Update: Clearly, I was disappointed by the election results, and don’t have much confidence that the United States will move any closer to its original founding ideals of individual rights and limited government. Indeed, I fear that by the end of the next four years, we’ll barely recognize the United States as the one and only nation ever explicitly founded on the idea that the individual has the right to his or her own life. I hope to be proven wrong, but I expect that won’t be the case.
Okay, so, I finally got the blog (sort of) fixed after an apparent hack, with all but comments being restored, and so I thought I’d drop a quick note with my thoughts on tomorrow’s election. By the way, I hope it’s obvious that the “endorsement” theme is a bit tongue-in-cheek…
Before I can say who I’m going to vote for tomorrow, it’s probably a good idea to provide some insight on ideas that lead to my decision. In summary, I’m an Objectivist, meaning that I ascribe to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. Summarized, it goes like this:
At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did as follows:
- Metaphysics Objective Reality
- Epistemology Reason
- Ethics Self-interest
- Politics Capitalism
If you want this translated into simple language, it would read: 1. “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed” or “Wishing won’t make it so.” 2. “You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.” 3. “Man is an end in himself.” 4. “Give me liberty or give me death.”
As such, I believe, politically, in individual rights and a government that exists solely to secure them, and have been disappointed pretty much forever in the creeping statism that has turned the United States into something very different than the nation what was founded over 200 years ago. I won’t go into the details—that’s not at all what this blog is about—but suffice it to say that I’m not terribly excited about this year’s choices.
However, I do see President Obama as a very bad choice, and Mitt Romney, though highly flawed, as much better in one very fundamental way. Obama, I believe, does not want America to be a nation of self-interested and self-responsible individuals, but rather one of dependent groups slogging through a lifetime of duty and handouts from the state. Romney believes in individual success, if nothing else, and that’s diametrically opposed to Obama’s belief that nothing is accomplished except through the collective.
And so, this blog reluctantly endorses Mitt Romney for President, believing that while he won’t save the country, Obama could very well destroy it. For a more cogent explanation of my position, I refer you to Dr. Leonard Peikoff, today’s foremost Objectivist scholar:
Although both Obama and Romney will move us closer to dictatorship, there is a critical difference: time. Obama is not stumbling, but racing to his goal, and his pace can only increase in a second term, when keeping the public happy would no longer be an important concern to him. By contrast, though following the same road as Obama, Romney the pragmatist can’t race to anything; since he moves by groping through compromises, he can only, perhaps unknowingly, amble with us to the cliff (no doubt, with some dashes now and then).