The TDC Endorsement

Considering the political and intellectual climate in the country, and the resulting pitiful quality of the candidates for office, voting has become an exercise in rearranging the deck chairs. Still, I'd like to offer my view on whom and what I will vote for in a week and a half. The following are summaries of the major races in Massachusetts, as well as the three ballot questions (including one that seeks to abolish the income tax!)

» President of the United States of America
None of the candidates currently running deserves to stand within a mile of that title. Whoever gets elected will sully the reputation of the office, and will harm America and our individual rights. I have read the opinions and analysis of some very smart people, many of whom are undecided about whether they should abstain, or try and guess who will damage the country less in this battle between the evil of two lessers. I have watched debates -- when I could stomach it -- and read detailed accounts of the major candidates' positions and past actions. Based on all of this, I will vote... present. I will abstain from voting for any party ticket for president, and I won't write in a candidate either.

Massachusetts tracks the blanks on ballots, and I will have my vote counted as None of the Above.

» Junior Senator from Massachusetts
John Kerry is up for re-election, and I will happily vote against him. He has two opponents -- a Republican and a Libertarian. Between the two I will vote for the Republican, Jeff Beatty, primarily because I don't want to vote for either Kerry or the Libertarian. Beatty "is a former U.S. Delta Force counterterrorism unit officer, a special agent for the FBI, and an operations officer for the CIA," and after all of that, he founded a security consulting corporation. Other than that and calling for smaller government, the fact that he doesn't list a church on his official campaign site and doesn't mention abortion at all, leads me to believe that he is not a religious nut. In today's world, that's enough to get my vote. Especially when he's running against John Kerry.

For Massachusetts Senator, I will vote for Jeff Beatty, Republican.

» Congressional Representative from the Sixth District
My current congressman, John Tierney, voted against the $700 billion bailout. The first time. But for the wrong reasons. The second time he got the chance, he happily voted for it. This is enough of a reason for me to vote against him.

Republican, Rich Baker, is his opponent and it just so happens that I got an automated phone call from his campaign one night during the bailout mess. I proceeded from there to his website. He has a few good things to say, so I wrote him an email asking him what was his position on the separation of church and state. He replied that he looks to the Founders and the Constitution for guidance on that front. Although he did hedge a bit and said that he doesn't believe that religion should be completely abolished from public life, I'll take him at his word about his respect for the Constitution.

For Massachusetts Congressman, I will vote for Rich Baker, Republican.

» Question 1: Abolish the State Income Tax?
This is the easiest vote ever. The state has no right to a even penny of my wealth. Even if abolishing the income tax will result in cuts at schools or fewer firemen -- though I don't believe it will because there is a multitude of other ways for the state to pilfer my property -- I look forward casting my vote on the side of the moral and the just.

Abolish the Massachusetts State Income Tax? Yes!

» Question 2: Decriminalize Marijuana?
This proposed law would turn the possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana from a criminal (jailable) offense into a civil one (tickets and fines.)

Prohibition, whether it is of alcohol or crack cocaine, is a violation of individual rights. While Question 2 doesn't go nearly far enough to abolish the asinine and immoral prohibition of marijuana, it is a step in the right direction.

Decriminalize smoking a joint? Yes!

» Question 3: Outlaw Dog Racing?
I love dogs. I have two of them. Seeing photos of greyhounds that have been mistreated disgusts me. But does that mean that dogs have individual rights? Does it mean that they are more than property? No.

While I may not like dog racing or cock fighting or bear baiting, I proudly stand for the principle that another man can do with his property as he sees fit, as long as it doesn't infringe on another person's rights. This includes activities that I find repugnant.

Outlaw dog racing? No!


Well, there we have it. Many Objectivists are reaching similar conclusions about the race for president. It has gotten so bad that it is no longer even possible to pick the lesser of two evils in the hope that one candidate will be marginally less destructive. As Myrhaf said:
Go to the polls on November 4th. Vote Republican in everything but president. Don't vote for president. Perhaps a large bloc of abstaining voters will send a message that our two major parties need to give us better candidates for whom to vote.
He also mentions that he will be donating to the Ayn Rand Institute on November 4th, casting the only meaningful vote available. This is a great idea -- especially considering that I just got a letter in the mail stating that it's been a year since my last donation. You know what they say... vote early, vote often!


Burgess Laughlin said...

> "This is a great idea -- especially considering that I just got a letter in the mail stating that it's been a year since my last donation."

From long-term experience, I can recommend an even better way to donate to ARI: use their automatic electronic funds transfer (EFT?) feature to transfer, from your checking account, the same amount each month, indefinitely. Once it is set up there is no time lost in writing checks or making special transfers. Plus you get a letter stating your donations, at the end of the year, which is useful for tax records if you itemize.

This approach is easy to budget for, helps ARI plan better because it is steady, and is very satisfying for the donor, because he knows that every month--no matter what happens in the news--he is aiding an organization pushing philosophical and intellectual activism.

C. August said...

I have considered this approach before, and you make a good case for it.

This just bolsters the case for activism in this fashion, rather than voting in and of itself, as the best way to foster the change Objectivists are seeking.

Stephen said...

Normally in situation where there isn't a lesser of two evils, I would consider casting a vote for a divided government. This election I don't think that matters. The Democrats will control the Congress and even if McCain wins the Presidency he is so devoted to the idea of "bi-partisanship (i.e. no principle that can't be cast aside when convenient) that it will make little difference,

Anonymous said...

Dear TDC,

I am contacting you on behalf of Jeff Beatty, Joel Dykstra, Tom McClintock, Steve Stivers, and Marion Thorpe.  I am writing because this campaign respects your impressive website which showcases your immense talent.

Blogs are underutilized in politics.  This campaign is interested in developing a strong relationship with blogs across the nation, yours included.  Please contact upon receiving this e-mail, as I would like future communication.

Raymond Smalley

Lynne said...

Do you find the scare tactic ads re: Question 1 in Massachusetts rather humorous? I wish everyone did.

Locally, both sides courting my vote are letting me know they'd vote "no, no, yes" on the questions. There is no discernible distinction between the parties!

If the income tax gets abolished, that'll be a few more bucks we can give to ARI.

C. August said...

smacklin, I agree with you about voting for divided government. I actually addressed that topic recently in a Rule of Reason post. It looks like the Left is on the precipice of a supermajority, which is not a good thing to say the least.

And your point about McCain is well-taken. It's one of the reasons many Objectivists are more worried about him as president than Obama. They bank on the hope that Obama will be so far Left that he'll get less done than McCain.

Presented with that choice, I can't vote for either of them.

C. August said...

Hi LB. I've heard the scare tactic ads on radio and I wish I could find them humorous. Unfortunately, I think they're working. Recent polls indicate that the measure will likely be defeated.

It's not surprising that the pressure groups courting your vote are dead wrong on every issue, yet somehow I'm still surprised. You're right that both sides of the aisle are the same. Yikes.

My only regret in this election is that I don't live in Barney Frank's district. I would get great pleasure from voting against him.