James Altucher
6 min readOct 9, 2020

Loraine wrote, “Shame on you, you are the example of ignorance with a platform to express your ignorance.”

I don’t know who she is. But after I wrote my recent article, “Why I Won’t Vote”, she was upset at me:

She wrote:

“We MUST vote to ensure our country’s freedom. You are encouraging to enable the current president’s dictator mind. Shame on you, you are the example of ignorance with a platform to express your ignorance.”

It’s good to be a skeptic. But if you are a true skeptic then most of all you have to be skeptical of yourself. Starting from that point, I can now think about what she wrote.

I start by asking, “Is this true?”

Is it true that we “MUST vote to ensure our country’s freedom”?

Also, is she speaking about voting? Or is she speaking about voting for her favored candidate?

If she is correct then I AM shameful and ignorant if my vote matters that much.

I thought about it and wrote her back.

— -=======

Hi Loraine, thanks.

Can I ask: do you think one should vote or are you saying one should JUST vote for your side.

What if there are people out there who love Kanye. Should they vote or should they stay home?

Also, if I were you I would try to “steel-man” your argument. Argue my side better than me. Then I am forced to argue your side better than you.


- no insults (“your ignorance”). Once you insult, you lose the argument. You have veered away from the issues and focused on just making me feel bad.

- I actually left my approach easy to steel-man: (in other words, here are good arguments against me):

a. one can do all the things I recommend to improve society BUT that does not prevent one from voting. It’s not an either-or. So my argument is foolish in that case.

b. local elections DO affect daily life and so are important to vote in so why not vote national while you are there (I am voting locally this year).

c. change happens incrementally so always good to vote for the lesser of two evils.

These three points are more difficult for me to answer.

My main question when I wrote the article was: can I move the needle on society by voting or are there better methods for me personally. Just as anyone who wants to serve their country and community should always be asking what the best method to do that is.

The most powerful way by far to create the change you want in society is by focusing on your own physical health, emotional health (so politics doesn’t anger you and you can deal with issues rationally), creative health (so you can be part of the solution), and spiritual health (so you can surrender to the things you can’t control).

If you don’t have health, your decisions and your education about the issues might not be optimal.

I don’t like either candidate. There’s been a harsh breach of the Constitution this past year and both candidates support those breaches. I emphatically do not.

Everyone has one or two key issues that are make-or-break. Mine might be: Roe v Wade, Violence related to racism, taxes, foreign affairs, constitutional rights to life, liberty, etc.

A) Roe v Wade will not be overturned. Do not get your news from the media on this. If you study Amy Barrett’s constitutional philosophy there is zero chance she will overturn Roe.

On the one hand, she does not believe simple precedents (which Roe is) are part of the Constitution so hence can be overturned. This is where most media outlets stop their analysis.

But go deeper: she has many times stated that precedents that refer to other, more original precedents, imply the original precedent absolutely needs to stand and she says specifically that Roe v Wade qualifies as an original precedent and she specifically stated it should not be overturned.

This is under-reported in the media.

B) Violence related to racism.

First off, I have helped start a company that helps with this violence by creating non-lethal devices to apprehend people.

Already this company saves lives in the field every single day. The company gets calls every day: “you saved another life today”. So I do my civic duty and save lives!

Second, I’m working on a book with the leading African-American voices about the nature of systemic racism (does it exist?) and what solutions might work. Again, the best way to make change is to actively pursue change but from a position of health.

Third, I think the unemployment caused by continued lockdowns and the lack of any local leadership to deal with the violent outbreaks is causing a lot of pain.

I know many people who have had coronavirus. Fortunately, nobody I know personally has died. But unfortunately, I personally am friends with two people who have killed themselves due to circumstances that happened during the lockdowns.

Suicides were one outcome of the lockdowns but also the violence we are seeing in the cities is partly related to months of economic uncertainty, fear, and the lockdowns that prevented people from supporting their families.

I blame Trump for the economic lockdowns that have caused this but blame Biden for not encouraging the local Democratic leaders from listening to demands and stopping the very real violence. I have spoken to police commissioners and am very aware of who is causing the violence and why and it needs to be stopped.

So although a candidate will win, I don’t support the approaches by either on an issue very important to me and focus my efforts on education and stopping the violence.

C) Foreign affairs.

I don’t know enough about this topic. I am against sending 18 year old children to fight wars in the Middle East. All that happens is that 18 year old kids on both sides get to hold guns, ride tanks, and kill each other.

I hope both candidates are against this and I think they are.

D) Taxes.

I actually don’t care in this election although I disagree with some taxes being floated by the alt-left side although I am sure they won’t get passed.

I am “pro-Innovationist”. The way ANY country prospers is by innovating at the edges of technology. Policies which encourage innovation are good, policies which discourage (e.g. 90% corporate taxes) are bad. I think a President should just stay out of the way of innovation.

E) Constitutional Rights.

In the past few months I’ve seen “freedom of speech” horribly abused by both sides (look at all the people complaining about my article and saying I should “take it down”).

I also have seen “due process” abused. You can’t shut down a business without due process. That’s in the Constitution.

20,000,000 businesses were shut down during the lockdowns. Every state supreme court that has heard this issue has shot down the lockdowns for constitutional reasons.

Does this mean more people will die? No. Now that we have more knowledge of who the pandemic hurts most and we have better treatments we can do a hybrid of self-quarantining and better treatments.

There are, of course, other issues, but I am not solidly Democrat or Republican on them.

Again, thanks for your response. I appreciate your feelings and anger on this topic. But the best thing is to take a step back and “invert” or “steel-man” the argument.

I will vote local though.

And I will continue my activities that I do feel help society and allow me to serve my country:

A) I will keep innovating to help solve the problems of society.

B) I will use my platform to keep communicating non-media-biased views of events and issues

C) I will keep sharing my own experiences of how self-betterment is the most effective way to make a change: for yourself, for your family, for your community, and beyond.

I do that with podcast, books, articles, videos, investing, etc.

One vote out of 140,000,000 isn’t that big a deal. But helping to seed a non-violent device for law enforcement or writing books that can help people lift themselves out of the economic despair many find themselves in are the best ways I can not only help but stay sane in such an insane environment.

Thanks again for writing.



James Altucher

For some reason, I’ve turned myself inside out and all my guts have spilled onto my blog. One day I’ll run out of stuff but not yet.