Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Rand Paul Whitewash

In a culture with any sort of short-term memory, the sight of Rand Paul calling for ending the systemic racism of America's criminal justice system would be gross slapstick. Fortunately for Randy, nobody remembers anything from more than a day ago. Sometimes not even the same day, as all the articles on Politico and The Hill are so perfectly compartmentalized, never addressing how issues as diverse as climate change, immigration, and drone murders all tie back to the same moribund technocratic hierarchy.

And Rand Paul sure won't change any of that. As pointed out here previously, he's all in favor of traditional hierarchy. For those who don't want to go to YouTube, here's Mister Liberty's exact words defending the right of private businesses to be racist:

" And I think that’s a valid point, and still a valid discussion, because the thing is, is if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about: do you want to abridge the First Amendment as well. Do you want to say that because people say abhorrent things – you know, we still have this. We’re having all this debate over hate speech and this and that. Can you have a newspaper and say abhorrent things? Can you march in a parade and believe in abhorrent things, you know?"


This is why Rand Paul is so popular with the libertarian demographic - he's the apotheosis of the clueless white guy. Supporters have defended this gibberish on the grounds that technically Randy is taking the principled route. Sure all that racism was deplorable but Rule of Law! How can we claim to be a free country if we circumvent the Rule of Law to reach that freedom?

That's their argument and it reflects why Randy will never walk back this particular "principle" of his - it strikes a chord with the deep down cruelty that animates American conservatives. Lots of them call themselves "libertarian" whenever a democrat is in the White House but turn right back into the lickspittles of empire when the GOP takes over. The transition from the Clinton to the Bush years should have spelled that out for everyone but, again, no collective memory.

For all their noise about "liberty," libertarians are more than willing to play along in this stifling technocratic system. They start businesses - something only possible through state capitalism - and style themselves as "disruptive" for not filling out all the forms. They declare freedom from big government the most important issue, and then vote overwhelmingly for the half of the two-party system that produced Gitmo, the Patriot Act, and two failed wars. They are, in a word, schmucks.

And Rand Paul appeals to them, not through principle, but because he speaks their craven language. His latest stunt even reflects their deeply held racism - that making the blacks come over to their side is just a matter of letting them smoke their crack in peace, rather than addressing the endemic inequalities of this totalitarian capitalism where Flatbush is within spitting distance of some of the richest real estate on Earth but looks like a third world country. This makes perfect sense because libertarianism, as a long con by the ruling class, explicitly ignores or embraces the inequalities of this rigged game. And it's only possible with people so coddled by middle class existence that they've forgotten what desperate tastes like.

So while his attempts to blunt the prison-industrial complex are admirable, it's unlikely Randy will sweep the black vote anytime soon. When you've been the designated underclass so long, you don't fall for the sentimental lies quite so easily.

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