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Look, the most probable outcome of this election will be a Clinton victory. Whether it is her or Trump the US will be worse off.

I admittedly have not studied the candidates in any great depth. Trump's self indulgence and lack of self restraint, his immaturity and conspirational thinking, combined with a degree of racism and protectionism make him unfit to lead from a character perspective. His stance on policy is merely superficial, and he has been a poor leader of his party. I can't see his appeal, apart from his declared desire for Americans to be freed up to achieve "great things". His followers are like religious followers, there is no proof, but they are psychologically weak and so need to believe. History shows us how dangerous this can be - he is a popularist nationalist collectivist.

Clinton...well she has more self-control and her long time in politics has taught her when to keep her mouth shut and which battles to fight. She demonstrates more coherence than Trump, she appears to be more sophisticated and statesmanly. She appears more tolerant and inclusive. I think when taken in contrast to Trump these are in truth the primary reasons for her popularity.

What would stop me voting for her is her poor judgment, her deceitfulness, lack of integrity, the fact I think she lacks moral merit as a person (even less so than Trump), she lives by double standards. She is both power hungry and irrational. I also think she would be more dangerous militarily compared to Trump, despite his comments. 

So if I were an American, I wouldn't vote. If I could vote a "no confidence in either candidate", then I would. Don't help these people suceed by voting for them, if you have any sense. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

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1 hour ago, Jon Southall said:

 ...and he has been a poor leader of his party.

Jon,

While I agree with most of what you've said, Trump has only been a leader of the Republican Party by virtue of delegate count. He is only the leader of an outraged mob of ignoramuses. The vast majority of Republican leadership is now required to hold their noses and follow along, or reject him outright. Very few jumped on his bandwagon before the nomination. In the not-too-distant past, Trump identified with and donated to the Clintons, and golfed with Bill. Now the Republicans will bear the foul odor of Trump for some time to come, the US will have to get used to President Hillary, and no good will come of any of it.

2 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

So if I were an American, I wouldn't vote. If I could vote a "no confidence in either candidate", then I would. Don't help these people suceed by voting for them, if you have any sense. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Americans have the option of participating without feeling guilty of contributing to the decline and fall of Western Civilization. And it is important that they do participate. There are congressional, state, and local officials in competition as well as the national leadership. Many people would disapprove of my choice to cast a vote for the Libertarian candidate for president, but I rest better knowing that I showed support to other office-holders, while showing no support to either Trump nor Hillary. The most hopeful outcome will be a Republican controlled Congress versus President Hillary. I believe there is hope where there is gridlock.

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5 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

I'm faced with hard choices (multiple options, none of which will make me happy) all the time. We all are.

Odds are, choosing Hillary for President will not be the most unpleasant choice people will have to make that week. There are business owners who will have to choose between firing loyal employees who have done nothing wrong, and letting their business fail. There are parents who will have to choose between divorce, and keeping their dysfunctional family together. Etc., etc.

And sure, choosing the better of two bad options is not as emotionally gratifying as choosing the better of two good options. Yes, they're hard to make, on an emotional level. And yet, adults make those choices anyway, because they're just as important as the fun choices we're faced with.

There are significant differences between Trump and Clinton, and choosing one over the other will have a significant impact on the world. American Objectivists should make this choice, they shouldn't let others make it for them just because they don't like Clinton.

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Thank you Repairman.

To Nicky. I am purest in the sense I won't compromise what I consider to be my highest values by pledging support to someone who does not live to the same standards.

In Trump and Clinton, I find it hard to understand how any Objectivist could rationally vote for them for that reason. Neither of them deserve the presidency, they haven't earned it. So I would say, don't give them what they value of yours - your vote.

You diminish yourself by doing so.

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2 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Thank you Repairman.

To Nicky. I am purest in the sense I won't compromise what I consider to be my highest values by pledging support to someone who does not live to the same standards.

In Trump and Clinton, I find it hard to understand how any Objectivist could rationally vote for them for that reason. Neither of them deserve the presidency, they haven't earned it. So I would say, don't give them what they value of yours - your vote.

You diminish yourself by doing so.

Are you an Objectivist?

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On 10/10/2016 at 1:46 PM, Nicky said:

Good to see the world is still sane. The morning after Trump threatened to put his opponent in prison if he wins:

 

I'm not "for Trump" at all but his opponent should be in prison for her crimes. Instead she will be elected President. lol Wouldn't the Founding Fathers be proud if they were alive to see today's clusterfuck of an election.

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Nicky,

I would like to answer simply yes or no, but it needs qualification to be an accurate answer. 

As far as Objectivism is a closed system, I find I agree with it, so it would be a Yes.

However there are aspects of life where Objectivism is silent, or I would judge it to be incomplete/underdeveloped. Where this is so, it is not possible to call myself an Objectivist. So to that extent, my answer is No. E.g. on land ownership.

What was your reason for asking? Do you consider yourself to be an Objectivist?

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1 hour ago, Jon Southall said:

Nicky,

I would like to answer simply yes or no, but it needs qualification to be an accurate answer. 

As far as Objectivism is a closed system, I find I agree with it, so it would be a Yes.

However there are aspects of life where Objectivism is silent, or I would judge it to be incomplete/underdeveloped. Where this is so, it is not possible to call myself an Objectivist. So to that extent, my answer is No. E.g. on land ownership.

What was your reason for asking? Do you consider yourself to be an Objectivist?

Because it's a very odd thing for an Objectivist to say that you diminish yourself by living in reality, and participating in the electoral process of your country. Objectivism isn't about withdrawing from society. That's usually the perception of people who don't really know Objectivism, because of that one famous plot line in AS where producers go on strike, that everybody's familiar with. But it's not an Objectivist position.

And yes.

 

[edit] I just remembered: you said that you would vote (or consider voting) Leave in the British referendum. So helping Hillary or Trump win would diminish people, but you voting to help UKIP and Boris Johnson doesn't? What's the difference?

Edited by Nicky

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14 hours ago, Nicky said:

What crimes?

Having classified material on her private server?  Then deleting them? The whole thing the FBI investigated her on a couple months ago.

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8 hours ago, EC said:

Having classified material on her private server?  Then deleting them? The whole thing the FBI investigated her on a couple months ago.

What was the result of that investigation?

And I was asking for the name of the crime, not a description of her actions. I know what she did, it was in the headlines. What I don't understand is why you think it is a crime, while the FBI doesn't. Surely, you have a strong legal argument, and deep knowledge of relevant laws and precedents, if you're willing to contradict reputable law enforcement officials who are saying no crime took place.

So, which laws did she break, when was anyone successfully prosecuted for similar actions, and what are the errors in the official FBI documentation explaining why they didn't press charges?

Edited by Nicky

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7 hours ago, Nicky said:

What was the result of that investigation?

And I was asking for the name of the crime, not a description of her actions. I know what she did, it was in the headlines. What I don't understand is why you think it is a crime, while the FBI doesn't. Surely, you have a strong legal argument, and deep knowledge of relevant laws and precedents, if you're willing to contradict reputable law enforcement officials who are saying no crime took place.

So, which laws did she break, when was anyone successfully prosecuted for similar actions, and what are the errors in the official FBI documentation explaining why they didn't press charges?

That doesn't matter. The FBI let her go because of who she is not because of what they found. I highly disagree that they have a strong legal argument. 

I have no clue what the law is exactly and what it says exactly about not securing classified documents but I know that it exists and should exist. It's also well known that she didn't follow that law however it's stated. 

The only logical conclusion is that they let her off because they didn't want to create a political situation with a Presidential nominee, not that she didn't break any laws.

If you think we still live in a country that doesn't let people off on crimes because of political pull then you are mistaken.

Edit: This new software for the forum is annoying. I had your last quote stuck here for the longest time before I could delete it. And there's no simple "go advanced" feature where you can quickly just edit quote tags and stuff either. 

Edited by EC

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39 minutes ago, EC said:

That doesn't matter.

It matters to those of us more interested in facts than conspiracy theories.

Quote

The FBI let her go because of who she is not because of what they found.

Do you have any evidence of this conspiracy? Can you name some of the people involved?

Edited by Nicky

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Jon,

The election is not about giving someone what they deserve (your vote). It's about selfishly determining which candidate you prefer. There's a difference.

Forget what they deserve. You don't owe them anything.

Which one has a scrap of value to offer you? Even if it's only a potential value, that's still something to consider.

Also, some people don't vote in these situations because they refuse to share moral responsibility for an evil candidate's actions. I think that's misguided, too. It's a rationalism that we use to extricate ourselves from a seemingly hopeless, political exercise. We don't want to admit that we can't figure out the "lesser evil", so instead we pretend that voting for evil, itself, is an evil act, while dropping the entire political context in which the terrible choice is made.

In the end, if you can't find some small value in one of the candidates, then you always have the option of writing in whomever you please.

Edited by MisterSwig

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The worst thing Trump has said, as of yet: he's refusing to say that he'll accept the election results. Coupled with his embrace of Russian Intelligence efforts to destroy the credibility of American democratic institutions, this is the single most destructive thing he can do, without actually holding any political office.

Republicans have made a huge mistake allowing this mindless egomaniac anywhere near their party. The only thing left to do is for Republican politicians to mitigate the damage, by loudly and publicly condemning Trump's refusal to accept the election results, and by unequivocally backing federal authorities' conclusion that Russian Intelligence is behind the leaks targeting the Clinton campaign.

Edited by Nicky

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On 10/17/2016 at 3:27 PM, Nicky said:

It matters to those of us more interested in facts than conspiracy theories.

Do you have any evidence of this conspiracy? Can you name some of the people involved?

What in the hell are you even talking about? You would be one of the few people in the world who would think that was a "conspiracy" beyond Hillary supporters. 

And while you're at you need to explain why you have this insane confidence level in the FBI.

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8 hours ago, EC said:

What in the hell are you even talking about? You would be one of the few people in the world who would think that was a "conspiracy" beyond Hillary supporters.

So the answer to my question is no.

I don't think there was any conspiracy. I think members of the FBI followed the rules, and made an objective decision. I see no reason why they would've done otherwise.

And it has nothing to do with supporting Hillary. I don't. I just live outside the right wing media bubble spreading these unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

Where do you draw the line, by the way? Do you also believe that the election is rigged? Do you also believe that Obama wants to move 200,000 Syrians into the US? Do you believe that Mexicans are behind fabricating the dozen or so sexual assault allegations against Trump? In other words, is there anything on these blogs, that Trump has been kind enough to repeat and bring into the limelight, that you don't believe?

Edited by Nicky

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8 hours ago, EC said:

And while you're at you need to explain why you have this insane confidence level in the FBI.

What's not to trust? The upper echelons of the FBI consist of professional law enforcement officials with longstanding careers, who have a long track record investigating and prosecuting people in power, and who have given me no reason to doubt their integrity.

James Comey, the REPUBLICAN director of the FBI, for instance, has had a long, untainted career in government. He investigated the Clintons several times before, he also stood up to the Bush White House over the legality of NSA wiretapping, appointed the special prosecutor who investigated and successfully prosecuted Scooter Libby, has an impressive list of prosecuting powerful business leaders under his belt, and the only thing that kept him off the shortlist for SCOTUS in 2009 was that he was too right leaning.

Also, the results of the investigation, and the arguments justifying the recommendation not to prosecute, are public information. So they're not even asking you to trust them. All you have to do is read the documents, and judge for yourself.

That's what they have backing their judgement. What do you have, aside from declaring that the facts and laws are irrelevant, and that you prefer to make your judgement based on a conspiracy theory spreading on right wing blogs?

Edited by Nicky

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After recently learning about and researching the Alt-Right threat, I am recanting the original post, denouncing Trump, and pledging to vote for Hillary Clinton. (Maybe a moderator could put up a note indicating this reversal at the top of my original post? Thanks.)

If I were still a Christian, I would feel terrible guilt and shame for having been so ignorant. But being now an Objectivist with a healthy self-esteem, I feel only a profound relief that my ignorance did not last to election day.

This has been a truly difficult and disgusting choice for me. When I finally learned about the white nationalists of the Alt-Right and experienced them for myself on the Internet, I was horrified. I actually felt a connection with Hillary, remembering the look of shock that came across her face when Donald pointed and loudly proclaimed that she should be in jail. I think perhaps a vision of the future was flashing through her mind. Not a vision of being tossed in jail herself. But an absolute nightmare of white male nationalists rising up from the shadows to challenge the government for power and throw EVERY allegedly corrupt Establishment politician in jail.

Only it's not all a dream. Some of it's happening. The Alt-Right are all over the Internet. They are all over the Republican Party. And they all have a terrible, monstrous plan for America.

Politically, our best chance to stop them is by keeping the Democrats in power and wholly rejecting the Republican Party as a lost cause. We must expose the Alt-Right immediately and have a national effort to repudiate the movement in the strongest terms possible.

If the Alt-Right defeats the Establishment Democrats, their next target will most likely be the Jews. Followed by other minorities. Because, yes, they are THAT hardcore.

We must stop them now, before more radical conservatives are sucked into the Alt-Right rebellion against the Establishment.

 

Edited by MisterSwig

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On 16/10/2016 at 9:57 PM, Nicky said:

Because it's a very odd thing for an Objectivist to say that you diminish yourself by living in reality, and participating in the electoral process of your country. Objectivism isn't about withdrawing from society. That's usually the perception of people who don't really know Objectivism, because of that one famous plot line in AS where producers go on strike, that everybody's familiar with. But it's not an Objectivist position.

And yes.

 

[edit] I just remembered: you said that you would vote (or consider voting) Leave in the British referendum. So helping Hillary or Trump win would diminish people, but you voting to help UKIP and Boris Johnson doesn't? What's the difference?

Are you a politician Nicky?

I didn't claim one would diminish themselves by living in reality, you invented this. 

I didn't claim that one diminishes themselves by voting in a democratic election. Again you invented this.

What I did claim was that when making a choice, you need to consider the value it will add to your life.

When you are presented with supposedly two choices which will both diminish rather than add value, where the choice is not compulsory, then it makes sense not to choose either of them. The case of Trump & Clinton is one such example.

I did vote to leave the EU btw and I am very happy that this may now happen. The choice was very different, which I think you know very well but are playing your usual political games. I didn't vote for the country to be governed by Boris or UKIP, and the likelihood of that happening even now is remote.

Compare that to the presedential election where your choice directly has a bearing on who will be governing you. Do you want to increase the odds of either candidate winning when either outcome will diminish value rather than adding it?

 

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On 18/10/2016 at 1:47 AM, MisterSwig said:

Jon,

The election is not about giving someone what they deserve (your vote). It's about selfishly determining which candidate you prefer. There's a difference.

Forget what they deserve. You don't owe them anything.

Which one has a scrap of value to offer you? Even if it's only a potential value, that's still something to consider.

Also, some people don't vote in these situations because they refuse to share moral responsibility for an evil candidate's actions. I think that's misguided, too. It's a rationalism that we use to extricate ourselves from a seemingly hopeless, political exercise. We don't want to admit that we can't figure out the "lesser evil", so instead we pretend that voting for evil, itself, is an evil act, while dropping the entire political context in which the terrible choice is made.

In the end, if you can't find some small value in one of the candidates, then you always have the option of writing in whomever you please.

I think we are playing semantics here. When someone says "I deserve to be paid" for example, it means they believe they have earned it. Whether they have or not is probably the key question.

As in Trump & Clinton - is what they stand for, what they have done and are likely to do enough to earn your vote? If there is, then selfishly speaking, in your view they do deserve it. If you vote for them, they are getting what they deserve. If you dont, then they wont.

It has nothing to do with oweing. 

I personally don't vote for scraps.

I can figure out the lesser of two evils, but I don't want either. Evil goes against my life, why vote for something that goes against our standard of value (assuming we are Objectivists) when we don't have to? We should be opposing both, not each other over which to support!

 

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7 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

I can figure out the lesser of two evils, but I don't want either.

 

"neither" is not one of the options. Surely, you understand that. Surely, you understand that one of these two is becoming President.

We're not discussing a hypothetical scenario in which you, alone, get to decide the next President. We're discussing the reality of this situation, in which the only two options are Clinton and Trump.

Choosing "neither" isn't a vote for whoever your ideal candidate is. Choosing neither is just you defying reality, and failing to accept that there is no third option.

7 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Evil goes against my life, why vote for something that goes against our standard of value (assuming we are Objectivists) when we don't have to?

I think your logic is faulty, voting for Clinton is perfectly in accordance with my standard of value (because she's the better of the two options I have).

But I have an even stronger argument, that you failed to address, so I'll repeat it: you said you want to vote for Boris Johnson and UKIP's Leave campaign in the British referendum. Do Boris Johnson and UKIP share your values, or did you choose to vote for someone who goes against your "standard of value", to defeat what you saw as the greater evil: European integration?

Edited by Nicky

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2 minutes ago, Nicky said:

"neither" is not one of the options. Surely, you understand that. Surely, you understand that one of these two is becoming President.

We're not discussing a hypothetical scenario in which you, alone, get to decide the next President. We're discussing the reality of this situation, in which the only two options are Clinton and Trump.

Choosing "neither" isn't a vote for whoever your ideal candidate is. Choosing neither is just you defying reality, and failing to accept that there is no third option.

Your vote isn't decisive. If you do not want one of the two candidates (or any of the candidates), not voting isn't only an option, it is the right option.

Why act to determine a result you do not want?

4 minutes ago, Nicky said:

you said you want to vote for Boris Johnson and UKIP's Leave campaign in the British referendum

Did I?

I voted to leave the EU. There was no aspect of this that involved voting for UKIP or Johnson. Do you understand what a referendum is?

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7 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

I did vote to leave the EU btw and I am very happy that this may now happen. The choice was very different, which I think you know very well but are playing your usual political games. I didn't vote for the country to be governed by Boris or UKIP, and the likelihood of that happening even now is remote.

This is actually one of the disagreements we had in our conversation about Brexit: you claimed that the EU is less democratic than Britain, I pointed out that it's not. Britons don't get to choose who governs them directly either.

I guess my point didn't stick, you still think Boris Johnson can't govern you without voting for him directly. Guess what: he can. The British government isn't elected directly. This is how British democracy works: governments are appointed by the legislature, based on what they think the wishes of the people are.

So you DID vote for him, and he IS governing you. In fact, he holds one of the most important positions in the British government: he's the Foreign Secretary. His decisions in the next two years will determine the future of Britain for a long, long time to come.

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1 minute ago, Jon Southall said:

Your vote isn't decisive. If you do not want one of the two candidates (or any of the candidates), not voting isn't only an option, it is the right option.

Why act to determine a result you do not want?

What are you talking about? Did I really fail to make it clear that I want Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the next President of the United States?

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