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Rand endorsed Nixon?

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Her essays that I've read pertaining to Nixon don't amount to an endorsement. They were something along the lines of saying that she was encouraged by Nixon because he was such a miserable candidate, that she didn't think he'd be able to do much damage. This was in Philosophy: Who Needs It, which I've just finished. (However it was on audio book so I can't give you the specific reference easily.)

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I heard someone say this on Youtube so I'm naturally inclinded to disbelieve. Did she really support Nixon?

In the run-up to the 1972 election, Ayn Rand wrote: "I am not an admirer of President Nixon, as my readers know. But I urge every able-minded voter, of any race, creed, color, age, sex, or political party, to vote for Nixon as a matter of national emergency. This is no longer an issue of choosing the lesser of two commensurate evils. The choice is between a flawed candidate representing Western civilization and the perfect candidate of its primordial enemies... If there were some campaign organization called 'Anti-Nixonites for Nixon,' it would name my position."

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Interesting. It seems we'll be confronted with a similar situation this November.

Hmm. I don't agree. If McCain is "Bush III", as some say, then continuing the leadership of a party which initiated force against another nation isn't any better, in my view, than restoring leadership to the socialist agenda.

I think we're in another no-win.

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The claim that McCain = Bush III is a Democrat Party talking point that we're going to hear ad nauseum until the November election. It's pretty clear there are substantial differences between Bush and McCain. The two frequently didn't see eye to eye on policy issues over the last 7 years, hence all the Media love for McCain the "Maverick".

Without getting into a debate on the Iraq war, I reject your claim that we initiated force against another nation. Iraq was the initiator of force against us, other nations and its own people. It was perfectly moral to take out Saddam. Given the way Bush has mucked up the post-war phase of the conflict, I believe McCain will do a better job of representing US interests than a guy who wants an immediate withdrawal and who can’t decide whether Iran is a threat to us.

*** Mod's note: Further discussion about the middle-east war has been split

into a separate topic - sN ***

Edited by softwareNerd
Added 'split-topic' notice

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The claim that McCain = Bush III is a Democrat Party talking point that we're going to hear ad nauseum until the November election.

I wish this were true. I really can't tell much difference between his and the other two candidates' positions. He's as far to the left as they are, but he chooses to call himself a Republican for some reason that I haven't figured out yet. It sucks there is no "less evil" candidate to vote for this time. It would be cool if there were not term limits and Bush could run again, and he could barely get elected again and everybody would complain, but we have learned that he really doesn't cause any damage, and sometimes does some good stuff. Lowering taxes, War on Terror(however mishandled), etc.

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I wish this were true. I really can't tell much difference between his and the other two candidates' positions. He's as far to the left as they are....

If you look at their positions on the major issues, there is a world of difference between Obama and McCain. For example, if you review where they stand on healthcare, judicial appointments, national defense and foreign policy, taxes, government spending, and even the environment (at least McCain is pro-nuclear, even if he's wrong on GW), McCain is better than Obama on every count. I don't disagree with you that McCain is deeply flawed, but an Obama presidency would be a disaster for this country.

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If you look at their positions on the major issues, there is a world of difference between Obama and McCain.

I agree. The worrisome part about McCain, however, is his willingness to compromise. If he wins, I fear he will want to accomodate his democratic foes just to get things done. On the other hand, he is a stubborn cuss on certain issues. He is not likely to give an inch on the war on terror, Iraq, spending, and possibly taxes.

On the other hand, an Obama victory will be hailed as a mandate for "change." Whatever meat he chooses to put on the bones of that empty slogan will be said to be just what America voted for. With potentially sizable majorities in both houses and a fawning press, Obama could, in fact, bring about exactly the type of changes none of us wishes to see.

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With respect to the original question, Rand wrote a number of things about Nixon in issues of the Objectivist and Ayn Rand Letter that have not been anthologized. In "The Presidential Candidates, 1968", Rand wrote:

It should be obvious -- and, according to the polls, it seems to be obvious to an overwhelming majority of the American people -- that the man to vote for this year is Richard M. Nixon. From an Objectivist viewpoint, he is not an ideal candidate; one can find many flaws in his political ideology and in his past record. But in today's context, in contrast to his adversaries, he appears to be almost a giant. Or rather, to be exact, he appears to be the voice of sanity and civilization -- in the midst of a howling chorus of primitive irrationality.

While acknowledging that Nixon was an advocate of the mixed economy, she praised him for his positions on a number of other issues in which she saw him on the pro-individual-rights side: opposing the military draft and supporting a volunteer army, opposing street violence, opposing the growth in power of the FCC and SEC, supporting nuclear superiority over Russia and China, etc. (It is worth noting that this was Rand's position in 1968, so many of the things we now fault Nixon for lay in the future.)

She harshly criticized Nixon's wage-price freeze in her article "The Moratorium on Brains" in 1971. In 1972 she critiqued his China policy at length in "The Shanghai Gesture". She wrote a number of articles in the run-up to the 1972 election, including "The Dead End" and "A Nation's Unity" (on George McGovern), "A Preview" (on the New Left takeover of the Democratic party) and "The American Spirit" (on Nixon's victory).

In "The Dead End" she wrote "If anyone can get George McGovern elected President of the United States, it will be Richard M. Nixon." She had clearly soured substantially on Nixon based on his first administration. The famous "Anti-Nixonites for Nixon" quote that Bold Standard cited was from the end of the "A Preview" article. She went on to say "The worst thing said about Nixon is that he cannot be trusted, which is true: he cannot be trusted to save this country. But one thing is certain: McGovern can be trusted to destroy it."

There is an interesting quote in "A Nation's Unity" that could easily be transplanted to today's politics: "It is obvious that McGovern had counted on hatred -- on deliberately stimulated class hatred and hatred for Richard Nixon -- to unite the nation." Replace "McGovern" with "the Democrats" and "Richard Nixon" with "George W. Bush" and the statement is as true today as it was then. She summarized her position just before the election as follows:

Both Mr. Nixon and Mr. McGovern are hypocrites. Both have paid tributes to Americanism (i.e. free enterprise) and to altruistic statism. But here is the difference between them: Mr. Nixon, though not a champion of free enterprise, yearns in that direction, and does not mean his tributes to altruistic statism. Mr. McGovern does not mean his tributes to Americanism.

In an alternative of this kind, there is only one choice for those who value individual rights. As you know, I am not an admirer of Mr. Nixon -- but whatever his flaws, they are nothing when compared to his adversary's 'perfectly clear signposts'. It is against statism that we have to vote. It is statism that has to be defeated and defeated resoundingly.

(Parenthetically, I think this is one clear difference between the 1972 election and the current one. John McCain, like his Democratic opponents, is an advocate of altruistic statism. He does not yearn in the direction of free enterprise. A quarter-century after Nixon-McGovern, we find ourselves finally in a position where we can no longer vote against statism because even symbolic support for freedom has been removed from the menu.)

Her response to the 1972 election is consistent with the above -- she spent the bulk of "The American Spirit" talking about the electorate's rejection of McGovern, and only a couple of brief paragraphs discussing Nixon. (The one positive thing she had to say about him there was in regard to his Supreme Court appointments, and she took that back in 1973 in her article "Censorship: Local and Express".)

While not directly related to Rand's support of Nixon in 1968/72, she also wrote a couple of articles dealing with Watergate which are not anthologized: "Brothers, You Asked For It!" and "The Principals and the Principles".

It's kind of a shame that these articles aren't more widely available, as they provide some very nice visibility into the way Rand worked in practice at political and cultural analysis during a highly-charged period of American history. To say that Rand "endorsed" Nixon is probably accurate in 1968, but a half-truth at best in 1972. Certainly by the time he left office she considered him a thorough disappointment.

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This topic seems to be boring for everyone now that there is nothing to yell at anyone about.

Well, I think the stuff I posted pretty definitively answered your question as to whether, in what sense and to what extent Rand endorsed Nixon. So what else is there to talk about on the thread, now that the politics of the Iraqi Campaign have been taken off the table?

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Well, I think the stuff I posted pretty definitively answered your question as to whether, in what sense and to what extent Rand endorsed Nixon. So what else is there to talk about on the thread, now that the politics of the Iraqi Campaign have been taken off the table?

How about: Supporting Obama's campaign to give the country a taste of what socialism really means.

If McCain wins in November and the economy goes to poop, the sheople will turn to the Liberal left thinking that McCain's conservatism caused all the problems. (Not that Bush's communal suffering - that is what compassionate means, right? - has helped matters any)

Do you get the feeling the repubs know what's coming down the pike, and would rather sit the next four years out, then jump back in in '12 and save everyone's butt's?

Edited by agrippa1

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Do you get the feeling the repubs know what's coming down the pike, and would rather sit the next four years out, then jump back in in '12 and save everyone's butt's?

They're not that smart. The main reason they are nominating McCain is McCain-Feingold: they have basically let the mainstream media pick their candidate, and of course the MSM picked the one least likely to win.

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The main reason they are nominating McCain is McCain-Feingold:

Wow! Do you really think the main reason that he is being nominated is for the reason he scares me so bad?

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Well, I think the stuff I posted pretty definitively answered your question as to whether, in what sense and to what extent Rand endorsed Nixon. So what else is there to talk about on the thread, now that the politics of the Iraqi Campaign have been taken off the table?

Well, I mentioned that Rand didn't like Nixon, but that was ignored.

If McCain wins in November and the economy goes to poop, the sheople will turn to the Liberal left thinking that McCain's conservatism caused all the problems. (Not that Bush's communal suffering - that is what compassionate means, right? - has helped matters any)

The economy will go to shit everytime the Republicans are in office because there economic policies amount to "Spend or die." As long as they hold these Keynesian concepts, they aren't going anywhere and aren't saving anyone from anything, beside some people who benefit from their destructive inflationary policies.

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