Dr. Hurd, I often wonder why do you and other Objectivist contributors of CapMag seem to constantly side with the GOP, and never with Democrats? As Ayn Rand herself pointed out, “Liberals and Conservatives are opposite sides of the same fraudulent coin.” The Dems want the mind free, the GOP want the body free. But it’s the mind and the ideas it holds that needs to be defended most. By winning over Liberals with Ayn Rand’s ideas on the Objective basis of why reason is reality based, wouldn’t that lead them to draw the correct conclusions regarding why the body must also be free?
Reply: I’d like to know your evidence or proof that I “always side” with the GOP. I don’t notice that in other CapitalismMagazine.com writers either. For example, I wrote an article calling myself an anti-Romneyite for Romney (reminiscent of Ayn Rand’s support of Nixon against McGovern in 1972.) I am constantly making the point that liberals and conservatives are two sides of the same coin. In fact, in more recent years conservatives have started to adopt the worst tendencies of liberals, and liberals have started to adopt the worst tendencies of conservatives. For example, Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan. In his first debate with Barack Obama, he made the case for Big Government regulation. He just wants that regulation and interference in the private marketplace to be “competent,” that’s all.
I do recommend voting for Mitt Romney. The reason for this is that Obama has come to be associated — justifiably — with all of the wrong principles. In words and action, Obama stands for more government regulation, more nationalization and socialization of industries, of completely evading the unsustainability of government programs such as Medicare and consequently running the national debt up to dangerous, likewise unsustainable levels. In foreign policy, Obama stands not only for appeasement of our enemies, such as Iran, but as morally justifying their anger and constantly expressing apology for the United States, even when it’s simply defending its own legitimate safety and interests.
Obama is an absolutely abysmal President. In principle and practice, he’s the worst thing possible for the United States, and he’s got to go. Romney criticizes Obama for some of the right reasons. He does so at times with eloquence, and at times with entirely flawed comments (such as those about regulation.) Romney is no radical for capitalism. Romney is not even a gradualist, as Ronald Reagan might have been — someone who wants to put the government on a path to reduced size and to hopefully keep that going. But to utilize Romney as an opportunity to vote against everything Barack Obama has done and stands for is not “siding” with anything. Romney, like any Republican, does not give us anything in particular with which to side. What he does is oppose Obama for some of the right reasons, and at least gives us an opportunity to repudiate those policies.
You said that the Democrats want the mind free. When Ayn Rand made that argument back in the 1960s and 1970s it was largely true. Most Democrats used to support free speech, at least domestically. But it’s no longer the case now. When Obama was ramming his socialized medicine program through Congress, his White House actually set up a separate office and email address to “report” people who opposed his legislation with reasons the White House didn’t like. To my knowledge, there’s no precedent for such a thing in the United States. Reporting people who disagree with the prevailing President? Can you see Thomas Jefferson, or even Franklin D. Roosevelt or Jimmy Carter doing this? Also, Democratic members of Congress such as Senator Schumer of New York talk openly of not only restoring the “Fairness Doctrine” restricting the ability of radio stations to carry shows like Rush Limbaugh, but other Democrats — such as Jane Fonda — have indicated a willingness to start using the FCC to curb or control “hate speech,” meaning speech that criticizes people like Obama.
The left no longer has much use for free speech. In fact, if Obama wins reelection and Democratic control of Congress returns, I would not be surprised to see some steps in this direction. Even without full control of Congress, Obama is happy to use the executive branch to enforce his will through regulatory agencies such as the EPA. Who’s to say he won’t try the same thing applied to speech using the FCC, should he get a second term? And if you think we can count on the Supreme Court to stop them, then revisit the Obamacare decision. The Chief Justice essentially said that if a majority votes for it, then it’s Constitutional. Nobody is talking about this any longer, but this decision was arguably the worst thing to happen in all of Obama’s term.
What your question fails to recognize or address is just how bad the left has become. The right has not become any better. The GOP still supports restrictions on abortion, as well as legislative initiatives to prevent peaceful, consenting adults from having the marital contracts of their choosing. They do, at least in some cases, favor using federal funds for religious purposes, and imposing these on public schools, for example. But the left, especially under Obama, has taken things further away from liberty and individual rights than we have ever seen in this country. It’s unthinkable that Obama be given a second term. Not only will he be free to do more damage. It will be a gigantic green light from more than half the country to go ahead on the road to what can ultimately only lead to dictatorship.
Given the sad state of our political choices, probably our only option is to have divided government and a series of one-term Presidents until one comes along who favors and will operate on the right Constitutional principles. The more terms we have of people like Obama, the harder that’s going to be.
I don’t side with either party. However, I will vote for one party or the other in order to try and obstruct even further damage to liberty, individual rights and free market capitalism than we have already seen. The Democratic Party is wrong about nearly everything, especially the most important issue of our time (the economy, without which there cannot even be a strong defense.) They are the uninhibited, undiluted version of everything that got us into this mess. Only a total reversal and U-turn away from what they stand for can give us any hope.
Although I can’t “side” with the Republicans, I cannot even think of supporting Democrats under these circumstances. The Republicans promise not to be evil, even though you can better believe they’ll stray from that if they win. The Democrats promise to be evil, and are evil in every single instance, at least every instance involving economic freedom/growth and national security. What choice does anyone have other than to oppose that?
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