Vote Republican Rather than Tea Party?

by | Oct 31, 2010 | Elections

At best, the Tea Party movement may be the first step in an ever-better progression.

There are some races in which a Republican, having lost the nomination to a Tea Party candidate, is nonetheless running as a third-party candidate, against the legitimate Republican nominee.

Such is the case for Charlie Crist (Florida) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). I strongly advise NOT voting for these embittered ex-Republican spoilers, but to vote for the Republican (Tea Party) candidate–i.e., in Florida, vote for Marco Rubio and in Delaware vote for Christine O’Donnell. (Yes, I know O’Donnell is a dingbat; it doesn’t matter.)

If there are cases in which the Republican is facing a third-party challenge from a Tea Party type, definitely, absolutely vote Republican. Vote Republican even if Joe Stalin is running under that banner in your District. The only thing that matters for our future is how many Republican seats are gained in the House and Senate.

Once the new Republicans come in, their composition will be shifted toward capitalism by the influence of what is already being called the “Tea Party Caucus.” The Republican Pragmatists were punished in the nomination campaigns, either by losing the race or seeing their margin of victory shrunk. Republican Pragmatists will thus be pragmatically compromising with the new, more consistent pro-capitalists.

On the other hand, even if we get a big anti-Democrat, pro-Tea Party win, we should not expect too much in the present culture. The Tea Partiers do not understand principles. They are receptive to our talking about rights, but they don’t talk much about rights themselves, only liberty and freedom. Talking about liberty is all to the good, but Tea Partiers don’t have the idea of moral principles mandating absolute freedom. And at a deeper level, they don’t understand two key points: 1) the issue is freedom vs. force, and 2) force is anti-mind. And they are nowhere near to grasping that the mind is the instrument of human survival. They don’t even recognize that point when they read Atlas Shrugged, which not only states it explicitly but dramatizes it throughout. Further: egoism vs. altruism is an issue they don’t want to touch.

At best, the Tea Party movement may be the first step in an ever-better progression. But even if it’s not, even if the movement dies out, it’s vitally necessary to back their rebellion against the statist trend, if Objectivism is to have enough time to make more inroads into the culture.

Dr. Binswanger, a longtime associate of Ayn Rand, is an professor of philosophy at the Objectivist Academic Center of the Ayn Rand Institute. He is the author of How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation and is the creator of The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z. Dr. Binswanger blogs at (HBL)--an email list for Objectivists for discussing philosophic and cultural issues. A free trial is available at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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