Election 2012

What If November Changes Nothing?

What if the principal parties' candidates for president really agree more than they disagree?


What if the principal parties' candidates for president really agree more than they disagree?

What if they both support the authority of the federal government to spy on Americans without search warrants? What if they both support confining foreigners, uncharged and untried, in Guantanamo Bay? What if they both believe the president can arrest without charge and confine without trial any American he hates or fears?

What if they both believe in secret courts—kept away from the public and the press—that can take away the rights of Americans? What if they both think the president can disregard the Constitution when it comes to the rights of those the government has confined to speedy trials, to confront witnesses and evidence against them, and to counsel of their choosing? What if they both believe the government can use evidence obtained under torture at trials in American courts? What if they both think the president can incarcerate those he once prosecuted, even after acquittal?

What if both major presidential candidates believe they can fight any war, assassinate any foe or assault any country using the military or the CIA, and they need not ask Congress for a declaration of war as the Constitution requires, nor account to Congress or the public as the law requires? What if they both want American troops to remain in Afghanistan, even though no foreign country in history has successfully done so, and even though the culture in Afghanistan is as lawless, as vicious to women and children, and as harmless to America today as it was when President Bush invaded it in 2001?

What if they both think this costly and fruitless war—the longest in American history—is somehow good for American freedom and security, even though most Americans do not? What if they both refuse to understand that the longer we are killing people in foreign lands who can cause us no real harm the more likely will people from those lands come here and bring us real harm?

What if they both believe in adding to the government's $16 trillion debt and letting future generations deal with paying it back? What if they both want to have the feds spend more money next year than the feds are spending this year? What if they both accept FDR- and LBJ-style entitlements, even though they are nowhere authorized by the Constitution and there are not enough present-day workers to tax in order to pay for them?

What if President Obama wants to raise taxes by increasing some tax rates on the rich? What if Gov. Romney wants to raise taxes by eliminating some tax deductions available to the rich? What if raising taxes on anyone in a recession will cause higher unemployment?

What if they both believe in borrowing newly printed money from the Federal Reserve in order to fund the government? What if Obama is of the view that the federal government can tell you how to live and keep you from becoming too rich? What if Romney wants to make the same federal government more effective and efficient at what it does?

What if Obama is really a Marxist who rejects personal freedom, natural rights and private property? What if Romney is really an empty suit who doesn't know or won't say what he believes? What if Obama really wants all health care providers to work for the federal government? What if Romney spent the entire presidential primary season condemning Obamacare, only to say this past weekend that there are parts of it he really likes and will endeavor to retain?

What if Obama wants federal bureaucrats to ration health care and decide who lives and who dies? What if Romney spent the entire presidential primary season running against conservative and libertarian opponents and arguing that only the free market or the states should address health care, but earlier this week accepted a major federal role in its management?

What if Obama will have the feds tell you what doctor to see and tell the doctor what procedures to administer? What if Romney consistently blasted the concept that Congress can constitutionally force you to buy health care coverage you don't want to buy, but now accepts the concept that Congress can constitutionally force insurance companies to sell you health care coverage they don't want to sell?

What if the system is fixed? What do we do about it?

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  1. As per median voting theorem, the two most popular candidates are near-identical. How could it be otherwise? They’re competing for the same median voter, after all.

  2. “What if the system is fixed? What do we do about it?”

    Drop dead, I guess. Or migrate to a lushly wooded area where nobody can track you. Or get depressed and trip balls after a prescription binge.

  3. “What if the system is fixed? What do we do about it?”

    Protest outside the Egyptian embassy until “None of the above” is a printed choice on every ballot.

  4. What do we do? We shrug. Half the world’s workers work in the underground economy, and that will be 2/3 by 2020, according to the OECD. It’s a $10 trillion economy, the second-largest in the world, and governments want to pretend it doesn’t exist. With the open source movement on the verge of transforming production the way the internet has transformed information and the arts, governments are quickly becoming the bloated appendix of society. Here’s a series of articles that will take you down the rabbit hole.


  5. As usual, Judge Napolitano tells us the brutal truth most of the pundits don’t have the balls to admit.

    1. Yes, Napolitano is easily my favorite writer. Cuts right to the chase every time.

      1. I sometimes find people whom I know who are aware of the Judge and they often speak of him like he is a crazy whacko. It is very similar to Mainstream Media vs. Ron Paul.

        I truly believe that the Judge is so sane that I often start to wonder if I’m the crazy one.

  6. What do we do? Probably we are fucked. I heard a young man speak last night; he was chair of the fifth largest Ron Paul campus group in the state. He urged the audience to forget how the GOP treated RP in Tampa and work hard to support Romney so RP forces could eventually take over the GOP. He then sat next to me and, as the next speaker – the GOP county chair – rattled sabres over Libya and Egypt – I told him “that’s what you are up against and I fear you’ll never ‘take over’. It’s time to get out, teach the GOP a lesson, and
    back Gary Johnson and build a viable third party.”

    1. “It’s time to get out, teach the GOP a lesson, and back Gary Johnson and build a viable third party.””

      Yeah, I bought into that argument in 1992 and voted for Ross Perot. I was going to teach the GOP a lesson. Of course, in reality, I helped give the election to Bill Clinton.

  7. Thinks will change more than you know.

  8. Obamney or Robama? Hmmmmmmmm… There’s tough one.

    Gary who?

  9. How can the most important election of our lifetimes not change things?

    1. It’s already changing things in a way that will inevitably lead to the election in 2016 being the most important of our lifetimes.

      1. Which begets 2020 being the most important election of our lifetimes.

    2. Wait, I thought the most important election in our lifetime was in 2008?

      1. It was. Try to keep up.

  10. Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.

  11. All those questions! Is Napolitano trying to redraft the National Anthem?

  12. What do you mean what if I say there will be know difference.

    1. I meant “no” not “know” although since none of us know there will be no Known difference.

  13. “What if”? Do we even need to frame it as a question, anymore?

    OF COURSE, the election isn’t going to change anything. OF COURSE, the government will continue on its death spiral into endless war and endless debt. OF COURSE, corporations will continue to abuse the environment and consumers. OF COURSE, police brutality will continue unabated around the country. OF COURSE, the drug war will continue to mount an escalating death toll of innocents and blameless actors. OF COURSE, the “War On Terror” will continue to saddle Americans with the humiliation, fear, and suspicion of 1939 Germany.


    OF COURSE, everyone will keep right on voting, election after election, believing they have a choice, and believing they are free.

    Until there is nothing left.

    1. Yeah I was more shocked by the “What if” than anything else in the article. Of course they both believe all that.

  14. “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.

  15. Why are we restating it into a question?

    The election will not change anything. We will keep coming around in a endless self-destructive cycle and believing that one man is better than the other. When, in reality, the government and huge corporations already lifted the burden of choice from our shoulders and rapidly fire at us information filled with propaganda and bias, so we won’t have time to digest that information.

    And when we finally have time to digest that information:

    We’re already dead.

  16. Too many questions. I quickly became confused and disoriented.

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  19. What if the majority of voters remain convinced that only a republican or a democrat CAN be elected? We will continue on the road to perdition.

    What can we do? Ignore both sides and all the media, and vote Libertarian.

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