Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rand Paul Raises a Good Question

Rand Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act raises a primary question that we’ve all been avoiding.

Paul said that he supports equal rights, but that a business owner should be allowed to discriminate. So, the question he raises is this:

Whose freedom?

Requiring a restaurant owner to serve someone he doesn’t like impinges on his freedom, but allowing him to discriminate impinges on the individual’s freedom.

Forbidding a kid from walking across my grass impinges his freedom, but requiring me to allow it damages mine.

Walking down the street in a bikini would impinge on the freedom of someone who doesn’t want their child to see it, but requiring a woman to cover up infringes on her freedom.

No matter what the issue, freedom is always a balancing act. A restauranteur must serve someone of another race, but he doesn’t have to allow him in his house. A woman needs to cover up in court, but when she walks down the street, dad can cover his child’s eyes.

I’ve heard many knee-jerk reactions to Rand Paul, but whatever the issue, we’ve got to look at both sides and find a proper balance.

1 comment:

paulo said...

You bring up some good points about the balance of freedom. There will always be trade-offs between individual freedom when two people or entities interact. The problem with Rand Paul's comments is that they show no real understanding of the balance. His is an extreme position. It is all or nothing to him. The so-called "free market" is perfect. The older I get, the harder it is to find data to support that conclusion.