By most accounts, Obama won re-election (my forecast was way off, though I did say that the U.S. is so contaminated that my projection might be wrong). It turns out that Romney, godfather of ObamaCare whom I denounced early during his campaign as “Obamney”, a term coined by an even lesser opponent, was a poor facsimile of his father’s nemesis, Barry Goldwater, in the historically disastrous 1964 presidential campaign; he ran a decent campaign and then blanked on his best themes in the final weeks, winning the first debate with a relatively robust offense against Obama only to refuse to challenge Obama on his outrageous handling of the Islamic terrorist attack at Benghazi and instead agreeing with Obama on nearly every major issue, especially the morality of the welfare state, which he, like his running mate Paul Ryan, never challenged. Faced with another milquetoast, me-too Republican – and Romney tried to put voters at ease with his rubbery positions – more voters chose the real thing: a New Left destroyer of capitalism, individualism and America.
Those same voters are set up to be destroyed, one by one, and they will have deserved it. Those who do not deserve it will also be destroyed, as more innocents are crushed by Big Government day after day, month after month, year after year, which is why time is more urgent and precious than it was yesterday. We learned that there are more looters and moochers, in Ayn Rand’s terms from Atlas Shrugged, than there are creatives and producers, or at least more of those who vote. And to paraphrase a famous saying there’s a special rung in hell for those who did not vote, or wasted their vote on a third party candidate, or disdain politics altogether. There is another special rung in hell for religious people who seek to mix religion with secular government. Their lunatic candidates were trounced in the election, and the loss contributed to Romney’s loss, with their faith-based views making faith-based Obama seem reasonable. Obama will expedite the nation’s destruction. I don’t pretend to know which form the collapse may take or when but I know that people who want a republic based on individual rights and capitalism haven’t much time. Ayn Rand often cautioned that “it’s sooner than you think”, so Objectivists should think and re-think what we’re doing to communicate Rand’s ideas. That includes the Ayn Rand Institute, other leading free market intellectuals and, of course, my own efforts. We are heavily outnumbered – so were the founding fathers and patriots – and we should take stock of what we’re doing and whether we’re getting good enough results.
There are multiple sources for knowledge, understanding and inspiration, especially my favorite novel, Atlas Shrugged, and also Leonard Peikoff’s The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America (1982), the best history of philosophy book I’ve read, and Dr. Peikoff’s new book, The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights in the West Are Going Out.
We have less time with Obama in power and it is best to choose expenditures of time and effort wisely. I have been engaged in the battle for individual rights for over 30 years, since I was a teenaged campaign staffer in the land of Lincoln, and I’ve chronicled our downward spiral, from the forced removal of Elian Gonzalez to the death of the medical profession – ObamaCare – two years ago. I feel as if I have been an eyewitness to a botched surgery and autopsy and now it is time to bury the corpse. Hours after I met Elian in Miami, Florida, at the turn of the century, days before the child was seized at gunpoint and forced to return to slavery in Communist Cuba, someone I admire took note of the public’s rejection of Elian’s plea for life and freedom and told me: “The West is doomed.” At the time, I was shocked. I didn’t believe it was true. A few weeks later, during the government’s pre-dawn raid to snatch Elian, I reconsidered whether it was true. A year later, on September 11, I figured that we are probably doomed after all.
Today, I know we are. Before the election, I watched an episode of Frontline on PBS (yes, I know it’s government-sponsored TV), contrasting Romney and Obama. It was well done though slanted for Obama like everything else in the media including that stuff on Fox News Channel. Romney came across as a clean-cut, anachronistic American missionary turned successful businessman whose parents imbued in him a sense of purpose in delivering America into what the Romneys believe is a sacred prophecy. Obama, too, came off as someone who was raised to think he was some sort of savior for a cause – only, in Obama’s case, the cause is the delivery of America’s total destruction. Obama’s profile featured several comments, including a foreigner’s remark, intended as a compliment, that he “didn’t think of [Obama] as an American friend.” Then, Frontline covered Obama himself expressing a fond recollection for belonging to a collective of drug-induced, college-bred hippies known as the “choom gang.” And, in one of those tossed-off racist lines that we’re not supposed to think is racist because it’s pronounced by a black person – one of Obama’s college classmates – there was this formative comment. Upon learning that Obama’s real first name was Barack, not Barry, the black classmate suggested using Barack instead, asking Obama: “What kind of a name is Barry for a brother?”
Of course, we now know that Obama, who was admittedly and chronically obsessed with his own blood, did change his name to Barack, and we also know that he believes his identity is partly based on race. We know he thinks that government should control our lives, that we’re “all in this together”, which means each individual belongs to the collective and must submit to the dictates of its elected leader. We know, too, that Obama and wife hold creators in contempt – “you didn’t build that!” – as pre-advantaged people who must be brought down by force for the sake of other people, based on class, race and culture.
In the end, there were more people who accept the philosophy of altruism, collectivism and welfare-statism and wanted Obama than there were of the mixed, mangled bunch of us who wanted Romney for any variety of reasons, some of them, such as lighter forms of statism and outright theocracy, bad reasons. More Americans voted to re-elect Barack Obama and, if you think about it, you will realize, as I have, that to cast a vote for Romney required a certain exertion of effort, filtering and thinking things through so that the choice we faced yesterday was not obvious, particularly to those without an explicit philosophy. So, do not hate everyone for re-electing Obama, even if you think they should have known better. Buck up and read, or re-read, Atlas Shrugged, clarify and if necessary improve your own thoughts and arguments and act on what you know so that, in the next election, if we have one, and today part of me doubts we will, there will be a clearer, better choice. It is a fact that we live under a government on the fast track toward becoming a dictatorship. Giving up on integrating philosophy into life, which even more urgently requires persuading others to stop passively supporting violation of your right to life, makes life unbearable and sooner than you think.
My philosophy, Objectivism, holds that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it. Reality is what it is, so there is no denying that life will be harder now, much harder. The headline that matters at this moment is not that Obama was re-elected; what matters is today’s other headline that “ABC News Loses Power in Times Square Studio”. This is an example of the reality we should face, align with and resolve to fix. Life is already hard, and it is true that Obama’s re-election makes life more difficult and imminently more dangerous (ObamaCare). Things are going to stop working. Power will go down. Cities will go dark. Traffic on government roads will get worse. Waiting in government hospitals will be longer and the treatment will be inferior. Attending government schools will be more harmful to children. Businesses are going to be destroyed. People are going to starve and people are going to die. I will live, enjoy and make the most of my life while life is still possible, knowing that there is a destroyer with some degree of power over my life. My estimate that there are more voters who grasp that Obama is a destroyer than those who do not (or, worse, who know it and want destruction) was wrong. I should have known better: four years ago, I didn’t know Obama was a destroyer. Knowing it now is better than not knowing it and four years from now there may be more of us, perhaps enough to steer what’s left of the West toward freedom.