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America’s Progressive Alternative In 2016: A Civil Rights Hero!


Nick Gillespie has a question of great seriousity:

Who’s Better on Race Than Rand Paul?

Seriously. And I include Hillary Clinton. And not just on one or two token positions. On racial injustice issues, Rand Paul brings it.

When Rand Paul announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, it didn’t take long for opponents across the ideological spectrum to attack him for being either Neville Chamberlain on estrogen (the neocon Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America), or trapped in an empty box along with nonexistent libertarians (Paul Krugman), or pre-emptively for figuring to be “the worst president on civil rights since the 1800s” (Think Progress).

That last charge is particularly curious, since of all real and imagined Republican and Democratic candidates for the White House, Rand Paul is the only one who seriously questioned just what the fuck was going on last summer in Ferguson, Missouri, when an unarmed black man was shot  and killed by a white policeman. “There is a systematic problem with today’s law enforcement,” wrote Paul in Time, on August 14. “Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.” It was only a long two weeks later that Hillary Clinton, then and now the presumptive Democratic candidate, got around to weighing in on the matter with platitudes such as “we are better than that.”

Who’s better on race than Rand Paul? Um, everyone who (unlike Paul) has actually always supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964. How about we start there? Then we could cite everyone who actually opposes vote suppression laws (as opposed to meaningless arguments that Republicans should support them more quietly.) And, for our advanced lesson, we can not that his proposals to massively slash federal spending for the poor would disproportionately and devastatingly affect people of color.

It’s nice that Paul has some good positions on criminal justice issues, but overall on racial issues he’s far worse than any mainstream Democrat.

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