Friday, May 21, 2010

Use Your Powers for Good

Rand Paul, who is running for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky, thinks for the President to criticize (much less regulate) BP, which is spewing oil all over the Gulf Coast is putting the government's "boot heel on the throat of BP."

He also thinks the federal government used too much power when it passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Restaurants, hotels, and such are private businesses, according to the son of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, and the government shouldn't demand that they serve black people--just politely suggest that it's the civilized thing to do! Same thing with the Americans with Disabilities Act: just another instance of "big government."

When you hear people complain about "big government," remember what they really mean is government that stands up to the powerful people in America. Whether those powers are the white supremacist establishment in 1964 or the corporate elite today, government is the only institution with enough countervailing power to call them to account. But we, the people, have to force the government to use its power in our interests--and we won't do that if we get distracted by people like Rand Paul.