Scenes from a donut shop

"... one dollar? But, I only want half hot chocolate, half coffee. One half hot chocolate would be 50 cents, one half coffee would be 45 cents. Add that together, and it equals 95 cents, not one dollar... OK, let's look at this another way... OK, fine, whatever..."

[minutes later]



"I noticed your tri-corner hat and your breech loader. Are you a Revolutionary War re-creationist?"

"No, I am Badnarik!"

"Hmmm... What, the magician?"

"No, you fool! I am Badnarik, the Libertarian Party's candidate for President of the United States!"

"Oh, yeah. Are you one of the reformed Libertarians?"

"Not at all. My thoughts are quite in line with the Libertarian Party's positions."

"A hardliner, eh. So, when can we expect the free drugs?"

"Look, the only reason we want to legalize drugs is to lower the price. Once we lower the price, we will remove a major part of the profit motive. That will result in fewer drugs."

"But, that doesn't make any sense. Look at oil. It's legal, yet cartels manage to control its price. Plus, many people would find legitimizing drug cartels to be morally abhorrent."

"Most people find some of our positions morally abhorrent. It helps if you just turn off that part of your brain that deals with morality. Every time you think one of our positions is morally abhorrent, just think about Ayn instead. It takes time and practice, but it works."

"OK, I'll try it. But, what about your geopolitical positions? What do you see as America's place in the world?"

"As George Washington once wrote, we should trade with all countries but get entangled with none. If we were trading with all countries, we could spread American wealth around the world, and they'd have a natural reason not to hate us. We've got bases and forces in a hundred countries around the world. Many people hate us because we get involved in their internal affairs."

"So, you'd just have let Iraq alone?"

"It took decades to partially overcome racial prejudice in America. The prejudices and tribal hatred in Iraq aren't going to go away over night. It might take decades for Iraq to have a democracy. They should work that out for themselves."

"But, what about genocides and things like that? Oops, I'm sorry, I forgot I was just supposed to think of Ayn in such cases. Anyway, someone has to be the superpower. If America retreats into itself, then a country like Russia or China might try to claim that title. That represents a long-term threat to us. Plus there are people who will hate us no matter what we do or don't do. Sometimes you just have to get involved, have a foreign presence. In any case, let's agree to disagree. Now, tell me more about sheep marriages..."