[Best Of: Politics] EWV Hits It Outa The Park Again

Posted by khalling 4 years ago to The Gulch: Best of
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"You can't say who you would or would not vote for until you know who he is running against. If Obama were running against the Stalin/Mao ticket, you would have to vote for Obama. Morality pertains to the choices you have in reality, and your political choice is necessarily very constrained, so be sure to learn what you can about the candidates and choose accordingly when the time comes. It usually does make a difference when you know what is going on in Washington, how the system works, and where the greater threats are. "
SOURCE URL: http://www.galtsgulchonline.com/posts/27bd4764/cruzs-road-to-hell-paved-with-the-bad-intentions~cd2fr6hg3zarzfcfltfkrtbwaq


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  • Posted by Lucky 4 years ago
    kh - Please, for those, like me, who may slow on the uptake,
    when quoting I suggest you use quote marks or a message to say you are quoting.
    For a moment I thought your account had been hacked!
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    • Posted by 4 years ago
      so obviously you disagree, would you care to elaborate so I can know your thinking on this?
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      • Posted by Lucky 4 years ago
        The statement uses a well known rhetorical technique:
        Agreed that A is bad.
        But suppose the opponent in the election is B, a combination of George III and bin Laaden. So it is correct to vote for A who is not quite as bad.
        The argument fails as B is not standing.
        There are other arguments against the proposition as in the other postings, for example not voting has to be considered.
        Deciding how and if to vote even with just 2 candidates can be quite difficult, you can be coldly rational and list the evaluation criteria. But the weightings you apply are unique to you, that is what I call 'subjective'. And, why should you be coldly rational, (= enlightened self-interest)? Being idealistic by refusing to partake has its merits. This is what I think freedomforall is saying, that integrity and values can over-ride pragmatism.
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        • Posted by 4 years ago
          but not voting is discussed and considered as "speaking" this is mostly a procedural question, but you guys have so many parties running in your country any one of them can win with a minority of the population backing them. to your last statement, of course that is what freedom is saying, but frankly the political process is such (and has been from the beginning) that no one who spends time like we do on ideas would EVER vote. My point is pragmatic, but if 30% of voters in the US vote for the libertarian candidate (as an example) the ruling class does not ignore that (as in the case with Perot). staying home does not have the same effect. it's all moot anyway, we're in our 8 minute free for all before mountain impact
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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years ago
    I could not disagree more. Assuming that the only rational choice is to vote for one of the DemRep statists is absolute rubbish. Swish, pop, Strike Three, you are out!
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    • Posted by 4 years ago
      if you are going to choose to act then understanding what choices you have and that they are constrained is based in reality. what exactly do you disagree with, the assumption that one must act? (hindsight is 50/50 as my daughter says)
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      • Posted by freedomforall 4 years ago
        EWV consistently promotes lesser of two evils voting, and this post is no exception. Understanding the issues and candidates is essential, of course, but that is undermined by his conclusion in favor of wasting your vote on the lesser of two evils. It is a surrender to a rigged system. Action must be outside what the party offers or the result is more dictatorship and less liberty. Why does ANYONE listen to this sort of failed reasoning when there is a century of evidence that it produces more and more intrusive government, and less and less liberty? If the founders had constrained choices to "reality" North America might still be an English colony.

        (I often agree with what EWV writes, the earlier post on 'intellectual battle' a "best of" today being one example, but I can't support this surrender to the system.)
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        • Posted by ewv 4 years ago
          ffa, I don't support the lesser of evils or any evil. I am describing the political fact that an election is a choice of which candidates on the ballot will be in fact be in office and nothing more. You can only meaningfully vote for those with at least some chance to win. If which one wins does in fact make a real difference in some realm, than not using your vote to at least try is the wasted vote.

          It does not mean we have no choice in any other realm influencing political events, which each of us should be fighting in to the extent we are able without sacrificing goals in our personal lives. Practical activity you can engage in ranges from grass roots activism to speaking out intellectually for long term cultural change.

          We do not have the choices the Founders did. The English King wasn't telling them what to do when they drafted the constitution. They had something we don't today: the country was of the Enlightenment, culturally dominated by reason and individualism despite the flaws of philosophy at the time.

          Before the constitution, the colonists had a better chance of defeating King George in the revolution, as difficult as that was, than we do today at the ballot box. And the idea of an armed revolution against the US government today is obviously hopelessly suicidal.

          This isn't "surrender to the system". It's the meaning of physical compulsion under which you literally have no choice. As long as you continue to speak out and and do what you can you aren't surrendering. Sometimes you have to "give up" in some specific realm because you have no choice, but never, ever, give in.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 4 years ago
            I think that the evidence is clear that voting for the DemRep candidates has produced more and more statist policies, bigger, more intrusive government, and less liberty. I think that not resisting that perverted, rigged system helps to perpetuate its existence. I do not agree with you on this. Your arguments are not compelling to me, and regardless of your claim that you are not supporting the lesser of two evils, the act of voting as you describe results in exactly that in my opinon.
            By voting for people that are virtually guaranteed to act against my interests, I would be acting against my interests. If there is to be a peaceful change for more liberty and less statist policy then it must ultimately happen that more people must vote against statist candidates. I want people to vote against statist candidates. The sooner the better. I do not vote for people that I think are statist candidates.
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            • Posted by ewv 4 years ago
              Voting is selection between two candidates, one of which is guaranteed to take office and under which you have to live. It is not to change the system. That the country is in a downward spiral is obvious to everyone here. Voting in any one election will not change that, but can head off disasters. We have to make choices in our lives while trying to change the system whatever direction it is going.

              Those serious about changing the system do a lot more than vote, because simply voting for the candidates dished out to us (or for someone who will not win, in the name of a "statement" that no one understands or cares about) cannot possibly change it.

              Changing the course of a nation is a long term, large scale effort that takes a lot of work by a lot of people who know what they are doing and realize they may never live long enough to see the results. The population will not magically wake up one day and decide to vote for "libertarians" for the same philosophical reason that it has been increasingly voting for statists and running them for office for over a century.

              Voting for candidates who do less damage can buy time and make possible a better life than otherwise would have been, but it will not change the system. That is much, much harder. It takes a lot more than a handful of people stamping their feet and shouting no, then hoping that all will change for the better in the next election cycle. It won't. The culture is headed down, in a zig-zag fashion with some corrections and some improvements in areas such as technology, but overall downward into worse statism.

              There is a lot that must be done to reverse that, but it isn't hoping that libertarian candidates suddenly start to win on Ron Paul slogans while otherwise refusing to vote. In the meantime if you want to live you had better make decisions that matter where you still have choices here in reality.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 4 years ago
                So you and I are consistent in our thinking and our voting. You see nothing wrong with voting for statist candidates and you think it is helpful.
                I think that voting for statist candidates is inconsistent with my thinking and encourages greater state power and dictatorship, so I encourage people to act for liberty and against statism, and to vote in a consistent way, against statist candidates. In my opinion your arguments are not rational in view of the record of the statists you have voted for in the past. Your votes have been and will be to encourage greater state control and dictatorship. Mine will oppose statists and state power. Your arguments do not justify your proposed action in my view. Continuing to vote for the candidates chosen for us by those who believe they are our masters is the wrong action and is inconsistent with working to increase individual liberty.
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        • Posted by 4 years ago
          you are providing more context to the discussion. I have not seen those posts. Personally, I have gone around and around with myself on this. I remain a Republican so I can vote in the primary. But the take one for the team in the general I am done with. I do support the argument that voting 3rd party sends a voting message rather than loses it for our side kind of thinking. But I think it's important to vote. and you have limited choices. staying home doesn't say anything.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 4 years ago
            Not voting says you have more integrity than the Demreps and the system. It is choosing not to give your sanction to a system that deifies statism and minimizes liberty.
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            • Posted by ewv 4 years ago
              A vote is not a sanction. Votes determine who among the candidates will in fact be in office. They are not a philosophical popularity contest. You don't have more integrity as a martyr refusing to do what little you can through voting.

              Ayn Rand addressed the principle of moral sanction versus imposition by government in the "Wreckage of the Consensus" (in CUI) in the context of military conscription:

              "There is, however, one moral aspect of the issue that needs clarification. Some young men seem to labor under the misapprehension that since the draft is a violation of their rights, compliance with the draft law would constitute a moral sanction of that violation. This is a serious error. A forced compliance is not a sanction. All of us are forced to comply with many laws that violate our rights, but so long as we advocate the repeal of such laws, our compliance does not constitute a sanction. Unjust laws have to be fought ideologically; they cannot be fought or corrected by means of mere disobedience and futile martyrdom. To quote from an editorial on this subject in the April 1967 issue of Persuasion: 'One does not stop the juggernaut by throwing oneself in front of it....')"

              A briefer statement was "morality ends where a gun begins" in AS. You are not morally guilty for actions constrained by government. Living your life the best you can is not a sanction of the government limiting it. Casting a vote to do the best you can to save yourself from an even worse politician (if there is in fact a difference) is not immoral.



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              • Posted by freedomforall 4 years ago
                Rand's statement was about people being compelled by force to put their lives at risk. No one is compelled by force to vote (yet.) Rand's statement has no application here.
                I don't see any moral superiority for either people who vote against statist candidates or people who choose not to vote when there are only statist candidates. Voting for a statist candidate is support for statist policy unless there is no other choice available.
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                • Posted by ewv 4 years ago
                  As I wrote, I cited the explanation for the principle it explained.

                  Voting for a bad candidate who would do less damage than the other is not support for statism. It is about choosing which of the two you will have to live under given the fact that one of them will win no matter what you do.

                  You aren't following the distinction in principle between imposition of government versus granting a sanction. Voting is not about making "statements"; it is for selecting candidates from the limited choice before you. If you don't think there is a practical difference then don't vote. If you vote only because you think you are supposed to regardless of the significance of the potential outcomes, that would be sanctioning the system.
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                  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years ago
                    Voting for statist candidates is not consistent with opposing statist policy. No amount of repeating the same argument will change this. You think the action of voting for GOP statists is better than Dem statists. I disagree. Voting for the GOP statists has resulted in bigger government and faster destruction of the Bill of Rights than Dem statists. GOP statists are not better and do not deserve support from any freedom lover.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 4 years ago
            Read ewv's replies here and the context will be clear. Statism should not be supported by wasting your vote on statist candidates, and that is what ewv promotes, in my opinion. ewv has a different opinon and I completely disagree with it based upon the record of GOP statist candidates elected in the past 30 years. They have been given chance after chance to act in favor of liberty and against the power of the state and they refuse. To continue to vote for them is irrational folly.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years ago
    I couldn't disagree more. EWV is advocating for voting for the 'least of the worst' and accepting only the options given by others. He goes further and defines morality as only pertaining to the reality of the moment (a reality set for you by others), making them conditional, situational, and relative. Morality is defined from your principles or its not moral, its then political.

    Then he describes my political choices as 'necessarily' 'very constrained.' Why? And who decides that its necessary? That's nonsense.
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    • Posted by 4 years ago
      it is not immoral to vote. I will agree that the system may now be at a place which is outside the constraints and bounds of a proper and moral govt:
      "A majority vote is not an epistemological validation of an idea. Voting is merely a proper political device—within a strictly, constitutionally delimited sphere of action—for choosing the practical means of implementing a society’s basic principles. But those principles are not determined by vote." ON, '65, 8
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      • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years ago
        It may not be immoral to vote, but voting against your own interest and principles has to be about as close as I can imagine. It strikes me as somewhat similar to voting for the chair or chemicals for your own execution. It may be the reality I'm given at that moment in time and in that system, but I'm damned if I'm going to participate. Chemicals may be a softer way to go, but the end is the same and you're going to have to struggle with me to kill me, even if that struggle is comparatively weak or even futile.

        If that's too extreme, take a home robbery with the robber giving you the choice of being tied up and trusting him to only steal what he says he wants or pistol whipping you and he'll take everything. None of it works for me and it shouldn't work for any human.
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        • Posted by ewv 4 years ago
          Recognizing the factual choice before you and acting accordingly by voting to head off a particular worse action or policy is obviously not voting against your own interests. It is making a distinction, not sanctioning the whole system. If you don't in any particular election think that it makes a significant difference, then don't vote. But for anyone who wants to make a difference in politics, voting is the least of the activism he should be involved in.

          Be specific. Suppose your home is being targeted for a taking by the National Park Service. There are two candidates for President, or, say, the Senate seat open in your state. One of them is pandering to or is ideologically in league with the viro preservationsists campaigning and lobbying to take your property and more. The other opposes it and could make the difference if in office (such as the President directing Interior Dept. policy and action.) would you not vote, and do more in support of the candidate who would help you, because neither is a libertarian?

          This is only one of many very real examples in today's politics experienced by people all over the country. People are actively struggling to make a difference to save themselves and then see some "libertarian" who knows nothing about grass roots politics sitting on the sidelines defiantly claiming moral superiority for not voting and making appeals about "Austrian economics" to people who don't know what he is talking about and accomplishing nothing, while real people here on earth are shaking their heads in disbelief. This is why libertarian politics is known for not operating in the real world. What would you do?
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          • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years ago
            I reject the concept of 'help from a politician' or from a government. Government's only legitimate purpose is to retaliate against those that try to or succeed in initiating force against me and by extension this country and to punish fraud and theft. AR described those that seek help from the government or those in it as looters, moochers.

            I will vote for someone whom I believe will reduce the scope of government in my life, and who has not spent their life in or made a career of politics.
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            • Posted by ewv 4 years ago
              When someone in government is able to help fend off a government assault like taking private property for viro causes, he _is_ reducing the scope of government in your life.
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    • Posted by ewv 4 years ago
      The constraints arise from the fact that we live in a culture that has accepted statism and collectivism to a large degree. You can argue against the prevailing views, but cannot force people to change their minds. Changing minds to change the culture and the course of a nation is a long term process, not something that can be accomplished in an election cycle.

      While working for change, the current state of the culture still determines the kinds of candidates we get, the kinds of candidates who have any realistic chance of winning an election, and the kind of power they have -- for good or bad -- once in office. That limited option is imposed, not "accepted". You can only "accept" it in the sense of recognizing and acknowledging the nature of the imposition. That does not condone it.

      I advocate voting for the best you are able that will make a difference in who is running the government that we all have to live under, not condoning the lousy choice you are constrained to. Condoning those limits would be immoral, recognizing them as fact is not.

      The point about it not being immoral to vote for a candidate you regard as immoral is that the moral pertains to actions possible to make in reality. Recognize that an election is selection of who among (usually) two candidates you will in fact be living under, it is not a moral endorsement of what he is in the broader context or a moral endorsement of the limits on the choice you are presented with.

      Your vote is that specific choice, not a statement. If you want to make a statement then speak, but don't confuse that with the reality of what a vote is. If you imagine that a vote is more than that and refuse to participate when it could make a difference, then you are limiting yourself beyond the constraints already imposed.

      The necessity of having to choose among constrained options is not a moral sanction of the constraints. Whether you vote or not, one of those two candidates will in fact be in power. That much you cannot change. All you can do in reality at the time of the election is try to influence which it will be. The question of morality at that point of pulling a lever into one of two positions pertains to a specific action you take within constraints you can do nothing about. You don't have to like it, but don't feel guilty about making a choice under constraints you can at the time do nothing about.
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      • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years ago
        You either have principles from which your moral actions flow, or you don't. The fact remains that by participating in a rigged system rather than turning your back and walking away, you're saying 'OK keep doing it to me. My principles aren't all that important to me.' If you were arguing for not being hung up on perfection in politics, I could find some agreement with you. But that doesn't seem to me what you're advocating. You're arguing the least worst and I reject that as immoral to yourself.

        The only way to ever change such a system is to say NO. Never by going along to get along.
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        • Posted by ewv 4 years ago
          Moral actions "flow" from applying your principles to real actions in the real world where you have a choice. That is what moral principles are for. You have to make choices because the outcome matters to your life. They are not floating abstractions of duty pronounced in a fit of rectitude while wrapping yourself in a loud "no" with nowhere to "walk away" to and making no difference to what that happens to you.

          When the "least worst" is imposed on you, the moral responsibility for it is with those who did it, not on you for not ignoring the difference between that and a worse evil.
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