Scott Powell considers voting neither for Obama nor McCain this November:
Like so many people, I have thought over the coming election and studied the field of candidates. As a result of my analysis of the coming vote and especially of its historical significance, I have tentatively switched to the “None of the Above” camp.
Judging from the comments to Powell's post, abstention might be a popular choice among Objectivists this year. Obama is the farthest left candidate in American history. McCain is a "national greatness" conservative who consistently sneers at the pursuit of profit and believes the state's role is to direct the people in sacrificing for something greater than themselves. Hitler and Stalin would have approved of McCain.
(John Stossel looks at McCain's latest ignorant statement:
"I believe there needs to be a thorough and complete investigation of speculators to find out whether speculation has been going on and, if so, how much it has affected the price of a barrel of oil. There's a lot of things out there that need a lot more transparency and, consequently, oversight.")
For many who have been voting for the lesser of two evils all their life, this choice is just too much evil to suffer.
The way to abstain, for those who decide that way, is to take the time to go vote, but don't vote for President. Then one's non-vote shows up in the numbers. If this caught on, it could make a powerful statement. Imagine news reports that began, "Two million voters were so dissatisfied with the candidates that they did not vote for any of them." (Well, you wouldn't read this in the New York Times because it makes the Democrat look bad.)
It's too early to decide how to vote yet. We still have the conventions and the VP picks. The campaigns don't really get serious until Labor Day.
At this point I have reservations about abstention. It reeks of agnosticism. In metaphysics the agnostics refuse to take a side on the existence of God. Despite the lack of evidence for the existence of any supernatural being, which makes the idea arbitrary, the agnostic can't make up his mind either way. Like the political moderate, the agnostic thinks the superior choice is to take no choice and look down on those who do as unenlightened fools determined by their passions. Agnosticism is fundamentally subjectivism, which makes it very modern indeed.
Beneath all the condescension and logical fallacies of the agnostic lies cowardice. The agnostic is afraid to take a stand.
If one of the candidates will be worse for America, should one not vote for the other guy, however bad he is? My thinking is that McCain will be worse because he will be more effective in power. The Republicans in Congress would go along with whatever he wants, whereas they would make Obama's life hell every step of the way, just as they did to Clinton. The Democrats in Congress would only fight McCain on foreign policy.
What if, because I wanted to feel good about myself by not stooping to vote for either candidate, McCain was elected and then he instituted a national service program in which every young person was forced to serve the state for two years of his life? How would I feel then about not soiling myself with a vote against this monstrous Republican?
By this reasoning, I should wear a gas mask and vote for... Obama.
Ugh. Have you read about this guy? He is the purest demagogue to be nominated by a major party in my lifetime. He seems to bask in the adoration of mass crowds like an American Mussolini. Watching him turns my stomach. How can I vote for someone with a radical Marxist background who at the same time seems to have no principles but like Peter Keating will say what people want to hear? The more I think about Obama, the more attractive abstention looks.
My thinking at present is full of confusion. The fact that this decision is agonizing to individualists and lovers of freedom says something about the decline of America. We're worse off than we were 20 years ago. A lot worse off.
Given my confusion, it's probably best that I have not yet made up my mind. But the time to decide will come soon enough.
UPDATE: Literatrix agrees with Scott Powell.