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Paul Ryan as Vice Presidential candidate

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Edit: at a pivotal moment. Sorry I am on my iPod.

By the way, why does criticizing Paul Ryan mean that I or anyone else is expecting change over night? Should he be untouchable because he speaks Ayn Rand's name? Who said anyone here had high hopes for Romney's VP pick anyways?

I sure didn't. I'd rather have someone who doesn't mention Ayn Rand than someone who misrepresents her philosophy.

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In his vice-presidential nomination acceptance speech yesterday, Paul Ryan didn't praise libertarianism, capitalism, small gov't, or laissez-faire; nor did he condemn socialism, welfare statism, collectivism, or Big Brother. As for what America needs most -- which is cutting gov't spending and regulation -- he didn't mention it. And certainly Ryan didn't say we need to significantly expand economic freedom -- such as by getting rid of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid -- and we need to significantly expand social/personal freedom -- such as by getting rid of drug and prostitution prohibition.

To say the least, Paul Ryan is not an open or principled advocate of freedom and individual rights!

Edited by Wotan

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I haven't read this whole thread, but here's my take on Paul Ryan as VP with Romney:

http://www.meetup.co...925312#80683292

There is a very interesting story about Paul Ryan and Objectivism now that Ryan has been chosen to be the Vice-Presidential candidate along side Mitt Romney for President come this November election cycle. In the story, it is claimed that Ryan has rejected Ayn Rand in favor of Thomas Aquinas to be his intellectual guidance for national policy. When Ryan first announced that he liked Ayn Rand, the Marxist / Leftist jumped all over him trying to get him to drop her in favor of the policies of the Left -- which is more Socialism and a government run economy. Looks like to some extend they succeeded in that Ryan has explicitly dropped Rand as an intellectual guidance position. However, Ayn Rand still had some influence on him and he has spoken out in favor of capitalism due to this influence.

That Ryan has chosen Thomas Aquinas as his new intellectual leader is also encouraging, in that it was Thomas Aquinas who brought mankind out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance, where reason was held in high esteem for the first time since Ancient Greece and Athens. I'm not really sure if Aquinas would have been in favor of capitalism or not, but he was most definitely in favor of reason as an absolute, bringing forth the argument that God gave you a mind and that it is important to use it to understand His Creation based upon the evidence of the senses which give us a direct connection to the Beauty and Rational Operations of God's Universe. And Aquinas helped to re-introduce Aristotle to the West, thereby setting up the grounds for a rational culture based upon reason and reality. These positions did eventually lead to The Age of Reason and The Enlightenment, and to the founding of the United States of America and the full recognition of individual rights. So, Ryan is in great company to defend capitalism and man's rights qua individual against the collectivism and unreason of the Marxist Left, even though he will waver a bit here and there due to his dropping of Ayn Rand as an explicit guide.

But even if Ryan does waver in his support of individual rights and capitalism, the very fact that he was once in support of Ayn Rand will help to bring the ideas of Objectivism to the forefront of intellectual debates this election cycle. The Leftist will bring it up against Romney and Ryan in order to throw selfishness into their face, but they will bring it up. This will give Objectivist intellectual activists a great setting for exposing more people to Ayn Rand and to hit upon key issues that might be made more explicit due to the mud slinging. And I certain encourage admirers and followers of Ayn Rand and Objectivism to take full advantage of the intellectual debate that will ensue due to this attempt to cower Romney and Ryan into dropping capitalism in favor of socialism.

Added on Edit: In this context, it is worth noting that The University of Dallas, my Alma Matter, and a staunch Catholic university, has a pretty decent Masters of Business degree program. While I was living in the Dallas area, I often thought about joining that degree / career course, and my career would have been entirely different had I done so, but the costs and the fact that I thought getting a degree in Physics and Philosophy might get me into management without an MBA prevented me from taking advantage of this course. Besides, I didn't really want to get an MBA from a Catholic perspective, but the point is that at least they do have a business oriented degree program.

Edited by Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

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In the story, it is claimed that Ryan has rejected Ayn Rand in favor of Thomas Aquinas to be his intellectual guidance for national policy.

"If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas”

Epistemology, not national policy. Lest we forget, Aquinas was all in favor of burning heretics. Ryan's got his problems, but he's not that bad.

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You can view it as something positive, but don't call upon me and others to follow suit because he can "pronounce Rand's name correctly."

I might be a bit more optimistic if I did not believe we are a pivotal moment in American history.

However, I do, and Ryan's voting record doesn't give any credibility to the words he speaks.

I too believe we are at a pivotal point in American history. If Obama is re-elected and he retains control of the Senate, we may not recognize this country in 4 short years. The man is a hard core leftist who has a vision of America which is the opposite of the Founders and he rejects the principles that made this country great.

Granted, the Republican record is a sorry one when it comes to opposing the creeping statism that is destroying America. Nevertheless, as Craig24 said: "You have two and only two choices: re-elect Obama, un-elect Obama." At least with Romney/Ryan we have a chance to make a case for reason, individual rights, and freedom to a party that has some propensity to listen. With Obama/Biden we won't have that chance and America will surely go the way of Europe.

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At least with Romney/Ryan we have a chance to make a case for reason, individual rights, and freedom to a party that has some propensity to listen. With Obama/Biden we won't have that chance and America will surely go the way of Europe.

What reason is there to believe that Romney/Ryan will ever make even a half-decent case for individual rights, or think that the Republican party has a better propensity to listen? If anything, there is a greater propensity for Republicans (or similar minded people) to take a good idea, and absolutely corrupt it in the name of god.

Edited by Eiuol

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What reason is there to believe that Romney/Ryan will ever make even a half-decent case for individual rights, or think that the Republican party has a better propensity to listen? If anything, there is a greater propensity for Republicans (or similar minded people) to take a good idea, and absolutely corrupt it in the name of god.

The reason one should believe they can make a half-decent case for individual rights is because in his brief acceptance speech yesterday, Ryan said something to the effect that: "Our rights come from God and nature, not the government." When is the last time you heard a major party VP or Presidential candidate with a chance to win the election make a statement like that?

In politics, change comes incrementally and in the US our presidential choices are essentially binary. The stakes are high in this election and an Obama victory will make it impossible to reverse his healthcare plan and will further hasten the destruction of our economy. The only people with a realistic shot at preventing that are Romney and Ryan.

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Objectivism's political endorsement of capitalism appeals to fiscal conservatives, but as Ryan's swift public jettison Rand's philosophy demonstrates, today's candidates recognize that appearing to endorse "greed is good" isn't appealing to an electorate that's sympathetic to "occupy wall street". I doubt that Romney's pick is any kind of game changer; when I first heard of it, I mistakenly thought the news anchor had said "Rand Paul" instead of Paul Ryan... I was really disappointed that I had heard it wrong.

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Objectivism's political endorsement of capitalism appeals to fiscal conservatives, but as Ryan's swift public jettison Rand's philosophy demonstrates, today's candidates recognize that appearing to endorse "greed is good" isn't appealing to an electorate that's sympathetic to "occupy wall street".

That’s not it at all. Paul Ryan distanced himself from Rand’s atheism, and he had to in order to be in good standing with the Christian right. The part of the electorate that is so sympathetic to OWS is never going to favor the Republican ticket. They may complain bitterly about the Democratic ticket and support another Ralph Nader campaign, but they aren’t going to switch to the GOP come hell or high water.

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Paul Ryan distanced himself from Rand’s atheism, and he had to in order to be in good standing with the Christian right.

LMAO! If that's true, it places the GOP even further in the political desert than they were before; up a dune without an umbrella. Exactly what does firming up the evangelical base do for Romney's efforts to capture Obama votes?!

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LMAO! If that's true, it places the GOP even further in the political desert than they were before; up a dune without an umbrella. Exactly what does firming up the evangelical base do for Romney's efforts to capture Obama votes?!

Nothing, but that's not the aim. His idea is to rally the base and increase their turnout. For all the talk we hear this election cycle about the power of independents, neither candidate is really gunning hard to get independent votes because they assume, perhaps correctly, that independents are more likely to just not bother voting since they are not passionate about either candidate. Both will continue to make emotional appeals to "summon the troops" and get them to actually come to the polls on election day. That's really what this race will come down to - who can get more of their fanatics to follow through and vote.

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LMAO! If that's true, it places the GOP even further in the political desert than they were before; up a dune without an umbrella. Exactly what does firming up the evangelical base do for Romney's efforts to capture Obama votes?!

It has nothing to do with winning Obama votes. It's about not alienating the votes that need to stay locked up. McCain brought in Palin with the goal of energizing that part of the base. There's no evangelical on the ticket this time, one could call that progress.

Bringing in Ryan would have been too risky if he hadn't issued his three denials before the cock crowed. Even with that, the left is pouncing.

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It has nothing to do with winning Obama votes.

Exactly.

Ryan's denials will be viewed by a cynical electorate for exactly what it is; a reversal of position. So Ryan takes a non-issue (whatever opinion he holds about atheism) and broadcasts himself as a flip-flopper for votes he's afraid even his own party won't give him. The Obama campaign was pleased to have a supporter of individual mandates (Romney) appear as their "opponent" to make that issue go away, and they must be popping their corks at having Ryan's first actions as the choice for veep to affirm the GOP being "Grand Old Protestants".

Is no one else seeing this as a rather bad sequel to the last presidential election?

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What reason is there to believe that Romney/Ryan will ever make even a half-decent case for individual rights, or think that the Republican party has a better propensity to listen? If anything, there is a greater propensity for Republicans (or similar minded people) to take a good idea, and absolutely corrupt it in the name of god.

I agree.

What Ryan should have stated, when questioned by his religious right base, is that sound fiscal policy (otherwise known as capitalism), is non-denominational; "in God we trust - all others pay cash". He might have made the case that Catholics, Protestants, Mormons AND atheists have more charitable income to address social inequities in an economy based on production of goods rather than redistribution of wealth.

As it is, he's only showing that he can play the game as poorly as his predecessors; trust Republican'ts to make Obama invincible. I'm actually amused to hear some in this thread trying to paint Ryan's clear rejection of Rand's philosophy as something to be optimistic about...

*sigh*

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Ryan's first actions as the choice for veep to affirm the GOP being "Grand Old Protestants".
Most people build a concept around a person. In Ryan's case, he is going to be identified with his budget-plan. Nothing else he says or does -- within bounds -- will have much impact one way or the other, particularly at this point in the game, where the party-faithful will toe the line.

Is no one else seeing this as a rather bad sequel to the last presidential election?
Up to now, Romney did look like he was replaying the last election. GOP faithful thought Mc Cain was not conservative enough (the same as Romney), and -- like Romney -- he kow-towed to the religious right, in order to win the primary.

However, Romney is playing against an opponent who has a slightly weaker hand. In the last election:

  • With the recession etc., anti-GOP feelings were high among independent voters. In contrast, Obama's hands were seen as clean.
  • Obama enthused a lot of voters. Young people came out in droves to vote for him.
  • More undecided people in the middle were happy to vote for the first black president, overwhelming the few who don't like that idea

Now, on the other hand,

  • Memories of George Bush have faded
  • The economy has flat-lined, and people in the middle are disillusioned with Obama.
  • Younger folk don't have the same enthusiasm for Obama; he's old news, and there is no history to be made

This is an election where a GOP candidate with a smattering of charisma ought to have had an easy time. Instead, we got Romney. Not only does he lack spontaneity, but -- being a centrist -- he had to bow to the GOP die-hards during the primary, making him seem like a waffler. The GOP is a pathetic party -- consider Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mr. 999, and Mr. Texas. In the end, they chose the least nutty of the bunch.

Up to now, it seemed like Romney would run his campaign as a referendum on Obama. Instead, by the choice of Ryan, he has put forward a position (the Ryan plan) that can now be attacked. The Democrats can now say that Romney wants to save the economy on the backs of the middle-class, cutting their services while giving millionaires a tax-break. Romney is taking a bit of a risk. Voters may reject him based on this.

I think the best thing about the Ryan pick is that it puts long-term fiscal decisions on the agenda. Not that I support Ryan's plan, but the conversation needs to move to some plan.

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As it is, he's only showing that he can play the game as poorly as his predecessors; trust Republican'ts to make Obama invincible. I'm actually amused to hear some in this thread trying to paint Ryan's clear rejection of Rand's philosophy as something to be optimistic about...

*sigh*

In case you were referring to me and my post Re Aquinas,no, I don't think we can spin this into a good move on Ryan's part. I simply take the position that Ryan could have made a much, much worse choice than siding with Aquinas in matters of epistemology and public policy. Of course, I think Ryan did this because Aquinas does not reject Faith as Miss Rand does, so there is a certain amount of cowardice to the dismissal of Rand; but I don't think Ryan will be able to ignore or vilify Rand entirely.

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In case you were referring to me and my post Re Aquinas,no, I don't think we can spin this into a good move on Ryan's part. I simply take the position that Ryan could have made a much, much worse choice than siding with Aquinas in matters of epistemology and public policy. Of course, I think Ryan did this because Aquinas does not reject Faith as Miss Rand does, so there is a certain amount of cowardice to the dismissal of Rand; but I don't think Ryan will be able to ignore or vilify Rand entirely.

Actually, of the group looking to find a pony in all this manure, I found your position to be the most defensible. At least Aquinas represents a tenuous link to Objectivism via Ayn Rand's own respect for this significant historical figure. How cowardly though, if this move was calculated to appease both Catholics and Objectivists by playing one against the other. I sincerely doubt either camp will appreciate the "gesture".

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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This is an election where a GOP candidate with a smattering of charisma ought to have had an easy time. Instead, we got Romney.

Yes, that pretty much sums up my frustration. You make some good points, but it all amounts to the same thing... how sad that Obama will ultimately get his second term by default.

Kinda funny how Condoleezza Rice's name floated out there prior to picking Ryan. Just imagine what that would have done to reignite anti-Bush sentiments. I guess Ryan is better choice than her, but it doesn't say much about the political acuity of Team Romney to get elected. So far all that can be said about Ryan is that he's chosen to be a team player for a team of losers.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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The fault really lies with voters in general.

The fault, certainly... but also the untapped potential. Recall the enthusiasm and incredible voter support Ross Perot's 3rd party candidacy injected into the 1992 bid for presidency; too bad he self-destructed... The electorate has been sucking sand ever since... and waiting for some credible candidate to appear.

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Exactly.

Ryan's denials will be viewed by a cynical electorate for exactly what it is; a reversal of position. So Ryan takes a non-issue (whatever opinion he holds about atheism) and broadcasts himself as a flip-flopper for votes he's afraid even his own party won't give him. The Obama campaign was pleased to have a supporter of individual mandates (Romney) appear as their "opponent" to make that issue go away, and they must be popping their corks at having Ryan's first actions as the choice for veep to affirm the GOP being "Grand Old Protestants".

Is no one else seeing this as a rather bad sequel to the last presidential election?

There is no reversal of his position on atheism. He has always been an outspoken Catholic, even speaking at length about his interpretation of Catholic teachings and how that can be squared with cutting social programs. In the past when he spoke in favor of Rand, it was always in regards to her moral individualism and her politics, never her religious views. He simply responded to attempts to describe him as a Rand "devotee" (with possible atheist implications) with a disavowal of Objectivism, which makes sense because he has never accepted the entirety of Objectivism in the first place. There is no flip-flop, nor is their any perceived flip-flop in the eyes of the public.

Ryan's religion is not the issue. He is not an evangelical and his main focus in the public sphere has been on fiscal issues, not religious ones. Of course the GOP was going to pick some flavor of Christian; that's not the news behind this announcement. The news is that they picked the guy behind The Path to Prosperity.

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Recall the enthusiasm and incredible voter support Ross Perot's 3rd party candidacy injected into the 1992 bid for presidency; too bad he self-destructed...
Ross Perot is the typical "practical centrist" and -- on economics -- his ideology mirrors Romney's pretty closely. The thing about such candidates is that they take the statist status quo as the given and do not intend to move it too much left or right. Their endeavor, and their rhetoric, is to make is work more efficiently.

A plan like Simpson-Bowles or a plan like Paul Ryan's is exactly the type of thing that a Ross Perot type would try to push through: i.e., something that faces the issue of entitlements and does something to "fix" it enough at least for a decade or two. Such people are "pragmatic" and willing to compromise to get some solution in place. The choice for voters is to have such people, or have some more ideologically committed person. The latter may push through something far worse, or may simply be stuck doing nothing because they're not willing to compromise.

Similarly, Romney's health-care plan in Massachusetts was right up the alley of the Heritage Foundation, neo-Cons and Milton Friedman. How can we expect more when the voters will not have it? Voters routinely vote against vouchers for schools,... not because they think vouchers give the government too much control over private schools, but because they do not want their public schools to face competition.

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There is no flip-flop, nor is their any perceived flip-flop in the eyes of the public.

There's an effort afoot to paint it as a flip-flop, and I'm sure some people are going to perceive it that way. Mainly people who restrict themselves to the left's echo chamber, who then repeat it, and so on. Four legs good, two legs baaad.

Edited by Ninth Doctor

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I too believe we are at a pivotal point in American history. If Obama is re-elected and he retains control of the Senate, we may not recognize this country in 4 short years. The man is a hard core leftist who has a vision of America which is the opposite of the Founders and he rejects the principles that made this country great.

Granted, the Republican record is a sorry one when it comes to opposing the creeping statism that is destroying America. Nevertheless, as Craig24 said: "You have two and only two choices: re-elect Obama, un-elect Obama." At least with Romney/Ryan we have a chance to make a case for reason, individual rights, and freedom to a party that has some propensity to listen. With Obama/Biden we won't have that chance and America will surely go the way of Europe.

This myth needs to be stopped. The Republican economic plan is thorough going pro-business government, not laissez faire. Simply because what they call they support capitalism doesn't mean they are arguing for the same concept you are. When they say capitalism, they don't mean unrestrained free market. They mean State Capitalism.

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