I’m Not Voting

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The American Conservative asked a number of writers about their choice for President and published the results online.

Here is my response:

I am not going to be voting this coming Tuesday. Obama has proved a bitter disappointment to all those who hoped that he would rein in the warmongering of George Bush. To the contrary, Obama has continued our senseless war in Afghanistan and now seems bent on war with Iran and Syria. Thousands of troops and “contractors” remain in Iraq. In blatant disregard of moral decency and international law, he has ordered drone strikes that kill innocent people (“collateral damage”) and has claimed and exercised a supposed right to have American citizens killed at his own discretion.

Romney, amazingly, criticizes Obama for not going far enough. We must increase the defense budget, he says, even though our spending on armaments exceeds that of all other industrialized nations combined. He thinks that Obama has not acted with sufficient ferocity against Iran, and he and Obama vie with each other in avowing their unconditional commitment to continued Middle Eastern entanglements on the side of Israel.

In domestic policy, though Romney promises to repeal Obamacare, his own proposals require intrusive government control of healthcare. He proposes no fundamental reform of our inflationary monetary and banking system. He is one more in the long list of Republican candidates who want government to dominate the economy even as they declare their devotion to the free market. Concerning Obama and the free market, it is not necessary to say anything at all.

Why not support Gary Johnson instead? I do not think he has broken sufficiently with the dominant statist assumptions of contemporary politics, though to his credit he has taken steps in this direction. Those who favor a noninterventionist foreign policy will view with misgiving his statement that “Our military should remain the most potent force for good on Earth.” In domestic policy, he supports the so-called Fair Tax. The “fairness” of a punitive national sales tax escapes me.

There is only one nationally prominent political figure who champions a completely free market and noninterventionist foreign policy. I would enthusiastically support Ron Paul, but sadly he is no longer a candidate.

David Gordon is a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and editor of The Mises Review.

7:13 pm on October 31, 2012