This is likely to get interesting.
Less than 24 hours into his candidacy, the younger Paul was already facing tough questions about a remark he made to Louisville’s Courier-Journal regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964: namely, he said he was concerned about the part of the bill that required “private businesses” to desegregate.
Pundits and commentators spent the better part of the day, it seems, trying to get the candidate to say whether or not, had he been a Senator at the time, he would have voted for that bill. To his credit, Dr. Paul (who was all of one year old at the time) refused to answer the question directly and become snared in that trap. He passed the first exam in Candidacy 101 with flying colors.
But this whole question of “private” vs. “public” business is critical to some of the central issues being debated in this country right now:
- Where, exactly, should the line be drawn between “public” and “private”?
- When does a local issue merit national concern?
- What should be the role of the federal government in protecting the interests of individual citizens?
As a spokesman for at least a segment of the libertarian community, which has been credited with launching the Tea Party movement, Rand Paul may stimulate frank and focused discussion of questions that, until now, have been merely undercurrents that inform attitudes but not understanding.
Let the games begin.