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Scott Bouranis

Trump

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What character in a Rand novel would come closest to resembling Donald Trump?

If Ayn Rand were alive, I cannot help but wonder what would she be articulating about Donald Trump?

My apologies if this strand is similar to others that might have been started.  I just joined the online forum 10/3/2016.

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If you have access to back issues or reprints of The Objectivist, read her 1968 kiboshing of George Wallace; it's as close as you'll get (which is close indeed) to what she'd say about Trump.

The character most resembling him in her fiction is James Taggart. Both are classic mixed-economy businessmen, getting rich by government favors and connections in a highly-regulated industry. Both are contemptuous of ideas and principles. Both are what Objectivist jargon calls social metaphysicians. Taggart stroked his vanity by letting his wife think he was a man of acheivement. Trump is trying to do this with the entire world.

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On 10/3/2016 at 10:45 AM, Scott Bouranis said:

What character in a Rand novel would come closest to resembling Donald Trump?

Sinclair Lewis's novel "It Can't Happen Here" is about a populist/fascist dictator becoming U.S. president. (Not a recommendation for the novel.) The interesting thing is that Lewis did not think a Hitler-style person would rise to power. The American version would need to be a warmer type, with a sense of fun -- at least in the eyes of his supporters. He would also not so much of an ideologue as someone who spouted regurgitated things that others said.

Trump is as pragmatic as people get. He has no policies: zero. Sure he has a platform, and a bunch of (contradictory) things he says he will do, but if one pays a bit of attention to his comings and goings one would see: he has no ideological soul. Hillary might say what she needs to to get elected, she might hob-nob with Wall St., she might even have realized that a "mixed-economy" approach that co-opts the rich is more practical than a socialist ideology; yet, she has a socialist ideological soul. On the other hand, Trump is a vessel who adopts what works... this year, this month, this minute. Way more of a philosophical pragmatist. I guess one should look for such a pragmatic soul-less, low self-esteem character in Atlas. I agree with Reidy that Jimmy Taggart is a good fit. 

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Trump is a pragmatic American nationalist. He's an incredible businessman who has no shame in fulfilling his fiduciary responsibilities. He has been a womanizer, yet has created what appears to be a happy, loving family. His self-esteem is clearly bulletproof. To me he doesn't closely resemble any of Rand's characters. We should probably be thankful for that because who he is, is exactly what America needs. His charisma, cash, name-recognition and willingness to pander has put him in a position to salvage America. His lack of any explicit libertarian ideology means any failure or perceived failure will not doom good ideas forever. It's a risk, but it's the best shot America has ever had at disrupting the status quo. If Hillary wins and manages to pass amnesty, it is game over for the Republicans. The next American populist may be a real monster. 

Edited by oso

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I'll take the status quo over a pragmatic American nationalist any time.

And calling people "little Marco", "lying Ted" and "crooked Hillary", or bragging about the size your your penis and how you grab women by the pussy is neither charisma nor self esteem.

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17 minutes ago, oso said:

If Hillary wins, it is game over for the Republicans.

What does that even mean? Are you predicting that the Republican Party is dissolving on November 9?

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10 minutes ago, Nicky said:

What does that even mean? Are you predicting that the Republican Party is dissolving on November 9?

Assuming she can pass amnesty, pretty close to zero percent of those 11 million (16?) new citizens will ever vote Republican. 

12 minutes ago, Nicky said:

I'll take the status quo over a pragmatic American nationalist any time.

And calling people "little Marco", "lying Ted" and "crooked Hillary", or bragging about the size your your penis and how you grab women by the pussy is neither charisma nor self esteem.

I wouldn't use those insults in my personal life, but that is because I'm not in the disgusting, gladiatorial field of American politics. Trying to use valid arguments is a good way to end up like Rand Paul. 

Edited by oso

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23 minutes ago, oso said:

Assuming she can pass amnesty, pretty close to zero percent of those 11 million (16?) new citizens will ever vote Republican. 

You're confused about what amnesty means. It's not naturalization. Just because people who crossed the border illegally or overstayed their visas would not be treated as criminals anymore doesn't mean they could vote.

You're also confused about how important 11 million new citizens would be. They would not have affected the outcome of the last three presidential elections. And they certainly wouldn't affect the outcome of this one, since Trump is behind by a good ten points.

You're also ignorant about what percentage of naturalized citizens vote Republican. It's not zero percent, it's over 30%.

Edited by Nicky

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29 minutes ago, Nicky said:

You're confused about what amnesty means. It's not naturalization. Just because people who crossed the border illegally or overstayed their visas would not be treated as criminals anymore doesn't mean they could vote.

You're also confused about how important 11 million new citizens would be. They would not have affected the outcome of the last three presidential elections. And they certainly wouldn't affect the outcome of this one, since Trump is behind by a good ten points.

You're also ignorant about what percentage of naturalized citizens vote Republican. It's not zero percent, it's over 30%.

Hillary supports a pathway to citizenship. Bush won by 3 million votes. McCain and Romney lost their elections by 10 and 5 million votes so you're right if you're saying the Republicans are in a pretty bad spot to begin with. Even assuming a net of just 2 million new Democrat voters, that is very bad news for the already weak Republicans. That's accepting the unlikely assumptions that illegal immigrants will vote Republican at the same rate as the average naturalized citizen, and ignoring all other sources of Democrat voters that Hillary will have a strong incentive to bring in. 

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8 minutes ago, oso said:

Hillary supports a pathway to citizenship. Bush won by 3 million votes. McCain and Romney lost their elections by 10 and 5 million votes so you're right if you're saying the Republicans are in a pretty bad spot to begin with. Even assuming a net of just 2 million new Democrat voters...

Gonna stop you right there. Your math is still bad. It's more like a million. If the Republican House cooperates and passes immigration reform that gives a path to citizenship, that is. Which is unlikely in itself.

To say that you're blowing this out of proportion would be an understatement.

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1 hour ago, Nicky said:

 

Gonna stop you right there. Your math is still bad. It's more like a million. If the Republican House cooperates and passes immigration reform that gives a path to citizenship, that is. Which is unlikely in itself.

To say that you're blowing this out of proportion would be an understatement

My math was wrong. Assuming illegal immigrants are eligible to vote at a rate of 0.7 (American average in 2012) and turn out at just 0.5 (low), I get 1.54 million. Again, that's with the very conservative assumption that they will vote Republican at the same rate as the average naturalized citizen. Add in the status quo of a net of 100000 new Democrat voters being naturalized every year and the fact that Republicans are already losing does not seem to support your position that these new voters would be insignificant. That's also assuming new citizens will vote Republican at the same rate as the current average of naturalized citizens and turn out at just 0.5. We're also assuming that Hillary won't increase legal immigration which a good deal of Republicans appear to be in favor of. 

Edited by oso

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3 hours ago, oso said:

My math was wrong. Assuming illegal immigrants are eligible to vote at a rate of 0.7 (American average in 2012) and turn out at just 0.5 (low), I get 1.54 million.

And if you then subtract the minors, criminals, insane, etc. who are ineligible to vote, you get the very insignificant million I told you about above. You really should've just trusted me. I have some strong opinions, but I make it a point not to talk out of my ass when it comes to basic facts.

Immigration is not the issue right wingers make it out to be. Pretty much everything Trump&co has to say about it is factually false. It's the area he lies most about...which is impressive, since he lies about everything.

Edited by Nicky

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On 10/23/2016 at 5:44 PM, Nicky said:

And if you then subtract the minors, criminals, insane, etc. who are ineligible to vote, you get the very insignificant million I told you about above. You really should've just trusted me. I have some strong opinions, but I make it a point not to talk out of my ass when it comes to basic facts.

Immigration is not the issue right wingers make it out to be. Pretty much everything Trump&co has to say about it is factually false. It's the area he lies most about...which is impressive, since he lies about everything.

11*0.7*0.5*0.4 = 1.54

Is there some reason to believe illegal immigrants would be eligible to vote at a significantly lower rate than Americans in general?

Also, how does the fact that Republicans are already losing mean we should be less concerned that new Democrat voters will make it impossible for them to win?

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On 10/24/2016 at 1:25 AM, oso said:

Assuming she can pass amnesty, pretty close to zero percent of those 11 million (16?) new citizens will ever vote Republican. 

I wouldn't use those insults in my personal life, but that is because I'm not in the disgusting, gladiatorial field of American politics. Trying to use valid arguments is a good way to end up like Rand Paul. 

Join the gladiatoral field? What are you talking about? Trump is the first presidential candidate in American history to build his platform on insults and conspiracy theories.

Feel free to check on how George W Bush, Kerry, Obama, McCain and Romney addressed their competitors during the campaign: it was with either the person's title title or Mr. in front of their family names. Not by first name, not by nicknames, and not with insults.

And calling what US politics is being turned into by Trump and his supporters a "gladiatorial field" is way too flattering. These are people who organize on 4chan and right wing conspiracy blogs, and gang up on people on the Internet with racial slurs and threats. All lead, of course, by the man on top, with his endless racist, chauvinistic, and threatening rhetoric.

They're not gladiators, they're wannabe brown shirts. Thugs who found safety a the mob behind the most vicious, hateful politician they could find, who would run away at the slimmest prospect of danger.

1 hour ago, oso said:

11*0.7*0.5*0.4 = 1.54

Is there some reason to believe illegal immigrants would be eligible to vote at a significantly lower rate than Americans in general?

Yes. They would have to go through a lengthy naturalization process before they became citizens and were allowed to vote. You're operating under the assumption that all 11 million would do that? Do you know what the naturalization process entails?

Edited by Nicky

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2 hours ago, Nicky said:

Join the gladiatoral field? What are you talking about? Trump is the first presidential candidate in American history to build his platform on insults and conspiracy theories.

Feel free to check on how George W Bush, Kerry, Obama, McCain and Romney addressed their competitors during the campaign: it was with either the person's title title or Mr. in front of their family names. Not by first name, not by nicknames, and not with insults.

And calling what US politics is being turned into by Trump and his supporters a "gladiatorial field" is way too flattering. These are people who organize on 4chan and right wing conspiracy blogs, and gang up on people on the Internet with racial slurs and threats. All lead, of course, by the man on top, with his endless racist, chauvinistic, and threatening rhetoric.

They're not gladiators, they're wannabe brown shirts. Thugs who found safety a the mob behind the most vicious, hateful politician they could find, who would run away at the slimmest prospect of danger.

Yes. They would have to go through a lengthy naturalization process before they became citizens and were allowed to vote. You're operating under the assumption that all 11 million would do that? Do you know what the naturalization process entails?

Are Bush, Kerry, Obama, McCain and Romney people you think deserve respect? Politics is a disgusting field full of disgusting people, who pander, lie and steal in order to win votes. Trump isn't turning politics into a gladiatorial field; it already is one. Simply witness the fevered pitch of anti-Trump propaganda being pushed out by every mainstream news outlet. That propaganda machine has always existed and has always been highly influential.

By turning politics into a mosh pit of insults and lizard-brain persuasion, Trump is robbing it of it's undeserved prestige and appearance of intellectualism. It's also an effective strategy. Any attempt to use real arguments to influence the American people is just surrendering politics to the hoaxing media and the Obamas and Romneys of the world. In any electoral battle between logic and long-term planning versus propaganda and short-term gratification, the latter will always win. Finally the right is dropping politeness and adopting the tactics of the left. 

4chan may be filled with nihilistic trolls, but if we're going to talk about brownshirts, look for the people who are actually committing political violence. Look at the media that focuses on every sucker punch at a Trump rally while ignoring or downplaying even the most sensational violence against Trump supporters. 

Approximately 92% of illegal immigrants desire citizenship. 71% of immigrants eligible for citizenship have naturalized. So amnesty is likely to automatically give the Democrats 1 million new voters assuming 30% of them vote Republican and 50% don't vote. You've convinced me that amnesty doesn't automatically mean 2020 is in the bag for Democrats. Considering 62% of households headed by an illegal immigrant consume welfare, and the obviously important fact that Democrats support amnesty and Republicans have opposed it, and it's a pretty shaky assumption that 30% of illegal immigrants will vote Republican. Again, I don't follow how the fact that Republicans are already losing means the creation of new Democrat voters is unimportant. 

Edited by oso

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1 hour ago, oso said:

Are Bush, Kerry, Obama, McCain and Romney people you think deserve respect?

Yes, of course. Especially Senator McCain, but the others as well.

More importantly, I think the United States deserves respect. When you turn the US political system into a mosh pit, you are destroying centuries of achievement, by heroes and great men who lived, fought and died for their country.

That history, in itself, would be enough to warrant politicians to show some respect for the country. But it's not just about that:

There are great men in the United States today, as well. Scientists, businessmen, athletes, musicians, filmmakers, etc., etc.  And there are millions of less than great, but still productive men as well. All of whom deserve political candidates who can show some respect. They may or may not deserve more (SN touched on why the American people might not deserve good policies or perfect honesty), but they certainly deserve a degree of civility and respect far above what Trump has been able to muster.

Edited by Nicky
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1 hour ago, oso said:

In any electoral battle between logic and long-term planning versus propaganda and short-term gratification, the latter will always win.

This statement completely and utterly drops the entire context of human history. We have not achieved the great cultural successes of past and present by always choosing short-term gratifications.

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1 hour ago, oso said:

Simply witness the fevered pitch of anti-Trump propaganda being pushed out by every mainstream news outlet.

What propaganda? List some things the major networks have been reporting about Trump, that is not true.

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3 hours ago, oso said:

That propaganda machine has always existed and has always been highly influential.

Trump is a bigger propaganda machine than any politician I've ever seen. You seem to be saying "Republicans are finally acting more Leftist than Leftists!"

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9 hours ago, oso said:

Also, how does the fact that Republicans are already losing mean we should be less concerned that new Democrat voters will make it impossible for them to win?

The notion that Republicans can't win is ridiculous. For most of the past eight years, Republicans have held Congress. They can win just fine. They're even set to hold the House this year, which is a miracle, given who their Presidential nominee is.

In fact, before Trump won the nomination, polls showed that Kasich and Cruz had favorability rankings above Clinton, and they would've both beaten Clinton. Kasich in a landslide, Cruz by about three points. Studies that look at the history of the elections (including several that have guessed correctly in every election since the 70s) back that up, saying that the opposition candidate should have swept this election.

So, had the Republicans nominated a candidate who didn't alienate 2/3 of the country, and most Republican donors, by being disgusting in every way imaginable, and then some I couldn't possibly have thought of, he or she would be the favorite in this election. Especially since the Dems are also fielding their weakest candidate since Dukakis.

You see, the problem with the last three elections isn't immigrants favoring Dems. Immigrants are a small minority. The problem with 2008 and 2012 was that Bush doubled government spending, spent trillions on wars against Middle Age savages the US military had the power to annihilate for the cost of airplane fuel, and continued Clinton era financial policies that caused the biggest recession and financial crisis in decades.

 

And the the problem with this election is that Republicans nominated the most hateable person they could find.

If, in four years, the Republican Party gets its act together, they can win by a lot more than that extra million Dem voters Clinton might, if all the stars align in her favor, naturalize.

Edited by Nicky
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On 10/26/2016 at 11:41 PM, Nicky said:

The notion that Republicans can't win is ridiculous.

Even this time, Trump still has a chance. He is not the odds-on favorite, but he is close enough in some key states that the polls cannot tell which way things will fall.

In Florida, for instance, its 50:50 in the polls; but, pollsters cannot predict if participation will change. If folks who never voted before come out out in larger-than-expected numbers and vote for one or the other, they could make the difference. For instance, will Hispanics come out more "bigly" than the past and vote for Clinton? will young folk stay home (as they usually do) because of the Hillary corruption stories or will they come out to vote against Trump? will Trump's supposed "struggling white working-class non-college males" come out in larger numbers than the past.

This charts from FiveThirtyEight show how this election has been like a TV soap, with ups and downs.

538_graph_temp.png

 

 

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I still am troubled by attempts here to rationalise voting for either candidate. 

You have two of the worst candidates in US political history and you want one of them to lead the nation? Is that rational?

Do you want a criminal as president? A lying, cheating, power hungry aggressor in power? You all seem to. That's what you get with both of them.

One is 'packaged' as more reasonable, more credible, more intelligent & more civilised. But it is just packaging and I am disappointed it can't be seen through. Clinton has obstructed justice and is associated with subversion of the department of justice. As Objectivists I am astonished you can overlook this and judge her to be worthy of your vote. 

I'm not saying vote for Trump either. He's also proven himself unworthy during the course of the campaign. Oso wrote that Trump is depriving the campaign of the false presentation of esteem and showing it for what it is - ugly. Perhaps those in favour of Clinton prefer the pretense, but that is not living in reality folks. She is just as ugly as Trump.

Show some integrity and think carefully before voting for one of the two real deplorables. 

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3 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

I still am troubled by attempts here to rationalise voting for either candidate.

And I'm troubled by the level of delusion it takes for you to assume that someone other than Trump or Clinton is going to be President.

Edited by Nicky

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3 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

I still am troubled by attempts here to rationalise voting for either candidate. 

You have two of the worst candidates in US political history and you want one of them to lead the nation? Is that rational?

Is it rational to ignore the fact that these are the two candidates engaged in an electoral process that is likely to run its course in a "business as usual" manner, and to assess which is likely to be appointed to the position of President of the United States?

Where's your plug and advocation for an alternative here, or is it sufficient to be content with calling integrity into question?

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