The Collectivist President

I don’t know who’s going to win in November, but it’s clear the victor will be a collectivist. As Yaron Brook puts it:

When McCain and Obama call for “putting country first,” they are not simply asking us to love our country. They are urging us, as McCain once put it, to place service to the nation above the pursuit of our own values and happiness. This is collectivism, the doctrine that the individual exists to serve society and that his interests should be sacrificed to those of the group.

This is the exact opposite of America’s founding ideal. In the American system, it is the government, not the individual, who is the servant. The government’s role is to protect our individual rights so that each of us is free to pursue our own lives and happiness. No group–not even society as a whole–can force us to sacrifice for its ends.

Tragically, for the better part of a century, America has been moving away from the individualist ideals of the Founders and toward collectivism. Just consider the crushing tax burden we all suffer under to fuel an endless list of welfare entitlements in the name of the “public good.” … None of this is compatible with the individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Instead of leaders who “put country first” we need leaders who will put freedom first.

Craig Biddle summarizes:

Looking past the particular programs of McCain and Obama, and viewing their goals in terms of the purpose of government presumed by these goals, we can see that both candidates hold that the purpose of government is to manage the economy, to regulate businesses, to redistribute wealth, to bring freedom or democracy to foreigners, and to defer to the will of others on matters of American security. …

Both McCain and Obama hold that being moral consists in self-sacrificially serving or deferring to others; thus, both hold that the individual — whether a CEO, a plumber, a doctor, or a soldier — must either sacrifice or be sacrificed for the sake of the “collective” or the “greater good” or the world at large.

Titanic Deck Chairs has a pretty good graphic that aptly summarizes the “contest” between McCain and Obama.