Rand Paul

Being Our Own Masters

05/21/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In the religious world, there has been much discussion over the past few years, and rightly so, of the struggle between what sociologists like to call the “commanding presence” and the “sovereign self.” The “commanding presence” is an outside source of authority- in the larger religious sense, God, or in a lesser religious sense, rabbis. The “sovereign self” is the autonomous individual, who chafes at being told what to do.

Primary roundup: Sen. Arlen Specter loses; will Rand Paul's civil rights stance turn off Jewish voters?

It's going to be real interesting to see how conservative Jewish voters react to the remarkable ascendance of Rand Paul, who won the Kentucky senatorial primary last week.

Unlike his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Rand is a supporter of Israel and sometimes sounds like he's reading from AIPAC talking points.

But he shares the libertarian hostility to most government programs and the Federal Reserve system, and he managed to stir up huge controversy this week with this comments about civil rights. While he says he doesn't favor repeal of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, he doesn't support federal civil rights legislation, and he doesn't support laws that ban discrimination by private businesses, such as restaurants.

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