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Thinking about the U.S. Presidential Elections

In this episode of New Ideal Live, ARI senior fellow Onkar Ghate and ARI board members Yaron Brook and Robert Mayhew discuss the upcoming U.S. presidential election, with an emphasis on how Ayn Rand herself thought about voting, elections, and political trends in the United States.

Among the topics discussed are:

  • What ARI’s 501(c)(3) status requires, and why it permits expressing opinions on policy and political issues;
  • Why Objectivism’s views are so radically different from today’s popular political positions, including conservatism’s;
  • Rand’s views on choosing the “lesser of two evils” and when abstention from voting might be necessary;
  • Ayn Rand’s commentary on the presidential elections of her time and her views of their long-term consequences;
  • Her controversial views on specific candidates like Kennedy and Reagan;
  • An analysis of the current presidential candidates, and what they say about the philosophical state of the culture.

Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essay “Conservatism: An Obituary” and her talk “Censorship: Local and Express.” Rand’s commentary on elections is also available in the book Ayn Rand Answers.

This podcast was recorded on September 24, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts Google PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived episodes here.

Podcast audio:


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Agustina Vergara Cid

Agustina Vergara Cid, LLB and LLM, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and an opinion columnist at the Orange County Register.

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