Ayn Rand Center Press Release
September 9, 2008
Washington, D.C.--John McCain has made “Country First” the theme of his presidential campaign. In response, Barack Obama declared that “I’ve got news for John McCain. We all put our country first.”
“I’ve got news for both candidates,” said Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, “Both the left and the right have been ‘putting the country first’ for decades--and that’s the problem.
“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.’ Or consider the policies McCain and Obama promise to enact if elected. To take just one example, instead of leaving business owners free to hire and trade with whomever they wish, McCain says we must protect ‘our’ jobs from foreigners coming in to this country, while Obama says we must protect ‘our’ jobs from foreigners outside the country--both ignoring the fact that those jobs don’t belong to ‘society’ but are created by the very individuals whose rights are being sacrificed.
“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.”
### ### ###
Yaron Brook is executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and a contributing editor of The Objective Standard. His articles have been featured in major newspapers such as USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Providence Journal and the Orange County Register. Dr. Brook is often interviewed on radio and is a frequent guest on a variety of national TV shows, having appeared in the new Fox Business Network, FOX News Channel (The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, At Large with Geraldo Rivera), CNN (Talkback Live and the Glenn Beck Program), CNBC (Closing Bell and On the Money), and C-SPAN. Dr. Brook, a former finance professor, lectures on Objectivism, capitalism, business and foreign policy at college campuses, community groups and corporations across America and throughout the world.
To interview Dr. Brook or book him for your show, please contact Larry Benson:
949-222-6550, ext. 213
For more information on Objectivism’s unique point of view, go to ARC’s Web site. The Ayn Rand Center is a division of the Ayn Rand Institute and promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”