Today, I read an article which I felt required my response. It attacked Rand Paul for opposing the Americans with Disabilities act, then attempted to link him to violent anti-government radicals. I wanted to respond firstly to the issues of the attack, and secondly to the issues of the attacker.
Rand Paul, the son of Ron Paul, just won the nomination to run as the republican candidate for the Kentucky senate. This has sent shock waves through the political sphere. Most freedom loving people celebrated, and most of the establishment reeled. The candidate who openly embraced the so-called tea party movement thumped the establishment-backed candidate in a landslide victory.
This victory comes with a cost of course, the inevitable backlash from the establishment. As anyone who participated in Ron Paul’s campaign knows, he had to face the most ugly attacks, and so did his supporters in some cases. The attacks continued on to his son, often using the same misunderstood arguments used against his father.
For those who don’t know, Ron Paul started out as a republican representative from Texas, though born here in Pennsylvania. Even though he ran on the republican ticket, he most certainly has never held the views of the establishment republican party. In fact, he even ran as the libertarian presidential candidate in 1988. Later, he returned to congress again, becoming known as “Dr. No” because he would vote against pretty much every bill up for a vote, on the grounds that the Constitution would not allow it. This strict adherence to the Constitution became the bedrock of his presidential campaign in 2008. Many diverse people gathered on an educational mission, even if they didn’t know it at the time. After eventually losing the nomination to John McCain, he started the Campaign for Liberty.
Rand Paul has many of the same views as his father, however during his campaign, he disenchanted some by supporting efforts in Afghanistan. Most supporters felt that he had to do that to win the vote. Others felt critical. I said we’d wait and see, and now we will.
To understand why Rand Paul said he opposed the Americans with Disabilities Act, you have to understand that these views go back to a strict Constitutional interpretation. The United States Constitution grants certain specific powers to the national government, and the tenth amendment grants all other powers to the individual states. Rand Paul opposed the ADA because the Constitution does not grant the federal government the power to regulate that aspect of life.
The Constitution has these provisions for good reason. Firstly, if someone with a disability has a problem with a business, they should first take it up with the business. In the case of an employer, this means working together to find a solution. As a customer, it means going through all provided channels to get satisfaction. In either case, if the business fails to deliver, the local or state authorities should then become involved. This localizes the problem. It does not mean heartless capitalism or mindless anarchy. Under the current system, a business might have to undergo a costly redesign to comply, and as a result, simply not hire the disabled for fear of getting sued. The disabled deserve equal access and opportunity, and this legislation hurts the people it claims to help. The Constitution provides the elegant balance.
If that article had the true purpose of only pointing out an issue worthy of discussion, it would have ended at that point, but it continues, and so shall we. After introducing Rand Paul as a fringe kook backed by dangerous extremists,
“while much of the GOP established has organized and encouraged radical tea party protests, they have lost control of insurgent extremist candidates like Paul.”
the article makes the leap from supposedly discussing the rights of the disabled, to implying that Rand Paul supports the second amendment as a means to violently overthrow the government.
“While Paul is proud of his radical pro-business agenda, he is less willing to talk about his ties to the militia movement and violent anti-government groups.”
Since no logical connection exists between these two issues, one must conclude that the author had other motives.
A common disinformation tactic involves mixing two different unrelated issues, so that people make the subconscious correlation between the two. In this case, grouping these two diametrically opposed topics together makes it sound like if someone opposes the ADA, that they support a violent overthrow of the government. It also makes it more uncomfortable to stand up against the article, and gives the casual reader an uncomfortable association. It also makes it sound like anyone who supports the second amendment supports it in a twisted radical form. Every group has extremists, including the left.
Now don’t get me wrong – I do not mean to accuse the author of this article of working for the CIA or anything paranoid like that. This principle lends itself to all areas of human interaction, starting in the schoolyard, and from the looks of it, ending there as well. As I followed the links in the article and read the comments, I became angered at the mean-spirited nature of the content. To me, reading their banter seemed less like reading a political column, and more like watching a bunch of bullies at recess, congregating in their clubs to laugh and hate together.
Since the author basically called me a dangerous violent anti-government radical without knowing anything about me or my character, I feel like I have the right to have a little fun at his expense. What the hell does “Guest Blogger” mean? Doesn’t having a blog make you enough of a guest? I mean, don’t people get blogs in the first place because they have nowhere else to write? What makes this dork so special? What does he have that I don’t? I write funnier and truer stuff than he ever will. I have a cooler blog anyway. Speaking of, don’t you hate it when blogs have tons of links? JUST SHOW ME THE ARTICLE! If I wanted to read a bunch of articles, I’d go to Liberty Pulse, where I will also publish this article as a guest blogger.
After getting that out of my system, I remembered that the people I have the hardest time feeling compassion for need it the most, and my anger turned to sadness. It makes me sad to see people so ignorant of basic issues. It makes me sad to see people who treat politics like a schoolyard game. I pity those who have not learned to think critically, for truly they suffer the most. I feel afraid when I read articles like these, painting peaceful patriots as insurgent extremists. I fear for the fate of the movement and for this country. Still, I remain secure in my faith that evil always destroys itself and good always prevails.
In this article, I introduced Ron and Rand Paul, discussed why they have the views they do, and showed the type of vicious attacks used by the establishment. I believe I have logically shown that Rand Paul does not hate disabled people and does not want to violently overthrow the government. These do not sound like the views of an optometrist – an eye doctor. I should know – I became blind at birth.