Rachel Maddow v Rand Paul: How Journalism is Supposed to Work

What follows is how real, actual journalism is supposed to work. Reporter asks question. Interviewee answers question. If interviewee isn't answering the question, reporter continues to demand an answer until he/she gets one. All of you would be journalists out there, you would do
well to use the video at the end of this piece as an example.

In one of the most interesting exchanges I’ve seen in a very
long time, we actually get to  see just how vacuous the (capital L) Libertarian philosophy is.
For fifteen solid minutes, Rachel tried to get Rand Paul, the newly minted
Republican candidate for the Senate in Kentucky, to answer a simple question; should the federal government have the power to tell private business owners whose businesses are open to the public that they cannot discriminate against people
who come into their business.

For at least 10-12 minutes, Paul refused to answer the question
at all, because he knew that he couldn’t and still be considered a viable candidate. He hemmed, he hawed, and he flailed
wildly. Instead of answering the question, Paul assured
us over and over that he was not a racist, and he thought racism was bad. He has no problem with nine-tenths of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, but that one little section, which tells businesses
they are NOT allowed to discriminate based on subjective criteria, such as the
color of a person’s skin, their perceived sexual orientation or their
possession of a vagina – he has a serious problem with that, folks.

And he doesn’t understand why this is an issue, which is why
he MUST lose in November. He MUST lose in November, folks. Anyone who doesn't see the point in using OUR government to protect OUR interests doesn't understand how actual liberty works.

What you see with Rand Paul is that (capital L) Libertarian philosophy rearing
its ugly head. To a (capital L) Libertarian, private ownership is sacred and
should not be touched by governmental hands. Paul even said repeatedly (if
you could wade through the bullshit to get to it) that for the government to
tell a business who they must allow into their place of business is a violation
of their right to freedom of speech.

As people who have been following me for years know, this is nothing more than (capital L) Libertarian sophistry rearing
its ugly head. To a (capital L) Libertarian, private ownership is sacred, and
should not be touched by governmental hands. Paul even said, repeatedly, (if
you could wade through the bullshit to get to it) that for the government to
tell a business who they must allow into their place of business is a violation
of their right to freedom of speech. If you're scratching your head and wondering what refusing to allow black or gay people to enter your public establishment has to do with "free speech," you are not alone. Only a (capital L) Libertarian sees things that way, and why we should keep them away from sharp objects and the government.

To a (capital L) Libertarian,
everyone’s rights are absolute, as long as the (capital L) Libertarian sees
their right as important. No one else’s rights matter. If a guy buys a store,
according to the (capital L) Libertarian, he has earned the right to ban
midgets or people with zits if he so chooses, because this is America, and by
Gawd, freedom is great and wonderful and… apparently very selective.

See, here’s the problem with assholes like Rand Paul, and
why they shouldn’t be allowed to have the keys to the political machine. They can only see freedom
from one perspective.  They see all
freedom as absolute, which is absolutely impossible in the real world. Freedom
is about balance. In this example, Joe Average should have the freedom to open
the business of his dreams to the public. But that freedom to do so must
necessarily be balanced with the right of the public to patronize that
business. In the (capital L) Libertarian mindset, the business owner has the
right to freedom of speech, but no one else has a right to enter a publicly
open establishment. Unfortunately, while a business is a private enterprise, it's actually a public entity, not a private one.

The part of the equation the (capital L) Libertarian
can’t fathom is that the business has a license to operate. As a condition of that
license, that business owner must bring his building up to code, so that all of
the other buildings around it can be safe, and so that people entering the
establishment can have a reasonable expectation that the building won’t fall on
them, or knives won't come flying out of the ceiling at them. In addition to those common sense rules, the business owner
also agrees to be open to the PUBLIC.  This
is another area where the (capital L) Libertarian’s head becomes twisted like a
pretzel; though the business is privately owned; the license is a PUBLIC
license. He’s open to the PUBLIC. Your HOME is private; no one has a right to
go in there under any circumstances without your permission. When you apply for a public business license, you are actually asking permission to open your business up to everyone in the community. When you open a business with a PUBLIC
license, everyone else should have the freedom to walk through there and do
business with you if they so choose. Your freedom as a business owner does not
trump everyone else’s freedom to purchase goods from you.

To a (capital L) Libertarian, freedom is the ability to do
whatever they themselves want, unencumbered by governmental “interference”
(read; “rules and regulations”), but as they see it, no one else in the equation has
any rights at all.

And that is why we need to support Jack Conway for Senate in
Kentucky. We cannot give these people a foothold in government. (capital L) Libertarians
are simply right wingers who are against the Iraq war and in favor of legal
pot; they are not capable of understanding how basic (small L) liberty actually
works. Liberty has to work for everyone, or it doesn’t work for anyone.

Just as an aside, the fact that (capital L) Libertarians are
winning Republican primaries should demonstrate just how bad the GOP has
become.  If Michael Steele can’t see the
warning signs, his suit is even emptier than I have him credit for.

Check out this video, and take notes. This is how a real journalist interviews a politician. She's not rude or disrespectful; she simply insists that he answer the damn question:

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