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How to Pick a President?

Posted: January 26, 2016

Author: Jonathan Hoenig

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“In view of the general confusion on this subject, it is advisable to remind prospective voters of a few basic considerations, as guidelines in deciding what one can properly expect of a political candidate, particularly of a presidential candidate.

One cannot expect, nor is it necessary, to agree with a candidate’s total philosophy — only with his political philosophy (and only in terms of essentials). It is not a Philosopher-King that we are electing, but an executive for a specific, delimited job. It is only political consistency that we can demand of him; if he advocates the right political principles for the wrong metaphysical reasons, the contradiction is his problem, not ours.

A contradiction of that kind, will, of course, hamper the effectiveness of his campaign, weaken his arguments and dilute his appeal — as any contradictions undercut any man’s efficacy. But we have to judge him as we judge any work, theory, or product of mixed premises: by his dominant trend.

A vote for any candidate does not constitute an endorsement of his entire position, not even of his entire political position, only of his basic political principles.

It is the basic — and, today, the only — issue by which a candidate must be judged: freedom vs. statism.

If a candidate evades, equivocates and hides his stand under a junk-heap of random concretes, we must add up those concretes and judge him accordingly. If his stand is mixed, we must evaluate it by asking: Will he protect freedom or destroy the last of it? Will he accelerate, delay, or stop the march towards statism?”

— Ayn Rand in The Objectivist Newsletter, March 1964


  1. Adam Hawk

    Absolutely. I’m not a Trump worshiper. I believe Trump on his worst day is a better choice than any of the other candidates.

  2. wivoutadoubt

    Based on what exactly, Adam? Trump’s ability to buy politicians to guarantee political clout/favors, his snakeoil salesman’s penchant for fantastic hyperbole, his vindictive schoolyard bullying tactics, his 5-year-old temper tantrums, his slandering lies and sleazy accusations? And that’s just Tyrant Trump on his BEST days…

  3. Sam Lee

    Well you got your wish Adam, may I introduce to you president elect trump

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