If a business owner has the right to refuse service to someone, it automatically follows that that someone would be an African-American. It is, of course, an absurd assumption.
What if the owner of the business is an African-American? Like a white owner, a black owner has a right to do whatever he wishes with his business. The reason he possesses such a right is that his business is his property. The same is true when it comes to deciding whom he does and does not wish to service.
Skin color is irrelevant to those who believe in liberty. But to the far left, the so-called race card is like oxygen. For decades, progressives have suffered withdrawal symptoms as race has become less and less of an issue in the U.S. (Ironically, it is a brown man in the White House who has managed to rekindle racial tensions in America through his shameful, nonstop, racially charged rhetoric.)
If you want to discuss the subject of black progress in America, fine. We have millions of blacks who are doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, professors, military officers, politicians – even the president of the United States is an African-American! So let’s all give ourselves – both whites and blacks – a big pat on the back for bringing about a post-racial era in America. End of discussion on that topic.
But if you want to discuss another topic – the sanctity of private property – I repeat what I said in my May 21 article about unionization: If one believes in the concept of private property – which all sane people of goodwill do – he is obliged to concede that an owner has a right to do anything he wishes with his own property.
As Thomas Sowell has so often pointed out, if an employer refuses to hire or serve people purely on a discriminatory basis, he does so at his own peril, because the marketplace will punish him. For example, speaking for myself, I would never give my business to a company or restaurant that refused to serve people of any> specific race or ethnicity, and I think I can safely say that I’m in the majority on that one.
Thus, the free market would sort things out by penalizing a company that practiced discrimination. Legislating morals does not work. What is there about this self-evident truth that the progressive does not understand?
While you’ve got me worked up, I’ll add one other thing that caused me a lot of concern when Rand Paul was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos around the same time as the Rachel Maddow interview. After trying to make Paul look bad on the issue of a business owner’s right not to serve blacks, Stephanopoulos moved in for the kill and asked him if he would repeal the minimum wage.
Paul fumbled around a bit and tried to explain how a higher a minimum wage causes unemployment. Of course, everything he said was correct, but, even so, his answer should have been a resounding, “Yes!”
I have great empathy for Rand Paul in this situation, because I know how difficult it can be when you’re put on the spot on national television. But my concern is that too many conservatives and libertarian-centered conservatives are still allowing the left to intimidate them into backing off their true beliefs.
This is what concerns me if Republicans do actually take control of the House and Senate in November. What the tea parties signify more than anything else is that half or more of Americans are finally ready to hear the truth. And if Republicans are still not ready to give it to them, with boldness and without fear, they will be reviled long after our final liberties are lost.