Rand Paul’s Statement is No Big Deal
Rand Paul messed up when he commented on the 1964 Civil Rights act – even he acknowledges that. If you pay attention to the mainstream media you might think his mistake was fatal. It’s not.
Granted, if he were campaigning in New York, his political career would be over and in Massachusetts, it never would have been born, but he’s not campaigning in New York or Massachusetts – he’s campaigning in Kentucky for the seat of a retiring republican while Democratic popularity is waning and the Democratic President is suffering the worst job approval numbers of his presidency so far.
In order for his statement to have killed his candidacy, he would have had to have made it while wearing a sheet and standing in front of a burning cross.
As far as the act itself goes, his stance was not even against 9/10 of it (the act consists of ten titles – eight of which refer to protecting individuals from discriminatory state laws and practices, one which protects employees from discrimination and one which tells private businesses that they no longer have control over who they may conduct business with – guess which one Rand Paul’s statement was directed toward). He is not against protecting people from discrimination and he especially opposes laws that take away one’s freedom based on race creed, color or gender. If that were all the law did, there would have been no controversy. The only issue is whether the evil of discrimination – and Rand Paul agrees that it IS an evil – justifies the empowerment of the government to enact the evil of the repression of your right to associate with whom you choose so long as it is done in peace and with mutual consent.
Sure he had to do some backpedaling and nationally, his reputation took a hit, but nobody really believes he is out to repeal the act, no one in Kentucky believes that the Civil Rights act is the primary issue facing the country or the state and nearly no one who would have voted before his statement is changing his vote. To be sure, he has not won the election yet – there is still a lot of time before the election and, while this is not his downfall, it does highlight his inexperience at campaigning – but at this time, the election is still his to win or lose.