Don't Vote As I Vote

Everybody's got a reason for voting, and they all stink

Something of Barack Hussein Obama's gassy, orotund manner seems to have rubbed off on his fans this endorsement season. The news media endorsement has never been a genre known for its pith or saltiness, but this year's offerings have been particularly solemn and heavy. The New York Times reported from a "battered and drifting" United States that its endorsement choice had "met challenge after challenge" in a "grueling and ugly campaign." Breaking with a three-decade non-endorsement tradition, the Los Angeles Times pronounced that it is "inherent in the American character to aspire to greatness." The Washington Post burst in, sober as a judge, to praise this year's winner's "supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building." Even The New Yorker, a magazine with no past endorsements under its belt, announced that "America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness...a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled world."

Having worked on endorsements at both large and small media, I don't make light of the work that goes into them. In my experience, journalists go to great lengths to compensate for their own biases, look at the facts with fresh eyes, and interview as many relevant parties as possible prior to making an endorsement. At the presidential level, this is all wasted effort, the end result of which is always an endorsement any attentive reader could have predicted. (In all the cases quoted above, Obama got the nod.) But I respect the effort. The reason endorsements don't matter (and this election, like all others, has generated its own raft of "Do endorsements still matter?" thumbsuckers) is that everybody, even endorsement writers, votes according to a set of beliefs and prejudices that is not transferable to any other person. The only reason this isn't obvious is that they only give you two choices in an election.

I'm probably going to vote for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) this year, and my reason is particularly indefensible. It's a straightforward case of reverse racism. For most of my life (beginning, I think, with a broadcast of that paean to racial harmony Brian's Song), I have figured that America should have a black president, and that if such a candidate ever came along who wasn't a complete disaster, I'd vote for him. That moment has arrived, yet it's full of irony: Usually I throw away my vote by betting on some third-party forlorn hope, but this year Obama's lock on California makes my vote especially superfluous and irrelevant.

And the candidate himself comes quite close to being a complete disaster. Obama has taken positions and even—with the slight peevishness of a man who knows he's been singled out by destiny and doesn't see much point in going through the usual channels—documented and supported them. To the extent we can piece together a portrait of the candidate, it's awful. He's a strident anti-trader and industrial-era dead-ender, persuaded that protecting decades-gone jobs in the Midwest is a national responsibility. He will try to enact some version of universal health care. On most issues where he's not worse than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)—foreign policy, wiretapping, finance—he's just as bad. He may or may not be friendly with too many anti-American jackholes, but he's definitely too friendly with jackholes in general. His budget projections are fanciful. Worst of all, for at least the next two years he will almost certainly have the support of the majority party in Congress.

And yet in a dream, in a Nixon-era fog of progressive uplift, I'm ready to vote for him. And I'm pretty sure my reasons for voting for Obama are no dumber than your reasons for voting for whomever you're voting for.

For example, Obama soars through the Better Guy to Have a Beer With test. I don't trust the Better Guy to Have a Beer With test because in polling George W. Bush, a teetotaler, always won it. But in Obama's 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father, the first-person narrator repeatedly sits down with another character and orders a beer. Sometimes the reader is even told what the other character ordered. He keeps up the beers even after giving up some other intoxicants. (As both a drunk and a partial believer in the secret-Muslim theory, I was on the lookout for any evidence of halal behavior from the austere politician.) I believe Dreams from My Father has at best a novelistic relationship with fact, but it is an indication of how the candidate wanted to present himself 13 years ago. The book's revelation—that all the male figures in the narrator's life turn out to be, to one degree or another, self-indulgent fuck-ups—even gave me a sense of generational kinship with the sixties-born author. And if there's anything dumber than racial profiling, it's generational solidarity.

Is voting out of racial/role model skylarking any dumber than voting for a candidate because she's a she? It probably is, because the differences between genders appear, to my amateur's eye, more striking than the differences among races. (I might feel differently if I had taken the Walloon's hatred of the Frisian with my mother's milk.) There are solid, compelling reasons to vote for a candidate just because she's a woman. In fact, the sacred scrolls of my religion enjoin me to beware the beast man, to shun him, for he will make a desert of his home and mine. I look forward to the day when women run everything, I was hoping Hillary Clinton would pull a late-primaries pile-driver on Obama, and if there were any hope for Cynthia McKinney (a twofer!) I'd be right there for her now.

But this goes back to the chicken/egg wasted-vote argument. Is it better to make a statement by voting for an outsider or to make a less audible statement by jumping in for a major party win? Is this not the country that made national fetishes of the Cowboys and the Bears, the Lakers and the Bulls, teams whose only attraction was their predictable dominance? It's enjoyable to be on the delivering end of the beatdown once in a while!

This year, Bob Barr has promised a credible run by the Libertarian candidate, and by temperament and party affiliation I should be all for him. I certainly hope he stays with the party and runs again in the future. And while I believe he is a mostly reformed character, I spent too much of the 1990s wishing for a chance not to vote for Bob Barr to miss the opportunity now.

But this is starting to sound like the to-be-sure section of an endorsement, and my point is that endorsements are so meaningless they might be said not to exist at all. I don't lament that this article will not change anybody's mind; I rejoice in it. Because I'm pulling the lever for a man who was both born to be and bred himself to be the Optimized First Black President: boring, charismatic, thoughtful, handsome, slick—in all respects the guy of my long-held dreams, except that I always figured he'd be a Republican or a war hero. That's not a logical reason to vote for anybody. But then (unless you've got a solid promise of a kickback with a specified dollar figure), the math argues that there are no logical reasons to vote at all.

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  • tarran||

    Wow. What's the word for a multitude of words conveying little meaning?

    Tim, if you waste your vote on Obama, you really should turn in your official libertarian card. :)

    Seriously, WTF? Why do you want to add your vote to the avalanche of votes calling for a New Deal? If you want to think globally and act locally, you want to add to neither McCain's nor Obama's vote totals.

    Voting for Obama because you want to cast a vote against Bob Barr? Jeez. What a waste! Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    In all likelihood, your vote won't affect the outcome of the election, and yes the next president of the United States, whether McCain or Obama will continue to wield George Bush's wrecking ball on the economy regardless of how you vote, but you don't have to actually add your voice to the chorus egging the wrecking ball on.

    Very disappointed, Tim, Very disappointed.

  • Guy Montag||

    When did Bob Barr stop being Black?

  • PicassoIII||

    tarran wrote:
    you really should turn in your official libertarian card.


    Eh ... close enough.

    Drink!

  • anarch||

    Tim's heart belongs to Dada.

  • ||

    It would be nice if voting for a black man would heal racial divisions but it won't. Obama will drop the race card and accuse his critics of being racist the first time he runs into trouble. If God forbid he becomes unpopular or loses and election, the spin will be that some people just couldn't acctept the fact that there was a black person in the whitehouse. The Repbulican Base is going to be pissed if this election goes badly. You don't think the media won't portray them as racist? Of course they will. People have too much invested in racial divisions in this country for the election of one person to change it.

  • Warty||

    What's the word for a multitude of words conveying little meaning?

    Logorrhea.

  • Guy Montag||

    PicassoIII,

    You don't have to tell me twice. Already have my billing entered and headed to Pentagon Row for some cheap red wine.

  • ||

    "Tim's heart belongs to Dada."

    Couldn't have said it better.

  • ||

    Thanks for the reminder of the basis for a politician's "mandate".

  • ||

    John, if Obama was going to "play the race card," don't you think he would have done it already?

  • ||

    Makes sense. Voting is the ultimate irrational behavior. I limited myself to choosing, in each race, the best candidate that had no chance at all of winning. Why? I want to be able to complain non-stop for the next two years.

    Also, I'm voting against a bond. I'll lose on that one, too.

  • Federal Dog||

    "It's a straightforward case of reverse racism."


    There's nothing "reverse" about it. You're a racist, full stop. Your racist remarks are rank and despicable. Do everyone a favor and spare the nation racist voting.

  • ||

    The screams of libertarians who make this mistake will be loud and prolonged over the next four years if Obama wins. Either make a statement about liberty and free markets with an LP vote, or accept the consequences of voting for Leviathan. Race issues are way past needing symbolic help, anyway.

    For those who must vote Obama for some misguided reason, please be sure to vote for GOP candidates for Congress. It's for the best, trust me. The reverse could work as well for those silly enough to vote for McCain.

  • Tristan Tzara||

    THE MINISTRY IS OVERTURNED. BY WHOM?

    BY DADA

    The Futurist is dead. Of What? Of DADA
    A Young girl commits suicide. Because of What? DADA
    The spirits are telephoned. Who invented it? DADA
    Someone votes for Obama. It's DADA

  • BDB||

    Oh come on. This is straight up commenter-baiting.

  • FrBunny||

    It's a straightforward case of reverse racism.

    That's not "reverse racism" if such a thing even exists. It's plain old racism. Don't deflect your insecurities onto my dictionary please.

  • I, Kahn O\'Clast||

    Given that I cannot write in Ron Paul and given that I do not believe Barr's conversion and given that I live in a swing(ish) state I too might vote for Obama... or perhaps not at all....

  • BDB||

    You guys should have gotten Dave W. to do it. That would have gotten an even bigger rise out of people!

  • gorgonzola\'s foil||

    Tim, if you picked up the Walloon's hatreds in your mother's milk ("Cavanaugh": VERY Ardennienne surname, btw) you'd probably hate on the Flemings, not the Frisians. The Frisians have some very nice horses though.

    But thank you for articulating my candidate-based reason why I'm OK with a vote for Obama. Structurally, the management of the federal bureaucracy needs to change, badly, after this past run. Team R cannot win. I believe there are some race-based positives to Team D's selection for receiving my vote.

  • ||

    Does anyone really think it's "racist" to want a black president, in the same sense that it's racist to want a white president? I've yet to meet anyone who would say that, but it seems common on the Internet. I call bullshit. If you really think that, you have some strange ideas about race, to say the least.

  • anarch||

    if Obama was going to "play the race card," don't you think he would have done it already?



    He may be saving it for a pinch, so that when he's accused of playing the race card, he can say "If I were going to 'play the race card,' don't you think I would have done it already?"

  • Les||

    The Repbulican Base is going to be pissed if this election goes badly. You don't think the media won't portray them as racist?

    I don't think they need the media to portray them as racists. They seem perfectly happy to portray themselves that way.





  • Federal Dog||

    "Does anyone really think it's "racist" to want a black president, in the same sense that it's racist to want a white president?"

    If race is the dispositive factor, of course it's racist. That's exactly what racism means: discriminating based on race.

  • alan||

    Does anyone really think it's "racist" to want a black president, in the same sense that it's racist to want a white president?

    Gingrich made a comparison that it is no different than the pride Greeks felt during the Dukakis run. Okay, I can see that.

    Personally, if no one is elected from my ethnic background in my life time, I couldn't give a rat's ass. It does not effect me one way or the other.

    However, there is a fantastic baseball player, and a boxer now that I think about it, with my last name, and that is a bit of pride boost for me.

  • ||

    Tim - meet joe.

    joe - meet Tim.

    Ya'll have a lot in common to talk about; starting with racial self-loathing.

    CB

  • NotThatDavid||

    Pontificating as performance art. Two thumbs up.

  • former lurker||

    Federal Dog, that's not the only definition of racism, or even the primary one, at least according to the dictionary on my desk. Racism also means the belief in the supriority of one race. If I vote for the black guy in part because he's black, it doesn't mean I hate white people. We've still had 43 white presidents and we'll probably have plenty more. I'm cool with white presidents. If I vote for the white guy because he's white, it could mean that I don't want to see a black president.

  • ||

    Obama will drop the race card and accuse his critics of being racist the first time he runs into trouble.

    Well, to be fair, I don't think Obama will. But his peeps damn sure will. They are already.

    Given that I cannot write in Ron Paul and given that I do not believe Barr's conversion and given that I live in a swing(ish) state I too might vote for Obama... or perhaps not at all....

    You don't have to believe in Barr's conversion (he ain't gonna be the next President) to believe that a vote for him will send a message. That's all that's left for us in this election.

  • Anon||

    Wow, huge Democratic presence in Reason this week. I feel like I'm reading the Economist.


    ...just without the paradoxical support of expansive social welfare programs...

  • ||

    Honestly, I can't think of a good reason to vote for president on this single issue. We keep putting in obviously inept candidates, we're going to get what we deserve. What about the Vietnam POWs who haven't been elected to the White House? Where does this identity-driven nonsense end?

  • ||

    The terms "racist" and "racism" have been so devalued by this election cycle that who really gives a damn anymore if they are called "racist" by their opponent? Such an epithet becomes purely opportunistic rather than meaningful.

    Obama's race is pretty much the only positive thing going for him, in my estimation.

  • nonPaulogist||

    I agree the math says there is no good reason to vote at all. That's why I'm not voting. Math is not subjective.

  • bob barr||

    reason sucks

  • ||

    Gingrich made a comparison that it is no different than the pride Greeks felt during the Dukakis run. Okay, I can see that.

    Wait, Greeks were proud during the Dukakis run? I would have thought embarrassment would be the correct emotion.

  • Federal Dog||

    "Federal Dog, that's not the only definition of racism, or even the primary one, at least according to the dictionary on my desk."

    It's the basic definition on which all others logically depend. Whatever value judgments are used to justify treating people differently according to race depends on the basic decision to treat people differently based on their race.

  • ||

    Well, I'll be voting for the lesser of two evils, McCain, so at least I can say 'I told you so' when the nation inevitably collapses in a morass of quasi-communism and authoritarianism. I have a few other quibbles with your post, which I'll share with everyone, even though I know no one will probably even read this.

    I'm somewhat surprised that, after going through your ancedotal analysis of Obama, you concluded he was anything less than a total disaster. The kind of disaster that people read about in history books.

    I was also surprised that Obama won your 'best guy to have a beer with' test. I wouldn't want to spend two minutes in the same area code with McCain or Obama. They bother induce a gag reflex that I can only imagine would result in wholesale wretching should I ever be unfortunate enough to stumble into either of their presence.

    Finally, I'll say one thing about women. They are either delightfully right or teeth gnashingly wrong. I've never met a moderate woman, or a woman that didn't have an opinion, but I've met scores of lackluster shiftless men who, while intelligent enough, simply don't put forth the effort to care. Of course, that is not to say that most women (and most men, incidently), base their opinions on what might politely be characterized as 'ignorence of real life.'

    Oh well, I suppose with Obama I can at least start enjoying my new welfare, I mean 'tax cut,' money.

  • ||

    nonPaulogist - do the world a favor and voluntarily shuffle yourself off this mortal coil.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Wow. That's a lot of hostility.

  • Krumble||

    Hey, waduhyano, I'm voting for him 'cuz he's white.

  • svf||

    I was also surprised that Obama won your 'best guy to have a beer with' test. I wouldn't want to spend two minutes in the same area code with McCain or Obama.

    You should vote for Barr then... he likes martinis and cigars. You'd have to pick up the tab, though....

  • nonPaulogist||

    Whether 'tis noble in the mind to suffer the slaings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of dipshits and, by opposing, end them. Tis a consumation devoutly to be wished.

  • egosumabbas||

    Let me get this straight. Bob Barr isn't libertarian enough, so you vote for ... a candidate who disagrees with most of the libertarian philosophy.

    *bangs head on desk*

  • Neu Mejican||

    John, RC Dean,

    Is accusing someone of future race-baiting because they are black the same thing as reverse race baiting, or is it just race baiting?

  • nonPaulogist||

    I hate the idea of BHO getting elected, but I hate voters worse. All voters are assholes, dipshits or both. I rejoice when I think that the non-voter's implicit endorsement of "none of the above" will almost certainly win a plurality.

    Even Barrrrr is a IRAQ war-authorizing asshole. Fuck'em all. The social contract is not legitimate and government is inherently evil.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    "If race is the dispositive factor, of course it's racist. That's exactly what racism means: discriminating based on race."

    No, sweetheart. Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior, or inferior based on their inherent racial make-up. What you are describing is prejudice, which everyone is. Prejudice can be based on things other than the belief in inherent traits.

    It's fun watching Libertarians reduce to themselves ot the "the country will be destroyed under a Democrat" routine that they claimed was going to happen under a Clinton Presidency.

    Enough.

    You're almost red baiting, and it's unbecoming.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I rejoice when I think that the non-voter's implicit endorsement of "none of the above" will almost certainly win a plurality.

    The voters rejoice with you.

  • Neu Mejican||

    A formula:

    implicit endorsement of "none of the above" = explicit endorsement of the winner.

  • ||

    egosumabbas,

    Precisely.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Of course it is really:

    Intended endorsement of "none of the above" = inferred endorsement of "whatever you guys think"

  • nonPaulogist||

    ?

  • ||

    And I'm pretty sure my reasons for voting for Obama are no dumber than your reasons for voting for whomever you're voting for.

    Seeing as how yesterday I voted for Bob Barr because he has been consistently articulating libertarian principles I agree with, I have to say that your "I am voting for Obama because he's Teh Black" "reasoning" (to be mighty charitable here) is WAY WAY dumber than my reasoning. If it is any consolation, your "logic" is roughly as dumb as all my 9th grade daughter's classmates crush on this bloody statist.

    Wow. You've certainly managed to inject a great deal of irony in the name of the publication you work for.

    (Drinks.)

  • nonPaulogist||

    You can infer that I want to suck your wife's toes, but it doesn't make it so. Participation in a fraudulaent process indicates an endorsement of the process. Whether or not Coke or Pepsi is chosen in your bogus "Pepsi challenge" is irrelevant.

  • ||

    nonPaulogist: in other words, VERY FEW (almost none) associate "not voting = I hate all of the choices"...most people assume a "silence = consent" rule.

    Put it another way: if six of us are sitting around discussing pizza toppings and you say nothing, the other five of us will assume that you're "OK with whatever".

  • ||

    Participation in a fraudulaent process indicates an endorsement of the process

    And in what way is it "fraudulent"?

  • ||

    It's a straightforward case of reverse racism.

    Fixed.

  • nonPaulogist||

    I'm just about done pouring drinks. I'm gonna just start chugging from the bottle.

  • ||

    "Comment on this article:"

    Umm, no comment.

  • Orange Line Special||

    I didn't read it, but I can tell already that it's yet another in the long line of stupid things Tim Cavanaugh has written.

    I'm going to include a comment I left at another site; see if you can figure out where I left it:

    One reason why some (many?) might vote for BHO is because they don't want racists to thereby win. If he does lose, a lot of racists will cheer. However, there are very few racists with any actual power; it's not like the Klan writes legislation (generally speaking). After a BHO loss, racists will continue to have little or no real power.

    On the other hand, if BHO loses, those racists will also lose.

    However, another set of people will win: BHO's supporters. While most are no doubt nice people, many are not and are willing to do things like look through someone's private records (JTP case). And, many have fascistic tendencies. No, really. Who knew that East Germany-style thinking would find such purchase at DailyKos?

    And, of course, BHO has a growing personality cult which would only get more pathological if he wins.

    And, those people above - the cultists and those with fascistic tendencies - would have actual power after a BHO win.

    But, wait, there's more. A BHO win would also completely validate every lie and smear the MSM has told on his behalf. Extraordinarily undemocratic press behavior would be rewarded instead of punished.

    That said, I fully expect Althouse to support BHO, because she's simply unable to figure any of this out.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Angry Proctologist-

    If the choice is between a socialist who is a reluctant warmonger and a warmonger who is a reluctant socialist, it's fraudulent to claim that it is a meaningful choice. Even Barrrrr is like adding Orange soda to the Pepsi challenge when what you really want is beer.

  • Russ 2000||

    I understand the "Catholic Guilt" reasoning.

    I am in the "I'm not going to react to my Catholic Guilt" stage of life so therefore I am using that as my sole reasoning for voting "anyone but Obama".

    Actually, the "I'm not going to react to my Catholic Guilt" stage of my life is my sole - and the best - reasoning for staying away from democratic processes. I am fully cognizant of the seven deadlies and make an effort to apologize and repent when I indulge, but "Catholic Guilt" includes millions more non-sins as sins than the seven deadlies. Most people vote as an act of envy and vanity, and lie about it to boot - reason enough for me to repent from the process.

  • F F F||

    A vote for Obama would be bad for racists? I'm definitely voting for him now to spite OLS.

  • Russ 2000||

    At least you left out Buddhists.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Buddhists are what the Hitchiker's guide would call "mostly harmless."

  • ||

    Here's a good reason for not voting. I just did a back of the envelope calculation on my odds of being killed in a traffic accident driving to or from the nearest polling place. Assumptions: 200 million votes cast, 41,000 traffic fatalities annually in the US, six miles round trip to my nearest polling place, driving 12,000 miles per year. Chances of being killed driving to or from polling place: .000000077% chance of being killed in the process.

    Fuck it, it just ain't worth it.

  • Neu Mejican||

    nonPaulogist | October 28, 2008, 6:22pm | #
    Nue Beaner-

    You can "assume" whatever the fuck you want. If a convict gets to choose Leavenworth over Lompoc, it doesn't mean he's free.


    You've convinced me.
    I agree with you that the best choice you have is to refrain from voting.

    The voters rejoice in your decision.

  • nonPaulogist||

    If I vote at all, it will be a write-in for JT.

  • Neu Mejican||

    nonPaulogist,

    I speak for myself and all those whose silence indicates agreement with me.

    8^p

  • Neu Mejican||

    nonPaulogist's Thesaurus.

    New Mexican = Mexican = Beaner, Spic.

    Speaks volumes.

  • ||

    so far, nonPaulogist has used the words "kike, spic, beaner and nigger"...your mom must be proud of you, nP.

  • ||

    If the choice is between a socialist who is a reluctant warmonger and a warmonger who is a reluctant socialist, it's fraudulent to claim that it is a meaningful choice.

    Not what you said, doodles. You said that the process is fraudulent, so quit moving the goalposts.

  • Neu Mejican||

    TAO,

    From his diction I am assuming nonPaulogist fits the intended meaning behind my favorite line from Sexy Beast

    "You're the fucking problem you fucking Dr White honkin' jam-rag fucking spunk-bubble!"

  • Invisible Finger||

    implicit endorsement of "none of the above" = explicit endorsement of the winner.

    Ah, the ol' Nixonian 'silent majority' logic.

  • ||

    Reason was better before Tim left.

  • economist||

    Cartman '08!

  • ||

    nonPaulogist | October 28, 2008, 7:15pm | #
    Okay, nuevo-greaser, let me use small words. The process is fraudulent because it is framing the issue fraudulently.


    Wow, nP is getting so worked up he can't even remember which person he is arguing with on what subject.

    TAO & Nue Mejican, ya'll may wan't to lay off before his brain 'splodes.

  • ||

    I'm voting for Kodos.

  • Nemo||

    I guess joe is writing for Reason now.

  • ||

    Okay, nuevo-greaser, let me use small words. The process is fraudulent because it is framing the issue fraudulently. It's Ray choosing the Stay- Puft marshmallow man. Government of any kind is not legitimate because the social contract is not legitimate. Initiating force in NEVER right, no matter who does it (including the state).

    Good luck in that world. I think it's the same planet where communism works.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Kang was better.

  • nonPaulogist||

    it's true. I've confused TAO with nue mejican. It's all the tequila I've been drinking. That reminds me...

  • nonPaulogist||

    Mo- two hunert years ago they said that slavery could never be outlawed. It had been around since the dawn of civilization. We outlawed slavery forever and we can get rid of the state too.

  • ||

    The process is fraudulent because it is framing the issue fraudulently.

    The process isn't fraudulent and (here's a hint) the process doesn't frame itself. People "frame" it.

  • ||

    We outlawed slavery forever and we can get rid of the state too.

    Ha! Would you like to "outlaw" the state, nP?

  • nonPaulogist||

    The state is doomed regardless of my opinion. it is economically destined to die because it is inefficient.

  • nonPaulogist||

    TAO-

    A process is fraudulent if it is based on a false premise. Asking if you have stopped beating your wife assumes that you were beating your wife.

    Asking who you prefer to rule over you assumes you prefer to be ruled.

  • ||

    Look, I'm one of the "house liberals" but I've also a long record here of opposing affirmative action (it's detestable), immigration, and the "racial healing" thinking behind nominating Obama.

    However, you have to admit, that having a black guy win the Presidency would be really nice. It demonstrates that to a very, very, large degree, racism is increasingly irrelevant. I mean, c'mon, post-Obama Presidency when you hear that Amerikkka doesn't give a black man a chance you can just laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Young black kids would have a much harder time buying that b.s.

    I mean, really, if a mixed race guy with an Islamic sounding name can win the Presidency this REALLY is the land of opportunity....

  • nonPaulogist||

    I would agree with you, MNG, if racism was our biggest problem. Unfortunately it is not anywhere close.

  • ||

    Asking who you prefer to rule over you assumes you prefer to be ruled.

    You're still evading the point. There will be a ruler, nP, the question isn't about that. The question is, how will they be chosen?

  • jnn||

    His whole dang point is that it is always irrational to vote.

    So there is no such thing as a good reason to vote for anyone. It's not worth the effort, rationally.

  • ||

    nP

    I disagree.

    If you're black or white racism is like the biggest issue around these days. Affirmative action is there to greet you in jobs or college admissions, scholarships, etc. Racism is the topic of so many f*ing movies and tv shows and music and uhh, I'm tired just thinking about it.

    Look, we've been a nation for hundreds of years now. We used to keep these people as slaves. Then we treated them like shit on a stick until 1964. To have a black guy win the Presidency means any American who beleives in the words of the Declaration of Independence should stand up and say "whooo fucking-whooo!" If what bothers you is his "socialism" then, Jesus, every candidate has had that for a hundred years. At least we are getting something good from this one!

  • ||

    Tim's in a fine fettle and I like it.

    BarTel d'Arcy lives!

  • Neu Mejican||

    Mo, '

    Good luck in that world. I think it's the same planet where communism works.

    Good call.
    All the flavors of anarchy (whether nonPaulogist's "Anarcho-capitalism" (he would cite Austrian economics, "the only true economics" to support the idea) or "Anarcho-syndicalism" (citing Marx) require that people don't actually act like people in order to be implemented.

    nP is far more articulate on the Steady-state economics thread above. I wonder how long it will be before he is throwing around racist clap-trap on that thread.

  • Neu Mejican||

    nP,

    Asking who you prefer to rule over you assumes you prefer to be ruled.

    Ah, so you confuse the government of a community with the "ruling" of its people. A simple conceptual error.

    Thing is the legitimate process is one where the people rule themselves. Toss out the rulers and replace them with rule of law. That was the insight of the Founding Fathers (amen).

  • Neu Mejican||

    MNG,

    I mean, really, if a mixed race guy with an Islamic sounding name can win the Presidency this REALLY is the land of opportunity....

    Remember, I called this months ago.

    Of course pointing out that it is really an articulate Harvard educated millionaire in the Senate who is looking to win the Presidency makes it seem less groundbreaking.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Anyone who thinks that racism is the biggest problem is by definition not a libertarian. (drink). One may be a libertarian-leaning anti-racist, but that's not quite the same thing.

    Racist (and I admit they exist and that they're a problem) are not nearly the threat that the statists are.

    How many minorities have been lynched this year compared to the hundreds of servicemen killed in Iraq? None? One?

    Get your priorities straight, people.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Neu Fuxican-

    The tyranny of the majority is still tyranny. Unless it is the unanimous consent of the governed, it is not the consent of the governed.

  • nonPaulogist||

    I am not the one confusing "leadership" with control. That would be you, NM.

  • ||

    Wow, huge Democratic presence in Reason this week. I feel like I'm reading the Economist.

    It took you til now to figure out that, libertarian rhetoric aside, when push comes to shove, Reason is Pinker than Pussy?

    Surely you jest!

  • ||

    "Wow, huge Democratic presence in Reason this week. I feel like I'm reading the Economist."

    Maybe reason, like the economist, would like to have an actual effect on reality rather than be a Father Coughlin of the modern age...

    Oh Noes, Reason doesn't hue to my exact paleo-libertarian stance, I'm upset. Jesus, grow up and ENGAGE the rest of the world...

  • ||

    "Anyone who thinks that racism is the biggest problem is by definition not a libertarian."

    I'm not what you would call a libertarian (though I think I'm someone who is friendly to a lot of libertarian ideas, hence my Reason reading). But, as both candidates are going to bring big government approaches why not choose the one who will mitigate racism, which, I might add, had been a major justification for government intervention since the Freedman's Bureau?

    Remember, McCain contemptously laughed at Ron Paul at the debates. We know where he was coming from....

  • Fluffy||

    It just boggles my mind that after 8 years of W's administration taking a gigantic dump on every small government principle, and on every Constitutional right they could reach, after 8 years of secrecy, surveillance and deception trumping every liberty and every pretense at the rule of law, these Freepers still have the balls to crawl around here trying to convince us that they're better for libertarians than the Democrats.

    Reason gets to be "pinker than pussy" for a few more years while you guys live W down.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Choose Himmler over Goebels! This lesser of two evils argument is tiring.

  • ||

    nP - your incoherence is getting embarrassing. The government is here, and it's here by your assent. So now you get to choose whether you're going to participate.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Government is here by my....ass.

  • ||

    You do pay taxes, don't you?

  • nonPaulogist||

    Arguing over whether-or-not monetarism is superior to statism is like arguing over whether or not magnetism is superior to gravity. Opinions don't count for shit. History will prove the Austrians right.

  • Chrispy||

    If you're black or white racism is like the biggest issue around these days.
    I agree that racism exists and that it is a problem. But it's far from the biggest issue right now. The drug war, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, federal tax rates, bailout plans, free trade agreements, and government spending (just to name a few) are all much, much bigger issues for me than racism is.

    We used to keep these people as slaves. Then we treated them like shit on a stick until 1964.
    That's bad, and it's a reason to support freedom for everyone, but it isn't a reason to vote for someone just because he's black. That would be a form of affirmative action, which is inherently racist.

    To have a black guy win the Presidency means any American who beleives in the words of the Declaration of Independence should stand up and say "whooo fucking-whooo!"
    If that black guy is a person who believes in the Constitution, a limited government, free markets, and personal freedom, then I would agree. But in that case it wouldn't matter at all if he (or she) was black, white, or anything else.

    If what bothers you is his "socialism" then, Jesus, every candidate has had that for a hundred years.
    That's true, which is why I won't be voting for Obama, McCain, or anyone else.

    At least we are getting something good from this one!
    Name one thing. And "a black president" doesn't count, for the reasons above.

  • nonPaulogist||

    TAO-
    I also would give my wallet to an armed mugger, but that doesn't make mugging moral.

    Taxes are theft because they aRE ENFORCED WITH THE THREAT OF FORCE.

  • tarran||

    Neu Mejican,

    I just want to get this straight. If my daughter is caught drinking a beer any time before 2024, she will be locked up in a jail.

    She's three years old. Exactly when did she consent to live by this rule?

    If she's ever caught with a marijuana cigarette, she can be locked up again. Where exactly in our nation of laws, is the U.S> Congress permitted to pass a law outlawing marijuana? When did she consent to such a law?

    Did she consent by the act of being born?

    The notion that an organization that tries to exercise a monopoly on violence over some piece of territory is somehow legitimate because some of the people living in the territory get to cast ballots to pick a small percentage of the members of the organization out of a pool of candidates selected by the organization somehow means people consented to live by the organization's rules is ridiculous.

    I mean, if a super-majority of Americans banded together to make black people be slaves again via Constitutional Amendment, would you be turning in your neighbors to be sold at auction because they consented to be enslaved by participating in the ratification process in a vain attempt to stop it?

    To go to the extreme, in Nazi Germany, whose leaders were appointed by an elected parliament via a set of periodically rtenewed Enabling Acts, all done neatly and above board, were the Jews honor bound to report to the ovens, merely because the nation of laws had decreed that they must die?

    nP has it right. The state, based on the notion that one group of people can force others to disgorge property against their will or force people to carry out certain actions against their will, cannot claim the consent of its subjects regardless of their actions. If I vote, I am assumed to consent to the government. If I refuse to vote, I am assumed to consent to the government. The only action permitted to me is to leave and go into permanent exile (or alternately I can pay taxes for my first 10 years abroad). And, even then, if I try to go to someplace where there is no state, like say Antarctica, I will be harassed and kicked off of that land.

    I vote in a vain, minuscule rear guard action against the state, much like the girl who begs her rapist to wear a condom and promises to submit if he does so, not because I consent to the government. nP is honorably refusing to legitimize the process at all by refusing to go into the polls. But don't try to claim his implied consent merely because he refuses to play the game.

  • Russell||

    Barr seems like a respectable libertarian candidate. For a Reason writer to not support him is a little bit of a head scratcher.

    Without trying to be too serious about this, I would say this article reduces the author's moral authority to be taken seriously with his future works.

  • economist||

    To the President-elect,
    My only request this election season is that you use lubricant, because that at least reduces the bleeding.

  • ||

    Chrispy

    If the US is a land of equal opportunity, then why, in its hundreds of years existence, has 13% of the population NEVER been representd as President? That looks funny to a lot of people, US residents too...

    We have a chance now to pick someone who will repudiate that, someone who is at least articulate and smart, and no more "socialist" than any other Prez candidate...So it seems silly not too actually... Remember "race disadvantage" has been used for most major governmental intrustions since the Freedman's Bureau...to mitigate that is to mitigate government...

  • economist||

    "We" kept them as slaves for years? Nope. Not me. Can't remember even living that long. And in my case, ancestral guilt doesn't work, either, since my ancestors all arrived here 10,000 years ago or in the 1870s.

  • economist||

    To be perfectly blunt, MNG, what's the big fucking deal? Honestly, what sane individual really wants to be president? Sure it's a great symbolic issue, but who really cares that much?

  • ||

    "The state, based on the notion that one group of people can force others to disgorge property against their will or force people to carry out certain actions against their will, cannot claim the consent of its subjects regardless of their actions."

    tarran, that's nuts.

    You and I and several others live on an island. Joe lives on the island. Joe shits in the river which comes downstream to us.

    Are you going to eat that shit, tarran? Or are you and I and several others going to coerce Joe to stop shitting in the river? And if we do is that wrong?

  • economist||

    I would be perfectly fine with every president being black, or Asian, or white, or French (yes, I know that's technically redundant, except that I dislike the French), as long as I have my money and my health.

  • economist||

    MNG,
    Bad comparison. Worse things than Joe shit in rivers naturally. Believe me.

  • ||

    economist
    C'mon. My ancestors never kept slaves, they even died to free them.

    But you can't agree it's pretty crappy that no black man has ever been named to a national ticket? I mean, even considering random stats that is crazy.

    So a black guy, or mixed guy, or whatever, winning the Presidency, says some amazing things about this nation, dontcha' think?

  • economist||

    MNG,
    Plus, the whole point of tarran's post had to do with the idea that "the state" has any special legitimacy or rights that could not be held by its individual members, and whether being born and living in a territory ruled by a particular state amounts to consent of its actions.

  • economist||

    "A black guy, or a mixed guy, or whatever, winning the Presidency, says some amazing things about this nation dontcha' think?"
    Nope. It's easy to vote for someone, especially if you never had to personally do anything to earn that vote.

  • economist||

    Seriously, I wouldn't give a shit if a half-Cherokee were elected president, if I also thought he was a douche. And it really makes me no better if any substantive way.

  • Conrad||

    @jt:
    Voting is like breeding. There's not much of a case for it, except that everyone else who's doing it is an imbecile.

    I'm probably pulling the donkey lever, too... VERY reluctantly. I usually vote for a third party, but I don't trust Barr, I detest Baldwin, and, to be honest, I want to hurt the Republicans as much as I can. They've had it. If the next four years are going to be a disaster regardless, which I think they are, I want to help neuter the neocons. I want Obama to lose, but I want McCain to get slaughtered.

  • economist||

    Conrad,
    Considering that there's enough imbeciles voting Obama to pretty much put this election in the bag for him, why not send a message by voting for Barr? He won't get elected, so not trusting him isn't really a problem.

  • tarran||

    Conrad,

    Why not vote for Barr?

    After all, there's no chance he's going to win, so you're quite safe. And ask yourself, even if Barr wins, do you honestly think he's going to be worse than Obama and McCain?

    MNG,

    You don't need a state to protect your property rights. You can talk to joe. You can build filters to keep his shit out of your water. You can sue him to reimburse you for the damage his shit causes (please note, the state is not needed to operate courts - look at arbitration firms used by businesses in the modern era as a guide to how non-monopoly courts operate), you can organize a publcity campaign to convince people to shun him/boycott him. You can even go and retaliate violently if his shit is toxic, recognizing the losses such a war will necessarily incur.

    I notice you still haven't answered how my daughter came to agree to be locked up in a cage if she burns a particular plant and inhales the resulting smoke. I'll help you out, read any of the texts written in defense of slavery in the 19th century; I believe they explored all the arguments in favor of one group forcing its will upon another. There were some pretty inventive guys coming up with clever rationales to prevent the crazy topsy turvy society that would result if one tried to permit the races to live together.

  • tarran||

    Dammit economist,

    Stop agreeing with me! I'm used to arguing with you! ;)

  • economist||

    tarran,
    How many times have I argued with you?

  • Eric Cartman||

    Kyle, when have I ever ripped on you for being Jewish?

  • tarran||

    We argued about monetary policy and about the role speculators play in setting prices... I think.

    Sorry, I am grading papers and I don't have time to look it up. Grading papers makes me very cranky.

  • Conrad||

    @economist:

    I still might go for Barr. His conversion still seems fishy, and I think he seems too ready to compromise on civil liberties issues. But I would definitely regret voting for Obama. And Barr also seems pretty articulate, which is the one thing Obama has going for him.

    You're making a lot of sense. You must be at just the right point on the drunk curve.

  • ||

    "...Obama's lock on California makes my vote especially superfluous and irrelevant."

    Thank you, Tim. As a fellow Californian, I now feel even better about writing in Steve Albini for President.

  • MJ||

    Yep, Tim, that's pretty much the definition of indefensible. I mean a writer for a political opinion magazine cannot find a candidate to endorse for policy reasons?

  • Chrispy||

    But you can't agree it's pretty crappy that no black man has ever been named to a national ticket?

    No, because the color of a person's skin is completely irrelevant. I think it's pretty crappy that there are people who would otherwise vote for someone like Obama, but choose not to because he's black. I think it's equally crappy that there are people who otherwise wouldn't vote for Obama, but choose to because he's black. It's racism either way, and that is what's really crappy.

    The US should be a land of opportunity, I agree with you there. I believe the best way to make that a reality is to make sure that, as of today, everyone is treated equally under the law. Many groups of people have been persecuted in the past, but we shouldn't use that as an excuse for inequality today; two wrongs don't make a right.

    Obama is an effective orator, I'll give you that, but I don't find him particularly articulate or smart. He's certainly "more socialist" than other candidates (Barr for instance, although I don't trust him either, based on his record.)

    Remember "race disadvantage" has been used for most major governmental intrustions since the Freedman's Bureau...to mitigate that is to mitigate government...

    This argument I just don't follow at all. You seem to be saying that the government has used a "race disadvantage" argument before, and that's why we should find it convincing today? Or are you suggesting that to 'mitigate government' would be a bad thing? I'm 100% in favor of a smaller, less powerful government.

  • MJ||

    Or if he cannot, just forego making any endorsement whatsoever?

  • X||

    Obama's not winning because he's black. This time, he probably breaks even on race. He's winning because of the economy. Historically, that benefits Democrats, even if their cures are snake-oil. The notion of Republicans shitting on the poor is enough to kill them in bad times, and they haven't done too much to stop it. It's hard to explain conservative politics to nouveau paupers.

  • jk||

    I look forward to the day when women run everything,...

    Timmy, you're just beggin' for a wedgie.

  • ||

    does the author of this article claim to be a libertarian? tim, you better read your hayek a little better, or maybe you should read him for the first time.

  • alan||

    So, change three things about Obama,

    Change his mix race to that of Irish,
    Change his Democrat affiliation to Republican,
    Change his last name to Buchanan,

    Would Cavanaugh still support a Protectionist like Obama? Sure, Obama is not Pat on immigration, but that is only a matter of social correctness, where one is willing to live with contradiction -- you accept human labor crossing borders but not product doing like wise due to political expediency (cheap citrus fruits don't have votes).

    From a libertarian standpoint neither candidate is acceptable, and as others have pointed out, you only increase the legitimacy of these bad faith actors with your endorsement.

  • Anon||

    I've checked this twice today and there was a comment with the "n word." It was subsequently erased. Is this censorship or did the person retract it? If it were censorship, there would be a great deal of hypocrisy, no?

  • alan||

    mean, c'mon, post-Obama Presidency when you hear that Amerikkka doesn't give a black man a chance you can just laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Young black kids would have a much harder time buying that b.s.

    Certainly it would be a less annoying world in that respect but then again to what extent will the, 'but we have a black president' drown out valid complaint?

    'We have a black president, you can't possibly be serious about police brutality.'

    'We have a black president, high incarceration rates for non violent offenses can not possibly be indicative of systemic racism.'

    'We have a black president, what's your excuse for high drop out rates?'

  • Chrispy||

    If it were censorship, there would be a great deal of hypocrisy, no?

    Not really. Libertarians are against government censorship, but reason.com is a privately owned website. The owners/moderators can censor anything they want.

  • alan||

    Anon | October 29, 2008, 1:14am | #
    I've checked this twice today and there was a comment with the "n word." It was subsequently erased. Is this censorship or did the person retract it? If it were censorship, there would be a great deal of hypocrisy, no?


    It is there site to do anything they want, but hiding the ugliness of the world only sweeps it under the rug.

  • alan||

    Uhm, could the Reason censor hide a little of the ugliness of the world by striking that 'there' and replacing it with 'their' in my last post and then erasing this post?

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  • Non-Racist||

    Random points:

    1) There exists systemic discrimination FOR individuals who are members of racial minorities and accept a Popular Intellectual or white social framework. Hence, most young whites have been discriminated against much more than Barack Obama in terms of attaining their educational and professional goals. (I still maintain that there is rampant discrimination AGAINST those individuals who belong to minority groups and who do not adopt such a perspective - such as those adopting a traditional "black" perspective: one which arose out of slavery in the South or black society during the early years of this country, wherein discrimination was prevalent and de facto segregation produced divergent cultures).

    2) It pisses me off to see Obama labeled as a black man when he is not black. He is half white and half Kenyan/African, and was raised by old white people from KANSAS. When a descendant of former slaves attains this nation's highest office, I will then rejoice; Barry's ancestors were never systematically wronged by this country.

    3) Even expressing the last 2 points in an educational/professional setting would likely be more than enough to get me expelled and blacklisted from any future educational opportunities and most private sector employment.

    True intellectualism is dead; either preach the Popular Intellectual secular gospel, or lose everything.

  • Roy-Mark||

    @Non-Racist:

    You're overreacting. I hear both of these points in my black barbershop all the time. But if you're saying that academia is full of it, I'm not arguing.

  • Neu Mejican||

    tarran,

    nP is honorably refusing to legitimize the process at all by refusing to go into the polls. But don't try to claim his implied consent merely because he refuses to play the game.

    The effect of not going to the polls is the same as consent.

    The effect of going to the polls is not. It is active dissent if you vote against the majority.

    There is also the option of revolt.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.




  • Neu Mejican||

    The process of government currently in place allows for the government to be thrown off non-violently.

    That is the process that nP calls a fraud.

    He's stuck with the government he consents to because he refuses to be involved in changing it.

    Grow up.

  • jk||

    Non-racist,

    3) Even expressing the last 2 points in an educational/professional setting would likely be more than enough to get me expelled and blacklisted from any future educational opportunities and most private sector employment.
    Random points:


    Non-racist:

    I don't how you would do in the public educational sector, but in the private professional sector or in the public professional sector you would be regarded as immature dingbat for bringing up your points 1 and 2.

    There's no blacklist. In a professional position, whether you're tasked with writing a new computer program, developing a budget for a project, or investigating the market potential of a new product, no one you're working for will give a rat's ass about how black you think Obama is.

  • nonPaulogist||

    MNG-
    if you care so damn much about 13% of the people being underrepresented, then what about the 50% who are not only not represented, but without peni or Y chromosomes? Surely that argument holds for women more than Melanin-Americans.

  • nonPaulogist||

    "The process of government currently in place allows for the government to be thrown off non-violently. "

    No it doesn't. Secession has been and will be violently suppressed. The insane interpretation of the constitution currently being used allows the Judges to overrule the people.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Democracy doesn't work. First of all, it's just as immoral as autocracy. The tyranny of the majority is still tyranny. The minority gets crushed--or are blacks the only minority you care about?

    Second, it doesn't work because the majority destroys freedoms as often as dictators do. Hitler (drink) was elected. So was Milosovic, Hussein, W., Mussolini, etc.

    Democracy IS the best form of government, but it still sucks and that is why government itself needs to be abolished.

  • ||

    Obama is half-white and he was raised by whites. Thank you.

  • anarch (pluralismus majestatis||

    So a black guy, or mixed guy, or whatever, winning the Presidency, says some amazing things about this nation, dontcha' think?



    We are not amazed.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Tim Cavanaugh is right. His reason is indefensible. Come to think of it, Reason is indefensible.

  • anarch||

    That calls for at least a Shirley Temple.

  • ||

    that is why government itself needs to be abolished.

    And how would one enforce contracts again?

    I see tarran says that the State isn't necessary to enforce contracts and the breach thereof because "arbitration" will save us! What he forgets is the only reason arbitration works is because it's legally binding.

  • ||

    TAO is right about arbitration. Either the person has to agree to be binded by it or they have an agreement in which it is legally enforceable by some third party, the state. And as to putting filters in the river, etc., I think I would just rather have a state than having to guard against any encroachment on my rights by other parties (how would I deal with tresspassers or looters [armed guards?] or air pollution!).

    "I notice you still haven't answered how my daughter came to agree to be locked up in a cage if she burns a particular plant and inhales the resulting smoke."

    tarran-I am in agreement with you on this. My sister is currently serving time on a drug charge. The WOD is immoral bullshit and is one of the reasons I like libertarianism. They take a principled stand on this where the other two parties wimp out.

  • Guy Montag||

    Okay, if Tim Cavanaugh really votes for Sen. Obama I am leaving the country!

  • ||

    Tim,

    I have read some really stupid stuff, but it has been topped now.

    You could have used logic, but didn't. You could have used passion, but didn't.

    You did however, demonstrate a lack of seriousness, reason (wow, quite a irony there), and principles that boggles the mind of a regular Reason reader.

    Very disappointing

  • economist||

    The "We have a black president, so why are you complaining" idea is absurd, and remember that I hate victim politics. One "good" thing happening to one black person doesn't mean shit in real terms for all other black people. Having a black president in itself does not improve the economic situation of blacks, discrimination, or whatever the complaints of the day are. I'm not going to the affirmative action side, but I'm pointing that if you're looking at this from an affirmative action standpoint it's stupid to think that Obama's election, in itself, is at all meaningful.

  • alan||

    The Angry Optimist | October 29, 2008, 6:50am | #
    that is why government itself needs to be abolished.

    And how would one enforce contracts again?

    I see tarran says that the State isn't necessary to enforce contracts and the breach thereof because "arbitration" will save us! What he forgets is the only reason arbitration works is because it's legally binding.


    How often does the state take any effort to enforce those contracts?

    I had a friend who took his former roommate to small claims court over a few hundred dollars worth of bills and a deposit. I told him he was wasting his time and money trying to get a redress of grievance here even if it was decided in his favor. Of course, I was right.

    How many times is the contract you sign on too
    implicitly rewritten by the state for political reasons? Ask just about any divorced dad in the country that question.

    The state is not an efficient actor even in the scope of matters that theoretically should be in its purview.

  • alan||

    economist | October 29, 2008, 10:46am | #
    The "We have a black president, so why are you complaining" idea is absurd, and remember that I hate victim politics. One "good" thing happening to one black person doesn't mean shit in real terms for all other black people. Having a black president in itself does not improve the economic situation of blacks, discrimination, or whatever the complaints of the day are. I'm not going to the affirmative action side, but I'm pointing that if you're looking at this from an affirmative action standpoint it's stupid to think that Obama's election, in itself, is at all meaningful.


    It doesn't matter if the argument is absurd. The argument will be made.

  • alan||

    To expand on that a bit. Argument as rational narrative is rarely the same thing a argument as effective narrative. In almost any presidential debate going back to Kennedy, the effective narrative, that which defined the parameters of public policy, from a rational standpoint would not stand scrutiny, and many aspects of every one of those things, like the 'missile gap' in the Kennedy-Nixon debate are not only irrational but insane.

    So,, "we have a black president now, so
    stop yer bitchin'" though absurd as an argument, it will be made and at times made effectively.

  • ||

    WOW! This is a new twist. I thought, if you vote AGAINST Barack you are a racist. Now, when you vote FOR Barack you are a racist. I guess, no matter what, you ARE a racist.

    Well, assuming you are white.

  • alan||

    wayne | October 29, 2008, 12:54pm | #
    WOW! This is a new twist. I thought, if you vote AGAINST Barack you are a racist. Now, when you vote FOR Barack you are a racist. I guess, no matter what, you ARE a racist.

    Well, assuming you are white.


    If you have made a career espousing free markets and then suddenly do an about face that undermines your entire career by supporting a guy who has made blaming free trade for unfavorable economic conditions a center piece of his campaign for no other reason than he is the black guy in the race, and there is no way in hell you would support a white guy with the same stand, well, there you go. What more needs to be said?

  • ||

    "my reason is particularly indefensible. It's a straightforward case of reverse racism."

    My god your a complete idiot. There is NO SUCH THING as "reverse racism" period. Or in the truest word your saying your NOT racist? I know what your trying to say but it doesnt work. You are a racist....or your not. PERIOD. I dont give a dam what color you are or even if your purple with yellow pokadots. Your either racist or not. ANYONE can and quiet often IS a racist. Some of the nicest people i know are "of color" whatever that color may be. But some of the MOST racist people ive met or seen on tv are of color. It dont matter. Theres no such thing as "reverse"

  • Neu Mejican||

    dan sertich,

    You are trying to pedantic, but that is an epic fail.

    "Reverse" racism is not modifying the "racism" axis of the term, but the valance of the implication that adheres to it.

    Racism typically has a negative valence.
    You vote "against" someone because of race.

    Reverse racism has a positive valence.
    You vote "for" someone because of race.

    The reversal applies to the decision made as a result of your race-based decision process.

    This also can be seen as a counter to Wayne's comment.

  • ||

    Barr seems like a respectable libertarian candidate. For a Reason writer to not support him is a little bit of a head scratcher.

    When you're done scratching your head, you might look up his voting record in Congress (see Iraq War, Patriot Act, DOMA, etc.), or find the back issues of the LP News where Libertarians first targeted his ouster as one of the worst Drug Warriors in Congress, then celebrated their part in kicking him out, even if it was a bit of a stretch.

  • ||

    I'll be writing in Ron Paul. A write-in vote is even more pointless than my usual Libertarian vote, but at least it will count in California now that he's a qualified write-in.

    It will be interesting to see how Ron Paul does in the two states where he's actually on the ballot, Montana and Louisiana. He earned 22% in the Montana GOP primary, finishing ahead of McCain.

  • Federal Dog||

    "Reverse racism has a positive valence.
    You vote "for" someone because of race."


    Racists always consider their racism positive. It's part of the pathology of racist emotion.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Federal Dog,

    Regarding "positive valance"

    We can change the terms to make it more obvious.

    Reverse Racism (positive valance): you like someone more because of their race.

    Regular racism (negative valance): you like someone less because of their race.

  • ||

    Reverse racism has a positive valence.
    You vote "for" someone because of race.


    Cool! So I can vote for Sarah Palin because she is white and cute... And I get a "positive valence" as a door prize.

    NM, your ability to write gibberish is truly astounding. It's like the hand and mind of God himself guides your wordsmithing.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Wayne,

    It's like the hand and mind of God himself guides your wordsmithing.

    Nope. Evidence from up thread

    You are trying to pedantic, but that is an epic fail.

    Proves I am subject to joeZ Rool.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Cool! So I can vote for Sarah Palin because she is white and cute... And I get a "positive valence" as a door prize.

    Well, it is, of course more complex than that.

    If the default position is to prefer a particular race, then choosing that race has neutral valence rather than a positive valence. You might get points for choosing the woman over the man, however, since the default is the male candidate.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I notice a cool typo above.

    "valance" for "valence"

    "Valence" indicates direction/strength of attraction or aversion.

    Valance is decorative drapery.

    Putting positive valance on racism may be the more appropriate turn of phrase.

  • anarch||

    And here I'd always thought reverse racism was a (sloppy) term to describe the attitude of a member of a racial minority who denigrates the racial majority.

  • Neu Mejican||

    anarch,

    That works too, for the same reason.

    Again, the reversal is not on the "racism" but on the aversion/attraction parameter of the term.

    If race A, the majority, has positive status, a negative reaction to someone due to membership in that race reverses that positive valence.

    Language is very flexible.

  • ||

    And if there's anything dumber than racial profiling, it's generational solidarity.

    I can beat that...I have relatives who are planning to vote for Obama (or at least not vote against him)primarily because of the alleged Irish in his heritage. (Yes, I know that McCain is, well, a McCain, and no, I don't get it either...)

  • ||

    I agree with the article insofar as the lack of reason is limited to the Presidential election. The irrational votes should not be made in Congressional races (or local / ballot questions, assuming your state allows the latter - I'm WAY more excited that I have the chance to vote Yes on a question that would end the income tax in MA than I am about the Presidential election - by far)

    ... I'm a conservative / moderate libertarian from Massachusetts (bluest of the blue states), and I'm voting for Barr and passively hoping that Obama wins (far from an endorsement, not that my vote in MA means a damn thing), but I hope that Republicans do in fact gain some seats in Congress (not that I'll have a real chance to vote that way myself - like this guy Beatty (who I think is a jackass for the most part) will ever take John Kerry out of his seat that I'm pretty sure he thinks he owns through virtue of Divine Right).

    I saw that someone posted earlier in response to this comment that libertarians will be sorry if they vote for Obama - true; but as per usual, we'll be sorry no matter what! The individual also commented however, that it would be advantageous to have a Republican Congress. This I agree with, because from where I stand, its the best possible situation we could have nationally given our dismal choices.

    I haven't been a fan of the neconservative foreign policy (so much for that 'humble' crap in 2000 there, GWB), so to have a Commander in Chief who will be less likely to wage another war is helpful ... but then, a Republican Congress to keep him at least slightly in fiscal check (not that I have much faith in the fiscal conservatism of the Republican Party, but there are some old school fiscal conservatives still left in the House - see McCotter, Pence, etc (even though they were more on board with the GWB international agenda than I would have liked, at least they don't want to straight up steal from me like the liberal Republicans such as McCain) ...

    Vote as irrationally as you want for the Presidency (although I still think voting for Barr sends a message that the two parties are out of touch, which is my main reason for doing it) - really look into who is running for Congress in your district though; especially who is running for a House seat. I'm more excited about BJ Lawson down in Durham, North Carolina (a place I've never been nor probably ever really will go to) than I am the Presidential election. Its important that we elect pro-liberty individuals to the House - more Lawson types would have prevented the bailout from passing.

  • Alan||

    On the assumption that all other factors are equal, voting for a racial or other disparaged minority candidate make perfect sence. It sends a clear message to those who are doing the disparaging and gives those who are disparaged positive support and hope.

    Those are good reasons to vote for a candidate, probably better than a lot of the more conventional reasons that guide our choices.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    THANK U

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