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Peikoff For Kerry?

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In my inaugural post, I had written:

1) In the history of human civilization, when thisworldly statism (Communism, Socialism, Irreligious monarchy, etc.) has been effected, it has yielded terrible polities.  Yet, these polities have still been (marginally) worth writing home about.  The Greek city-states; Rome under the Stoics; present-day European socialism; Soviet Communism; the Arab Golden Age.  All these were born of thiswordly mysticism and, because of their limited recognition of reason, still had some respect for science and technology.  That is to say, man's mind still had some breathing room under these regimes.

I think this paragraph is too dense and requires further exposition.

On the list of states I mentioned, I included the Greek city-states and the Arab Golden Age, which are regarded as Ages of Reason. Why did I lump these days of glorious good with Communism, an epoch of evil? Why did I mention present-day European socialism, which seems indicative of the heights of Western prosperity, in the same breath as the noxious red threat?

We know that Western civilization derives its name from the fact that Aristotle, its prime mover, was a Westerner. Just as Arab-Moslem civilization derives the fact that its prime mover, Mohammed, was from Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In other words, the Arab Golden Age is actually an example of Western civilization (in the same way that Japan and South Korea are examples of Western civilization) and not Arab-Moslem civilization.

The Greek city-states, even at their best, were not explicit bastions of individual rights - some men were relatively free but still there were serious violations. Even distinguished citizens like Aristotle and Socrates were subject to some of the arbitrariness that did exist. And we have examples of this kind of arbitrariness in the Golden Age too. Individual rights did not become an explicit phenomenon till Locke and the US Founding Fathers. So, really, although Reason was given freer reign during these times, one can still see that there were problems. Slavery was an insitution everywhere until the 19th century when England and America put a stop to it.

All the states on my list are united by one thing: the idea that whatever solution there is for man's "condition" can be implemented here on earth. The dominant metaphysics of the best (and some of the worst) heights of Western history is secular. And this is what I was driving at in my first post. We can risk a nihilist era because it still has man focused on earthly concerns. While nihilism has man in epistemological denial (a la the Sophists, Hume, al Ghazali, and Kant), religious eras have man in metaphysical denial (Christianity, Islam, idol-worship, etc.).

Perhaps I should have highlighted these differences and similarities for clarity before presenting that integration. That was my mistake.

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Betsy,

A friend of mine passed your HBL post on to me (the comment you posted here on August 5) on why you weren't going to vote for John Kerry.

I, too, am endorsing George Bush.

I wanted to make a couple of comments in support of the candidate you and I favor for president of the United States.

I've written a number of things critical of the pragmatic half-measures and the temporizing in President Bush's 'War on Terrorism' -- a war against Islamism that he won't even name.

But I've also written in favor of Mr. Bush.

President Bush led our nation in two small, but unprecedented feats of arms -- the victories in Afghanistan and Iraq (fighting for the consolidation of victory does not mean that victory hasn't already been achieved). These military actions have demonstrated the superiority of Western Civilization in a way that words could never express. With those victories, Mr. Bush moved the front line from 14th Street in Manhattan to Baghdad, Kabul and Islamabad -- deep inside the Muslim world. In June, Mr. Bush planted a seed of Western-style representative government in Iraq. It is a sword hanging over the heart of the Islamic World.

In fighting the forces of Islamism, George Bush has become the world's number one _opponent_ of theocracy.

The man disserves to be recognized for it. We owe him our votes _and_ our thanks.

-- Jack

P.S. A vote for John Kerry is more than a vote to turn our backs on the man who has led our nation in the fight against Islamism.

A vote for John Kerry is a vote for a man who opposed, in one degree or another, every new mechanism of national defense during the Cold War. As he demonstrated when he worked for Vietnam Veterans against the War, John Kerry is deeply ashamed of any use of American military force anywhere in the world -- and he is willing to propagate lies about American wartime atrocities to get us to feel ashamed of it too.

As the world's only superpower, John Kerry implies that it is our altruistic duty to _not_ use our military superiority for our nation's own benefit. In his view it is immoral for the United States to use its military to defend "only" itself. The U.S. Armed Forces may only be used in a shared defense with allies or in a self-sacrificial defense of others. This is the root of his calls for multilateralism, an expanded role for the U.N., and a "gentler" policy towards the nations of the Muslim World [his term, not mine].

John Kerry's position is that American leadership in the world should be drastically curtailed. He takes this position not in spite of the fact that we are in a shooting war with Islamic fanatics who are trying to kill Americans here, in our cities, where we live and work -- but _because_ of it.

A vote for John Kerry is a vote for retreat and dissolution. It is a vote that favors a tiny band of physically and intellectually impotent religious fanatics who want to see the world plunge into a new Dark Age, but don't have the power to do it, so they will settle for the deaths of as many "infidel" Americans as they can get -- a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, you, me.

A vote for John Kerry is a vote for death.

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So a theocracy "came to fruition" in America when  Reagan said "freedom of religion, not from religion"?  I must have missed that theocracy, even though I lived through it, according to you. 

Kerry is a threat to American lives, and an equal threat to American liberties.  Perhaps you can prove your assertion that there will be a theocracy under Bush?  Something a little more convincing than your proof there was a theocracy under Reagan.

First of all, I never stated there was a theocracy under Reagan. I only inferred that Reagan appeared to advocate the role of religion in government, which is contrary to the bill of Rights.

Regarding Kerry being a threat to American lives- that is such an empty piece of distortion spewed by the Right as to not to be taken with any sincerity. First of all, Kerry, should he be elected president, will have to swear that he will defend the Constitution. He will have to swear that he will defend America.

So far, the conservatives who post here have done well by their faith-based faux-education with its "whole-language" approach to reading/writing "comprehension.

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I have a very simple view of the "theocracy" issue.

Let's look at some figures:

1) Take the figure that was floated earlier: 25% of our country's population are fundamentalist "evangelical" Christians. I think this may be an overstatement, but then again I've never spent any time in the Midwest.

2) The Democrat vs. Republican split in recent years is roughly 50/50.

3) Fundamentalist Christians (those who would favor some form of "theocratic" government) are overwhelmingly Republican, so half of Republicans could theoretically support a theocracy.

4) Democrats (roughly 50% of the voting population) are overwhelmingly supporters of the separation of church and state.

Therefore, in simple terms, 75% of Americans would not favor theocratic government.

If Bush were to win in November, how would he implement a theocracy? The only way this could occur is by force. Does anyone seriously believe that the Bush Administration is inclined, let alone able, to force Americans into a theocratic government?

I think the threat is completely overblown.

Still, I don't favor Bush; nor do I favor Kerry. At the risk of being branded a heretic, I plan to vote Libertarian. If you have something to say about this, I urge you to read the Lesser of Three Evils thread and respond there. I don't want to hijack this thread.

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Still, I don't favor Bush; nor do I favor Kerry. At the risk of being branded a heretic, I plan to vote Libertarian.

Voting for Bush, Kerry, or Libertarian Candidate X doesn't automatically mean you support their respective policies. But, the Libertarian Candidate is not a 'real' candidate, since there is NO chance for him to become president. Thus when concerned about mimizing the damage to oneself, only consider Bush vs. Kerry. If you honestly can't figure out which one is worse before you have to vote, only then do I consider a No-vote or a Libertarian vote permissable. But my reccomendation would be to do everything you can to look at the facts and then choose between Bush or Kerry.

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First of all, I never stated there was a theocracy under Reagan.  I only inferred that Reagan appeared to advocate the role of religion in government, which is contrary to the bill of Rights.

Regarding Kerry being a threat to American lives- that is such an empty piece of distortion spewed by the Right as to not to be taken with any sincerity.  First of all, Kerry, should he be elected president, will have to swear that he will defend the Constitution.  He will have to swear that he will defend America.

So far, the conservatives who post here have done well by their faith-based faux-education with its "whole-language" approach to reading/writing "comprehension.

So, in other words, you cannot prove your assertion that there will be a theocracy under Bush.

Kerry will swear to defend the Constitution and America. Wonderful. Bush would have to swear the same thing. And if Michael Moore were elected, he would have to swear the same thing. Would you take his word for it? Evidently you would.

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I listened to Peikoff's lecture excerpt.

The only flaw I could find with his logic is that he mentions that there has never been such a threat of an American theocracy as there would be under President Bush.

I disagree.

The first such threat came in 1980, when Ronald Reagan ran for office. 

[...]

As weak a personality as Kerry is, you will NOT get a fundamentalist theocracy under Kerry.

WHOA! Words have precise meanings.

A THEOCRACY is a TOTALITARIAN DICTATORSHIP based on religion such as Taliban Afghanistan, Iran, or the Spanish Inquisition.

It does NOT mean a mixed economy whose President opposes abortion, stem cell research, and pornography.

As for totalitarian dictatorships, the Left is trying to establish one based on Marxism, environmentalism, and racism.

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After reading through this entire thread, I found only one person who's comments refect a full understanding of the fact that our country is at war: Janet Bush's on Saturday afternoon (#82).

There is only one issue in this presidential campaign: the conduct of the war.

All other issues are of lesser importance right now.

The crimes of aggressive war are mass murder and mass destruction. But human lives and limbs and property aren't the only things destroyed by an enemy. There are non-material losses, too.

The first casualty of war is range. When an enemy attacks the first thing that he kills his victim's plans. The victim is compelled to set aside his peaceful goals and take up the goal that has been forced upon him: war. War interrupts his dedication to his long-term goals.

The limited short-range goals of war come first. Defense and survival have the first claim in the political debate.

Socialized medicine comes in second. Increasing the income tax comes in second. Reforming Social Security comes in second. The establishment of government drug buying cartels and the revival of the farm program come in second. Federal funding for Christian charities comes in second. Outlawing late term abortions and the use of fetal tissue comes in second. Due process for aliens comes in second. 'Campaign finance reform' comes in second.

If one attempts to move any of these other issues to the front, the next day will bring a new battle and the enemy will move the issue on the back burner again.

As I write this, the next battle is unfolding. Young American men (and a few women) are fighting al-Sadr's rag-tag militia in Najaf, Sadr City and across southern Iraq. They're risking their lives and limbs for the United States of America -- for us.

It is not a sacrifice and one does not have an un-chosen obligation to acknowledge what the American fighting man is doing on behalf of our civilization. But if we believe that Western Civilization is worth fighting for we have an obligation to make battle the first priority of our thoughts.

The body armor we paid for works. Last Thursday alone, at least eight Marines were hit in the chest by enemy rifle fire. They're all doing fine.

The Marines are able to attack at night, more safely and with deadly efficiency, under the cover of darkness using the night vision monocles we paid for. And it is easier, much easier, for _our_ young men to kill _their_ young men when it is too dark to see them bleed.

If we wish to remain in contact with reality, we don't have a choice about what is the most important political issue of the day. And we don't have a choice about the fact that the practical measures that need to be argued (the job of any active mind) are often non-philosophical.

Tactical Nukes for North Korea? Invade Iran? Falluja under an unrestricted artillery bombardment? Non-philosophical conclusions aren't practical suggestions unless they consider the cultural/political limits of America, of the President, and of his office.

President Bush may have failed two and a half years ago to exploit Americans' feeling of righteous anger. But that's an opportunity that has already been lost. This year, and last, the President has pushed Americans almost as far as the majority are willing to go in prosecuting this war (poll results are changeable, but they don't lie.)

However, small things are possible....especially with a provincial enemy badly lacking in knowledge of how his actions influence us, out here, in the non-Muslim World.

Enemy attacks are cultural/political opportunities for the more aggressive pursuit of our enemies. Al-Sadr's militia has risen up against the Iraq's Allawi government. That's an opportunity for his arrest (or targeted killing). The opportunity, once again, to maul his untrained, poorly organized, ill-equipped forces is already being exploited by Mr. Allawi and the U.S. Marine Corps.

New aggressive statements from the Iranian leadership on the development of nuclear weapons will be an opportunity to argue for an air campaign against Iran's nuclear industry. (Even if we had the will, the structure of the armed forces do not permit a ground invasion at this time. It would take a year to properly prepare.)

Maybe we'll see air strikes before we'll see a Shi'ite bomb...it is not 'written' that they will get the weapon before we act.

New al-Qaeda attacks on American soil would be an opportunity for a general escalation of the war (hopefully they won't find me in my high-rise office building in Chicago...or you in yours in New York).

An attack by our religiously dogmatic enemies would provide the means for another broad counter attack: the anger of the American people would lead to the re-election of the most aggressive presidential candidate, give him a strong mandate for action, and a Congressional majority to back him up.

Yes, in our confused culture, it _will_ "take more than we have suffered for the country to get behind a more aggressive war."

But the United States is not Spain.

Our enemy is weak. The challenge of this war is to persuade our fellow countrymen to see it through with sufficient force so that it won't drag on and on and on.

Short wars are merciful. Long wars are bloody. Either way, the United States is going to win this one.

Don't give up the fight and vote for a president who will put the war on the back burner. Don't vote for a president who thinks socialized medicine and tax increases are more important than winning the war. Don't vote for the president that will give our enemies more opportunities to impose their grim tax of suffering and death.

-- Jack

P.S. Yes, I know, I'm wandering a little from the topic of why one should or shouldn't vote for John Kerry.

But I can't think about the topic in the terms in which it is being discussed in many of the posts I've read here -- posts that often stray from the context of this year's election.

This is _not_ a peacetime election.

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I think I haven't been clear.

I am aware of the fact that Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, and Kim between them murdered almost a hundred miilion people.  But, in doing so, they had to apply deadly force with an intensity that would eventually have guaranteed that a few of their own citizens would have tired of this state of affairs.  Once these few clear-eyed men came to see the truth, the game would be up.

Or they, more likely, would be among the murdered 100 million.

But, with religion, less force is required to subjugate men: they give up on reality willingly.
So why was the Inquisition necessary?

Under nihilism, some people are still pursuing some earthly pleasure.  Think of the despicable characters in "We the Living" that Leo got invovled with when he'd given up spiritually; consider also the dachas used by the Soviet rulership. Under religious rule, however, St. Francis of Assisi becomes the standard.

ALL totalitarian dictatorships are evil.

In fighting nihilism, one can move the people against dictators by pointing out how their evil rulers are "enjoying life" way beyond the generality of the masses.
That was Orwell's point in Animal Farm, yet Soviet Russia survived for decades after that and similar criticisms.

To fight religion, you have a longer climb, for subhuman life becomes its own end.  Just ask Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

We defeated the Taliban rather quickly when we set our minds and our military to it.

Furthermore, the ideas that Mao, Stalin et al, sought to actualize have been discredited: no-one today regards Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia as an ideal.

Have you been to a college classroom or seen a Michael Moore movie lately?

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Regarding Kerry being a threat to American lives- that is such an empty piece of distortion spewed by the Right as to not to be taken with any sincerity.

The people who see Kerry as a threat have given REASONS which you ought to address. Evading and dismissing those reasons is not a rational counter-argument.

First of all, Kerry, should he be elected president, will have to swear that he will defend the Constitution.  He will have to swear that he will defend America.
You mean the way President Carter did before he allowed Iran to take Americans hostage and did nothing, thus preparing the way for the rise of Islamic terrorism targeting Americans?

So far, the conservatives who post here have done well by their faith-based faux-education with its "whole-language" approach to reading/writing "comprehension.

An ad hominem is not a rational counter-argument either.

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Repeating what I wrote over at Capmag:

http://capitalismforum.com:/phpBB2/viewtop...?t=872&start=25

Dr. Peikoff has lost his wits if he is serious about voting for Kerry.

Kerry's record is to the left of Ted Kennedy. Both liberal and conservative associations have documented this.

Kerry's entire campaign has been "Vote for me! I'm not George W. Bush. He's terrible."

Peikoff has said, in effect, " Bush is terrible, I'll vote Kerry"

Note that Richard Nixon's record between 1968 and 1972 was terrible but that Ayn Rand still voted for him because he was better than George McGovern.

Note that Mrs Thatcher, between 1979 and 1983, had a terrible record on unemployment and the economy. That did not justify voting for Michael Foot's Labour party who campaigned on a left wing platform of tax-and-spend combined with unilateral nuclear disarmament. Foot's labour party would have destroyed Britain's economy.

George W. Bush may well be too left wing. Voting for someone much further to the left of him with a pacifist foreign policy and a economic policy of tax-and-spend is not the answer. Kerry has a near 20 year record of voting to cut defence spending on top of that.

George W. Bush is very inconsistent as many of us have noted. Kerry has almost always been consistently and evilly wrong."

I took the oportunity to re-read the AR letter and found AR was decidely critical of Nixon's economic and foreign policies but still voted for him to keep McGovern out and I think Kerry is just a cleaned up version of him.

As for the 1983 British election, that was one of the best examples of Bastiat's "What is seen and what is not seen" ever to happen.

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Or they, more likely, would be among the murdered 100 million.

Not necessarily. A nihilistic dictatorship, especially one that pretends to be scientific, requires some brilliant minds. The Russian "oligarchs" survived. Some German scientists survived. A religious dictatorship, however, requires only death and taxes.

So why was the Inquisition necessary?

I said *less* force is needed not *no* force.

ALL totalitarian dictatorships are evil.

With all due respect, Mrs. Speicher, this is almost a red herring. I have nowhere maintained that they aren't. I lived many years under several of these, so I know just how bad life at the point of a gun is. And I've even been arrested before for my views.

That was Orwell's point in Animal Farm, yet Soviet Russia survived for decades after that and similar criticisms.

I did not imply any kind of determinism by my point here. I am not saying that people wil automatically revolt against their oppressors. I am saying that the eventual few-many conflict that is common to all polities under naked, brute gang rule can be further fuelled by such a call. Remember also that Soviet Russia did not have Objectivism to contend with.

We defeated the Taliban rather quickly when we set our minds and our military to it.

Have you been to a college classroom or seen a Michael Moore movie lately?

Have you been to a Linda Rondstadt concert lately? Have you seen a Mel Gibson movie lately?

But, to answer you directly on this point. I have not seen a single Michael Moore movie and never will. I think one reason why so many have gone to see his latest trash is that Bush's faith-based thinking caught up with him.

He trusted the intelligence on Iraq (on faith); he expected that Americans would overlook his muddled case on Iraq (on faith); he took the word of his advisers (on faith).

So, some exasperated non-liberals gave Moore's tripe a viewing. They didn't like what they saw but unfortunately made Moore rich anyway.

If Bush were truly the dynamic leader some have tried to make him out to be here, a Moore wouldn't even be small potatoes - he'd be badly-burnt french fries.

And finally, the Taliban have NOT been defeated.

P.S. All of the points I have made so far on this thread should be viewed as a presentation of the strongest points of both sides of this debate and not as a final position. I have not achieved certainty on this issue yet. The biggest case for Bush, in my opinion, is that no Democrat president since FDR has taken up arms in defence of America for any reason. (I will happily be corrected on this.) And even then, Roosevelt involved the butcher Stalin in crucial war plans, thereby strengthening Stalin's political grip at home and on Eastern Europe.

It is this point, above all, that makes me think that Dr. Peikoff may have his timing wrong. Like I said in an earlier post, an elected Kerry is likely to appease the enemy, thus leading to another strike. Kerry will very probably respond lackadaisically (as Clinton did to the terrorist attacks during his administration), ensuring that an even more religious, pro-war Republican is elected in 2008. This chain of events, in my view will strengthen the roots of a theocracy.

What I suspect Dr. Peikoff is considering is that should Bush wage and win the War on Terrorism, he may become so popular that he will be able to use that "political capital" to pass several anti-individual measures.

Unfortunately, I did not listen to the DIM lectures and have not seen an extended presentation by anyone of Dr. Peikoff's position, so I cannot cross-check his calculations. I need to know what context(s) he is operating in, what attributes he is essentializing from, etc.

Can anyone here provide this information please? I would be most grateful.

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After reading through this entire thread, I found only one person who's comments refect a full understanding of the fact that our country is at war: Janet Bush's on Saturday afternoon (#82).

-rest of excellent piece by Jack Wakeland snipped-

I agree with you that the war against terrorism is a major issue in the election.

I don't think it is the only reason people should vote for Bush.

I am also extremely skeptical about Kerry's positions on domestic issues. I think Kerry would probably be another Jimmy Carter, causing widespread inflation and unemployment. I say this because his 'true' constituency are so motivated by their emotionally projected hatred of Bush, and so uneducated about politics, that I believe they will support the entirety of his foolishness once he is in office. He will get a carte blanche that Clinton never had.

Also, repeating from a post in another thread, if you are going to present the war side reasons for voting for Bush be careful about staying positive.

Don't call Kerry a traitor, don't go into detail about his war record. Some people think it is honorable that he opposed the Vietnam war (regardless of his reasons) and some people don't care what happened 30 years ago.

Instead present the positives of Bush's leadership since Sept 11th.

Bush has done some things correctly. For example, he recently approved a multi-billion dollar technology acquisition package with the aim to improve military technology. Among the budgeted items is a total communication system to ensure that soldiers know where all their fellows are on the battle field at all times. This should greatly lessen the friendly fire incidents. A laudable achievement.

Jack Wakeland also mentioned the body armor and night vision goggles. Kerry voted against both. Its easy to provide the evidence of Bush being a better president just by comparing Kerry's Senate record. Be careful about falling into democratic tactics of name calling and theatrics. You just need to present the facts.

Good luck.

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There seems to be quite a lot of support for Bush here, but which is worse? Someone who does bad things within a system (such as Kerry and Nationalized health) or someone who trys to destroy the system (such as Bush and separation of church and state)?

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. . . Bush's faith-based thinking caught up with him.

He trusted the intelligence on Iraq (on faith); he expected that Americans would overlook his muddled case on Iraq (on faith); he took the word of his advisers (on faith).

You are completely misusing the word "faith" here. Bush is not throwing reason out the window in trusting American intellegence services on the existence of WMD in Iraq. He is using the best available information. Or were you expecting him to travel to Iraq personally while Saddam was dictator and look around for WMD? And the same goes for his advisors: they are there to give him advice. Should he fire them all and do everything himself?

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You are completely misusing the word "faith" here.  Bush is not throwing reason out the window in trusting American intellegence services on the existence of WMD in Iraq.  He is using the best available information.  Or were you expecting him to travel to Iraq personally while Saddam was dictator and look around for WMD?  And the same goes for his advisors: they are there to give him advice.  Should he fire them all and do everything himself?

Faith, in this context, means "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=faith)

Did Bush have enough evidence of WMD (a faulty premise to begin with) to risk American lives in Iraq? [And I feel very strongly about this, by the way. I am from the "bomb it all" school of thought. What's the point of living in - and/or risking one's life immigrating to - an advanced society if countries culturally stuck in the 12th-15th centuries can take American lives?]

You also say that he was using the best available information. This is not true. This is the best available information.

Does this all mean that I hate Bush? Not personally - I might even be able to get along with him much more than some atheists I know. But I can't take that chance in this context. If one of the most (if not the most) demonstrably-important thinkers alive has a radical opinion on the survival of man, I owe it to myself to gather as much data as possible regarding this opinion before making a decision. I cannot allow my hatred of liberals (which is considerable) or pre-conceptual approval of Bush the man, cloud my judgment.

Now, please, does anyone have some more information about the supporting arguments for Dr. Peikoff's position?

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There seems to be quite a lot of support for Bush here, but which is worse? Someone who does bad things within a system (such as Kerry and Nationalized health)

The danger with Kerry isn't his domestic policies. It is that he will, as the Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, and the ONLY one who is empowered to wage war, allow Americans to be attacked at home and abroad and DO NOTHING.

or someone who trys to destroy the system (such as Bush and separation of church and state)?

Where is the evidence that Bush is trying to destroy the system? All I see is that he has advocated some legislation based on religious premises.

I am not convinced that the feeble initiatives of an inarticulate politician, whose power is restricted by the checks and balances built into our constitution and who is opposed by the Left and a large portion of the Right, can have very much of a negative impact.

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...Peikoff has said, in effect, " Bush is terrible, I'll vote Kerry"

This entire thread is shameful. Hardly a person here seems to have given any serious consideration to Dr. Peikoff's position and his argument for it, instead taking their previously held political views as a given and ignoring anything which contradicts them. I'm not saying that Dr. Peikoff is right (I have yet to reach a conclusion about that), but quotes such as the above--which are far too common in this thread, and are representative of its general tone--illustrate that most people here have failed to even attempt to grasp what Dr. Peikoff is saying. That being the case, I don't think those people have any business discussing Dr. Peikoff's position in this thread.

(Sorry to single you out, BlackSabbath, nothing personal.)

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Assuming I am not speaking to the "anybody but Bush" crowd ...

In what way is Kerry a better choice for the Presidency than Bush?

Yes, Bush has major faults.  Which of those faults does Kerry not have, and why does that make him a better choice for the Presidency?

Did you even listen to Dr. Peikoff's statement?

Anyway, there's one bloody obvious fault that Bush has that Kerry doesn't: he's a committed Christian who wants to use his political position to push his religion!

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Anyway, there's one bloody obvious fault that Bush has that Kerry doesn't: he's a committed Christian who wants to use his political position to push his religion!

That's true, but how is that a threat to the country? How can he implement a theocracy in the next four years?

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That's true, but how is that a threat to the country?  How can he implement a theocracy in the next four years?

Is it Dr. Peikoff's claim that he will?

I'll say it again: I've seen little discussion of Dr. Peikoff's actual arguments here (in a thread that is supposed to be about those arguments), and even less that indicates a deep understanding of them.

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AshRyan,

Firstly, that is false. Bush isn't out to push Christianity on the country. But even if it were true (Bush pushes intrinsicism), how is Kerry superior (religion of statism, ie, subjectivity)? And if he is morally superior in this regard, how does that moral superiority make him a better candidate for President than Bush?

Secondly, at issue (my question) is not whose morality is better. At issue is whose candidacy is better. Morality certainly is a factor - and I would choose intrinsicism over subjectivity, or the recognition that morality is fact over the sneer that it is fiction. But how does that influence either man's candidacy? Meaning, explain how.

Thirdly, the question was directed to the members of the forum, not to Dr. Peikoff.

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This entire thread is shameful.  Hardly a person here seems to have given any serious consideration to Dr. Peikoff's position and his argument for it

Here goes.

This my summation, with exact quotes where appropriate, preceded by a number indicating the time it appears within the 19 minute excerpt. The implications of what Peikoff is saying are in brackets [].

The part I and others disagree with and have taken issue with, citing our reasons, involve the conclusions Peikoff has come to. I have highlighted those parts in blue.

0:00

There are millions of vocal religious fundamentalists and they outnumber Objectivists. Some fundamentalists are totally crazy.

9:30

Fundamentalists are overwhelmingly Republicans and support Bush. Bush is a true Christian and his religious viewpoint "is what he is trying to ram into our laws and national values and entrench into the US government."

11:00

What does this all add up to? Bush fought a war that should have been against a religious entity (Islamic fundamentalism) against a secular state (Iraq) instead. Bush is for faith based initiatives at government expense, against abortion, stem cell research, cloning, and bioengineering. Bush is no friend of business. Bush has appointed some religious fundamentalists to important government posts.

13:30

Bush is targeting religious voters in order to get re-elected.

14:00

[Recommends John Lewis's article on Bush vs. Kerry.]

15:00

The alternative to Bush is a secular Leftist Liberal. There is no longer a base or any mass crusade for big government. There "are no ethical or political ideals in the country except for religious people." Kerry has bad policies, but he is not a threat.

17:00

In terms of concrete policy, Bush is interchangeable with Kerry. The big difference is that "Bush is working to achieve a massive entrenchment of fundamentalism into our government and political system. Kerry has no such agenda." [Kerry has no dangerous agenda.]

"In my choice between a D1 [Kerry] and an M2 [bush] with a mass base, it is obvious to anyone who grasps philosophy, who grasps the political importance of fundamental philosophy, that the D1 [Kerry] must be supported."

18:00

There has never been an M2 running for President before, but now there is one [bush] who is "the advocate of the equivalent of a Puritan theocracy."[Carter and Gore don't count.]

18:20

"If this goes on for at least four more years, how long do you think intellectual and freedom of speech can last?" [The obvious conclusion is that it can't.]

18:40

There is no justification for not voting for either. To do so is a "total immoral evasion."

"I feel very strongly and have argued with some Objectivists to the point of such exasperation on my part that I can hardly remain calm in discussing it.

"These people who say they are not going to vote for anybody because both men are bad happen to ignore one crucial element: One [Kerry] is normally, disgustingly bad and one [bush] is apocalyptic bad."

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