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Wayne

Vote Republican or Democrat?

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Many objectivists say that they would vote for Obama over a candidate like Santorum. If I remember correctly, many or most Objectivists stated that they would rather vote for John Kerry or Al Gore over George Bush. The common thread is that Santorum and Bush are acknowledged Christians.

Ayn Rand characterized the left as "mystics of muscle" and the right as "mystics of spirit." I agree that both the left and the right do not consistently advocate for freedom and that each wants to control those aspects of life that they believe are metaphysically important.

But here we are with the left driving us to economic ruin and the right wanting to outlaw gay marriage and throw people in jail for so-called victimless crimes. It seems like Objectivists care more about gay marriage than the dismal economy. I believe that everyone suffering because of the economy represents the greatest danger. If the economy is in ruins and there is little hope of being corrected in any meaningful way, then life as we know it will not be the same for a long time.

I believe that Objectivists have stated that socialism as a political philosophy is dead and we have more to fear from theocratic philosophy. This is true about Islamism but this is not much of a political concern in America. But here we are with socialism on the ascendency in America and all over the world.

Some people think that Christians in the White House is the first step towards some sort of autocratic theocracy. I just do not see any reason to believe that. The American people still have the Enlightenment view of freedom (at least in general terms) and I do not know of any Christian who thinks or advocates anything remotely like theocracy. Sure they want "social issues" laws passed but that does not imply theocracy.

To the contrary, socialists always encroach upon all freedoms as they gain more power. The fastest road to losing all freedom is socialism and not Christianity.

I do not like many positions of the "social conservatives" but it is better to have people in government who advocate for freedom even if not consistently than socialists. The road to a philosophic revolution towards reason and individualism will take time but will never happen unless people like Obama lose in the elections.

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Many objectivists say that they would vote for Obama over a candidate like Santorum. If I remember correctly, many or most Objectivists stated that they would rather vote for John Kerry or Al Gore over George Bush.

It seems like Objectivists care more about gay marriage than the dismal economy.

I believe that Objectivists have stated that socialism as a political philosophy is dead and we have more to fear from theocratic philosophy.

When? Where?

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But here we are with the left driving us to economic ruin... ...
The right are just as much to blame for the economy as the left.

Romney... Romneycare

Gingrich... He's been for all sorts of statist schemes and laws... Medicare Drugs, health-mandates, Fannie/Freddie

Santorum... I don't know enough about him, but I'm willing to bet he's sponsored statist intervention in the economy just as most GOP folk (I do know he was against right-to-work)

So, I challenge your premise that the GOP candidates are for a free-economy.

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Although I have a really bad attitude towards any of the four Republicans still in the race, three of them would get my vote over Obama. Just barely.

The exception is Santorum--Obama would get my vote over Santorum, again just barely. He is the one candidate who seems to regard the bible-thumper social issues as more important than the economy. When he lists his priorities, he talks about faith, family, values. Yeah, he will spew good rhetoric about the size of government and so forth when specifically asked, but clearly those social issues are what _really_ motivate him. And with the economy in the toilet right right now, focusing on this other crap that does NOT address a threat to the US is just fricking nuts. The other candidates might only be pandering to the religious right; Santorum is definitely enthusiastic about the crap they want to focus on.

Mind you Gingrich and Romney would probably be worthless on the economy but at least they would pay more attention to it than they would on abortion/gay marriage/don't ask don't tell. Paul is the only one who comes close to satisfactory on the economy but he more than makes up for it with a dreadful foreign policy and a states-rights agenda on the social issues.

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito

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I pretty much agree with Steve on this word for word, with a few minor differences that aren't really worth mentioning unless this discussion fleshes out more.

Edited by CapitalistSwine

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Many objectivists say that they would vote for Obama over a candidate like Santorum. If I remember correctly, many or most Objectivists stated that they would rather vote for John Kerry or Al Gore over George Bush. The common thread is that Santorum and Bush are acknowledged Christians.

Obama is an acknowledged Christian too. So that couldn't possibly be the reason why someone would take Obama over Santorum. I think you are misrepresenting their motives.

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Many objectivists say that they would vote for Obama over a candidate like Santorum. If I remember correctly, many or most Objectivists stated that they would rather vote for John Kerry or Al Gore over George Bush. The common thread is that Santorum and Bush are acknowledged Christians.

I suspect you get your "many or most" figure by inferring that Leonard Peikoff speaks ex cathedra for Objectivism. Here's his latest word on how thou shalt vote:

http://www.peikoff.com/2010/05/17/given-the-obama-administration-and-your-stand-on-republicans-will-you-support-or-vote-for-a-republican-in-november/

In 2010 Harry Binswanger went so far as to say: vote for any Republican, even if his name is Joseph Stalin. So, you might look back at the old John Kerry attack ads, where they have him saying I was for this and that, before I was against it, make some mental substitutions, and draw your own conclusions. I suggest looking up the wording of Peikoff's 2006 voting "advice", in addition to listening to the podcast linked above, it shouldn't be too hard to find.

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Wayne,

Nicky’s point in #7 is important. It is the Christian Left in America that has always made for Left Socialism in America. It is because of Jesus, as they see him, that we got the Health Care Reform Act. Christian work for governmental social welfare programs was afoot in America when Karl Marx was only a gleam in his father’s eye.

Throughout my voting years (I’m 63), I almost always voted Democratic because I always voted Pro-Choice. The issue of individual freedom at stake in that controversy is the issue of involuntary servitude, the same issue as in military conscription. So I voted for Bill Clinton because he was Pro-Choice, hoping he would be thwarted on his plan for socialized medicine (and he was). Likewise for Barack Obama (whose attempt was nearly defeated in the Congress and may yet be defeated in the Supreme Court this summer).

My voting decisions have been for Pro-Choice candidates, and like all the Objectivist or quasi-Objectivist people I have personally known, my decisions have not been made in order to fall in line with the voting decisions of Objectivist leading lights, such as Ninth insinuates in #8.

Stephen

Edited by Boydstun

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At the end of the day they are all just modern politicians. They all suck in different mixtures of different ways. Put more energy into opposing them and doing what you can to change the future of politics, rather than going crazy trying to make rational decisions about these irrational people.

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like all the Objectivist or quasi-Objectivist people I have personally known, my decisions have not been made in order to fall in line with the voting decisions of Objectivist leading lights, such as Ninth insinuates in #8.

Let me clarify: I don’t think “many or most” Objectivists or quasi-Objectivists follow marching orders from Peikoff. The OP seems to be under the impression, however, that Peikoff’s view does represent such a representative figure, even today, following what amounts to a reversal of position.

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Boydstun, Communist China is pro abortion and how is there freedom working out? The only time I would vote Democrat is if the opponent was a socialist or communist. I can't stand the GOP, but they will do more to cut taxes and protect business and property than any Dem ever will.

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Boydstun, Communist China is pro abortion and how is there freedom working out?
China allows this particular "social" freedom that the U.S. does not. Of what relevance is this to the current thread?

...GOP, ... will do more to cut taxes...
Cutting taxes without tackling spending simply means we'll pay the taxes tomorrow.

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Forced abortion is not a social freedom it is a gross violation of personal liberty. It is relevant to the thread because I am questioning Mr. Boydstuns sole reason for supporting the Democrat candidates; abortion. I don't see the merit in supporting a candidate strictly for on the abortion issue when there are many many other important factors to consider; ie property rights, taxation, drug laws, etc etc etc. The parallel being you can get (or forced) an abortion in China, but your other liberties are nearly non-existant, what's more Democrats are committed to statism. electing someone only because they a pro-abortion seems counter productive because 99% of those candidates are Democrats and democrats have repeatedly shredded our liberty and freedom again and again (I know I know; so have the GOP, but not nearly the veracity as Obama Pelosi and their ilk) I would not relinquish my full liberty just so abortion can be fully legal.

Edited by Erik Christensen

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There is a difference between being "pro abortion" (i.e., pro keeping it legal) and forcing people to have abortions. So comparing with Red China--or even bringing up the issue of forced abortion, as if Boydstun is somehow advocating it or voting for those who do, is just ridiculous.

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Forced abortion is not a social freedom it is a gross violation of personal liberty. It is relevant to the thread because I am questioning Mr. Boydstuns sole reason for supporting the Democrat candidates; abortion.

Then why don't you address the reason he gave for why he votes the way he does? It's not the way I vote either, but I consider it to be a respectable, reasoned policy. I usually vote Libertarian, knowing full well that my candidate won't win. I don't think any major party candidate since Goldwater has been unambiguously worthy of support.

I suggest looking up the wording of Peikoff's 2006 voting "advice", in addition to listening to the podcast linked above, it shouldn't be too hard to find.

Here's the relevant material:

The most urgent political task now is to topple the Republicans from power, if possible in the House and the Senate. This entails voting consistently Democratic, even if the opponent is a "good" Republican.

In my judgment, anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man's actual life--which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world.

If you hate the Left so much that you feel more comfortable with the Right, you are unwittingly helping to push the U.S. toward disaster, i.e., theocracy, not in 50 years, but, frighteningly, much sooner.

Edited by Ninth Doctor

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A live-streamed debate on the topic Is Government the Problem or the Solution? is scheduled for next Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at George Mason University, in Founders Hall, Room 134. The debaters will be Yaron Brook* and David Callahan.*

Later in the year, there will be debates between the Democratic and Republican candidates for President. Wednesday’s debate foreshadows, at a deeper level, what is sure to be an underlying issue in the Presidential contest.

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Republican or Democrat? In 2008 I remember going to the polling place dishearteningly resigned to vote for McCain. But, not being able to stomach my decision whilest actually in the booth, I voted Libertarian (whomever he was). I just couldn't imagine saying "I voted for McCain."

That being said, the reason why I had intended to vote Republican then (and why I still intend to now) was because the Repblicans are more pro-capitalist than the Democrats. True enough, neither endorse laissez-faire. But given a choice between half-hearted capitalism and full-on Marxism, I'll take the former.

The issue of a theocracy arising in the U.S. isn't absurd to me. But I believe we are too secular a nation to allow it outright, and many groups exist to today to sound that alarm, and are quick to do so when they detect even the most minor thought of stepping in that direction. And many Americans are keen to this principle, the Separation of Church and State. But how many are keen to laissez-faire, or fully understand individual rights? The citizens are far more likely to allow gov't cavalier transgressions on their rights in the name of Fairness and Equality than in the name of Religion. That's the real danger.

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The issue of a theocracy arising in the U.S. isn't absurd to me. But I believe we are too secular a nation to allow it outright, and many groups exist to today to sound that alarm, and are quick to do so when they detect even the most minor thought of stepping in that direction.

The problem is that of late, courts are denying these groups standing to sue. Apparently having your taxes used to support religion is no longer enough reason to be able to sue.

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I have to say, that it was pretty clever for Pelosi, Reed and Obama to postpone the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act to 2014 because it doesn't seem to be in the public consciousness right now. President Obama didn't even mention it in his State of the Union speech.

You really need to become familiar with the income-redistribution aspects of this law, if you are not.

See the CBO's analysis of premiums here http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/107xx/doc10781/11-30-Premiums.pdf go to the last page. See how a family that makes $102k / yr will pay $14.1k in premiums while the family that makes $90k per year pays $9.2k in premiums. That is a 50% additional marginal tax rate. At least with the Republicans there is a chance of repeal or change of this insanity.

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I have to say, that it was pretty clever for Pelosi, Reed and Obama to postpone the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act to 2014...
Very true.

See the CBO's analysis of premiums here http://www.cbo.gov/f...30-Premiums.pdf go to the last page. See how a family that makes $102k / yr will pay $14.1k in premiums while the family that makes $90k per year pays $9.2k in premiums. That is a 50% additional marginal tax rate.
Interesting.

At least with the Republicans there is a chance of repeal or change of this insanity.
I wonder if they will. The issue plays well in the GOP primaries, but it will be interesting to see if the GOP candidate will make repeal or change of health-care it an important issue in this election, when talking to the general public.

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I am frightened to see what the health care system would be like in the hands of someone like Santorum.

He won't have to ban abortion or contraception, just get the government-assimilated medical industry to stop providing them. Right now we are seeing the Catholics scream because they are being expected to provide something they don't believe in, but what happens when the shoe is on the other foot and a crazy Catholic is in charge? This should scare the bejeezus out of the left, but yet they still want Obamacare. They seem pretty confident that they will always be in charge.

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I am frightened to see what the health care system would be like in the hands of someone like Santorum.

He won't have to ban abortion or contraception, just get the government-assimilated medical industry to stop providing them. Right now we are seeing the Catholics scream because they are being expected to provide something they don't believe in, but what happens when the shoe is on the other foot and a crazy Catholic is in charge? This should scare the bejeezus out of the left, but yet they still want Obamacare. They seem pretty confident that they will always be in charge.

I hear you, Steve. I'm particularly concerned about how abortion rights might be restricted on the fringes. Also, who knows what escalation we might see on the war on drugs?

I recently posted on my facebook status "Another election year, and another choice between a party that wants to control our personal choices and a party that wants to control our economic choices. Wish we had a party that stood for liberty of both kinds. Am I the only one who feels this way?"

I've never voted for third party candidate, because I always have seen them as spoilers. However, I'm wondering about Americans Elect this year and whether or not there will be a credible candidate. If someone would be for choice, deficit reduction (something like Bowles-Simpson) and a maybe some kind of compromise on health care. It might be worth considering.

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