More on Ron Paul's Crackpot Campaign
My Street.com column today again explores the Ron Paul phenomenon, this time dealing with the crackpot character of both the candidate and his supporters.
After I filed the column I found some more evidence - not that any was needed - on just how off-the-wall Paul truly is.
Back in 2004 he was the only member of the House of Representatives opposing a resolution commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
I'm replicating his floor comments in full below:
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to explain my objection to H. Res. 676. I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations. However, contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of H. Res. 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.
This expansion of federal power was based on an erroneous interpretation of the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. The framers of the Constitution intended the interstate commerce clause to create a free trade zone among the states, not to give the federal government regulatory power over every business that has any connection with interstate commerce.
The Civil Rights act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society. Federal bureaucrats and judge's cannot read minds to see if actions are motivated by racism. Therefore, the only way the federal government could ensure an employer was not violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to ensure that the racial composition of a business's workforce matched the racial composition of a bureaucrat or judges defined body of potential employees. Thus, bureaucrats began forcing employers to hire by racial quota. Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife.
Of course, America has made great strides in race relations over the past forty years. However, this progress is due to changes in public attitudes and private efforts. Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, while I join in sponsors of H. Res. 676 in promoting racial harmony and individual liberty, the fact is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not accomplish these goals. Instead, this law unconstitutionally expanded federal power, thus reducing liberty. Furthermore, by prompting race-based quotas, this law undermined efforts to achieve a color-blind society and increased racial strife. Therefore, I must oppose H. Res. 676.
© 2011 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.
AYN RAND NATION: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul, will be published by St. Martin's Press on Feb. 28, 2012. Click here to pre-order the book from Amazon.com, and here to pre-order from Barnes & Noble. Follow me on Twitter @gary_weiss.
Labels: Ron Paul