Just saw Rand Paul on Rachel Maddow’s show doing a not very good job of explaining his opposition to anti-discrimination laws.
Paul did make a few good points – like the one about how the liberal case for forcibly desegregating private restaurants backfires by bolstering the conservative policy of forbidding private restaurants to ban guns – but obviously thought their application to the issue was so obvious that he didn’t explain that application clearly enough for viewers new to such ideas to grasp. (I’m not even sure that Maddow understood that Paul was against forbidding private restaurants to ban guns.)
Paul seemed like he was evading the issue, because he was. Saying that the north has been desegregated since the 1840s was ludicrous; and calling civil rights legislation an obscure issue from a long time ago was like putting a gun to his head (presumably in a consenting restaurant).
I’m not interested in giving Paul any advice, exactly; since seeing this video I don’t even feel like giving him the kind of well-wishing non-support I gave his father. All the same, what Paul should have done is to argue that voluntary efforts at fighting discrimination are more effective than governmental efforts.
But to do that, Paul would have had to talk about a) the indirect (not just the direct) discriminatory effects of government policies, and b) the nonviolent means of fighting discrimination. (And I’m not even talking about the possibility of raising Rothbardian doubts about the legitimate property titles of the segregated businesses of the south. Baby steps, etc.) But he said nothing about either (a) or (b), and I suspect hasn’t thought much about them.