Epicurus and Elections
By Bryan Caplan
If I let electoral results upset me, I would be miserable all the time. No matter who wins, I lose, because I am light-years away from the views of virtually all electable politicians.
Fortunately, I long ago achieved philosophical detachment. I always expect to lose, so continued defeat does not disappoint me. Indeed, every election reminds me of the wisdom of Epicurus:
He who desires to live
in tranquility with nothing to fear from other men ought to make
friends. Those of whom he cannot make
friends, he should at least avoid rendering enemies; and if that is not in his power,
he should, as much as possible, avoid all dealings with them, and keep them aloof,
insofar as it is in his interest to do so.
And this election, I’m even inclined to tempt fate and ask “How could things possibly get any worse?” But though I’m open to bets, I’ll resist this temptation – and keep tending my garden.