Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“We attack involuntary servitude, not in spite of the fact that it is advantageous to the "masters," but because we are convinced that, in the last analysis, it hurts the interests of all members of human society, including the "masters."”     Ludwig von Mises,    Liberalism

June 16, 2008

Quote of the Day: “Our Collectivist Candidates” Edition

by Stephen Littau

This quote comes from an article written on May 28, 2008 entitled “Our Collectivist Candidates” by David Boaz, the Executive VP of the Cato Institute.

Obama and McCain are telling us Americans that our normal lives are not good enough, that pursuing our own happiness is “self-indulgence,” that building a business is “chasing after our money culture,” that working to provide a better life for our families is a “narrow concern.”

They’re wrong. Every human life counts. Your life counts. You have a right to live it as you choose, to follow your bliss. You have a right to seek satisfaction in accomplishment. And if you chase after the almighty dollar, you just might find that you are led, as if by an invisible hand, to do things that improve the lives of others.

If you value the concept of the individual or value individual liberty, you simply cannot support Barack Obama or John McCain in this election.

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9 Comments

  1. Instead we can support Bob “Patriot Act, Drug War, and DOMA” Barr!

    Comment by dave31175 — June 17, 2008 @ 6:06 am
  2. Dave,

    All positions he has since denounced and is activly working against.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — June 17, 2008 @ 10:49 am
  3. I agree. While Bob Barr is not a perfect answer, for me he is “more perfect” than the two options listed above. Of course, Barr is not at all likely to win the presidency.

    Three strategies I’ve seen for voting:

    1. Vote for the person or party that most closely aligns with your philosophy.
    2. Vote for the person or party you feel is most likely to win.
    3. Vote against the person or party you disagree with most.

    Since I disagree with the statist platforms of both major party candidates, option 3 is out for me. There isn’t an evil that’s lesser enough for me, just different. I find option 2 to have all the depth of a high-school pep rally, and cannot vote with the herd simply to claim a seat at the cool kids’ table.

    I’m left with option 1 until I find a more functional perspective.

    Barr isn’t a born-libertarian, but he stands a better chance of coming closer to it than any other candidate now in the race.

    Comment by Akston — June 18, 2008 @ 8:52 am
  4. Akston, I cannot disagree with any of that. All great points.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — June 18, 2008 @ 10:58 am
  5. I guess there’s also a fourth popular strategy: Don’t vote.

    This delegates the interpretation of your inaction to whoever cares to analyze it. It’s left to the observer to determine whether the 56.4% of Americans who choose this option are apathetic, stupid, practicing ethical abstinence or offering tacit approval.

    I’d just prefer to be explicit when possible.

    Comment by Akston — June 18, 2008 @ 1:53 pm
  6. Akston,

    I would think that if there ever was a high voter turnout and if a third party candidate had a double-digit showing, THAT would send a message.

    Agree?

    Comment by Stephen Littau — June 18, 2008 @ 2:44 pm
  7. I absolutely agree.

    Democrats and Republicans have successfully characterized all third party bids as “fringe”. As the difference between those two parties shrinks perceptively, the window for a third party to obtain a foothold increases (despite the procedural lock those two parties have established in many states).

    The key to the Demopublicans continuing success is based on inertia, and to spin any differences they present as being philosophically and effectively significant. This spin stays effective as long as most potential voters evaluate issues emotionally and situationally. As Gore Vidal says in the film “Why We Fight”, we tend to be the United States of Amnesia.

    My own interpretation of low voter turnout is that most Americans are fat and happy enough to not be bothered to vote. When one looks at voter turnout in new democracies, the percentage is much, much higher. It seems that most Americans concentrate on the practicalities of life without much thought towards politics or voting until something directly affects their daily routine – like $4.00 / gallon gasoline. At which point, they support the most immediate perceived solution: tax the bastard oil companies’ profits. Longer term answers like: maybe oil is $137.00 per gallon in part because the dollar is worth so much less, due to inflation of the currency rather than increased taxation in an attempt to fund every goodie any politician can promise from domestic entitlements to international military socialism. Hard to put that on a bumper sticker.

    I think there’s probably a “bad enough” line that must be crossed before those types of non-voters seriously consider “risking” their vote on a third party. Until we hit that, I’m not sure how anyone would move those non-voters to the polls. Maybe four to eight years of a McCain or Obama presidency will be enough. I’m sad to say that I doubt it.

    Comment by Akston — June 18, 2008 @ 3:32 pm
  8. However, I do agree that a double-digit third party showing could indeed be noticed, especially if it’s perceived to have cost a Demopublican the election (say McCain, for instance).

    I can’t tell you how many Republican events I recently attended where my call for liberty and smaller government were
    met with blank states. The party of smaller government has become the party of international military socialism, jingoism, and fear.

    It might rattle a few cages for them to think they lost by alienating what they saw as their libertarian base.

    Comment by Akston — June 18, 2008 @ 4:24 pm
  9. There’s a fifth voting strategy: Always vote for MY PARTY, regardless of any other corncern.

    When questioned on this strategy, these tend to quickly drop to the level of media sound bite or super-simplicity: “mean-spirited”, “tax cuts for the rich”, “Nixon was a republican”, etc.

    Comment by tfr — June 19, 2008 @ 9:12 am

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