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In the years following Ayn Rand’s death ARI associates carried on her policy regarding presidential elections. At first.
In the four campaigns after Reagan vs. Carter (1980) when they gave advice at all it was either don’t vote or vote Democrat to counterbalance a Republican Congress. As before we list the presidential races Republican vs. Democrat, the eventual winner bolded:1984 · Ronald Reagan vs. Walter Mondale
Congress is dominated by Republicans. Bush is carrying the same Neocons, loathed by Ayn Rand when she was alive, that Reagan had. Considering all this, the best action is either to vote Gore, or choose “none of the above” by either not voting at all or – what would amount to the same thing – voting for an independent candidate. (The Libertarians field an articulate candidate this year, Harry Browne, and his campaign is good educational propaganda.)
Instead, ARI publishes an amazing Op-Ed saying Bush vs. Gore is not a choice between two evils but a choice between good and evil. If memory serves (ARI removed the Op-Ed from their website) it had something like good versus evil in the title or subtitle – certainly it was in the text. 
Before ARI publishes its Op-Eds it subjects them to extensive editorial review, there are no “rogue” writers at ARI.  Why the change in policy from previous elections? One can only conjecture. January 2000 Leonard Peikoff had appointed a new Executive Director to ARI, one Yaron Brook (for his background see Who’s Who on this website). And Mr. Peikoff approved of Mr. Brook’s subsequent behavior, as he made clear in a talk not long after the election.  Ultimately whatever happened at ARI regarding the election comes back to Mr. Peikoff. It would make a good podcast question for him.
Other ARI articles are not so extreme, but for the most part they present Bush as far better than Gore. All in all ARI publishes three Op-Eds strongly criticizing Gore; and one Op-Ed and two Press Releases criticizing Bush in a sympathetic manner, like a coach pleading with his team to buck up.  The day before the election ARI publishes one more Op-Ed endorsing Bush, not as white vs. black as the first, mentioned above, but ARI makes it clear who they want the victor:
|America’s Real Choice by Robert Tracinski, ARI op-ed, November 6, 2000.|
“The voters face a clear choice in tomorrow’s election ...”and after some qualifications ends:
“A Gore victory would be a moral mandate for more government intrusion in our lives; a Bush victory will represent a moral mandate for protecting us from government power.One can only marvel at dishing up Bush, even in 2000, as anti-big-government. Even compared to Gore he could not honestly be so described. This is not a case of being fooled. (Two years later ARI defended Bush’s subsequent expansion of government power – power that now is in the hands of someone else. See “War Powers Without War,” The Complicity of Silence, and other pages on this website.)
“For that reason alone, I’ll be voting for Bush tomorrow. I’ll be voting, not so much for the man, but for the anti-big-government stance  that he represents.”
Bush won and ARI exulted in his victory. “The Two Americas” Op-Ed by Robert Tracinski (November 13, 2000) begins:
“The vote last Tuesday wasn’t even close.Well, a landslide against Gore perhaps, and Mr. Tracinski neglects to mention the high percentage of people who voted “none of the above.” The fact is Bush won handily only because the public was fed up with Clinton and leery of anyone associated with him. We quote enough of what follows to reveal ARI’s insufferably condescending attitude – backhand style – towards the best of the American public:
“... If you look at the national totals, the electoral college count, and the chaos in Florida, this election is probably the closest in history. But look at it again ... . For about half of the nation—clustered in urban areas, mainly in the Northeast and on the West Coast—Al Gore was the clear winner. But a huge swath of the country—the South, West, Midwest, and rural districts practically everywhere—chose George W. Bush by a landslide. ¶ Folks in my own county in central Virginia, for example, voted for Bush by 54 to 43 percent ... .”
“... that is the conflict in this election. It is a clash primarily between urban elites and what those elites sometimes call ‘flyover country.’ It’s a clear contrast between two Americas with two different views of life.Very well ! But it was ARI’s job to tell Americans that that rhetoric was nothing more than phony campaign oratory – which at the time was obvious to any perceptive intellect. Instead, ARI presented Bush’s pronouncements as sincere. Bush deceived the better of the two Americas, the one ARI calls the “common man,” and ARI helped with the deception. (They continued helping him after he was elected, see Our Bold, Fearless Leader and “The Big Lie: Intelligence Failure in Iraq” on this website; and even into his second term, see How to Kill an Idea also on this website.)
“Rural America generally reflects the original values of America’s founding. In all things, wrote the famous 19th-century observer of American culture, Alexis de Tocqueville, the American ‘relies on individual effort and judgment.’ The typical American was contemptuous of tradition and authority and confident in his ability to solve his own problems. This led the Americans to accept a moral philosophy of ‘self-interest properly understood’—that is, long-term, rational self-interest—a viewpoint ‘you hear . . . as much from the poor as from the rich.’ And for the early Americans, greed was good. ‘What we call love of gain,’ Tocqueville says, ‘is praiseworthy industry to the Americans.’
“This is the outlook summed up by that uniquely American phrase ‘rugged individualism,’ ... still dominant in much of the country today. The American ‘common man’ tends to believe in independence, individual responsibility and self-reliance. These people don't want government interference in their lives, even if it's billed as ‘help.’ ... it’s no surprise that they responded to Bush’s campaign rhetoric.”
After praising the common man for in effect being a fool, Mr. Tracinski says that American universities have been indoctrinating their students in un-American ideals for generations. He contrasts these students with less schooled Americans, who retain more of the ideals of the Founders – all of which is true enough. Mr. Tracinski concludes: “The two Americas who squared off in this year’s election are just a symptom of this fundamental gulf—this dangerous conflict between America and its intellectuals.” No, there was no squaring off in the election, though the conflict is real.
ARI writers place themselves above the conflict and would have you believe they are a new kind of intellectual. But, despite their protestations to the contrary, on many important issues of the day rather than New Intellectuals they act like New Conservatives.
To continue with the election: The electoral college vote is close, and Gore only needs Florida, where the ballot count is especially close, to win. Gore contests the count. ARI publishes no less than three Op-Eds defending the count and supporting Bush: “It Depends On What the Meaning of the Word ‘Vote’ Is” (Nov. 20), “The Democrats’ ‘World of Non-A’ ” (Nov. 27), and “Where Are the Bloodhounds? (Dec. 4). 
In the end the folks at ARI got what they wanted: George W. Bush – along with what we suspect they very much wanted, his Neocon advisors.
(Bush will be known for his response to the 9-11 attack. His attitude is best summarized by a remark he made just days later. After speaking of his campaign promise to maintain a budget surplus except in the event of “recession, war or national emergency,” he cracked a joke with his budget director: “Lucky me,” he said, “I hit the trifecta.”  Subsequently ARI writers criticized Bush only when he did not support Israel enough, or did not attack Israel’s enemies enough. And they liked the man himself. For example, two years into his first term Andrew Bernstein, in his article “In Defense of the Cowboy” – ARI op-ed, Feb. 26, 2003 – compared Bush with those heroes of our childhood, the Texas Rangers.)