Election 2012: Obama the Nihilist vs Romney the Pragmatist

by | Oct 30, 2012 | Elections

A man such as our current president is far more dangerous to the survival of the United States than any terrorists from the Mideast.

Obama is an unprecedented threat to America. Romney is a precedented one.

As I have explained in The DIM Hypothesis, Obama is in essence a destroyer for the sake of destruction, a nihilist, the first such to become President. The object to be destroyed is America. Given the academic and popular support he has received, he has been able to pursue this goal methodically and, to many observers, with astonishing success.

Many evils are in store for us if Obama wins a second term, ranging from crippling taxation and Obamacare to the war on energy and the imminence of economic collapse. These are certainly legitimate concerns, but to my mind what is even more frightening is Obama’s practice of ruling by executive order—that is, by moving into the legislative realm and instituting federal policies he himself approves, regardless of the ideas of Congress, and even in contradiction to established law (e.g., his latest edict on immigration). So far, most of these orders have been unchallenged by Capitol Hill’s supine politicians. If this trend continues, it can lead ultimately only to the effective end of the legislative branch. Add in to this a couple of Obama-picked Supreme Court justices, who will effectively nullify the Court as a force restraining the President. What is left of checks and balances among the three elements of our government when two are no longer functional? An executive with unlimited power is the definition of a totalitarian leader.

Qua candidate, Romney by contrast is not moved by passion, of any kind, good or evil. He seems to hold no political convictions, to be a textbook example of a “moderate” Republican—pragmatic, appeasing, directionless, and therefore following along in the wake of the Establishment consensus. So he too would move the country in the direction of ever-increasing statism, as Republican administrations have always done. (While I approve of the selection of Ryan, I do not believe that an isolated subordinate can change the nature or results of an administration.)

Although both Obama and Romney will move us closer to dictatorship, there is a critical difference: time. Obama is not stumbling, but racing to his goal, and his pace can only increase in a second term, when keeping the public happy would no longer be an important concern to him. By contrast, though following the same road as Obama, Romney the pragmatist can’t race to anything; since he moves by groping through compromises, he can only, perhaps unknowingly, amble with us to the cliff (no doubt, with some dashes now and then).

This difference in pace has profound practical implications. Within a decade or less, for example, it is quite possible that a nihilist assault on free speech, already visible, will gain some respectability and momentum, and in that way start to intimidate and silence any opposition. Whereas the Romneys won’t get around to attacking the First Amendment for at least a generation, which gives us some time to try to educate the country.

The political choice in November is: non-entity vs. anti-entity. Or: a man who is nothing vs. a man who wants to mass-produce nothings. This, in my judgment, is an unanswerable reason to vote for Romney, no matter what the nature and quantity of his flaws. A man such as our current president is far more dangerous to the survival of the United States than any terrorists from the Mideast.

P.S. For the same reason, I intend to vote for whatever Republicans in my district are running for the House and the Senate. Republican control of at least one of these bodies, however weakened they have become, is still some restraint on Obama if he wins.

Dr. Leonard Peikoff, a philosopher, is Ayn Rand's legal and intellectual heir. He was a close associate of Ayn Rand for thirty years, and today is the preeminent spokesman for her philosophy of Objectivism. He is author of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America, and The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out, (2012), that develops an hypothesis explaining the major trends in philosophy, literature, physics, education, and politics throughout Western history.

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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