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How would Ayn Rand describe Donald Trump? I'm thinking in terms of how she described the political players during the Watergate hearings. Was it Brothers, You Asked For It? Or was it The Principals and The Principles?

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3 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

So he's a pragmatist then?

Yes, I suppose you could say he is a pragmatist. I suppose there are a great many adjectives one could use to describe Trump. Two that come to mind are, blunt and ambitious. Two adjectives I would not use to describe him are, dignified and intellectual. One could argue that he is rational in the sense that he is WINNING! (with an arm pump), but avarice, conceit, and megalomania are not virtues by Objectivist standards. It is too early to judge his legacy as president. However, if you want to know this Objectivists opinion, there are decades of publicity shedding light on his character and politics, which support my views.

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2 hours ago, Repairman said:

Yes, I suppose you could say he is a pragmatist. I suppose there are a great many adjectives one could use to describe Trump. Two that come to mind are, blunt and ambitious. Two adjectives I would not use to describe him are, dignified and intellectual. One could argue that he is rational in the sense that he is WINNING! (with an arm pump), but avarice, conceit, and megalomania are not virtues by Objectivist standards. It is too early to judge his legacy as president. However, if you want to know this Objectivists opinion, there are decades of publicity shedding light on his character and politics, which support my views.

Can you name a Trump policy to support your view that he is a conceited Pragmatist?

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Policies do not convey character traits, unless you might include the excessive use of executive powers as a measure of executive self-aggrandizement. Of course, he'll have quite a way to go to catch up with Obama's conceit.

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1 minute ago, Repairman said:

Policies do not convey character traits, unless you might include the excessive use of executive powers as a measure of executive self-aggrandizement. Of course, he'll have quite a way to go to catch up with Obama's conceit.

I don't understand the purpose of the ad hominem attacks that David Kelley would disapprove of. If Trump is a pragmatist I would think his policies would be pragmatic.

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I voted for him just to prevent the socialist disaster that a Hillary Clinton presidency would have been.

His stances on the campaign trail and what he has actually done in office are incongruous in many respects. The Syria strike was a big disappointment, as are many of his appointees' neocon blustering against Russia.

It is still too early to say what ultimate impact he will have, however his biggest accomplishment thus far is appointing Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Hillary would've given us another Ginsburg. Then you could've kissed goodbye to the Second Amendment. Trump has also stepped up border enforcement, and illegal crossings are down. The proper, objective role of government is to protect the homeland from invasion. You can't do that without border enforcement. We are being invaded by criminals, thugs, and welfare parasites and if the only legislative accomplishment that he gets done is building the wall, then it will be worth it.

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8 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

I don't understand the purpose of the ad hominem attacks that David Kelley would disapprove of. If Trump is a pragmatist I would think his policies would be pragmatic.

It isn't an ad hominem to call him a pragmatist -- no more than saying he's leftist or rightist. [Unless you were referring to "conceited".] 

Interesting question: how does one know that someone's policies are pragmatic? One can point to a particular policy -- say keeping Mexicans out of the U.S. , or lowering taxes, or raising spending -- and label them "nationalist", "republican" or "Keynesian". However, pragmatism is different because it does not refer to any specific grouping of policies. Rather, it points to a lack of coherence and a day-by-day picking and choosing from a basket of ideologies, with no coherent pattern.  

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12 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

Trump has also stepped up border enforcement, and illegal crossings are down.

Well, no. There is no evidence that there is any invasion of by criminals, thugs, or welfare parasites. That's just a Trump belief, not a fact. Invasion applies to warfare or coordinated attack. That some illegal immigrants commit crimes is not good evidence of an invasion. Besides, the proper role of government is to protect the rights of individuals. If invasion occurs, there needs to be evidence that those invaders are violating rights. It's not really defense without a plan to improve identifying threats.

This is what most of us would say here I suspect.

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On 10/9/2017 at 8:55 AM, Eiuol said:

Well, no. There is no evidence that there is any invasion of by criminals, thugs, or welfare parasites. That's just a Trump belief, not a fact.

There are 30 million people here illegally, probably more. Not even Crackpot Kim could hope to muster up such an army. While not every member of this "army" takes welfare, commits crimes, brings disease, or refuses to assimilate and learn English, a huge number of them (millions) do. Would you agree that criminals, welfare parasites, diseased people, and people who will not learn English do not belong in this country?

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Invasion applies to warfare or coordinated attack. That some illegal immigrants commit crimes is not good evidence of an invasion.

This is what most of us would say here I suspect.

Considering that in Mexico, the government runs ads on the streets encouraging people to come to America, I would consider that very good evidence of an invasion. Mexico does not enforce their side of the border, in fact they even offer legal assistance to people who are going through deportation procedures.

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If invasion occurs, there needs to be evidence that those invaders are violating rights. It's not really defense without a plan to improve identifying threats.

The wall will help us determine who is a threat, and who is not. It will force them to only use the gates. Otherwise they'll just swim the Rio Grande or cross the desert and we have no idea who they are. Mexico is literally at war with cartels, and there is no way to stop the cartels from spreading here. Which they have.

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Besides, the proper role of government is to protect the rights of individuals.

Individuals of this country, not individuals who are citizens of Mexico. If the proper role of government is to protect the rights of individuals of any country, why not invade Mexico and force their government to provide basic human rights to their citizens instead of being a narco-terrorist state?

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This is what most of us would say here I suspect.

Because most of you listen to the so-called Ayn Rand Institute and its Ayatollahs, Brook and Peikoff, without thinking for yourself. Ayn Rand herself never advocated for unlimited Third World immigration. Why? Because it is not in America's national self-interest for its people to be overwhelmed and replaced by people from the Third World who Ayn Rand called "savages."

I'll pimp HandyHandle's website here because he says it far better than I could...

http://ariwatch.com/AynRandOnImmigration.htm

 

Edited by CartsBeforeHorses

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I see conflating illegal with thug and/or parasite and a baseless claim based on them being foreigners (refuse to assimilate based on what). I see conspiratorial accusations against Mexico (ads in the streets which would be unprovable) and Mexico's intent to "invade" the US. I see conflating a passive wall that can't pick out threats with a means to identify threats (walls by nature make no distinction and discourage immigration of any sort). I see a desire to protect rights of only citizens (meaning that protecting a person in your own country depends on their immigration status).

Then you went as far as saying most of us don't think for ourselves, and link HandyHandle of all people!

Carts before horses indeed.

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On 10/9/2017 at 3:33 AM, softwareNerd said:

It isn't an ad hominem to call him a pragmatist -- no more than saying he's leftist or rightist. [Unless you were referring to "conceited".] 

Interesting question: how does one know that someone's policies are pragmatic? One can point to a particular policy -- say keeping Mexicans out of the U.S. , or lowering taxes, or raising spending -- and label them "nationalist", "republican" or "Keynesian". However, pragmatism is different because it does not refer to any specific grouping of policies. Rather, it points to a lack of coherence and a day-by-day picking and choosing from a basket of ideologies, with no coherent pattern.  

You call it 'lack of coherence,' others might call it 'flexibility.' But one thing a Pragmatist is not, and that is a Reformer. I see Trump as a Reformer (and particularly a RINO and wannabe Reform Partyist) who, at least in words, is trying to change the way things are done in D.C. For example, his stated policies of not warning the enemy in advance of his plans which goes against previous policies of giving out a time-line in things such as invading another country. He is taking on the policy of appeasement which was most egregiously used in the case of Syria during the Obama administration.

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5 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

For example, his stated policies of not warning the enemy in advance of his plans which goes against previous policies of giving out a time-line in things such as invading another country. 

His talk about not warning about the time line on attacking a place like Mosul was pure spin. 

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On 10/8/2017 at 12:52 AM, Skylark1 said:

I've been reading Biddle articles, and I'm finding that his political definitions are very non-mainstream, for example, putting Nazism on the Far Left.

You are here, on an Objectivist forum, looking for the opinions of Objectivists about various things. Why does "non-mainstream" bother you?  Nothing about Objectivism is mainstream.

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On 10/13/2017 at 9:49 PM, Grames said:

You are here, on an Objectivist forum, looking for the opinions of Objectivists about various things. Why does "non-mainstream" bother you?  Nothing about Objectivism is mainstream.

Do you want Objectivism to be normalized? If so, I would start by drawing parallels between mainstream ideas and Objectivist ideas. A philosophy that comes across as wrong to people won't gain a lot of practitioners. 

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Let's use an example. A normal or mainstream map of the world has the northern hemisphere at the top, for whatever reason - probably because those in the northern hemisphere considered themselves to be more important than those in the southern hemisphere. But what if Objectivism were to constantly present a view of the Earth with the southern hemisphere at the top? Most people would think Objectivism is just plain weird and dismiss it outright.

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On 10/13/2017 at 3:49 AM, softwareNerd said:

His talk about not warning about the time line on attacking a place like Mosul was pure spin. 

Trump referred to the idea of a surprise attack on Mosul. He doesn't like the way "losers" give away the element of surprise, and believes that such battles are political in nature. The Vietnam war is an known example of a war ("police action") that was fought by politicians and not by generals.

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6 minutes ago, Skylark1 said:

A normal or mainstream map of the world has the northern hemisphere at the top, for whatever reason - probably because those in the northern hemisphere considered themselves to be more important than those in the southern hemisphere.

Some folks placed East on top of a map because of the rising sun (that's the way they oriented themselves). Early American settlers sometimes used maps with West on top, because that was the direction they were often heading.

 

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6 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Some folks placed East on top of a map because of the rising sun (that's the way they oriented themselves). Early American settlers sometimes used maps with West on top, because that was the direction they were often heading.

 

Is the United States ruled by the irrational Left or the irrational Right? 

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1 minute ago, Skylark1 said:

Is the United States ruled by the irrational Left or the irrational Right? 

I would have thought that most maps put north at the top due to the orientation of the needle of a compass.

Currently, the dominant philosophy guiding the culture is pragmatism. What is the mainstream's stance toward being principled on principle? What parallels does that hold with Objectivism?

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31 minutes ago, Skylark1 said:

Is the United States ruled by the irrational Left or the irrational Right? 

No single entity rules the US. Most politicians are on the Left (mainstream Republicans, all Democracts, most independents), some on the Right ( the fiscally conservative, sometimes libertarian, usually pro-Constitution faction of the Republican party), and there are even a few Republicans who are so focused on religion that they can only be classified as medieval (before there was such a thing as Left/Right).

As for the current President, he's too big a liar to know what he actually believes in, but his actions put him mostly on the Left. He was mostly a Democratic donor before he decided to run as a Republican, he supports all the major entitlement programs, including socialized health care, he is also a protectionist, he is by far the most outspoken adversary of the First Amendment, etc. etc.

Luckily, Trump doesn't  "rule" anything. Not even the house he lives in, as evidenced by the fact that everything he says and does is in the headlines the next day.

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52 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

I would have thought that most maps put north at the top due to the orientation of the needle of a compass.

Currently, the dominant philosophy guiding the culture is pragmatism. What is the mainstream's stance toward being principled on principle? What parallels does that hold with Objectivism?

The mainstream's stance toward being principled on principle is, I think, to characterize it as naive and impractical, closed-minded and dogmatic. Beyond that, I'm not seeing being principled on principle as being taken seriously. Those who pursue such a lifestyle are sometimes punished for it by losing their jobs or being stripped of financial support. It is the nature of Statism, although in some countries you will simply be executed for your principles.

However, I don't believe all historical schools of philosophy are being considered in Objectivist thought. Focusing on Pragmatism as the dominant philosophy is simply based on locating some philosophy that has the opposite approach to Objectivism. A Christian, for example, would probably say that our culture is dominated by Hedonistic practices. So whatever the cultural guiding principle is to you depends on your philosophy life. I haven't seen Objectivism deal with the Hedonistic aspects of our culture. 

A Christian is, in a way, a very selfish person, because the goal of Christianity is for everybody to go to Heaven, and to exist in a spiritual paradise for eternity. The idea is still to enjoy the fruits of your labors, as it is with Objectivism. So that is a parallel, although with Christianity eternal bliss in the after-life is the goal, while Objectivism's concern is with finding happiness or bliss on the Earth.

 

Edited by Skylark1

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11 minutes ago, Nicky said:

No single entity rules the US. Most politicians are on the Left (mainstream Republicans, all Democracts, most independents), some on the Right ( the fiscally conservative, sometimes libertarian, usually pro-Constitution faction of the Republican party), and there are even a few Republicans who are so focused on religion that they can only be classified as medieval (before there was such a thing as Left/Right).

As for the current President, he's too big a liar to know what he actually believes in, but his actions put him mostly on the Left. He was mostly a Democratic donor before he decided to run as a Republican, he supports all the major entitlement programs, including socialized health care, he is also a protectionist, he is by far the most outspoken adversary of the First Amendment, etc. etc.

Luckily, Trump doesn't  "rule" anything. Not even the house he lives in, as evidenced by the fact that everything he says and does is in the headlines the next day.

Does Trump support Marxism in any way?

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On 10/9/2017 at 5:12 AM, CartsBeforeHorses said:

The proper, objective role of government is to protect the homeland from invasion. You can't do that without border enforcement. We are being invaded by criminals, thugs, and welfare parasites

You are deliberately equivocating on the term "invasion", to misrepresent Ayn Rand's views on the proper role of government.

You're welcome to be a nationalist and a racist. But, please, don't lie about Ayn Rand agreeing with you. Here's Rand's position on the issue, as stated in a 1973 Q&A:

She was asked: “What is your attitude toward immigration? Doesn’t open immigration have a negative effect on a country’s standard of living?” This is her answer:

You don’t know my conception of self-interest. No one has the right to pursue his self-interest by law or by force, which is what you’re suggesting. You want to forbid immigration on the grounds that it lowers your standard of living — which isn’t true, though if it were true, you’d still have no right to close the borders. You’re not entitled to any “self-interest” that injures others, especially when you can’t prove that open immigration affects your self-interest. You can’t claim that anything others may do — for example, simply through competition — is against your self-interest. But above all, aren’t you dropping a personal context? How could I advocate restricting immigration when I wouldn’t be alive today if our borders had been closed?

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25 minutes ago, Skylark1 said:

Does Trump support Marxism in any way?

Not per se. Neither does Bernie Sanders. The both agree on the morality and fundamental assumptions of Marxism (*), but neither agrees with Marx' idea of the perfect society.

The modern Left replaced the Marxist ideal of a society where all wealth is confiscated and placed under the control of the collective, and private business activity is banned, with a more pragmatic scheme involving the partial redistribution of income and wealth, and limits on trade and business activity...towards the same goal of resolving inequality and purported class conflict in a free economy.

And yes, Trump believes in wealth redistribution and limits on trade, on a massive scale.

The difference between Trump's tax plan and Sanders' is minuscule, compared to the difference between Trump's tax plan and the Objectivist stance against any forced taxation or any other form of wealth redistribution.

As for the difference between Trump's and Sanders' plans to limit trade, there isn't one. They both made rejecting free trade a central pillar of their campaigns.

 

(*) there is a permanent asterisk over any statement concerning Trump's beliefs: he claims to believe in these things, and acts as if he does, but we can never know what he believes for sure, because he is a habitual liar and a man without strong convictions of any kind.

Edited by Nicky

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