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AutoJC

Ready To Choose Your Poison?

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Things are going badly not because—as some, like Sen. John Kerry, claim—the United States is arrogant and lacking in humility, but because it is self-effacing and compassionate.

The Bush Administration's war in Iraq embraces compassion instead of the rational goal of self-defense. Such an immoral approach to war wantonly sacrifices the lives of soldiers and emboldens our enemies throughout the Middle East to mount further attacks against us.

Elan Journo and Yaron Brook Raise good Points here

So Bush will help destroy America with his compassionate wars, and Kerry will help destroy America with.....what?

Cyanide vs. Cyanide.

Your choice. :)

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JC,

The forum isn’t really the appropriate place to link to ARI op-eds unless you have a particular issue you would like to discus. If you would like to keep up with intellectual activism, you are welcome to contribute to the blog.

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My points:

It relates to another thread where discussion regarding what our choices were for leadership of this country are.

Linking to any articles serves to reinforce my thoughts and ideas.

The commentary I link to has a direct relationship with the core ideals discussed in this forum.

I sincerely believed it to be appropriate.

One other thing:

I had sincerely hoped that discussion would continue to focus on capitalism/ objectivism and its criticism of the status quo, vis a vis the faith based right and the collectivist left.

Unfortunately, I see a disturbing trend in which this forum could be used as a sounding board to morally support the ends of the Republican party and its objectives, many of which I disagree with.

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I have add a bit of support to JC's position. There is a strangle pro-right slant to this forum which I don't usually see in Objectivists. It's not that I expected libertarian left-leaning, but a lot of people here seem pro-Bush simply because he attacked Iraq. I also don't feel comfortable with a born-again in charge of the country. I think part of the reason he doesn't seem to care too much about protecting American troops - in Yaron Brook's words his "immoral approach to war (which) wantonly sacrifices the lives of (our) soldiers" - is because of his "turn the other cheek" Christianity, and his belief that this world isn't as important as the next, so those soldiers will "live on" in Heaven.

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AutoJC and Skywalker seem to be reading more into the general support for G.W.Bush than there is. The ONLY reason anybody on this board has offered support for Bush is because he DID NOT "turn the other cheek" (as Kerry/Gore/most other poloticians in the world would have). And most people who have offered that support have also mentioned that he is not doing it well enough.

The fact is, the posters on the thread which is being alluded to AutoJC and Skywalker have specifically stated that their support for Bush is in preference to John Kerry, no more.

a lot of people here seem pro-Bush simply because he attacked Iraq 

A lot of people here seem pro-Bush (in preference to Kerry) simply because he defended our country where Kerry would not have. Is that not enough?

Note that, while you may argue that he did not defend our country at all, the attacks in the refered to thread are attacks against supporting a man who did. Thats right, the discussion was moved to essentials and Bush himself was eventually removed from it. The discussion was reduced to the claim: It is immoral to vote for any polotician whom one does not fully agree with. The disagreement with that, not the straw-man he offered up, is what AutoJC is calling "a disturbing trend."

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For all his misgivings and his flip-flop, I can't see how Kerry can be any worse.

The reasons why Kerry is worse are explained in this thread. I am somewhat disturbed by the spread of the argument which should be contained there to so many different threads. The problem with that spreading, however, will shortly be solved, as I will be posting this statement and link in all of the threads which this discussion has spread to.

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A lot of people here seem pro-Bush (in preference to Kerry) simply because he defended our country where Kerry would not have.  Is that not enough?

From John Kerry's website:

“Americans deserve a principled diplomacy...backed by undoubted military might...based on enlightened self-interest, not the zero-sum logic of power politics...a diplomacy that commits America to lead the world toward liberty and prosperity. A bold progressive internationalism that focuses not just on the immediate and imminent, but insidious dangers that can mount over the next years and decade, dangers that span the spectrum from the denial of democracy, to destructive weapons, endemic poverty and epidemic disease. These are not just issues of international order, but vital issues of our own national security.”

That statement contradicts your statement that Kerry would not have defended our country, now, doesn't it?

Kerry voted for the Iraq war, yet another piece of evidence which supports his commitment to America.

I think Skywalker and I might have a point here. :)

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Kerry could run on the slogan: big nuanced mind; no hobgoblins. Kerry's words are the epitomy of "enlightened political interest" and they are exactly "the zero-sum logic of power politics". The special interests he mentions as worthy of his enlightened politics are all across the board - there is no hobgoblin governing them. His words are designed so that some part of them appeals to everyone. He knows that if he throws one right - ie, emotionally charged - keyword at you amid a billion wrong ones, that right keyword will command your attention. There is something in his every statement for anybody to quote in bold.

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Kerry is definitely an expert at making his positions palatable to various opposing groups. But he's a politician, and yes, a smart one - much more intelligent than Bush, who can't get through a speech without maiming the English language.

While I do not have any particular plans to vote for Kerry, I think an argument can be made for his superiority over Bush. The main reason people on this forum claim Bush is better centers around one thing: his "willingness to defend America." Yet look at his record. He invaded AFghanistan - something which, given the overwhelming amount of popular support for military action at the time, Kerry would have done as well. Then, he invaded Iraq, which has thus far done nothing but cause our soldiers to die. It is highly likely that the WMDs are in Syria, thus changing little for American security. And Bush now wants to keep our troops in Iraq to serve the cause of compassion. He has no plans to attack Iran, Syria, North Korea, or any of the other countries that most people on this forum want to see regime change in. (I personally do not believe there is currently a satisfactory militarty solution to the North Korean conflict, but that is another topic.) And even as he restrains our soldiers so they die at terrorist hands, he allows Iraq to come closer to becoming an Islamic state.

Meanwhile, in terms of domestic policy, Bush continues his assualt on individual rights in the US. His anti-abortion, anti-medical technology, pro-funding religious charities stance contradicts everything America is supposed to stand for. Kerry is pro-choice, anti-funding religion, and pro-stem cell research (that last is very important). He has vowed to scale back the Patriot Act, which while useful in many respects does impair individual rights in certain places.

The main area where Kerry is worse than Bush is in terms of tax cuts and medical care: he wants to scale back the tax cuts for the richest, and try to expand medicare. But in terms of tax cuts, I believe Bush may end up having to scale them back as well, because the federal defecit is really out of control. 581 billion dollars is unprecedentedly huge, and Bush's spending (mainly on "compassionate" activities in Iraq) shows no signs of abating.

The issue of medicare brings me to my final point: true, Kerry's plans are worse, but he will not be able to enact them. This is because a Republican controlled congress such as we have now will not allow Kerry to implement such policies. (Although if it's medicare expansion you're worried about, you shouldn't be supporting Bush, who's already expanded it tremendously). With Congress overwhelmingly Republican, I'd rather not have our resident Fundamentalist W. in office. With congress and the executive branch in partisan conflict, less of our rights are eroded.

Ultimately, everyone here is arguing that Kerry is a UN-lover who wants to surrender our sovereignity. But how is what Bush is doing in Iraq any better?? I'd rather have international troops dying for "compassionate" causes in a country that wants our soldiers out, than our own. Bush and Kerry are both horrible candidates, but I think Kerry may be the lesser of two evils. That's not necessarily reason to vote for him, but it IS reason NOT to vote for W.

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I believe that neither the Democratic nor Republican parties are compatible with Objectivism and its political philosophy, Capitalism. Neither one possesses the required philosophical premises to implement any coherent set of principles by which do derive consistent public and foreign policies without contradictions.

The terms Democrat and Republican are meaningless other than to identify which "team" a member is on or who one should root for. They are best viewed as opposition parties. I say this because the policies advocated by each are often merely a consequence of whether or not their party happens to hold onto the reigns of government at that particular moment. (We often see positions conveniently change when the "other guy" moves into office).

I don't believe Kerry is less hawkish when it comes to war than Bush is. I believe if he were the President when 9/11 occured, he would have taken military action as Bush did. To do anything less would have been political suicide because americans were demanding action, vengeance, etc... I'm not so sure he would even have waited as long as Bush did for U.N. support.

Personally, I am neither for nor against the war in Iraq. An analogy would be an opinion regarding the actions of the captain of the Titanic. Hypothetically, if my opinion was requested beforehand about the course and speed of the ship I would have advised actions that logically would have lessened the risk of hitting an iceberg (slower speed/more lookouts). Asking what should be done after hitting the iceberg, I would have answered "it's your call skipper, the ship appears to be going down, all of the alternatives have negative consequences and I have no idea which would turn out best. Try to minimize the loss of life if you can".

I have no desire to second-guess the present commander-in-chief. The consequences of an irrational foreign policy spanning decades (or longer) and multiple administrations of both parties are upon us. How an administration chooses to fight a "war on terror" (whatever that means) is almost irrelevant, so long as they avoid answering the question "how did we hit that iceberg?"

Granted, much of what I've said is mere conjecture and speculation and I don't know enough yet to consider myself a real Objectivist (I have many contradictions that require resolution), BUT, if I were an Objectivist, I'm not sure I could defend voting for either a democrat or a republican using the rationalization that one is the lesser of two evils.

I don't believe a politician who receives a vote thinks about the agonizing decisionmaking process that may have gone on prior to it being cast. He/she considers that person to be in full support of the platform upon which the campaign was waged and thereby the liscence to implement those ideas if elected to office. If those ideas are contrary to Objectivist principles (though less "evil" than the alternative), then contributing to the election of such a person is a "compromise" of those principles (in my humble opinion).

Ayn Rand believed that a conscious decision to NOT cast a vote in an election is in fact another legitimate form of voting. I agree. One does not have to compromise one's principles. Politicians would likely lump such people into the category of the "indifferent", or "apathetic", but I would prefer to have my "vote" misconstrued in this manner versus a tacit endorsement of the whims that drive politicians who for the most part respond to the irrational desires of the majority of voters.

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That's not necessarily reason to vote for him, but it IS reason NOT to vote for W.

I have to agree with you. I was raised in a conservative house, so I naturally make assumptions on the side of Bush. But, the guy is a danger to our country. It really got to me when I heard him come out for unborn victims rights. As soon as this gets into law, it will be an outflanking (so to speak) on the abortion issue. Abortion will be outlawed since the government created a victim.

When I look at both candidates, I only see reason not to vote.

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I think Skywalker and I might have a point here.

It is possible that you have a point about Bush and Kerry being equals (though I doubt that ANY quote from Kerry can reliably establish this, since he changes his mind so often...).

However, you DO NOT have a point about your "disturbing trend" since the "trend" you mention deals with whether it is appropriate to vote for the preferable candidate, not with which candidate (if either) is preferable, and you have given no support for calling this trend "disturbing."

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Skywalker, you make some very good points. The article at the following URL provides some basis for preferring Bush over Kerry.

Norquist Article

I'm interested in your reaction. I haven't decided whether Norquist is engaging in wishful thinking or really has a point. My opinion of politicians has gotten so low I have great difficulty trusting anything about them.

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The main reason people on this forum claim Bush is better centers around one thing: his "willingness to defend America

Don't you mean, "his willingness to send others to defend America", he has never defended America. Kerry has defended America.

I am a retired military man, and I can tell you, without question. Wars are not the result of WMD, dictator, or in-humanities to man. They are caused by economic, or more precisely, failed economic, the perception of impending failed economics and the lack of diplomatic solution.

Switzerland constitution has been in effect some 800 years, declaring Neutrality in 1815. Has a country, in all that time, they have never had a war, never been invaded, and never taking part in a war. Why? because they have money in their banks from every country, no other country will allow an occupation from another country. ECONOMICS

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I think the key word in that Kerrey quote is "internationalism," code for surrendering US sovereignty to the United Nations.  That is reason enough not to vote for Kerrey.

Internationalism is a problem only when it conflicts with American self-interest.

Read the quote from Kerry's own website again and again, with this in mind.

If internationalism is a concern you shouldn't vote for Bush because he is one of the biggest internationalists there are. :confused:

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I believe that neither the Democratic nor Republican parties are compatible with Objectivism and its socioeconomic system, Capitalism.

Now that is the truth right there.

:confused:

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It is possible that you have a point about Bush and Kerry being equals (though I doubt that ANY quote from Kerry can reliably establish this, since he changes his mind so often...).

However, you DO NOT have a point about your "disturbing trend" since the "trend" you mention deals with whether it is appropriate to vote for the preferable candidate, not with which candidate (if either) is preferable, and you have given no support for calling this trend "disturbing."

Sheere nonsense.

Please read my posts carefully.

My argument back then was to cite a disturbing trend regarding the adaptation of the Republican platform and the party by various individuals here who consider themselves objectivists and capitalists.

Disturbing, because certain objectivists appear to be selling out to the Republican party, the party of the faith-based conservatives

Does one support Bush because he's more qualified than Kerry? If so I further interpret that as solid evidence that one is adopting much of the Republican platform due to a perception that the Republicans:

1. Favor small goverment

2. Favor business

3. Favor cutting taxes (their only redeeming quality, IMHO)

I've also proven by going straight to the source that Kerry has America's interests in mind, something that those Republican plants here seem to be in denial about.

I stand by everything I've said about Bush up to this point. You've yet to prove me wrong.

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Sailor, have you ever been to Switzerland? It only takes one trip to see why it hasn't been invaded lately. Geography, not economics, IMO!

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Disturbing, because certain objectivists appear to be selling out to the Republican party, the party of the faith-based conservatives
Really now, because I was pretty sure that the ONLY support anyone on this board has offered for G.W. Bush was in regards to his war in Iraq. The only discussion you could POSSIBLY have been refering to, when you talked of your "disturbing trend," was the one where the primary point was that one ought to vote for the preferable candidate.

I stand by everything I've said about Bush up to this point. You've yet to prove me wrong.

Why would I want to? Just like you, I think Bush is a bad guy. My only support for him comes from his (albeit, limited) willingness to go to war in defense of our country, nothing else, and this support is ONLY in prefernce to Kerry (who I believe would not be willing to do so). This has been made clear a number of times and in a number of threads. I find it far-fetched that you have simply missed reading my posts on the subject, or misunderstood the topics at hand by so much as to think that I, and others, are supporters of the religious right.

Assuming that you have not made that mistake (i.e. giving you the benefit of the doubt), the only conclusion that I am left with is the one I have twice presented here.

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Switzerland constitution has been in effect some 800 years, declaring Neutrality in 1815. Has a country, in all that time, they have never had a war, never been invaded, and never taking part in a war. Why? because they have money in their banks from every country, no other country will allow an occupation from another country. ECONOMICS

Or perhaps economics and wars are both motivated by the same thing...

What is economics but values in practice? Why would one go to war except that something one values is at stake? Get my point?

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While I do not have any particular plans to vote for Kerry, I think an argument can be made for his superiority over Bush.

Given that Kerry's actual voting record has been to the left of Ted Kennedy and well documented in that respect, he will be worse than George W. Bush.

It's very similar to Nixon vs McGovern where you couldn't trust Nixon to make things better but you could trust McGovern to wreck things.

Frontpage magazine documents the activities of Mrs Heinz-Kerry in funding hard-left activities and also documents Kerry's hard-left track record.

And I would believe anything on Kerry's website as the man is also a proven liar.

Try these links:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UKOA/message/4725

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadA...le.asp?ID=12481

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The Sailor, are you saying that only people who serve in the military have a right to make decisions on foreign policy.

If your going to say George Bush didn't defend America you can't say Kerry did.

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