North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › "How to Judge a Political Candidate" by Ayn Rand

"How to Judge a Political Candidate" by Ayn Rand

Old T.
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 643

A candidate does not have to agree with all those who vote for him -- they have to agree with him (or at least to a limited extent). It is his function to offer a program -- theirs is only to accept or reject it at the polls. Under a two-party system, any candidate will necessarily have an enormously mixed following. To judge a candidate not by his own views but by the views of his followers -- over whose irrationality, inconsistency, stupidity or dishonesty he has no control, whose contradictory demands he could not possibly reconcile -- is worse than unjust: it is absurdly evil. It is a repudiation of the entire concept of national elections and parliamentary government.

A voter's choice does not commit him to a total agreement with a candidate -- and certainly cannot commit a candidate to an agreement with every voter who supports him. Under a two-party system, a voter's choice is and has to be merely an approximation -- a choice of the candidate whom he regards as closer to his own views; often, particularly in recent times, a voter merely chooses the lesser of two evils.

If a candidate disagrees with some group, he is free to say so. But to attack, to smear, to repudiate the support of any legitimate group means to disenfranchise its members, since they have no other party to vote for and since they cannot, in honor, vote for a man who slaps their faces.

"How to Judge a Political Candidate," Ayn Rand, The Objectivist Newsletter, Edited and Published by Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden, Volume 3, No. 3, March, 1964, pg. 10.
Karen G.
Sulphur, OK
Post #: 7
"Old Toad", you are truly amazing!!!

It would be incredible to have all of Ayn Rand's writings on DVD.

Old T.
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 644
Hi Karen,

The credit for finding this article goes to JulieAnne ("jlife"), who called it to my attention a couple of months ago. I just selected the excerpt that I thought spoke to the principles involved. Much of the article related to more specific political issues from the day it was written.

I think the last sentence of this quoted passage from Ayn Rand suggests, by negative inference, that a candidate should repudiate the support of an illegitimate group. I would think that an example of an "illegitimate" group would be the Neo-Nazis.

Dungeons and Dragons players are probably "legitimate." cool

Regarding your wish for a DVD, I have started a separate discussion thread with some information on where you can get one. Maybe I can keep a few "amazing" points for this part?
Plano, TX
Post #: 610

Dungeons and Dragons players are probably "legitimate." cool

Er...not so much. And neither is World of Warcraft - even though they have their "two party" system (horde and alliance).

Good quote - and something good to remember when trying to decide whom to vote for in the upcoming primaries.
This is how I feel I have had to vote the past few elections - "the lessor of two evils" it is kind of sad.
I am seriously considering voting in the Democratic primaries for Hillary just to keep Obama out. I still haven't made up my mind on the Republican side yet who I dislike the least and could vote for against Hillary.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 19
One of the only ways to truly draw attention to the right political ideas is to support them, i.e. with votes! I only vote for the best candidate. Not to keep out someone that is worse. For the greater of evils, Roark said it best:

"I don't think of you."

As advocates of reason, liberty and justice I hope we are not going to vote for communists.
Chris J.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 80
Shouldn't a primary concern be if the person has the same (or close) skin color or sexual organs? Perhaps if they are good at giving speeches-that is a good indicator of ability. I also have it on good authority that the tallest candidate is usually the best one.

One of my favorite political comments heard recently was the idea that Hillary Clinton was "uniquely qualified" to be president, laughing because she was married to a president.
Plano, TX
Post #: 615
Well, at least Hillary won't get lost in the Whitehouse. She does know her way around there. I would imagine most of the other candidates will be like freshman their first week in high school - always late for class because they couldn't figure out that floor plan they go the first day. Tsk, tsk.
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