Monday, May 24, 2010

Ken Blackwell : Rand Paul: Another High Tech Lynching -

Ken Blackwell : Rand Paul: Another High Tech Lynching - This is one of the better articles I have seen written about the Rand Paul debacle. I couldn't have said it better myself so read on! No doubt about it, Paul brought a lot of this fall out on himself but no one should be surprised at his viewpoint. He is a Libertarian and this is typical of how Libertarians think. This debacle is just another example of why Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats make very bad political bed fellows. It is also an example of why Libertarians have always run but have rarely been actually elected to higher office. Time will tell if the course is reversed with Rand Paul, but if he keeps defacing the sacred cow of The Civil Rights Act and demonstrating his cluelessness about why it was important in the first place we will know the answer soon enough.

That being said, most certainly the Civil Rights Act was the most important legislation of its time, helping a nation rise to a higher level of equality than it had ever known before. I liken it as to an assistive device that we needed to support us while we recovered from the ills of segregation and horrors of slavery.  The best part was how the country united behind it and worked across party lines to get it passed.  We knew we needed it to heal , we worked hard to make it happen and it served us well for a time.  Perhaps now the question Dr Paul, in his ham handed way, is really trying to get us to answer is this: do we need the Civil Rights Act anymore? Or are we well enough now to get out of the wheelchair, throw the crutch away and see if we can walk on our own? Have we internalized the original intent of the act enough that we can carry it out without artificial quotas and laws? Physicians and health care providers know full well that when people use assistive devices long past healing, they actually grow weaker instead of stronger. If we are to accept the analogy that the Civil Rights Act is an assistive device, then it is reasonable to ask ourselves whether or not our continued use of it is indeed making us weaker instead of stronger.

Proponents of civil rights would probably posit that we still need civil rights laws to prevent discrimination and this is a legitimate argument. No doubt about it, people are less inclined to blatantly discriminate if they know they will be prosecuted for breaking the law. But on the other hand, forty years is a long time to use a legislative assistive device. If we continue with it much longer our ability to evolve as human beings may become permanently disabled. We won't know how much we have healed until we are willing to throw down the crutches and walk. Our willingness to take such a risk may be the true measure of our human progress as it will mean we have evolved to the point where we view the world through human instead of racial eyes.

Rand Paul may not be the most polished of politicians. But the issues he has raised about the Civil Rights Act deserve serious consideration because not only are they fundamental to future politics but they could also be critical to our survival as a human race. We need to get to where we can solve problems and deal with life as humans, not just as members of a particular race.  Yes there is a risk that if we set the act aside we will stumble and fall.  We may discover that we need the act to help us for yet awhile longer.  But how will we know what we are cabable of now unless we try?  Rand Paul may not survive as a political candidate but if his candidacy makes us think more about this issue, maybe it will have served a far greater purpose.

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