Like so many people, I have thought over the coming election and studied the field of candidates. As a result of my analysis of the coming vote and especially of its historical significance, I have tentatively switched to the “None of the Above” camp.
I get the sense that most people like myself who believe in America’s founding principles, i.e. individual rights, will vote Republican despite the attempts of Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir, Leonard Peikoff, to convince them otherwise. The reasons are obvious: Obama is a Marxist. He’s so far left, it’s scary. And so, the reasoning goes, we must–however distasteful it may be–vote Republican. At least Republicans accept a mongrel form of Americanism, including the desire to defend America in an increasingly hostile world.
I disagree strongly that the Republican party has any essential scrap of Americanism left in it, or that it will properly defend America if its presidential tenure is extended. So, there is no way I could vote for McCain. But I am concerned that socialism is not really dead, that collectivism can indeed continue to expand with incredibly dire consequences for America, so I could never vote for Obama either. (Libertarians please–please–move on; I have no stomach for the ultimate perversion of liberty which you represent.) So there are no options. The only choice is to strongly denounce all the available choices, and not vote.
I know that Leonard Peikoff denounces this option just as vehemently as he does voting Republican, but I consider that I understand history, Objectivsm, and the role of philosophy in shaping civilizations quite well myself, and I believe that the most potent political option for promoting cultural change is principled, vocal abstention. So, once I’ve completed my final lecture in my current lecture series, The Islamist Entanglement, I’m going to switch my attention to this topic, and see if I can’t state in proper terms, why I think this is the only way to go.
Meanwhile, I’m hoping people out there who are tortured about the vote will make a survey of the “None of the Above” sites and see whether or not there are already any good ones. The image that I have above, which certainly states a valid sentiment, nonetheless links to a site that I definitely do not agree with–for the simple reason that the home page refers to “American democracy.” In my view, anyone that uses the term “democracy” to describe America is so ignorant as to be criminally negligent of history. In fact, as I’ll elaborate in upcoming posts, It’s precisely because America is not a democracy that Americans should stop voting. We must reject the use of force against our fellow citizens on principle, and not voting is the only way. But it can’t just be a private act. It has to be political–as a means of sparking a “discourse” in American society about the tragic decline of our political culture, and thus allow the advocates of reason and individualism to reach a wider audience and make more of a difference.