Question #11: What is the relationship between objective virtues and individual rights?

Normally, others ask a question and I answer; however, this time, I am asking the question above and only starting towards an answer, which I will chew through over time in future posts.

Over the past several months, a couple blocks from the White House, I have been attending an Ayn Rand Institute lecture series directed at young adults, interns and professionals working in our nation’s capital. I have found the audiences to be smart, sharp, and engaged in the ideas being discussed. While speakers Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate effectively communicated critical and voluminous information about the relationship between ethics and politics, the audience gave feedback through their questions during the Q&A that something was missing in making the Objectivist case.

This communication gap is not limited to these young people. I recall being told a couple years ago of a similar problem with addressing experienced professionals working in DC think tanks. An experienced political activist and attorney shared her experience conducting educational outreach to these professional wonks. She expressed inadequate progress in developing their appreciation for the vital link between ethics and politics, and thereby public policy; these wonks were stuck in a mindset of thinking about politics from an economics perspective in evaluating policy alternatives.

Getting back to the Q&A following separate lectures by Brook and Ghate, the questioners were stuck on two points in ethics:

  1. What is the ethical relationship between me (the questioner) and other people?
  2. How do I evaluate that a specific action directed by choice is actually selfish, and thus objectively moral?

I note that Brook and Ghate covered BOTH of these issues, yet the audience members were still struggling to chew through these questions themselves.

During these sessions, I was bouncing up and down on the inside, where it doesn’t count, as I experienced a flashback to the first words I heard upon returning to college. In a political philosophy class, Dr. B initiated us with the question, which he intoned as a command, “What is justice?” From Plato’s Republic, this is the first question in the development of political philosophy.

In what I thought would be a softball question, during the Q&A, I asked Ghate to expand upon the concept of justice, which he had including without elaboration in his presentation’s slides. Unfortunately, my intent was not manifest. In politics, Objectivism implements justice through a government protecting individual rights; further, justice is one of Objectivism’s ethical virtues by which choices are made not only regarding your interactions with others, but also your evaluation of yourself. As I reconsidered this unexpressed point, a chewed more and thought that justice was but a hint at something more significant.

Soon after, something that Diana Hsieh had said in her podcast, Philosophy in Action, pointed in a promising direction. Related to analyzing an unjust law that had intended to be just, Hsieh observed and listed the negative concrete consequences to law abiding citizens as a result of the unjust law. Considering the concretes cited by Hsieh, I pondered the principles at stake and realized that government force was being misapplied to prevent individuals from acting virtuously…the unjust law in question was not only attacking the virtue of justice, but also of independence.

Considering Hsieh’s case and supporting evidence from other instances in reality via either personal experience or history, I settled upon two broad and complementary questions:

  1. Do some or all objectively valid laws protect virtues? Is this the essence of freedom, the freedom to be moral by choice?
  2. Do some or all objectively invalid laws attack virtue and thus in fact increase immorality?

SO WHAT? How does this get back to the original issue identified in the Q&A after the ARI lectures? My thought…by emphasizing the relationship between virtues (the tools of individual choice for securing values) and public policy alternatives, an audience member can more easily apply their experiences from life to understanding the relationship between ethics, individual rights, and government.

As a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal), what is the potential of a virtue analysis of political issues? In legal cases, our judges talk of the reasonable man; yet, government is free to act against individual rights wherever a spurious claim of a rational basis for that violation is presented to the court. Could future legislators and jurists consider the negative impacts of an irrational law upon the virtuous man as a basis for protecting a solitary individual from abuse by the majority acting through the legislature or executive? Could such a virtue analysis regain what was lost with the judicial overthrow of our previously recognized constitutional right to substantive due process?

These questions require more review than can be done in a single post. While I will get to looking at specific public policy choices, I need to first step back, level set, and explore the relevant principles, which would be the foundation of such an examination of particulars.

Here is a rough idea of how I plan to start:

  1. Force versus the mind
  2. Economic power versus political power
  3. What are individual rights?
  4. Why should government protect individual rights?
  5. Initiation of force versus retaliatory force
  6. What is the role of ethics in man’s life?
  7. What are values?
  8. What are virtues?
  9. Chew the specific Objectivist virtues
  10. Objective versus non-objective virtues

That will help to set the table for looking at the relationship between objective virtues and specific public policies. Feel free to suggest, in the comments, public policies for future chewing from this virtues perspective.

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Democrats Kick Unemployed and Entry-level Workers When They Are Down

The Democrats are getting another woodie over raising the minimum wage.  Everyone, other than those who are in a Karl Mannheim induced ideological coma or who remains mentally enthralled to the indoctrination they received from a publicly paid educrat, knows that government creates unemployment with such thug-like interventions, which impose government force against our individual rights of contract and free association.

Why are Dems so evil?  Do they really think that they are helping the poor by throwing them out of work?  While the stupid ones probably do, their leaders know better as they actually carry water for the union bosses to compel, by statutory fiat, pay increase for those earning more than the statutory minimum wage.  As a matter of practice, many union contracts are often tied to the minimum wage, so when the federal government raises the minimum wage it uses government force to artificially increase wages on a broader scale than accounted for in the political debate, where you are being lied to.

This is really a debate about unions’ political power and their ability to use their “investments” in Democratic incumbents, which is political corruption; according to the Center for Responsive politics, unions spent an estimated $163 million on Dems the 2012 election.   In his recent book Unintimidated, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker discusses his experiences with public employee unions in both Milwaukee County and at the state level.  Based upon his negotiations with union leaders, Walker observes that they would rather that employees be put out of work than the union agreeing to reasonable changes to work rules or previously established compensation and benefits.  This carelessness regarding the livelihoods of their members demonstrates why union membership is dropping, especially as workers are gaining legally protected rights to drop out of the unions and union coercion.

Government imposed higher wages for those who have jobs sounds like a good idea to those who take a disintegration view of reality and ignore all of the cause-and-effect relationships that exist in actual reality.  However, in reality, higher wages come from increased productivity resulting from either increased skill from experience or capital investment by the business enhancing an employee’s capacity.  In attempting to fake reality by commanding by government an unearned increase in wages, unions and Democratic politicians destroy opportunities for those who are not working or are in entry level positions.

What to do?  If you are unemployed, underemployed, or love someone who is, then contact your Congressman and Senators and demand that the government stop stepping on your neck, your loved one’s neck, and the neck of potential employers.  Related to minimum wage laws, what is needed is more than blocking a proposed statutory increase in the minimum wage; in fact, the existing individual-rights-violating minimum law should be abolished.

The principles expressed by the Supreme Court in Lochner v. New York, and later overturned when a switch in time saved nine, are mostly correct and relevant to today’s government created mess in employment and unemployment.  While the Supreme Court has failed in its obligation to protect the individual rights of you and those who you love, it is now time to demand that the legislature, your representatives, do so.  Justice Rufus W. Peckham wrote for the majority of the court in Lochner:

The general right to make a contract in relation to his business is part of the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, and this includes the right to purchase and sell labor, except as controlled by the State in the legitimate exercise of its police power.

Liberty of contract relating to labor includes both parties to it; the one has as much right to purchase as the other to sell labor.

Independent of constitutional and statutory rights, which are the means by which government protects individual rights, we each have an independent and individual right, according to our nature as humans, to contract that should not be infringed by our neighbors, the union bosses, our Congress, and our government.

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Loving and Political Change for the Better

Living during the Orgy of Sacrifice, which constitutes the bipartisan political agenda of the past 30+ years in the US, losing hope for a better future can be easy, especially for younger citizens who have never known different circumstances.

While historical successes for freedom through the protection of individual rights can be a comfort, I find as I get older that truly phenomenal advances have been made within my own lifetime and experience.  Further, I note that such changes are not achieved by activism in a single election or in the short term, but instead by consistent political action over time based upon the principle of individual rights.

Consider an example that has had decades to demonstrate the positive consequences of government protecting individual rights after centuries of curtailment.

On the day that I was born, it was illegal for a white individual to be married to another individual of a different race, as define by Virginia law.  While it did not have much impact on me at the time, the Virginia law did impact Richard and Mildred Loving, who had been married in 1958 under the laws of the District of Columbia.  After they returned to Virginia to live peacefully as man and wife, the local police raided their home, captured them asleep in their bed, and arrested them.  After they confessed in court to being married, which was a felony in Virginia, the Lovings were given the choice of prison or exile.

The resulting appellate case Loving v. Virginia was unanimously decided by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn such anti-miscegenation laws then active in 15 states, including Virginia.  For the unanimous court, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote,

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.

Twenty years later, I was free to marry the individual whom I loved without being a felon subject to the sanction of Virginia laws and compelled by government force to be exiled across the river.  Years later, at a family reunion, while sitting in the shade under a tree with my uncle-by-marriage, while we watched our family’s next generation of various hues playing together, he said to me related to race relations, “Things are much better now than they ever have been before.”

More than 300 years of bad law in Virginia related to interracial marriage was overturn by individuals acting selfishly upon principle to demand the protection of the law so they could freely live their lives without being subject to the tyranny of the majority acting with the force of government.  Frankly, this long lasting question of interracial marriage (in history see debates over ending slavery, freedman colonization to Africa, anti-Union talking points before and during the Civil War, Jim Crow, and states’ rights imbeciles) was far more intractable than more recent issues such as the relatively simple winding down of irrational entitlements like Social Security; our challenges today are much easier.

Recently, we have seen well publicized advances in protecting individual rights related to legal recognition and protection for same sex marriage, and the slow liberalization of irrational anti-drug laws.  Meanwhile, the progress of existing irrational laws related to health care and financial regulation expand.  Why the difference?  Success happens when individual rights are explicitly articulated concretely related to the injustice towards specific individuals, and failure happens when policy opponents concede the irrational premise of seeking the collective public good.

Irrational public policies of today (like ObamaCare) can be just as repugnant and unthinkable in the future as the historic anti-miscegenation laws are to us today.  The change begins with using principles to defend individuals from the injustice committed by the majority abusing the force of government to achieve their irrational whims.

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Chewing The Case for Cuccinelli

Given the upcoming gubernatorial election in Virginia, Selfish Citizenship has two recent posts coming to different I-am-going-to-vote-for-X conclusions:

Missing is any selfish case posted for Democrat Terry McAullife, so he must be the standard bearer for unselfishness and altruism; however, in fairness, Cuccinelli would passionately argue that he is the mostest unselfish altruist in the campaign.

While of course, if you are a Virginian, you will selfishly make your own choice; however, I want to take a moment to chew the guest post by @CouldntBRighter, because it has the virtue of being thoughtful and not partisan.

In summary, @CouldntBRighter makes the following points:

        • Using Reagan as an example, a grossly flawed candidate, who is wrong more often than he is right, can be a better office holder than the worse candidate.  Related to this point, see the prior selfish post Voting the Lesser of Two Evils?
        • The U.S. Senate now contains Republicans who more explicitly and consistently advocate for individual rights, which increases the possibilities of a better presidential Republican than Reagan, who will need the support of governors like Cuccinelli.  Related to this point on the relative strengths and possibilities of Republican factions, see the prior selfish post The Republican Hydra.
        • Cuccinelli advocates better economic policies (lower tax rates, expanded production of fossil fuels in Virginia, opposition to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion), which is more important than Cuccinelli letting religious troglodyte Del. Robert Marshall loose on the uteruses of Virginia.  Related to this point about the conflict between the protection of economic and abortion rights, see the prior selfish post An Open Letter to America’s Spinsters.
        • Democrat Terry McAullife is an evil bastard hybrid of the Clintons and Obama, who will become the Pol Pot of Virginia governors, which could not be achieved by prior Democrats:  Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Doug Wilder, Gerry Baliles, and Chuck Robb.   In fairness, but in response to a lack of consideration for the limited powers of Virginia’s governor, I admit that I am using a good bit of cheek and hyperbole in my summary of his point, so the reader should consult the original post.
        • A vote for anyone other than Cuccinelli is a vote for McAulliffe.  [Editor’s Note:  Really, so I should just vote for McAulliffe instead of via write-in for the best man for that particular position, novelist Ed Cline?  Those are really the same?  I should sacrifice my personal franchise to the selection of the Republican Party’s selectorate, because that has worked so well in the past.]
        • Anyone who makes a different choice than Cuccinelli in this election lacks integrity.  [Editor’s Note:  Really? I have to sacrifice my independent judgment in a life-boat-election to that of another person so that I can have integrity?  Is that how virtue works?]

Despite my disagreement with the conclusion, there are several positive points that I would like to draw from @CouldntBRighter argument,

“A moral code is a set of abstract principles; to practice it, an individual must translate it into the appropriate concretes—he must choose the particular goals and values which he is to pursue. This requires that he define his particular hierarchy of values, in the order of their importance, and that he act accordingly.”

There are few relevant concepts to my disagreement with his conclusion, although he and I are in full agreement on these points:

“Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it—that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life—that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence.”

“Integrity is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake your consciousness, just as honesty is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake existence—that man is an indivisible entity, an integrated unit of two attributes: of matter and consciousness, and that he may permit no breach between body and mind, between action and thought, between his life and his convictions—that, like a judge impervious to public opinion, he may not sacrifice his convictions to the wishes of others, be it the whole of mankind shouting pleas or threats against him—that courage and confidence are practical necessities, that courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to truth, and confidence is the practical form of being true to one’s own consciousness.”

IMHO, the crux of our disagreement relates to Virginia politics.  @CouldntBRighter always references national political issues as being the deciding factor in Virginia gubernatorial politics; whereas, I look at issues particular to Virginia politics (for example, see my reference to the 1994 Senate race previously, my list of Democratic governors in this post, and my reference of Bob “I’m an Platonic-Christian asshole” Marshall).  My concern relates to the co-optation of Virginia’s Republican Party by Christian extremists (see Pat “I’m a delusional asshole” Robertson) ; whereas, my friend excuses or forgives such excesses to block the evil of Democratic economic rights violations.  Further, we disagree about the power of a Virginia Governor, who cannot be re-elected.

Essentially, in current politics, no good options are available…like a thermometer, our politics gets down to do you want to take it orally or rectally.  I have chosen to explicitly reject that choice and personally vote for my highest values; does that mean that I have no integrity?

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ObamaCare’s Website: I Didn’t Build That (a confession)

Given recent news about the significant failures in ObamaCare’s website, I have a disclosure to make about my contribution to that event; literally, I shrugged.  Usually, I cannot discuss specifics about what I am doing professionally; but in this case, as it was something that I did not do in the past, I judge that commenting publicly is fine.

Several years ago, I was out of work and it was bad for me; I lost 80 pounds on the Obama diet.  At that time, while I did not know it going into an interview, I was almost hired by the federal contractor, currently on the hot seat over ObamaCare’s website, to work on that now failed contract delivery.  Instead, at much lower pay, I chose to work on a project promoting the rule of law outside of the US.

My point is that if I had chosen to take that ObamaJob then many of the specific issues that are currently failing with the ObamaCare website would not have failed; my particular talents, which the contractor and I discussed in that interview, are applicable to those defective areas of the failing system.

So, if you oppose ObamaCare, then you are welcome; however, if you support ObamaCare, then know that I consciously stepped aside and refused to give my sanction…I did not try to save you from your own stupidity and I allowed you to fail.  Apparently, someone less able than myself accepted that job, and that person probably really needed that job, which they could not do; isn’t that what is important, the needs of others?

This gets back to a core Obama premise that independent individuals do not matter in politics.  If the candidate can get just 50% plus 1 of the votes, then they and their supporters can realize any abominable whim violating individual rights, such as ObamaCare.  Obama, his supporters, and the premise that force is practical evades that it takes someone like me to make those programs work.  It does not matter what the polls said regarding public opinion for or against ObamaCare; I dissented, chose to deny you my ability, and you failed to steal what you could not build.

Remember our President’s attack on businessmen?  He said, “You didn’t build that” and proceeded to give credit to the many for what was only achievable by the one, the individual, trading with other individuals.  Well, in the case of ObamaCare’s website, I did NOT build that.  However, the American electorate did build that failure in its willingness to support candidates that promise to violate individual rights in order to give the unearned to those that would vote for them.

This month of ObamaCare website failure is just a very small and ephemeral demonstration that force is not a practical way for the majority to get whatever they are promised by our leading politicians.  Bigger failures are coming (see public pensions, Medicare, and Social Security).  Check your premises; are these failures actually your fault?   Are you building those failures and many more?

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The Case for Cuccinelli by @CouldntBRighter

Guest Post from Twitter’s @CouldntBRighter in response to previous post Voting with Integrity.

There are many strategies for voting, and each person has his or her own priorities in life, so two otherwise rational people can and will disagree on who to vote for in any given election.

Given the mixed premises (or downright evil) of most politicians, it may seem somewhat irrelevant who one votes for in an election. However, small differences may have large effects, both in the course of history and the well-being of citizens.

I like to point to the presidency of Ronald Reagan. During his presidency, I was usually in high dudgeon about something Reagan did (agree to tax increases, fail to cut spending, meet with the Soviet leader). I was constantly disappointed with Reagan as I lived through his presidency.  In my estimation, I thought he did or said the right thing maybe a third of the time. And yet, looking back over thirty years and the disastrous presidencies of four other men, I realize now that Reagan was a giant among leaders, and that my frustrations and disagreements during his presidency masked in an emotional way the elements he got right, from both a rhetorical perspective and a policy perspective.

No, he was very far from perfect–my annoyances at the time were accurate–but on a few very important issues, he both held firm to the right principles and implemented the right policies, and thus saved the United States in a time of great peril. His moral leadership on lowering taxes, reducing regulation (started in the Carter administration but accelerated under Reagan), and his ruthless alliance with Paul Volcker to wring inflation (and thus enormous economic malinvestments) out of the economy led to the strong basis for 20 years of capital accumulation, and thus huge living-standard enhancements and the new industries we saw in the 90s and 00s.

Without Reagan’s commitment to economic freedom, would we have seen the rise of the internet-based economy we have today? With the high taxes, high regulations, and high inflation that marked the 70s, I doubt it.

Similarly, in foreign policy, a number of Reagan errors (the disaster in Lebanon and the “rescue” of the PLO) were overshadowed by two enormous achievements: the rebuilding of the American military into the most powerful force on the planet, and the subsequent dissolution and collapse of the Soviet Union caused in my view by the Soviet reaction to Reagan. In just this area, Reagan did more to protect and defend individual rights than any president since World War II, and he should rightly be admired as the giant he is.

Now the preceding discussion is about a president who got it right roughly 33% of the time. Imagine if we had a president who got it right 40%, 50%, or even 75% of the time? Imagine the heights to which America could soar in untold industries, discoveries, and prosperity, given a president with a moral conviction in, and rhetorical skill in communicating about, individual freedom even better than Reagan? Our own rational self-interest would necessarily dictate that we support such a politician, even if he was of mixed premises, and even if he held some viewpoints that were not completely consistent with individual rights. There are political leaders emerging today such as Ted Cruz and Mike Lee (with the possible inclusion of Rand Paul) who could be the next Reagan, but at 75% correct, rather than 33% correct.

They need help, however, especially in the statehouses, where Governors wield subtle but important influence over the political course of the nation. It therefore matters, both morally and practically, that we elect governors that are simpatico with the emerging leaders of a reinvigorated pro-individual-rights right wing of the Republican Party.

One of the most promising new candidates for a governorship is Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia. Ken has been my state senator for 4 years, then attorney general for four years. I have met him, and he is not only a man of integrity, but he is another potential Ted Cruz or Mike Lee on the national political scene if he were given a chance as Virginia governor.

Let me be clear, I do not agree everything Ken stands for. He is a conservative and is thus anti-abortion (as was Reagan, and as is Cruz, Lee, and Paul). While Governors have the ability to affect abortion rights in small ways in the third trimester, the current legal climate makes it simply impossible for governors to have any effect on the core abortion right in the first trimester and up to at least the end of the fifth month of pregnancy. No matter how much a politician at the state level strives to ban abortion, there is simply no legal mechanism in place that will allow him to succeed. Therefore Ken’s views on abortion are irrelevant to his performance as governor. In addition, Ken has pledged not to use his position as governor to change the abortion laws of Virginia during his term, and I have no reason to disbelieve him.

Ken’s campaign has focused on lowering Virginia’s income taxes for both individuals and corporations. The income tax is the worst tax imposed by government since it directly prevents capital accumulation and thus the purchase and use of new capital equipment. The income tax is a direct attack against the productivity and thus the wages of workers. Ken is the only candidate for governor in my 20 year residency in Virginia who has campaigned on lowering this destructive tax on businesses, and has even mentioned the possibility of repeal. For that alone he deserves a vote.

Ken has devoted a lot of time to championing the exploitation of Virginia’s fossil fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas. The Obama administration is working overtime fighting a war on coal, on which much of Western Virginia depends for its livelihood. Ken has promised to fight vigorously for the right to exploit fossil fuels in Virginia and on Virginia’s continental shelf. A strong energy sector would, though modest leasing fees, allow the reduction or possibly the elimination of the income tax, which would be a triumph.

What makes me think Ken can stand up to Obama’s War on Coal? Because Ken was the first attorney general in the nation to legally fight Obamacare and win in federal court. This was immensely important because without any legal victories against Obamacare, the law would never have gotten to the Supreme Court. We on the right correctly assess the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision as a loss. This is true. But it was not an unqualified loss.

There were two aspects of the case that were big wins. First, the court ruled that the commerce clause could not be used to force individuals to buy a commercial product, and also ruled that the Obamacare “penalty” (now interpreted as a tax) was so low as to not be onerous, but if it were higher it would be unconstitutional. This limits the amount of “penalty tax” Congress can impose. Second and most importantly, the Supreme Court ruled that states did not have to take on the Medicaid expansion offered in Obamacare. Medicaid is the single most destructive government program on the budgets of the states.

Virginia is poised to consider accepting the Medicaid expansion, but Ken has stated that he would not allow it in no uncertain terms. Ken’s repudiation of the midnight tax increase passed by the most recent Virginia legislature gives hope that both the taxes that were passed could be lowered, and that the Medicaid expansion (and thus the ruination of Virginia’s balanced budget) could be avoided. None of this could have happened unless Ken challenged Obamacare and was a good enough lawyer to win his case.

Ken’s opponent in the race, Terry McAuliffe, the confidant and bagman of the Clintons, has stated that he would oppose cutting taxes (and indeed has backhandedly indicated he would look to raise them), he would fight for more boondoggle “green” energy programs while sentencing Virginia’s coal miners and energy entrepreneurs to poverty or forced migration to other states. He has pledged to accept and expand the Medicaid expansion and thus destroy Virginia’s balanced budget. And he has shown that he would infect Richmond with a class of moochers and fellow looters the likes of which even the moderately corrupt Richmond political class is aghast at. In addition, Virginia is one of only five states that have so far rejected the “Common Core” statist educational standards. McAuliffe pledges to implement them and thus sentence our children to 12 years of mindless indoctrination and helplessness in math. He is a carpetbagger and a slimeball. He is Wesley Mouch in spirit and Floyd Ferris in action. He must be opposed by all freedom-loving Virginians.

So we all have a choice. A vote for Ken is a vote for a better Virginia economically, a better tax climate, and an educational system that while not the best, at least will not be flushed down the toilet. A vote for McAuliffe is a vote for Obamaist nihilism applied at the state level; it’s a vote for corruption on a scale not seen in Virginia since Reconstruction. It’s a vote for our own destruction.

A vote for anyone other than Ken Cuccinelli, no matter how good those people are or how wonderful they would be in some fantasy world where Objectivists can be elected to office, is a vote for McAuliffe and thus for destruction. A vote for Ken is a vote for someone good–not perfect, but good. A vote for Ken is also a vote against McAuliffe, against Obamacare, against higher taxes, against corruption, against green boondoggles, and a vote against President Obama and his reign of tyranny.

The only way to vote with integrity in the upcoming Virginia election for governor is a proud vote in favor of Ken Cuccinelli.

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Voting with Integrity

If you do not follow @SelfishCitizen on Twitter, then you missed some of my commentary on the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial elections:

Radio show host Mark R. Levin was like all: “Support Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia Governor! http://www.Cuccinelli.com”.

And then I was like all:  “@marklevinshow re: Cuccinelli. As a Virginian, no! He can’t draw the line between his religion and my government. I will vote write-in.”

And then my friend @CouldntBRighter was all like:  “@SelfishCitizen @marklevinshow No! Ken’s the most pro-individual rights candidate in my 20 years in VA. Vote Ken all the way!”

And then I was like all: “@CouldntBRighter @marklevinshow My integrity ticket: Ed Cline for Gov, Lee Sandstead for Lt. Gov, and Nick Provenzo for Attorney General.”

For those out of the loop, Virginia (like New Jersey) votes for state offices in the year after the national presidential elections, so for us Virginians it is all like hardcore election time for the next few days.

@CouldntBRighter and I have already had a bit of this conversion on this topic offline in the real world.  He is correct in saying the Cuccinelli should be praised for his anti-ObamaCare litigation; however, for me, Cuccinelli ain’t running for Attorney General anymore and I judge him based upon the veto power of the office that he seeks.

This disagreement raises a broader question…”Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for an office are incorrigible bastards, so who should I vote for?”  Some suggest that you have to vote for either the Democratic or the Republican candidate so that you can vote for a potential winner.  However, I take a different approach…if both of the major party candidates are losers, then voting for either is voting for a LOSER even if they get more votes than anyone else.

Instead, I choose to act virtuously with my vote and write-in the individual whom I judge to be the best individual for the job.  Yes, in Virginia, we still have that freedom.   So instead of being obsequious to the selections of the Republican and Democratic party (Libertards do not count because they aren’t ligit), I chose to vote via write-in for the particular individual whom I judge best for that office.  The last time I checked 1% of my precinct did the same, which in a close election is more than the margin of “victory”.  Am I gonna get a parties’ attention by voting for their selection or by being the “reason” that they lost a close election?

Back to the point my friend @CouldntBRighter made “Ken’s the most pro-individual rights candidate in my 20 years in VA.”  If that is not an indictment of the Republican Party in Virginia, then I don’t know what worse you could say about them…says the guy that voted Marshall Coleman for Senate [old school reference to Senate contest in 1994 between Chuck Robb(D), Oliver North(R), and Marshall Coleman(I)].

Unfortunately, we cannot vote none of the above against today’s political corruption (see other post about the modern Spoils System ); however, thinking, choosing, and voting for your own personally selected best alternative is another option when both parties offer you shite on the ballot.

In conclusion, Selfish Citizenship endorses the following candidates in the upcoming 2013 Virginia gubernatorial elections:

For Governor:  Edward Cline, novelist 

                For Lt. Governor:  Lee Sandstead, art historian

For Attorney General:  Nicholas Provenzo, political activist

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