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Ninth Doctor

Peikoff says vote Democratic, from 1992

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I just loaded this to YouTube. I was planning to do it last weekend but I had good ideas for commentary I was going to add to it. In the end I decided that it would be too long if I added as much as would be needed to make the various points I had in mind, so I decided to upload it relatively unadorned.

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By the way, Clinton was very popular in Israel (unlike Obama). I don't know much about the political situation back than in America, but it is still weird for me to see Peikoff supporting the Democrats.

Edited by Uriah

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By the way, Clinton was very popular in Israel (unlike Obama). I don't know much about the political situation back than in America, but it is still weird for me to see Peikoff supporting the Democrats.

Why would it be weird to see him supporting the Democrats?

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Why would it be weird to see him supporting the Democrats?

He isn't supporting Democrats, he's trying to get George Bush out of the White House, because he was the worst of both the Left and the Right at the time.

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One thing Peikoff mentioned was the consequences of having an economic disaster during a Democratic presidency. That is as relevant as ever today but the differencce is, an incorrect response to a disaster today could very well push the dollar over the edge resulting in hyper-inflation and all it's consequences.

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Ninth Doctor, there is plenty of room here to add text commentary. Fire away.

I pulled this off the old VHS I have of this talk at the same time I did the video about John Allison. It was something I remembered vividly from the time. I’m probably going to use small excerpts from it for another video, but much as many people here don’t like my critiques of Peikoff, hopefully you all give me credit for providing good citations and not quoting him out of context. This material is probably not familiar to anyone who wasn’t around Rand-land at that time, so if I’m going to quote from it I need to first provide the whole shebang, and it’s pretty long for a YouTube video just by itself.

Sounds like you’re prompting for me to offer a critique, and the fact is my real critique has more to do with his later voting advice. Here he gives a good number of reasons for his view, and ends by urging people to think independently, that “philosophies don’t back candidtates”, and so on. His 2006 statement, in particular, was a very different animal. My position has long been vote Libertarian, so of course I disagreed with what he said in 1992, and I don’t think I need to articulate the reasons, you should be able to fill in the blanks. Even Nicky, the chief of my booing section, who I see is sporting Gary Johnson’s face as his avatar, probably knows without my explaining it.

I have other old tapes, I might go hunting one of these days for forgotten quarry. This was really about my memories of that "unfriendly question" on the other video.

But here's one point, re his raising the Salman Rushdie affair. Remember that Rushdie is a British citizen, and Britain broke off diplomatic relations with Iran over the affair. The US didn't have diplomatic relations, so, just what he thought the Bush administration was supposed to do is not so clear (invade, nuke 'em?). It calls to mind what the second President Bush once said about Iran, when he noted that we don't have any more sanctions left to impose.

Was he better President than GWBush?

As to Clinton being better, remember the first two years of his administration were very similar to Obama’s. I think Obama (and company) studied what happened then, and this is why they forced Obamacare through the way they did.

With 20/20 hindsight, Clinton got the benefits of fewer foreign military entanglements following the collapse of Communism (a “peace dividend”), coinciding with a technology boom, and a dot com bubble which burst just as the subsequent (Republican) administration was taking office. Alas, the albatross population is in no danger from the neckwear industry over the economic statistics of the Clinton presidency, contrary to Peikoff's hopes. But this doesn’t mean Clinton was really better, one could (justifiably?) credit the Republican House from '94 on. Or one could concede that the President really doesn't deserve credit (or blame) for everything that happens in the country (and world) during his administration.

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Vote for the more socially libertarian and economically capitalist candidate! And, yes, that usually means the Libertarian Party. Don't be a "practical" and "realistic" man, and vote for evil or "the lesser of two evils." Don't morally sanction slavery. Vote for freedom --- always!

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Vote for the more socially libertarian and economically capitalist candidate! And, yes, that usually means the Libertarian Party. Don't be a "practical" and "realistic" man, and vote for evil or "the lesser of two evils." Don't morally sanction slavery. Vote for freedom --- always!

Always? Well, while I have a long-running streak of voting Libertarian, there’s a good chance I’ll vote Republican this time around, much as I prefer Gary Johnson. I’m in a swing state, Florida, and in 2000 we found out here just how close an election can be. There’s going to be a lot of variables to consider, such as what kind of pandering to the evangelicals Romney/Ryan are going to do. If polling ahead of election day suggests that the Republicans have the state locked in, then it will be easy, I’ll vote for Johnson. Otherwise, ugh. I hope for it to turn out like 1980, but the Vegas odds makers aren’t saying that at present, and I look to them for an objective analysis.

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Well, Clinton may have been a better politician, but he was certainly not a better president. The nation was not helped by four terrorist attacks by November 2000 and an economic collapse by March 2000. Not to mention Clinton strengthened the Community Reinvestment Act which lit the fuse on the housing crisis which blew up by 2008.

The choice of a statist over statist is not much of a choice.

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We need some perspective on Clinton here. I was a driver during the Clinton years so I read a lot of papers and listened to a lot of news, and let me tell you Clinton was NOT a better President then Bush. This is not praise of Bush but a condemnation of how bad Clinton was.

Clinton had a better Presidency than Bush but that was because his party got spanked hard in 94, after which he proved he was a better politician than Obama:

  • Before that election Clinton’s unelected wife hosted secret meetings (as in the meetings were known but the content was never made public) on nationalizing healthcare. That was a huge debacle at the time and his push for Nationalized Healthcare was a big talking point from 92-94.
  • Clinton also tried to pass emergency stimulus spending (some of which were blocked) that were shown to be high priced rewards for political supporters.
  • We pushed through the largest tax increase in history (as of that time).
  • We got the first run at “Energy Reform”.
  • He ordered troops in Somalia, who were there on order from Bush Sr. to protect food relief programs thanks to a New York Times tear jerking hunger story during the election, to stay and help hunt down a Warlord which became the “Battle for Mogadishu”. After two dozen American soldiers were killed and some of their mutilated body dragged through the streets, on TV I might add, Clinton ordered the troops to not respond and exit. I’m shaky on the full story now but I remember it was appalling how we had no reason to go incursion and then we abandoned the bodies like cowards.
  • I mention the Somalia mess also because I’ve always suspected how we turned tail and ran like cowards sent the wrong signals to terrorist group, the ones that spent the next decade attacking us largely unopposed.

After 94 Clinton got smart and worked with the freshman coming into Congress. Sadly some became politicians and spent the 00’s acting like career rift-raft you would expect (and lost their jobs later because of this). The rest that fought things like the ridiculous energy plan got targeted hard, in fact I remember a sign in Chicago showing gang-bangers with Uzi’s and a caption saying the local Republican supported that (you think the rancor is bad today). But still Clinton played nice publically and after one ugly partial shutdown of the Government worked with Congress on “Welfare Reform” and balancing the budget.

But even after that it was telling:

  • Clinton tried to push through a massive energy tax program that would have forced different kinds of fuel to be color coded and companies would have been fined for using unapproved fuel. After the Republican take over he still got a watered down version passed by one vote.
  • He greatly expanded the scope of FEMA and the Feds roll in declaring “states of emergencies”, effectively nationalizing natural disasters into the Federal circus we see today.
  • His Treasury Department orchestrated the changes in how Inflation and Unemployment are calculated today, including the now infamous ability swap goods from the “retail basket” when determining price.
  • His FBI chief botched the arrest of Weaver after screwing up a notification of a trial date and issued his arrest a week before his trial date. This resulted in the ATF storming his site and causing a stand-off after shooting the man’s Dog. In ended with the death of Weaver’s wife and his son by sniper shots before negotiators arrived. Weaver was found innocent and every agency involved was cited for failing. Clinton rubberstamped Reno’s handling of the mess until congress stepped in and forced a real investigation.
  • Less we say about the botched Waco incident and how the ATF stormed that site the better. Yes, the man was a psycho but the report on the ATF’s conduct and complete mismanaging of the situation is atrocious.
  • Pardoned the participants in his wife’s “Whitewater Scandal”.
  • Pardoned former House Leader Rostenkowski who served jail time after the Government’s Post Office Scandal (remember that little debacle?).
  • “Don’t ask, don’t tell”
  • Expanded the death penalty for Federal Crimes not involving murder (being a drug lord is the one description I remember without bothering to look it up).
  • I remember he responded to the Al-Qaida attacks on Embassies by bombing a lab that supposedly helped the terrorist group but was easily discovered by CNN to be a simply Pharmaceutical company. We killed a helpless janitor since we attacked at night (evidently the target was the building, not the “terrorists”).
  • The immoral assault on Microsoft through Anti-Trust laws. Remember Al Gore going to Microsoft and telling the poor employees how the shakedown of their company was for their own good?
  • Elián González forced deportation at gun point to Communist Cuba.

Say what you want about Bush but he never ordered a kid to be sent to a communist hellhole “because it was the right thing to do”. The picture of the Feds storming that family’s home and tearing the scared kid from his family’s arms at gun point tells you exactly just how poor of a leader Bill Clinton was, especially since Reno had oversaw many such horrible abuses of Government power before that and Clinton supported her before and through that.

Clinton was by far a worse President and for the life of me I cannot fathom how LP endorsed environmental whack job Al Gore (the man who thought the automobile was more dangerous than a nuclear weapon) who came from the same administration.

Edited by Spiral Architect

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We need some perspective on Clinton here.

Good stuff.

Elián González forced deportation at gun point to Communist Cuba.

I think you need to consider that not long after the Elián saga, a man moved with his child from Florida to Cuba, without the mothers consent, so, basically there was a kidnapping. The Cubans returned the child. Sure we have a bad neighbor to the south, but with children there's got to be principled policies in place. Just imagine the roles reversed, so the kidnapping parent is dead, the child is staying with his Cuban relatives, and the US parent wants the child back. And the Cubans say no no no, you wouldn't return Elián, now you expect us to cooperate with you?

Clinton was by far a worse President and for the life of me I cannot fathom how LP endorsed environmental whack job Al Gore (the man who thought the automobile was more dangerous than a nuclear weapon) who came from the same administration.

This talk was given before Gore was named VP, but was printed in The Intellectual Activist after. He added a statement in brackets that Al Gore made the ticket extra bad because of his environmentalism, but that this hadn't tipped the balance and he was still going with Clinton.

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Doctor,

While I can agree that we need to be diplomatic exactly so we can work together for crimes like kidnapping (and I forgot that case so at least something good came out of it), I would still disagree. González was not kidnapped. His mother tried to flee the country and died trying to get to America. The kid was with relatives here as his mother would have wished. Further, there can be no good cause in sending some poor kid to a communist dictatorship where he will have little chance of a good life. His father has no right to the kid since he has no rights at all. Castro got a photo op and then it was "Welcome to the Machine".

But that being said, the issue here is also how the White House and Reno botched another raid and we got a photo op of a kid crying scared getting hauled off at gun point by American troops. At that moment it looked like he was already in Cuba.

As for Peikoff, I didn't know that part in 92 but it doesn't surprise me. I can understand fighting religious ideology but for me the eco movement is far worse.

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González was not kidnapped. His mother tried to flee the country and died trying to get to America. The kid was with relatives here as his mother would have wished. Further, there can be no good cause in sending some poor kid to a communist dictatorship where he will have little chance of a good life. His father has no right to the kid since he has no rights at all.

Here we come to an insoluable problem, whether the father’s word can be taken at face value or not. He said the boy was taken without his permission, if so, I don’t think that would be allowed by any family court in the US, though I’m not sure if it was technically kidnapping or whatever else under the criminal code. The Cuban exiles here argued, vociferously, that nothing the father said should be taken as sincere, but that was unprovable and unfalsifiable. He said he wanted his son back, and if the roles were reversed, and a US parent is demanding the child’s return, how is it supposed to work if we won’t cooperate with them in such cases?

If there’s a need to assign blame for Elián’s fate, much of it must belong to the Cuban exile activists here who made him a poster child. If they were really concerned for his welfare, they should have let him disappear into anonymity as fast as possible, not provoke an international incident as they did. And speaking of Elián’s fate, the affair raised him into the ranks of the elite over there, so he was at least well fed growing up. You’ve maybe heard of the situation in Korea, where the border guards (North vs. South) are easily distinguishable by their comparative heights, well, it’s the same here with Cuban exiles. You can spot Cubans who grew up in Cuba by how much shorter, on average, they are than those who grew up here. I’ve been told that children (excepting the elite) don’t get milk past the age of 8 in Cuba. Not unless it can be bought in a dollar store, meaning, you need to have someone in the US sending you dollars in order to buy it. My source for that is less than reliable (he also claims Castro was behind 9/11), but it is consistent with observation. Whatever indoctrination goes on can be thrown off, just look at Ayn Rand being educated in Soviet Russia, but not the effects of malnutrition during adolescent growth periods. The grown men bagging groceries where I shop average maybe 5'2" in height.

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Yes.

I take it back. I had forgotten about half of that stuff, Spiral Architect. The little I remembered amounted to him begrudgingly working with Republicans to pass some things that were sane in comparison to the stuff passed when Bush was president. Let's also not forget the fact that he repeatedly exposed himself to risk by abusing his position so he could get laid by his subordinates. Then he perjured himself during the sexual harassment investigation that followed.

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I take it back. I had forgotten about half of that stuff, Spiral Architect. The little I remembered amounted to him begrudgingly working with Republicans to pass some things that were sane in comparison to the stuff passed when Bush was president. Let's also not forget the fact that he repeatedly exposed himself to risk by abusing his position so he could get laid by his subordinates. Then he perjured himself during the sexual harassment investigation that followed.

Time has a way to do that. I just happen to have been uber-connected to the news during the 90's back when talk radio programs and 24 hour news sprung up everywhere and I happened to be on the road. My mild mannered way of dealing with the news today was largely due to getting it out of my system then...

I didn't mention the afairs simply because it becomes a debate with to many people. I agree his handling of them was poor too but when it comes to Clinton I have learned to simply stick to the policies otherwise everyone wants to focus on the devil in a blue dress.

By the way, it was on the road in the 90's (and without all those fancy electronic toys we have now) that I did my reading on philosophy and economics. It was a good way of keeping perspective on the daily assault of news. Well, that and it was my only link to Objectivism.

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