Libertarian limits

May 21, 2010 

Not since Muhammad Ali was in his prime have Kentuckians seen a fellow resident of the commonwealth bob and weave as much as Rand Paul has done the past couple of days.

But while it speaks to the worth of the relatively unknown candidate Republicans chose to pin their U.S. Senate hopes on, Paul's difficulty in giving straight answers to simple questions is the lesser issue here.

More important is that Paul's comments on the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act expose the flaws in his belief in a smaller government that leaves private businesses alone.

Take away the Civil Rights Act's application to private businesses, and we could see the return of segregation in public accommodations. Without the Civil Rights Act, restaurants could hang "WHITES ONLY" signs on their doors. Theaters could direct blacks and other people of color to the balcony.

Delete the Americans with Disabilities Act's language regarding private businesses, and disabled Americans would find it more difficult to frequent certain businesses and to find employment.

Less government with less regulation allowed the nation's financial institutions to pile bad mortgages on top of toxic loans on top of risky derivatives until they all came crashing down in the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.

Less government with less regulation contributed to the floating islands of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. And here in Kentucky, we can trace the defiling of our waterways right back to a belief in less government with less regulation of mountaintop removal mining.

Paul can bob and weave and say "I abhor racism" until the cows come home. But his philosphy of government, applied broadly, would encourage racism, discrimination against the disabled, financial con jobs that tank the economy and practices that ruin our environment on land and sea.

And that's just naming a few of the very negative downsides of Paul's vision of what government should be and do.

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