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Only in the 'lesser of all evils' sense, in which case I like Kucinich for the integrity I sense in him. His political stances, it seems, are not far off from the rest of the Democratic party, but he doesn't strike me as a lobbyist pandering sellout who can't think for himself, like most of the other candidates do (Republicans included).

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Only in the 'lesser of all evils' sense, in which case I like Kucinich for the integrity I sense in him. His political stances, it seems, are not far off from the rest of the Democratic party, but he doesn't strike me as a lobbyist pandering sellout who can't think for himself, like most of the other candidates do (Republicans included).

I do not think it is just to label Dennis Kucinich's political consistency as an example of integrity. Integrity is uncompromising commitment to rational principles. That is, principles that advance one's life. Sure Dennis Kucinich is consistent, but so are full-fledged Marxists, Nazis, Evangelists, Klansmen and Islamic Fundamentalists. Regrettably, Dennis Kucinich is committed to concepts such as "peace", which in practice he seems to be against almost any military action, including ones to eradicate the sworn enemies of the United States. He is also committed to "consumer rights", which in practice seems to be massive and unjust regulations on cars, energy providers, financial markets and the like. He is also an ardent supporter of socialized medicine but I think the point is clear.

To be committed to such destructive values, particularly in principle, surely requires a substantial amount of evasion of facts and reality. In light of this, I do not think it is fair to say that he has integrity (and others with similar convictions). Do you agree?

Edited by DarkWaters
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With the exception of Mike Huckabee, I'd prefer any Republican candidate to the selection of a Democrat candidate.

Edit: I concur with Darkwater and do not think Kucinich nor any other candidate could be the model for a painting entitled 'Allegory of Integrity'.

Edited by West
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Are there any Democrats you guys like or support?

I can't really answer that, because like or support are words I wouldn't exactly use to describe why I would vote Democrat. I'm looking more for my best defense (practical and moral) against the greater/greatest evil in the election.

With the exception of Mike Huckabee, I'd prefer any Republican candidate to the selection of a Democrat candidate.

I prefer, using the Democratic Party in my self-defense against the GOP, as I have in the last election.

RON PAUL 2008!!!

And a big NAY to that, from me. Do you think it's practical to vote Libertarian in the coming election?

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Okay, well I'll change the question a bit and say, if Huckabee got the parties nomination, which Democrat would you prefer to vote for instead of Huckabee? (Don't say 'He is not going to get the nomination so it doesn't matter' because it's a possibilty and you know it! I'm asking in event that he does).

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And a big NAY to that, from me. Do you think it's practical to vote Libertarian in the coming election?

Yes, I think its practical for me to sanction a candidate who wants to protect more of my liberties than any other candidate. So he's not perfect, but what is my other choice? Voting for the Democrats because they're flaccid, hoping that somewhere down the line their flaccidity will cause their downfall, which could possibly leave an opening for ... what exactly? Sounds pretty shoddy to me. (and we all know that void will be filled with Christian Extremism -- nothing good will come of that route) I'll go with promoting the ideals of liberty, free-markets, and the Constitution, even if the candidate is not perfect.

I would rather see small changes in the right direction NOW than the "gets-worse-before-it-gets-better" path with the socialists.

Even if all a Ron Paul presidency did was allow me to opt out of Social Security (which is one of his platforms), that would be worth my vote a thousand times over. or competitive sound currency? freeing socialized medicine? or auditing the federal reserve? or even just having a leader who respects personal property and free-market economics? That's worth my vote.

Edited by athena glaukopis
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I prefer, using the Democratic Party in my self-defense against the GOP, as I have in the last election.

And a big NAY to that, from me. Do you think it's practical to vote Libertarian in the coming election?

First, what do you mean by 'using the Democratic Party in my self-defense'?

Second, What do you mean by practical? To achieve the ends I desire, Ron Paul is by far the most reasonable candidate. Libertarian? Last time I checked, he's running on the Republican ticket, and has been in Congress almost 20 years as a Republican. I am aware that he ran in 88' as a libertarian, but attempts to villify him because of the stigma the ARI attributes to the term 'libertarian' is not a good enough reason to discount Ron Paul. I'm not saying that Ron Paul is a God, I'm saying he is the best choice among the field for presidency.

Edit: I would choose Obama or Hillary over Huckabee any day, but I would have to think about Edwards, as I do not know his full platform and would have to enlighten myself as to his principles or lackthereof.

Edited by West
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Okay, well I'll change the question a bit and say, if Huckabee got the parties nomination, which Democrat would you prefer to vote for instead of Huckabee?

If it came to that, I would write in President Hu Jintao of China. He is a Communist too, but he has more respect for my property than Hillary, Edwards, and Obama put together.

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First, what do you mean by 'using the Democratic Party in my self-defense'?

West, voting Democrat, like in the last election, was the most practical and moral defense that I think that I had against the GOP, which I had viewed as being the greater evil. After reading Dr. Peikoff's and Diana Hsieh's comments and statement on the election, and having read just about everything Rand has in print to boot, I agreed with how the the former two were casting their vote.

Second, What do you mean by practical?

Practical in the sense and context of: If you were to vote Libertarian, do you think that you would be throwing your vote away, when the election really comes down to two main party choices, like in the last election? That's what I meant. And, would it be practical for one not to vote at all, when one has a chance to keep the greater evil out of office, by voting for a lesser evil?

Libertarian? Last time I checked, he's running on the Republican ticket, and has been in Congress almost 20 years as a Republican.

Oh, I thought he was a Libertarian Party candidate.

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He is a libertarian running as a candidate of the GOP.

Gotcha! :)

And, would it be practical for one not to vote at all, when one has a chance to keep the greater evil out of office, by voting for a lesser evil?

Oops, to correct myself, I should have said "by voting the lesser evil". I don't like using the word "for".

Anyways, it all comes down to the application of Objectivism to the coming election. I think that Dr. Peikoff and professor Hsieh were correct in the last election, in their application of Objectivist principles, and so I had made the decision to register to vote; registered, but not associated or affiliated with any of the political parties out there, and had then chosen whichever party I thought was the lesser evil, a decision I made based upon their application of the philosophy. I take self-defense very seriously, so I had to make, what I thought, was the right decision against not only the candidate, but the party, that I thought would do more harm, not just short term, but long term as well. Dare I say, if I did err or were to, it would be due to a misapplication of the philosophy on my part.

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Voting for any candidate who is NOT republican in my states general election is usualy ignored. The state Texas electoral college is heavily weighed with republicans, and having spoken with my representatives personaly they will continue the

trend of voting republican in January. Any time I have had these individuals to myself it was like pulling teeth to get any

answers out them! From their ideas on taxes to privatising construction on a local highway expansion. All of my local representation is republican, and on top of that, baptist republican. I have voted almost every election in the last six years

in the hopes of getting this group knocked off thier seats. Until this happens I can vote any way I like and the result will be

the same for my state........REPUBLICAN.

By the way I can't stand any of the candidates. It has been fun reading how other Objectivists weigh in on this election.

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By the way I can't stand any of the candidates. It has been fun reading how other Objectivists weigh in on this election.
I have to say that this cr[o]p of candidates is the worst that I have ever experienced. Each and every one of them is bad, but in slightly different ways. While the next president will most certainly affect us in the short run, I'm more concerned with the long run. In the long run, what are the most serious threats to our existence? One of them is the fact that the next president is likely to name a replacement for Justice Stevens. There are two main ways to make law in the US -- pass something through Congress, or get SCOTUS to tell you that that's what the existing law already says (or doesn't say). It's true that presidents are often not so clever about figuring out the political philosophy of their court nominees, but it's more likely than not that the next SCOTUS justice will reflect the political philosophy of the next president. Do you care if Roe v. Wade is overturned? Is it more likely that a religious fundamentalist president will nominate the man who forms the hardcore majority that does this, than that e.g. Obama will nominate a property-socialist who will tilt the vote on the court in such a way that... well, I'm not sure what the concrete threat on the left will be.

Certain things are already established in law and politics -- we have taxation, welfare, and a general philosophy "The government should provide our needs". Both parties accept that premise. What we don't yet have is a general acceptance of the Baptist mullahs as the ultimate makers of law. On this point, Huckabee and Paul are the worst GOP candidates. What is troubling for me is that it looks like the donkeys are getting way too cozy with the idea of dropping the separation of church and state. Since fundamentalism of any stripe is a serious threat (how you you refute her "argument"?), I've concluded (no pun intended) that the fundamental issue for the next election is stopping the intrusion of religion into government.

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Even if all a Ron Paul presidency did was allow me to opt out of Social Security (which is one of his platforms), that would be worth my vote a thousand times over. or competitive sound currency? freeing socialized medicine? or auditing the federal reserve? or even just having a leader who respects personal property and free-market economics? That's worth my vote.

Oddly enough the President has no say in any of these things. These are legislative matters. What will it mean for this candidate to "respect personal property and free-market economics" in an executive role exactly?

Edited by KendallJ
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He is a libertarian running as a candidate of the GOP. You might as well be voting for Hitler. I'll stick with the ChiComs, thank you...

This is the most absurd and gross comparison I've ever heard. A comment of this sort only leads me to think that you have absolutely no knowledge of his platform and voting record. He at the very least had the acuity to vote against the civil rights act of 1964, despite being called a racist. He did so on the grounds that it would allow government to breach a businessman's rights as well as not provide a remedy for racial tension.

@intellectualammo:

Instead of appealing to an authority, can you give me a brief summation of how you came to these conclusions and why they are your position?

Aside from that, Ron Paul opposes the Iraq War and did so before we went into it. It's my understanding that the ARI does not agree with it in hindsight, but that's neither here nor there. The fact is that they were not responsible for 9/11, and that is Ron Paul's argument. He voted for capturing and eliminating Bin Laden, on bills H.R. 4655 and H.R. 2655 (September 11 Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001). He never said he doesn't want to go after terrorists, but he thinks that the abrogation of rights here at home are the number one priority. How you can possibly equate him with Mike Huckabee is beyond me and I can't imagine how you can do so without an evasion of one sort or another. Ron Paul at his worst has a false definition of life, and I agree that the Sanctity of Life act is evil, just as the We the People act is evil, but they have little chance of passing, nor do I think it's a priority of his. To me, Ron Paul represents the best, most practical vote among candidates.

My #1 concern is the persecution of Americans' rights, and further, of businessmen and producers. The day that medicine becomes socialized in America is the day when I start considering an alternate country.

I don't see how going to war with Iraq was protecting the rights of our citizens.

I think you guys attach too much importance to the name 'Libertarian'. If you ignore his face and ignore his party for one moment and match up his platform views and voting record to EVERY other candidate, I can't see how you can possibly vote for any other candidate. He has never voted for taxes, he's against corporate welfare, against the Patriot Act, against regulating the internet, against the war on drugs, etc etc. Of course you can do this research and look at his almost pristine voting record on your own, before making such ludicrous statements, and I suggest you do.

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Aside from that, Ron Paul opposes the Iraq War and did so before we went into it. It's my understanding that the ARI does not agree with it in hindsight, but that's neither here nor there. The fact is that they were not responsible for 9/11, and that is Ron Paul's argument. He voted for capturing and eliminating Bin Laden, on bills H.R. 4655 and H.R. 2655 (September 11 Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001). He never said he doesn't want to go after terrorists, but he thinks that the abrogation of rights here at home are the number one priority. How you can possibly equate him with Mike Huckabee is beyond me and I can't imagine how you can do so without an evasion of one sort or another. Ron Paul at his worst has a false definition of life, and I agree that the Sanctity of Life act is evil, just as the We the People act is evil, but they have little chance of passing, nor do I think it's a priority of his. To me, Ron Paul represents the best, most practical vote among candidates.

As president, Paul can do nothing or next to nothing about taxes, social security, etc. He can be influential in the realms of foreign policy (where he believes, absurdly, that the US was attacked because of legitimate grievances from the Islamic world). He can do something about abortion (via Supreme Court appointments), which he is against. He can act as a powerful champion for the anti-immigration position. And none of this takes into account the fact that Paul doesn't believe in evolution or the separation of church and state.

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If you ignore his face and ignore his party

I don't mind ignoring his face nor his party (which is the Republican Party), but I am not willing to ignore the fact that he is a libertarian. Ignoring that fact would be like ignoring that someone is a Nazi--and I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that.

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I've concluded (no pun intended) that the fundamental issue for the next election is stopping the intrusion of religion into government
.

I could'nt agree more. I have run my businesses in Houston, and to be more specific, in deep babtist territory. Dr. Ed Young of Houston's Second Baptist church was a framing client of mine! I have had conversations at the corner Starbucks

with religous men of such political pull it took alot of self restraint not to verbally blast them.( My business would have greatly suffered had I done so.) All I could do was try my best to persuade them to understand how much the legislation hurt those who did not share thier religous beliefs. Response......." well everyone I know is christian." Fighting this type of mentality on a state level is really frustrating at times.

Is it more likely that a religious fundamentalist president will nominate the man who forms the hardcore majority that does this, than that e.g. Obama will nominate a property-socialist who will tilt the vote on the court in such a way that... well, I'm not sure what the concrete threat on the left will be.

Which is why I have in the past I have waited until almost the last minute to make any decision.

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I do not think it is just to label Dennis Kucinich's political consistency as an example of integrity. Integrity is uncompromising commitment to rational principles. That is, principles that advance one's life. Sure Dennis Kucinich is consistent, but so are full-fledged Marxists, Nazis, Evangelists, Klansmen and Islamic Fundamentalists. Regrettably, Dennis Kucinich is committed to concepts such as "peace", which in practice he seems to be against almost any military action, including ones to eradicate the sworn enemies of the United States. He is also committed to "consumer rights", which in practice seems to be massive and unjust regulations on cars, energy providers, financial markets and the like. He is also an ardent supporter of socialized medicine but I think the point is clear.

To be committed to such destructive values, particularly in principle, surely requires a substantial amount of evasion of facts and reality. In light of this, I do not think it is fair to say that he has integrity (and others with similar convictions). Do you agree?

Firstly, I never mentioned Kucinich's political consistency. Is he consistent? Yes, sure; but consistency is a corollary of integrity, not the other way around. And I wasn't trying to claim that the other way around was the case. My claim of integrity is based on other factors of his character, like his knowledge of what he's talking about (even if his conclusions regarding the facts are wrong), and his willingness to talk about the issues head on with minimal bullshit.

Secondly, I meant integrity in the more general sense of "loyalty to one's convictions and values." Few of the other candidates seem to have any values, save what they need to say to get elected. I'll be sure to use the precise definition in the future, but the one I used is still the first thing I think of. There are gradients of evasion possible in that large gap between "subjective whim" and "rational principle," and I find it difficult to say as ultimatum that if you're not a free market capitalist, you have no integrity.

Thirdly, I know the Liberal trash Kucinich is committed to, which is why I explicitly stated that I like him "Only in the 'lesser of all evils' sense." I'm not completely ignorant!

Edit: I concur with Darkwater and do not think Kucinich nor any other candidate could be the model for a painting entitled 'Allegory of Integrity'.

Fourthly, I said I sensed integrity in him, as in I believe there to be some in his character, which is more than I can say for most of the other candidates. This is a far cry from declaring him a 'model' of integrity.

[Paul] believes, absurdly, that the US was attacked because of legitimate grievances from the Islamic world

This is false. He certainly says that our intervention in the middle east is a factor in Islamic attacks against the US, but he always stipulates that these actions are irrational, not at all legitimate. You can still be opposed to his foreign policy, but don't go on doing it under the false belief that Paul actually sanctions or has empathy for anything Islamic militants do.

Edited by cilphex
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Secondly, I meant integrity in the more general sense of "loyalty to one's convictions and values."

Although they are not exactly the same, this is what I intended to articulate when I said "political consistency".

I find it difficult to say [...] that if you're not a free market capitalist, you have no integrity.

I agree. To make such a pronouncement would presuppose that everyone should have a sophisticated understanding of Objectivism, particularly in ethics and politics, as well as extensive knowledge of economic and political history.

However, with regards to Dennis Kucinich in particular, I still think it is fair to say that he has no integrity. It is my understanding that as mayor, he allowed the city of Cleveland to go bankrupt out of his refusal to sell the city's public utility company to a private corporation. I cannot find a great, free-market source on this issue, but it is discussed here and here. My perception is that Dennis Kucinich should know better.

I'm not completely ignorant!
Relax! I never considered such a conclusion and an insinuation of this was not the intent of my post. ;)

[Ron Paul] certainly says that our intervention in the middle east is a factor in Islamic attacks against the US, but he always stipulates that these actions are irrational, not at all legitimate.

You probably can, but for completeness can you please supply sources of where Ron Paul indicates that such attacks against the U.S. are irrational and illegitimate?

You can still be opposed to his foreign policy, but don't go on doing it under the false belief that Paul actually sanctions or has empathy for anything Islamic militants do.

Ron Paul does not acknowledge Islamic Totalitarianism as a threat in general and in particular he does not see Iran, an Islamic Republic that is known for providing military, political, spiritual and financial support for Islamic terrorism, as a concern. So long as he does this, his evasions give sanction, as he does not cast the proper judgment towards the enemies of the United States.

Edited by DarkWaters
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