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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

RAW's favorite president

John Adams, who in Nature's God defends Captain Preston in a trial over the Boston Massacre. "Adams had won, then, because he sincerely believed Captain Preston had acted in self-defense and that the cause of the Colonies must not depart one jot from pure justice as he understood it." (From Chapter Six). 

Here is a trivia question appropriate for a looming presidential election: Can you name Robert Anton Wilson's favorite U.S. president?

After I posted a link to the article on how Reason magazine staffers will vote, Jesse Walker realized he had never told me about a couple of Reason pieces that Wilson contributed a few sentences to. One was an "Iraq progress report" roundup dating to 2006, and the other, a 2004 survey on which presidential candidate Reason staffers and other prominent libertarians planned to vote for, similar to the piece I linked to last week. 

In the latter, participants such as RAW answer four questions, including favorite president, and here's Wilson's answer on that one: "John Adams, because he didn't trust anybody in politics, including himself."


supergee said...

Like RAW, I voted for LBJ because I thought Goldwater would escalate the war in Vietnam. I’m not embarrassed because it was my very first vote. Instead, I have felt like an Abused Voter ever since, but I persist. (Biden this time)

Eric Wagner said...

Thank you for sharing these. Man, a lot of those writers supported George W. Bush.

Jesse said...

Possibly related: Wilson was a big fan of the book *The Law of Civilization and Decay*, written by Brooks Adams—John Adams' great-grandson.

Bobby Campbell said...

It's always stuck with me that RAW's official line was that he was voting for himself in 2004, or some variation thereof, but when I met him he told me that he hoped Kerry would win, because he supported stem cell research.

I guess maybe just the difference between RAW the public character and Bob Wilson the private person?

The re-election of GWB in 2004 was such a profound bummer to me. I mean when he snuck in by hook and crook in 2000 it was somewhat excusable as a fluke, but that the US validated him with full knowledge of who he was and what he wanted to do, pretty grim stuff.

Seems like we're standing at that same, but escalated, precipice again. For the sake of my reality tunnel, I hope voters are more into less evil than the folks at Reason seem to be!

Hugh said...

These Reason links are so good. Of course RAW’s Iraq comments were the best, IMHO. Wendy McElroy’s & Charles Murray’s ‘what to do now’ comments are great too.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

@Bobby he could both vote for himself _and_ hope Kerry would win. Kerry won California by a big margin in 2004 and I'm sure the polls predicted the victory, so he could have easily voted for himself while hoping Kerry would win nationally.

This sort of thinking also applies to "more into less evil," i.e. many libertarians feel obligated to vote for Biden in swing states but feel free to vote Libertarian in states where it's inconceivable their vote could make a difference.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Incidentally, RAW the public persona versus Bob the private person is an interesting suggestion and I'd like to hear more examples, from anybody.

Lvx15 said...

Re: RAW the private person, I recall reading something written by sci-fi writer Rudy Rucker (in either boing boing hard copy zine or maybe fringeware review) about the film he and RAW were both in... he wrote about traveling with RAW, painting him as a complainer and hypochondriac. It stuck me as probably a true account of Rucker’s experience, but just seemed uncharacteristically mean spirited.

Bobby Campbell said...

Right on, Tom! Very fair points about how people in states where the results are basically forgone conclusions might get more creative with their actual vote casting practices.

Though that being the case, at least for me, it seems maybe counterproductive to say both sides are equally bad while actually having a preference between the two.

But also and of course, people should do as they please, and I'm happy to mind my own damn business about it :))) Biden/Harris 2020! "Acceptable under the circumstances"

Jesse said...

If the Rucker thing is the item I'm remembering, it just struck me as a description of a guy in a bad mood after a day of unpleasant travel.