Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Nicky

Donald Trump's Platform, From an Objectivist Perspective

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Not gonna list his political beliefs, the many, ever-changing contradictory versions of it are available, but I'm baffled by his success. He should have been a joke, and he's at 40% among Republicans.

I'm nowhere near buying into the notion that he's the front runner in the Republican primaries, btw. The system is designed to stop him. But I'm beginning to wonder whether he just might have a chance, if Cruz and Rubio stumble. He's 10-15% short of getting 50% of the Republican vote, at which point he'd be at least a serious threat.

So, let's say he wins the nomination. Is there any reason not to vote Hillary, at that point? Would any Oist support him? While we're at it, does any Oist support him against a Ted Cruz/Rubio ticket? Is there anything about him that makes him more appealing than either Cruz or mainstream politicians?

(Cruz/Rubio are the likely Republican ticket, in one order or the other, imo...I'm hoping it's in the Cruz as Pres. version, because I care a lot more about a fiscally responsible government than social policies)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it is an election where populism is the predominant theme. Looks like Trump will still be leading after Super-Tuesday, despite Rubio's new insult-for-insult approach. If Trump can maintain a high plurality to the convention (say 40%), the GOP is going to have a hard time being "anti-democratic" by saying that is not good enough. Tough to say how it will play out. I think there's a chance that people start falling into line behind Trump: following Christie and the other governor who have endorsed him. 

Since Trump's appeal is populist and not particularly GOP-ish, and since Hillary has such high negatives among working-class democrats, if nominated, one can't write him off. He might win.

As for Objectivist support, I know that some people who consider themselves Objectivists support Trump. Most seem to support Cruz, but -- if Facebook fights are evidence -- Trump has a loyal minority. If he is the nominee, I assume a few more self-described Objectivists will vote for him.

Edited by softwareNerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm feeling a bit humbled for my posts made on another thread. I never thought Trump would get this far, but it is what it is. I feel even sorrier for the state of so many Americans who find Trump so appealing. In past presidential elections, my vote has never contributed to the victory (in terms of electoral votes) of any candidate, as Wisconsin always swings Democrat, at least in my time. I, too, would rather see a choice of Cruz vs Rodham-Clinton. My preference for Cruz is based on a few good reasons, and his religiosity is not one of them. I can overlook his evangelical blather. But if I'm faced with a vote for Trump, as opposed to Hilary, I'm voting third party, and my conscience will feel better. I know many people disapprove of third party voters, but that's how I exercise my franchise, and avoid regret. If Wisconsin swings Republican, and I thought I helped put Trump in power, I would feel worse than humbled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/29/2016 at 10:10 PM, Repairman said:

I never thought Trump would get this far, but it is what it is. I feel even sorrier for the state of so many Americans who find Trump so appealing. 

An election like this brings voter's democratic power into clear focus. Many Libertarians (and Bernie and Trump) will say that America is ruled by party elites and cliques, but this misses an important fact: that those elites rule by sanction of the masses, and within parameters set by the masses. The idea that politicians and their "crony capitalists" set the direction of the country is a myth. The American voter does. 

This is not the first time the voter has tried to push hard. Prohibition had a large enough push to become a constitutional amendment. Populist reaction after the great-depression allowed FDR to rule like a king. Programs like public-schools, social-security and government-supported healthcare have widespread voter support.

 

Edited by softwareNerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

An election like this brings voter's democratic power into clear focus. Many Libertarians (and Bernie and Trump) will say that American is ruled by party elites and cliques, but this misses an important fact: that those elites rule by sanction of the masses, and within parameters set by the masses. The idea that politicians and their "crony capitalists" set the direction of the country is a myth. The American voter does.

I tend see America as ruled by Lifer-Bureaucrats in the various Alphabet Soup Departments, who are concerned only with collecting their pensions while not "solving" the problems for which the bureaus were supposedly created.  They transcend any election year changes by actively perpetuating the problems.  Example: Fighting the "War on Drugs" is big business.  God forbid that the War should actually be won.  Same for Illegal Immigration, Welfare, etc.  It would create a huge spike in unemployment....  Can't have that....

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

softwareNerd, I completely agree with you. Nonetheless, if this nation is to endure a President Trump (or a President Rodham-Clinton), no good will come of it. Most of the people I've spoken with tell me their support for Trump is due largely to the fact that he is not a politician, and that is not new, but as far as non-politicians jumping to the head of the line, so far, it's been only military leaders, and proven ones at that, e.g. (Grant, Eisenhower, and, of course, Washington.) At least Andrew Jackson, the original populist, had some experience in Congress before his run for the Presidency. It's times like these that remind me of the pitfalls of democracy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Repairman said:

Most of the people I've spoken with tell me their support for Trump is due largely to the fact that he is not a politician, and that is not new

He's actually far worse than Hillary-style pandering - Trump is pretty good at lying through his teeth offering false assurances of his vanity. And people buy it. The bad part is, people think his not being a politician somehow means he's more honest. He's a dishonest businessman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These aren't the Objectivist perspective but the two most interesting takes I've seen on Trump are Stefan Molyneux's and Scott Adams'.

Scott Adams doesn't believe in free will and thinks Donald Trump is a master persuader/hypnotist. A lot of his ideas and predictions are flawed and unreasonable. Nevertheless, I think he correctly identified pretty early on that Trump has incredible intelligence and persuasive skills which he has used in business and is using to beat the media and mainstream politicians at their own game.

He also predicts that many of Trump's positions are opening bargaining positions which he will use to make deals. This wouldn't be surprising to me, especially considering his lack of any apparent cohesive principles. What is unpredictable is what those deals would actually come out to.

Molyneux points out that Trump is doing tremendous damage to the reputation of the mainstream media and political correctness. He's also in favor of Trump's stance on immigration as a necessity to stopping the expansion of the welfare state. Also, he argues Trump's success as a businessman and a parent as well as his willingness to delegate suggests he will be less of a threat than his competitors who are all career-politicians. 

It's hard to tell exactly what kind of president Trump would be like, but I think it's proper to be cynical about the state of American politics and the persuasive power of reason and abstract ideas. If politicians were generally honest and voters generally listened to reason, Trump wouldn't be a competitor. Unfortunately, the only way to get close to the presidency is to be a completely dishonest person and that should be kept in mind when evaluating candidates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Eiuol said:

He's actually far worse than Hillary-style pandering - Trump is pretty good at lying through his teeth offering false assurances of his vanity. And people buy it. The bad part is, people think his not being a politician somehow means he's more honest. He's a dishonest businessman.

So, what's the point of this comment?...other than your preference for Hillary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, New Buddha said:

I tend see America as ruled by Lifer-Bureaucrats in the various Alphabet Soup Departments, who are concerned only with collecting their pensions while not "solving" the problems for which the bureaus were supposedly created. 

Just to clarify: you are suggesting that there is no cause/effect relationship between the beliefs of voters, and the actions of the government.

I disagree, I think there is a direct causal relationship between these two facts:

A. the majority of Americans believe that there is a large set of problems, personal, societal, economic, etc., that the government can and should solve.

B. politicians continually expand a bureaucracy, made up of these "Alphabet Soup Agencies"

I believe A causes B. Just to be extra clear on what that means: without A, there would be no B.

You do not believe this, correct? You believe that even if A was false, B would still happen?

 

18 hours ago, New Buddha said:

 Example: Fighting the "War on Drugs" is big business.  God forbid that the War should actually be won.  Same for Illegal Immigration, Welfare, etc.  It would create a huge spike in unemployment....  Can't have that....

Just to make my above reasoning more concrete:

I believe that the only reason there is a war on drugs is because most Americans believe that it is the government's job to solve the problem of drug abuse. That the only reason why there is an attempt to stop most peaceful, economically motivated immigration, is because most Americans believe that it is the government's job to manage economic migration, to protect natives' status on the job market, as well as their entitlement and welfare.

Same for welfare: I believe that the only reason there is welfare is because most Americans believe that the government should solve the problem of poverty.

And, as far as I can gather from your post, you believe none of that. You believe that, even if Americans didn't want their government to solve these problems, the same bureaucracy would still exist, because it is being caused by something else: something you call "lifer-bureaucrats". Would you mind expanding on this? Exactly where do these lifer-bureaucrats draw their enormous power from, power that would allow them to disregard the will of the American people, and build an UNWANTED bureaucracy that solves problems no one wants them to solve?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Nicky said:

Just to clarify: you are suggesting that there is no cause/effect relationship between the beliefs of voters, and the actions of the government.

I could have been more clear.  I believe that no elected Federal politician(s) can garner enough support to reduce Federal Bureaucracies.  They are way too entrenched in the economy and either directly or indirectly employee a very large number of Americans who vote or depend on Social Security, health care. etc.  Short of a Balanced Budget Amendment, I don't hold out much hope that Federal Spending will be curbed regardless of who is elected President.

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/2/2016 at 5:42 AM, New Buddha said:

I could have been more clear. 

Actually, you were very clear in your first post. You unequivocally stated that America is ruled by lifer bureaucrats, not by voters.

It's in this second post that you've given up on clarity, and became very vague about whether that's still your position. I wish you'd go back to being clear, by doing one of these two things:

1. Defend your original, very clear position.

2. Be clear about how and why you're changing your original position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to amend my original post...as it turns out, Trump is not really at 40% among Republicans...the polls say he is, but the election results, so far put him at 34%, not 40%. I guess those other 6%, unsurprisingly, couldn't figure out how to actually vote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drudge Report list this article as "Trump Shakes World Order".

The Reuter's article it links to is called "Foreign diplomats voicing alarm to U.S. officials about Trump"

The article is about a page, and another 1 & 1/2 pages, if you count related references, to 'concerns' on behalf of foreign diplomats. Who should really care what the rest of the world thinks about who makes it into the running as a presidential candidate.

The Trump effect, I thought would be over, and back to business as usual by now. While not a shaking of World Order, as in a new world order, Trump is perceived as an outsider, not one of the status quo. His ties to politics are backroom deals that have helped him in his private business concerns. GM, Chrysler, and other concerns do this as well.

Ross Perot ran in 1992 and 1996, albeit as an independent. Elections prior to that would be more of historical investigation than personally having seen.

Politics, considered as an effect rather than a causal primary, leads me to ask if this may be some sort of sea-change. The electorate grasping for change is not new. In the US, stepping outside the perceived usual channels of ascendancy is. Barrack Obama, stepping from state level to the national scene, struck me as unusual. Hillary Clinton's popularity despite her defeat in the last election has me scratching my head (or is it just the shampoo I've been using?). Trump actually standing a chance has me wondering which way the pendulum is moving.

Not new, is Trump making promises that cannot be kept. Is this needed to open eyes to the fact that government is not the solution, or just anther firmer step into the pragmatic quagmire of quicksand? At this, I can only ask "Who is . . ."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leave it to those folks in Chicago; they'll let you know exactly how they feel. I believe what we're witnessing is a schism in the Republican Party, and one that will alter the makeup of both parties. In a similar way, that is what happened forty-eight years ago, when the Democrats divided over Civil Rights and the Vietnam War, leaving large numbers to re-enforce the GOP, and keeping the liberal McGovernite platform that remains today loyal to the Democrats. For those who remember, the Democrat's 1968 convention was held in Chicago, the scene of one of the most dramatic events of a very dramatic year for America. Today, the primary issue is America's declining standard of living/economy. We may not know the results of all of this head-slamming, both figurative and literal, until 2020, or even later.

Incidentally, I wish to correct an earlier post I made on this thread; my presidential vote was counted in 1980 and 1984, when Wisconsin swung Republican for the last time. I was in my twenties then; memories fade.

Edited by Repairman
gramarical correction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Nicky said:

I'm starting to see why @softwareNerd likes Rubio:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4797865836001/rubio-on-chicago-trump-protests-very-sad-for-our-country/?intcmp=hpbt1#sp=show-clips

That was the smartest response, by far, to the despicable leftist violence in Chicago.

Thanks for the link. Yes, it was smart and hit on almost every point that should be made about this topic. 

(P.S. Can't say I like Rubio, but I'd vote for him over the other 3 in the current GOP race.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/chicago-anti-trump-protester-safety-was-first-concern-643012675800

 

An interview from one of the organizers of the protest in Chicago. It sounds like leftist violence to me. 

Disregarding police orders, planning to disrupt a private event, all in an effort to 'shut down' opposing views, perhaps not necessarily leftist but certainly civil disobedience tinged with the threat of violence or the planning thereof. There in Chicago , but I don't remember seeing any WWVMD tshirts(what would von Mises do).

Stopping the event , even if it worked to Trump's favor in the following media hype was probably the best decision of the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×