Tag Archives: free

Rand Paul and Unpopular Principle

20 May

Some are giving Rand Paul a hard time for his position that business owners should be free to govern their private business as they see fit, even if they choose to discriminate based on race. Many in the mainstream media are highly critical of Rand Paul’s position, but these are the same people who belong to the ACLU. Now the ACLU actively defends the free speech rights of racists and child molesters, yet this is not criticized by the media. The mainstream media has (correctly) bought into the idea that free speech is only meaningful if those whose views you find repugnant are also free to express their opinions. This is good, but for Libertarians speech isn’t the only principle worth defending.

There is also the principle of the free market and the belief that consumers should be empowered to make decisions with their dollars rather than having the government dictate behavior. This principle is radical because it trusts individuals to be the final arbiters of what is right and wrong. They trust the people to not spend money at establishments that they find morally repugnant. They trust that the same spirit that encourages PETA members to not buy from companies that support cruelty to animals exists in all people. They believe in the people enough to trust that they will make moral decisions with their dollars and not frequent businesses that engage in racist practices.

Free speech advocates believe that good speech will triumph over hateful speech, because of human nature. Likewise, many Libertarians believes that good business practices will triumph over discriminatory practices because of human nature. Both principled positions are rooted in a belief in freedom and a trust in the judgment of individuals. The difference lies in the fact that the belief in free speech is safe, as a widely held principle, within the mainstream media, while the belief in the free market is not. In the movie The American President free speech saw one of its most moving defenses:

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’ You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms.

Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”

If you truly trust the people, why doesn’t that trust extend beyond free speech? Government should not be allowed to discriminate and Rand Paul is not advocating that. He simply believes that trust in individuals can and should extend to private businesses and their patrons.

Advertisements

Taking His Ball and Going Home

17 Dec

So now Howard Dean and Markos, at the Daily Kos, want to kill Obamacare. It seems that, without a public option, they no longer are concerned with helping all those poor folks dying because of a lack of insurance. I never believed they gave a damn about those people, but I’m glad they could confirm it for me. For the far left, it was never about reform and improving access. Instead, it was all about bigger government and more control over people’s lives.

If Howard Dean really cared about people, he’d call for the current bill to be rewritten, rather than scrapped, so that it reflects the free market reforms that have been put forward by many opposed to Obamacare. Those reforms would pass and they wouldn’t benefit the insurance companies, unlike the current bill which mandates coverage. Even if Dean didn’t believe those free market reforms would help, they certainly wouldn’t hurt. Unlike Obamacare, allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, encouraging health savings accounts and allowing employees to take their plans with them when they change jobs, would not negatively impact coverage or add to the deficit.

Unfortunately for the American people, progressives don’t really care about the poor and uninsured. Sadly, they’re only interested in using those people in order to guilt you into supporting a bill that you know is bad policy. It’s not unlike the left and their exploitation of the troops during the Iraq War. They didn’t really care about bringing the troops home, but they did want to use the deaths of troops to attack Bush; that stopped being an issue for them once a Democrat started sending those soldiers to war. Now the left is exploiting the uninsured in attempt to win another political victory. This is a chance to use the left’s words against them to push real free market reforms that might actually help reduce costs. If they don’t pass those free market reforms, but do pass an insurance mandate, it’s clear that their concern for the uninsured is just as disingenuous as their concern for the troops.

Cross-Posted at The Anticrat
Cross-Posted at Feed Your ADHD