Blogs > Liberty and Power > Thinking Government Shouldn't Try to Solve a Problem Doesn't Mean it's Not a Problem.

May 21, 2010 11:54 am

Thinking Government Shouldn't Try to Solve a Problem Doesn't Mean it's Not a Problem.

Whatever one thinks of what Rand Paul had to say about the Civil Rights Act, it's fascinating to see how the media is treating this as an issue about his"views on race."

I do not recall any interview in which he was asked if he was prejudiced or about his views of non-whites. In fact, in all the interviews I've seen, he's made it clear that he personally finds racism to be unacceptable etc..

What's under debate are his views on political economy and constitutional theory. Right or wrong, those are a separate issue from his views on race, I would think.

For example, could not an African-American think that the right to free association means that firms have the right to serve who they wish? Would that make said person a racist for holding perhaps the same views that Paul is being criticized for?

It's fine to say"Rand Paul thinks white store owners should be able to deny service to black customers." But that makes the store owners the racists not Rand Paul, yet no one wants to point that out. What's worse is that Paul, from what I've seen, thinks it would be a bad thing if a white store owner did that. He just thinks it's a worse thing to for government to interfere with people's rights of property and association to address it.

Again, whatever one thinks of that argument, it runs square in the face of most people's assumption that every social problem must be, and is best, solved by government. Thus opposing government as the solution to the problem in question must mean that one does not think it's even a problem. The idea that there are other ways to address the problem that might work better isn't even in play.

So opposing government action to redress racism means one thinks racism is fine, which makes one a racist. QED.

That's how far statist assumptions have penetrated our national discourse.

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