In my first post responding to the Rand-Rothbard comparison I noted, among other points, that “there’s little substantive difference between the red and blue statists.” Later, responding to a post by alexholzbach, I listed the many ways in which Romney and Obama are nearly identical.
Alex again responded to that post, summing up his position thusly:
I’m endorsing Romney not because he’s my favorite pick; obviously Ron Paul was. I’m endorsing Romney because he’s just good enough to buy us time to really make the moves we need to.
Alex, it seems as though we will continue to disagree and, hopefully, you’ll reconsider your endorsement.
As I said previously, I grant that Romney might be marginally better than Obama on some issues. He seems to be a bit better on limiting the sizes and scopes of the Departments of Education and Agriculture, on unions, possibly on taxes, and he seems to be slightly more willing to let the market (i.e. - individuals acting on their own preferences) do its thing. He also would be slightly more susceptible to agitations from those who, at least in rhetoric, claim to be champions of free markets and limited government. Also, there’s something to be said of the fact that a second term for Obama would remove any hesitations he’d place on his statist impulses (shocking to consider that he’s had any hesitations) and push his agenda at a greater clip without any re-election to concern himself about and with the affirmation of his policies his re-election would falsely represent.
But make no mistake: these differences ultimately add up to very little. Romney remains a war-mongering, budget-expanding, Federal Reserve-supporting, corporatist Keynesian statist. Instead of driving the station wagon toward the cliff at 120 MPH, he’d maybe slow it down to 119.
And this is good enough for endorsement?
To endorse means to pledge public support, to champion someone you approve. And to endorse someone means to endorse him in toto. Endorsing Romney, then, means you support, or are at least willing to accept, his great many shortcomings because of some trifling potential improvement over the other guy.
You allege there is strategy here. You compare Rand’s endorsement of Romney to Rothbard’s tepid, begrudging endorsement of Bush Sr., claiming that Romney would “buy the liberty movement time.”
But we have something Rothbard did not: context and hindsight. We know how modern politics are waged. We know of Bush II’s unfulfilled promise of a non-interventionist foreign policy. We know of Obama’s unfulfilled promise of supprt for civil liberties. We know that the left calls net increases in government “austerity.” We know that the left claimed Bush was a deregulator. We know that the left cobbles all the deficiencies of corporatism and lays them at the feet of the free market. And we know that because of the great government-expanding failure known as George W. Bush, Obama’s path to the presidency was that much easier. I understand the opposition to Obama, but it must be clearly understood that it was Bush who led to Obama. How much of the minuscule and short-lived gains to liberty that might be gained by a Romney presidency be offset by all the effects of his other liberty-crushing policies being blamed on the ideals of “small government”? That would not be buying the liberty movement time, it would be setting it back.
No one who believes in individual liberty should support or endorse Romney. In fact, no one who believes in individual liberty should support or endorse the state. If someone can’t even get the big things right - war, monetary policy, civil liberties, spending - then what hope can liberty truly have? Ron Paul is the extremely rare politician who is worth supporting in that he genuinely represents the dismantling of the oppressive apparatus from within. Paul is the exception to the understanding that political democracy is illegitimate; voting for him is essentially an act of self-defense. Spooner, de la Boetie, Nock, et al. had it right: ending tyranny often simply requires not supporting tyranny.
If you endorse or vote for “lesser evils,” don’t be surprised when evil claims your consent.
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- conza said: Yep. Furthermore, re from alex: “make the moves we need to”… Hahah, what moves? Romney gets elected.. come ‘16 Rand is going to contest against the sitting GOP prez? Just lol.. suggestion: think beyond the next ballot/vote.
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