Rand Paul and the Political Minefield
By: Guest Authors
by David Bozeman
American political discourse is about as deep as a birdbath, and our media so one-sided that, arguably, only the Worker’s World Daily could make it look even by comparison. Liberals, of course, are euphoric. Rand Paul’s admission, in an interview on Rachel Maddow’s show, that he doesn’t favor all aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, has the lefties feigning outrage and sent Republicans into damage-control mode (the bigger news, one could argue, was that Rachel Maddow actually allowed someone on who might disagree with her). Apparently asleep on the job, she forgot to ask him his views on slavery, lynching and the Holocaust.
Perhaps his stand on a forty-six year old law mattered in the course of the interview (he clearly stated his opposition to racism and his support for those provisions that outlawed discrimination in public, but not necessarily private, institutions), and the voters of Kentucky are free to do with that what they will. But, again, an unpredictable, isolated stand (to date, Paul has not proposed repealing the 1964 act or resegregating lunch counters) or aspect of a Republican candidate’s life has mutated into a monster of freak-show proportions. Setting aside the obvious — that the Civil Rights Act could not have passed without Republican support and that racism was often government-mandated (a practice surely opposed by Paul) and that former KKK member Robert Byrd of West Virginia is an elder statesman of the Democrat Party — one could not be blamed for believing that most media outlets are mere propaganda wings for the day’s lefty talking points.
Liberals, you’ll recall, reported on Barack Obama’s generation-long association with bile-spewing, America-hater Jeremiah Wright only after talk-radio banged that drum for over a year. The fact that Obama launched his political career in the home of an unrepentant domestic terrorist was so off-limits that even John McCain was afraid to state the obvious. Beyond a mere selective reporting of the news, liberals create alternate realities out of lies and misperceptions. George W. Bush, for instance, who served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, was a chicken-hawk draft-dodger, according to liberal opinion, and CBS News had the fake documents to prove it. Speaking of Bush, in 1999, while running for president, the candidate, then a hugely popular governor of a large state, was given a pop quiz by a Boston TV reporter. Bush was asked to name the leaders of Chechnya and several other countries. He couldn’t or wouldn’t answer them all, which was taken as proof that he was dumb and ill-prepared. Yet where was the 2008 equivalent for the part-time senator who voted ‘present’ in the state capital and who authored no major legislation in Washington, that being Barack Obama?
By the time Sarah Palin was asked what she read, the perception in the media was that this backwater hick was functionally illiterate beyond the instructions on her tanning bed. Yet no one thought to question the intellectual capacity of Janet Napolitano (inexplicably chosen to run Homeland Security), who recently admitted that she hadn’t read all of the Arizona illegal-immigration bill. Yet who is the one we are still hearing is dumb?
Further examples could fill volumes, but this is the minefield that Paul must navigate. Democrats are always expounding on their idealism, while conservative (and libertarian) Republicans must explain away obscure references such as ‘macaca’ (an obscure pejorative, interpreted by some as a racial slur — its use by Senator George Allen of Virginia helped sink his 2006 re-election bid). Only Barack Obama can walk away unscathed from such divisive rhetoric as “typical white person,” but in its blatancy, the mainstream media has made its intentions clear. Through talk radio and the Internet, Paul can re-set the agenda and call big-government liberals to account for their policies. By fully informing the electorate, Paul enjoys an opportunity to highlight the bias of the mainstream media and push them to the margins of irrelevance where they so justly belong.