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Craig Biddle, from The Objective Standard Journal recently came out in support of the GOP ticket upon the nomination of Paul Ryan as the Vice Presidential pick, on the basis that such a ticket would a) spread the word of Ayn Rand through Paul Ryan's tangential interest in her and her philosophy, and b) give Objectivists time to spread its ideas and influence the culture.

Couldn't the same be said of the Libertarian party? Yes, small "l" libertarianism is very different from Objectivism, and big "l" Libertarians likely share the hodge-podge & groundless ideas that come with big-tent ideologies. But if Objectivists are to jump on a bandwagon that will further their goals, increase the influence of Ayn Rand, and generally move the country in a better direction, surely one could find more support within the Libertarian Party than the GOP. Right?

Or maybe its a matter of practicality: the GOP waggon can move faster, has more ears, and more votes than a Libertarian one.

As a note, I am aware that some Objectivists do not agree with Mr. Biddle's endorsement. For those who don't, I would assume it may be difficult to answer this question. To be honest, I'm not even sure I do yet.

asked Aug 20 '12 at 13:32

JK%20Gregg's gravatar image

JK Gregg ♦

edited Aug 20 '12 at 18:06

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

I see no point in supporting the LP candidate. They have no chance of winning, and they are not ideologically correct.

Romney/Ryan also are not ideologically correct, but they do have a chance of winning. And if they win I do think it's going to significantly improve the debate in this country, more wrt taxes than Rand though. That said, the chance that my vote is going to make a difference is probably less than the chance of being struck and killed by a drunk driver on the way to the polls.

Personally I haven't decided between Romney, not voting for that office, and not voting at all.

(Aug 20 '12 at 13:51) anthony anthony's gravatar image

The Romney/Ryan ticket seems to have alarming "mystics of mind" problems. For some reason, fiscal conservatism in the USA has become intimately intertwined with evangelical religion to the extent that the two agendas overlap.

(Aug 21 '12 at 08:58) Danneskjold_repo Danneskjold_repo's gravatar image

(Is Romney still in favor of overturning Rowe vs. Wade, as he stated in 2007? That would be a serious assault on individual rights.)

(Aug 24 '12 at 18:07) orb85750 orb85750's gravatar image

How would overturning Roe vs. Wade be an assault on individual rights?

In any case, Romney wouldn't have the power to directly overturn Roe vs. Wade. At the most he'd have the power to elect strict constructionist judges, who might overturn Roe vs. Wade, but then they might overturn Wickard vs. Filburn and many of the New Deal court cases as well.

If Roe vs. Wade gets overturned, abortion doesn't suddenly become illegal. If Helvering vs. Davis gets overturned, Social Security taxes immediately go away. If Wickard vs. Filburn gets overturned...I'm throwing a party.

(Aug 24 '12 at 21:06) anthony anthony's gravatar image

I wonder if there is a risk that Ryan could be mistakenly seen by the public as a supporter of Objectivist philosophy, just as Libertarians are often seen (very erroneously) as roughly equivalent to Objectivists (based on a few political superficialities) -- and whether that would confuse the issues that Objectivism raises. The test of a political candidate should be his stand on individual rights, not whether or not he happens to be a "fan" of Ayn Rand in some way (while actually rejecting her whole philosophy from metaphysics to ethics, and even the fundamentals of her politics). That was the test by which Ayn Rand opposed the candidacy of Ronald Reagan.

(Aug 25 '12 at 11:29) Ideas for Life ♦ Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ryan is seen by the public as a supporter/poster child for Objectivist philosophy given his admiration in the past for Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. This is strange because he is also dead against certain individual rights (completely opposite of Ayn Rand's views on abortion and would make women bear children of rape). He is also an avowed believer in Catholicism and now says "don't give me Ayn Rand, give me Thomas Aquinas". I believe he has dabbled in bits of Objectivist economics but repudiates the philosophy. It will thus be pretty simple to demolish his philosophical integrity.

(Aug 26 '12 at 10:47) Danneskjold_repo Danneskjold_repo's gravatar image

Another point worth noting is that, again by the standard of individual rights, Ayn Rand also strongly opposed the candidacy of George McGovern and advocated voting for Nixon instead. One wonders if she would have seen Obama as the new McGovern, and Romney as a new Nixon. (And it is, after all, Romney who is running for President, not Ryan, although Ryan's turn could well come in 8 years if Romney wins this year.)

(Aug 26 '12 at 11:07) Ideas for Life ♦ Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Does anyone have a sense of how much of his avowed Catholicism is lip-service vs. deeply-held belief? Based on his abortion voting record I fear it's the latter, but if anyone has any other arguments either way I've been interested in hearing them.

Same thing for Romney, too.

(Aug 26 '12 at 14:10) anthony anthony's gravatar image

It's pathetic in the USA that our system is so broken that the choice is between someone who is eager to confiscate even more of other peoples' money and borrow more from the Chinese to use for his favorite government programs versus someone who believes that mystical beliefs in divinity are mandatory in order for one to be a good American and that a woman's reproduction is a "socially owned" decision. Both love spending money on huge programs (military vs social) and neither side has any interest in a smaller government.

(Sep 09 '12 at 16:04) Danneskjold_repo Danneskjold_repo's gravatar image
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Shortly after I posted this question, Craig Biddle posted a follow-up blog post on The Objective Standard blog titled "Principle vs. Pragmatism in Supporting Romney-Ryan" which in-part answered my question above. I quote Biddle:

(To vote for a candidate who has no chance of winning, such as Gary Johnson in this election, is to [aid the worse ticket by withholding a vote for the less-bad one]. Johnson supporters would do well to recognize the principle that “ought” implies “can.” To use one’s vote to say that Johnson should be president is to imply that it is possible for him to be president. But it is not possible—so there is no “should” about it. And even if Johnson could win, his choice to join the Libertarian Party, not to mention his suicidal foreign policy, would disqualify him.)

So Biddle appears to be taking the position that supporting Romney/Ryan is a choice between the better of two evils, and that voting for a Libertarian candidate is to "aid" Obama's reelection.

I maintain the fear that with today's intellectually-shallow news media, Rand nor Objectivism will get a fair showing, and Ryan will be held up as a poster child of Objectivism when he is far from it, all to the detriment of this community. But maybe that's too pessimistic.

answered Aug 26 '12 at 16:22

JK%20Gregg's gravatar image

JK Gregg ♦

Biddle does not convince me, and I think it would be very difficult for any Objectivist to convince me, that my vote shouldn't be anything other than consistent with my values and principles. Should we cast votes based on judgments of possibilities and probabilities, or our fundamental principles? If you accept the premise that elections are a game or charade, as part of a larger system where we are only doing token actions that don't really change anything, then you could make your decision based on the former. But then don't pretend to kid yourself or anyone else that you are voting based on your philosophical principles and personal integrity.

answered Sep 03 '12 at 06:34

QEDbyBrett's gravatar image

QEDbyBrett ♦

Biddle certainly did not argue that your vote shouldn't be consistent with your values and principles. It's unfair to imply that he did.

The question is, what is the principle?

In this case, all the candidates, and I include everyone who one can legally vote for, are bad. Does this mean we should vote for the least-bad candidate? If so, how do we even determine who is the least bad? What is the principle with which we should weigh a government takeover of health care vs. the criminalization of abortions from day 1 of pregnancy vs. the elimination of laws against selling nukes to Cubans?

(Sep 03 '12 at 08:00) anthony anthony's gravatar image

Wow, it's even worse than I thought. Gary Johnson supports a national sales tax. And apparently he thinks this national sales tax can be administered while eliminating the IRS! And he wants to give prebates (i.e. welfare payments) to the poor.

(Sep 03 '12 at 08:09) anthony anthony's gravatar image

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Asked: Aug 20 '12 at 13:32

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Last updated: Sep 09 '12 at 16:04