Rand Paul Compares Himself To Martin Luther King On Restaurant Smoking

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From Think Progress

Rand Paul, who appeared on the Rush Limbaugh show today, is trying to distance himself from his racist stance on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by comparing himself to one of its champions, Dr. Martin Luther King and to abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. While Martin Luther King fought against Jim Crow laws and segregation and Frederick Douglass fought against slavery, Rand Paul claims his major fight is to allow restaurants to let people smoke. Here is his op-ed from the Bowling Green Daily News.

I am unlike many folks who run for office. I am an idealist. When I read history I side with abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglas who fought for 30 years to end slavery and to integrate public transportation in the free North in the 1840s. I see our failure to end slavery for decade after decade as a failure of weak-kneed politicians. […]

Segregation ended only after a great and momentous uprising by idealists like Martin Luther King Jr., who provoked weak-kneed politicians to action.

In 2010, there are battles that need to be fought, and they have nothing to do with race or discrimination, but rather the rights of people to be free from a nanny state.

For example, I am opposed to the government telling restaurant owners that they cannot allow smoking in their establishments. I believe we as consumers can choose whether to patronize a smoke-filled restaurant or do business with a smoke-free option. Think about it — this overreach is now extending to mandates about fat and calorie counts in menus. Do we really need the government managing all of these decisions for us?

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